Tuesday, April 30, 2013

BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON SCONES by Pam Gross

Those of you who attended our Refresh Tea this past Saturday enjoyed these homemade scones. They are not too sweet with just the right touch of spice. Serve them with Mock Devonshire Cream, and you have a happy dance going on in your mouth!


Brown Sugar Cinnamon Scones

2 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch squares (salted butter is fine if you reduce the salt to 1/2 tsp.)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon. You may have a few brown sugar lumps; that's fine. Work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, heavy cream, and vanilla.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. With a wooden spoon, stir just until a  dough forms.
5. Turn dough onto a floured surface and form a disc about 1-inch tall. Cut into 8 wedges.
6. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 12-14 minutes until the scones begin to brown on the bottom.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Kitchen Treaty at http://kitchentreaty.com/brown-sugar-cinnamon-scones/

Mock Devonshire Cream


8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
2-3 T. confectioner's sugar

Mix the cream cheese in a mixer until creamy. Add sour cream and confectioner's sugar and mix well. 








Monday, April 29, 2013

WORD FOR THE WEEK




If you look at the context of this scripture, David was experiencing problems - his strength was failing and enemies were plotting against him. Pretty severe problems for a king! Yet he professed that his hope was in God. And even before God answered these current problems, he chose to praise God more and more. 

I seem to keep hearing over and over about praising God and being thankful IN the dire circumstances even BEFORE God answers. How about you?








Sunday, April 28, 2013

REFRESH TEA PARTY REVISITED



When the world is all at odds 
And the mind is all at sea 
Then cease the useless tedium 
And brew a cup of tea. 
There is magic in its fragrance, 
There is solace in its taste; 
And the laden moments vanish 
Somehow into space. 
And the world becomes a lovely thing! 
There's beauty as you'll see; 
All because you briefly stopped 
To brew a cup of tea.

Our Broadway ladies slowed their busy lives Saturday for a couple of hours to enjoy a tea luncheon with other friends, mothers, and children. They came dressed up, but hats were optional.


Grandmothers/Granddaughters


Friends




Little Friends



Mothers/Daughters




Three Generations



Cousins

The tables were set with treasures many ladies had freely offered for us to use this day - heirlooms, bequeathed teapots and teacups, antiques, and dearly loved items. Their generosity made some beautiful table settings with teacups and teapots on each table, as well as tiered plate holders and footed cake plates.



The menu for our tea party consisted of four courses: strawberry soup, sandwiches and fruit, scones and Devonshire cream, and desserts. These petite little dainties were almost all homemade. Recipes will be on the blog for the next few weeks to come.












After a filling lunch and good conversation around the table, Nellita Young spoke. We learned that WE are God's jewels. 

A final quote from Winnie the Pooh and we were off, back into the fast-paced world. But hopefully, we had slowed down a few moments for food, hospitality, friendship, and hearing from God.


"A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards." Winnie-the-Pooh

We hope our ladies remember our Refresh Tea as a "Proper Tea."




Friday, April 26, 2013

NOT JUST OUR FATHER, BUT OUR DADDY by Christie Smith


As women we are multi-taskers. As mothers, we take multi-tasking to a whole new level... and this applies to our relationships as well. Our children see almost every side to us there is to see: the cook, the maid, the chauffer, the dry-cleaner, etc... But they also see us in more personal terms. We're the boo-boo kissers,  the arms that hold them in the middle of the night when they've had a nightmare, the friend when they need to talk about something going on at school, the coach when they need to learn how to throw a fastball or shoot a free-throw. (That last title is reserved for a select few of us moms ;) The list is endless. In my role as mother, I have continuously been able to learn and grow in my relationship with my Heavenly Father because I've been able to personalize things that before I just couldn't understand. 

As I think about my favorite moments with my children and how much I love them, I am finally beginning to see glimpses of how much God loves me. When my babies wake up in the morning and the first thing they want to do is see me, crawl in bed and lie with me, just be with me... oh, how our Father must grieve when we don't run to Him with that same longing. When my kids fall and hurt themselves, I'm the first place they run... no one else will do (except for Daddy of course). But what does it do to Jesus to see us running to everyone and everything but Him when we are hurting? My oldest two are 9 and 10 years old now and it's neat to see how, as they are learning new things, they are continuously turning to see if I'm watching and to see if I'm proud. Do we even think twice about the things we are doing...hoping that God is watching and is proud of us? My 5 year old ran into our room in the middle of the night scared to death over a bad dream and within seconds of being wrapped up in his momma's arms had calmed down and gone back to sleep. He was absolutely sure that as long as Momma and Daddy were there taking care of him, nothing could hurt him anymore. Do we have that much confidence in our Father? With everything happening just this past week...bombs...explosions...politics that continue to attack our faith...can we honestly say that we don't have a care in the world because we know who's holding us? 

Yes, God is holy and just. But He is SO much more!!! When we need someone to be there to set boundaries and rules for our good... He is our Adonai. When we don't know what to do next with our life, we need someone wiser to show us the way...He is our Jehovah-Raah. When we're sick and hurting and need someone to "kiss our boo-boo's" and make us feel better...He is our Jehovah-Rapha. When we need someone there who gives us everything we need, without even asking most of the time... He is our Jehovah Jireh. 

He loves us a thousand times more than our earthly parents ever could. Why is it so hard to love Him that personally? Oh, how His heart must ache!!!

Matthew 7:11(NIV) 
" If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT) 
"For the Lord your God is living among you.
 He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
 With his love, he will calm all your fears.
 He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

1 John 3:1 (MSG) 
"What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to."



Thursday, April 25, 2013

WEIRD THINGS YOU SEE AT MARKET...PART 1 by Stacy McSpadden


Back in March I attended the Holiday Gift Market in Atlanta to do a little Christmas buying for the store. The trends in Holiday decor have not changed much from last year, but I thought y'all might enjoy some of the "weird" that we found.




Legs are in!  I know you are thinking, LEGS?!? Yes. Legs. They were everywhere. We saw them sitting on chairs, hanging from ceilings, and even placed in Christmas trees. Yeah...we didn't buy any of these. Too weird for me!



Another item of the weird was a stuffed nativity for your Christmas decor. Yeah, I just don't think our Lord and His earthly parents looked like this. And don't come looking for these at Chestnut Hall. We won't be carrying them!



The last thing is an obnoxious Santa that laughs and moves. Now your little ones may love it, but to me it's the kind of thing after once I would throw across the room so that it would break! You won't find this at CH either!



Stay tuned for more Weird Things from Market. I will be attending the International Home Furnishings Market this week, and I can tell you that there are plenty of oddities in High Point.

Stacy McSpadden
Manager of Interior Design Services
Chestnut Hall Interiors
3075 Forest Hill Irene Road
Germantown, Tennessee 38138
901.753.8515

stacy@chestnuthall.com




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

THESE GOLDEN YEARS by Vicki Taylor


Honestly, I would have thought that by the time Babe and I got to our “golden years,” life would have slowed down and we could be enjoying our grandchildren, sitting in our easy chairs watching old movies, and just taking life, you know… easy. What was I thinking??? I certainly was not expecting all the angst and stress that has come into my life lately. And I know I am not alone in it either. A dear friend I was venting to the other day reminded me that God does this in order for us not to get too comfortable here. This is not our home. Good point. Perspective…I had lost mine momentarily. Finding my way back has not been easy. The daily grind wears on me, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I trust God for what He is doing that I cannot see, underneath the surface.  

I was reading in Isaiah 56:1 the other day and He so graciously encouraged me…“Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” I got so excited as I thanked Him for the salvation of this person who has been causing most of my discomfort. But He quickly stopped me and informed me that was not the point…“Do what is right.” Well, what was that all about? I thought I was doing “what was right.” Then He began to show me what He meant. My heart was full of angst and stress, along with bitterness and hurt caused by this person, and I was not letting it go. I couldn’t even get my head wrapped around it. He then took the time to begin dissecting that evil root of bitterness in my heart before it could grow deeper in my life and take root. He reminded me that I was not to wrap my head around my problems but to allow Him to wrap His arms around me, giving all of my problems to Him. It is a lesson I continue to learn.

I am also learning, albeit it slowly, that Kingdom work takes time. His ways are not our ways, nor is His time table our time table. We unfortunately live in this fast paced, instant society that expects results instantly. But God does not work that way. Growth takes time, and God wants to grow us to be like Him. 

Now, are we here to be comfortable in these golden years?  I don’t think so. As long as we can “run the race,” we need to be running. God will give us the strength and endurance to run. And all I know is that as long as I have breath, I want to do what pleases Him. That is my purpose here. I may not do it right, but I want to finish well. So when you see me “running” up and down the road, just remember that I’m running my race and heading toward the finish line. I’ll look for you when I get there, and we’ll celebrate the victory together with Christ.

“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NLT)



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

STRAWBERRY SOUP by Paula Roten

The next few weeks' recipes will be those served at our Ladies Tea (the one I know you are attending this coming Saturday). This first course cold soup is a preview of all the good things to come.


Strawberry Soup

2 cups strawberries, sliced 
1 cup sour cream
1 cup half and half
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. vanilla

Place all into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Chill before serving. Makes 4 cups.

Monday, April 22, 2013

WORD FOR THE WEEK

In the morning, Lord, 
you hear my voice; 
in the morning 
I lay my requests before you 
and wait expectantly. 
Psalm 5:3

Has the Lord heard your voice today? And if so, are you waiting expectantly...or worrying?



Saturday, April 20, 2013

LADIES TEA



Please join us 
Saturday, April 27 
at 12:00 noon 
for our 
Ladies Tea. 
This is for ALL ladies. 
All ages. 
Even your little people. 
Please come in your nicest "tea" attire. 
Of course, hats are welcomed, but not required. 
Nellita Young will be our speaker! 
Tickets are $5.00 per person. 
Sign up at the Ministry Table this Sunday.
Bring friends, mothers, daughters, 
grandmothers, co-workers,
EVERYONE!

Friday, April 19, 2013

PRAYER JOURNAL by Cathy Westmoreland

I am blessed to be able to serve as a Sunday School teacher for the third and fourth graders at our church. I feel a great responsibility serving, praying, and loving on these wonderful children. I sometimes feel very selfish because I receive so many blessings from working with them. I get more than I give. As I pray and prepare each week, I often learn new things God wants to teach me. I also see the excitement in the faces of the children as they share about new things they are learning. This year we started keeping a prayer journal. Every Sunday morning we write down each prayer request, and before the hour is over, we pray over them. About every third week, we turn back the pages and look at the previous prayer requests. The excitement comes when one of the children tells the class how God has answered his/her prayer. WOW! It's great being with children that are praying for their families, friends, and church and seeing their faces as they realize that their wonderful Heavenly Father has answered another prayer. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A TIMELY, FAITHFUL GOD STORY by Lynda Leeson


At the end of January, I got a frantic call from my sweet granddaughter needing to borrow $400 for car repairs and she needed it yesterday. Thankfully, I was waiting at West Clinic for my shot. Afterwards, I simply wheeled into the post office, purchased a greeting card, wrote the check, and mailed it to Erin in Paducah, KY.

Guess what?!? After 5 days the check still hadn't arrived. We're talking 3.5 hours straight up Highway 51. So reluctantly, I dropped another check in the mail. 

I'm an old bookkeeper by profession and I don't like loose ends...however...I like bank fees even less. At this point I felt the real need for Divine intervention (I am such a slowwwwww learner).  I prayed that I would have favor with my bank and that Jesus would show me eventually where the first check was. Bingo...my nice banker waived the fee and stopped payment on the check. Second check arrived in 2 days and the crisis was abated.

Remember the second part of that prayer? No? Me neither. Until this morning. About 8:30 I received a call from Jim at the Southaven post office. He was very nice and apologetic in telling me that he was cleaning his work area and found a greeting card containing (drum roll inserted here) a check for $400. Y'all know me well enough by now to know I had to tell him the whole story. He is a believer and was so blessed by the faithfulness of God to answer my prayer. We had mini church right there on the phone.

In these days of bombs in our city streets, poison mail to our leaders, and crises of every kind in our own church and community, it is overwhelmingly comforting to know that the Lord not only heard my prayer in January but answered every detail on April 17, 2013. I hope that assures each of you how mindful He is of our every need and His eager willingness to meet that need no matter how small. He's just plain faithful!!!

Mark 4:22 (AMP)
22 [ Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation.] For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything [temporarily] kept secret except in order that it may be made known.

1 Corinthians 4:6 (AMP)
6 Now I have applied all this [about parties and factions] to myself and Apollos for your sakes, brethren, so that from what I have said of us [as illustrations], you may learn [to think of men in accordance with Scripture and] not to go beyond that which is written, that none of you may be puffed up and inflated with pride and boast in favor of one [minister and teacher] against another.

By the way...nice Jim from Southaven PO is mailing me the card today...any guesses on how long that might take???  






Wednesday, April 17, 2013

HOW QUIET WOULD THE WORLD BE? by Tony Manley


How quiet would the world be? 

An exhaustive definition of Eph. 4:31-32

“Let all:

BITTERNESS - resentment, feelings of deep and sharp anger and ill 

and

WRATH - extreme anger, forceful, and vindictive anger

and


ANGER - strong feelings of annoyance, displeasure, and hostility

and

CLAMOUR - loud persistent outcries against

and 

EVIL SPEAKING - morally bad, wrong, causing ruin, injury, pain, or harmful backbiting

be put away from you, with all MALICE -  intention to do evil or ill will;

And be KIND - a friendly, generous and considerate nature 

                 and 

TENDERHEARTED -  a kind, gentle or sentimental nature 

ready and willing to forgive one another, even as – to the degree God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.   Eph. 4:31-32

How quiet would this world be? Very.

How quiet would the church/the body of Christ be?





Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CREAMY COCONUT LIME PIE by Brenda Riden


Enough of the healthy recipes that have been posted for the past three weeks. Time for pie! It does use light whipped topping and reduced-fat sour cream, though, so you might be able to convince yourself this pie is healthy too. Just don't eat more than one piece at a time and you'll probably be okay.

Creamy Coconut Lime Pie 

Ingredients:
1/2 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crust (1 crust) 
1 container (12 ounces) light frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided 
1 container (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream 
2 limes 
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, divided 
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling 
12 maraschino cherries with stems (optional) 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. 
2. Let pie crust stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Gently unfold crust onto lightly floured surface. Roll to an 11 1/2-inch circle using lightly floured baker's roller. Place crust in deep dish pie plate, pressing dough into bottom and up sides. Prick bottom and sides using pastry tool. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. 
3. Attach open star tip to a decorator; fill with 1 cup of the whipped topping. Set aside for garnish. 
4. In bowl, whisk remaining whipped topping and sour cream until blended. Using a lemon zester, zest one lime to measure 1 teaspoon zest; juice using juicer to measure 2 tablespoons juice. Add zest and juice to sour cream mixture; whisk until smooth. Add pudding mix and 1/4 cup of the coconut; whisk until well blended. (Mixture will be very thick.) Immediately spoon filling into crust, spreading evenly. 
5. Sprinkle top of pie with remaining coconut. Pipe 12 rosettes of reserved whipped topping around edge with decorator. Slice remaining lime; cut slices in half and place between each rosette. Top each rosette with a cherry, if desired. For easier slicing and a cooler serving temperature, refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve. 

Yield: 12 servings or 16 sample servings 

Nutrients per serving: Calories 210, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 10 mg, Carbohydrate 26 g, Protein 1 g, Sodium 210 mg, Fiber 0 g 

Brenda Riden
Pampered Chef Consultant
www.pamperedchef.biz/brendariden
 







Monday, April 15, 2013

WORD FOR THE WEEK

Love the Lord your God, 
walk in all his ways, 
obey his commands, 
hold firmly to him, 
and serve him 
with all your heart 
and all your soul. 
Joshua 22:5

Joshua's counsel to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh is still good for us today, too.



Friday, April 12, 2013

DROWNING by Vicki Taylor


In the past few weeks, Satan has exploded an atomic bomb in our little family – that prowling lion has attacked us in every way he can to try to destroy five family units. Yes he is alive and active – don’t let anyone tell you he isn’t!!

Now, I’ve got to be quite honest with you. I’ve had a really hard time because three out of five of those families are mine. I’m even struggling with being thankful. Sometimes I feel I’m drowning under the attack because where I’m treading water, it’s impossible to see what God is doing beneath the surface and beyond the moment.  

So I asked the Lord … “How are You going to bring good for me and glory for You out of ALL this mess?” I think He was glad I asked. He reminded me of Second Corinthians 10:7 - “You are looking only at the surface of things.”  Well, that got my attention, because that is where I was, on the surface treading water. What I could not “see” was what was going on beneath – those things I know without seeing.

Because I know my Heavenly Father, I know He is able to do anything, anywhere, anytime, if I just give it to Him and let Him have it all. And I am assured whatever He does will always turn out to be good because He is good! I can know, without seeing, that God will take my circumstances and, in faith, cause me to “take root below and bear fruit above” and grow deeper in Him through it all. 

God did not say any of this will be easy or pain free – but He did say that with eyes of faith I could see beneath it to His work within me, and beyond it to the joy set before me (Hebrews 12:2). He is really more concerned about what is happening in me than what is happening to me … it really is all in our perspective.  

Well, being a wee bit Irish, it’s a good thing I love the color green, because it looks like I’m going to be in this valley for a while. But it sure beats treading water. 






Thursday, April 11, 2013

CONFESSIONS OF A RELUCTANT WIDOW by Lynda Leeson


Philippians 4:13 Amplified Bible (AMP) - I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Psalm 18:31-33 (AMP) - For who is God except the Lord? Or who is the Rock save our God, The God who girds me with strength and makes my way perfect? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet [able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble]; He sets me securely upon my high places.

On dumpster days God shines forth around here. I have a terrible habit of putting more in the trash bag holder than I can lift or carry. Each time I quote Philippians 4:13 and ask Jesus to help me, and He has every time. Today, however, was vastly different. He performed a literal miracle in my kitchen.

The trash compactor only needs to be emptied every 4-6 weeks since I'm alone, but it gets very heavy. I had a cardboard box that would hold the bag so I took it in and placed it beside the compactor in case the bag tore. The bag was extremely heavy, but I did manage to get it out and into the box. Then the box was too heavy to move or pick up.

Prayer Time!!! I dragged the box to the back door...and realized I was now pulling with only ONE hand. The box became lighter and lighter, and I was able to put it in the dumpster. Wow!!!

My kitchen has become a cathedral of praise many times since John went to be with Jesus, and today was certainly one of those days. What a God!!!



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CAESAR PASTA SALAD by Brenda Riden


Here's another easy, delicious pasta salad that could be made into a main dish by adding grilled chicken.

Caesar Pasta Salad
Source: Pampered Chef

3 cups (10 oz) penne pasta, uncooked 
2 hard-cooked eggs 
1/2 cup red onion, chopped 
1/2 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped 
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated 
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, snipped 
1 bottle (8 oz) fat-free creamy Caesar salad dressing 
1 head (3/4 pound) romaine lettuce, shredded (6 cups) 
1 small tomato, for garnish (optional) 

1. Prepare pasta in Generation II 4-quart casserole according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water. Place in Classic 2 quart Batter Bowl. Set aside. 

2. Meanwhile, chop eggs, red onion and bell pepper using Food Chopper. 

3. Grate Parmesan cheese with Deluxe Cheese Grater. 

4. Snip parsley with Kitchen Shears. 

5. Add eggs, onion, pepper, Parmesan Cheese and parsley to pasta in Batter Bowl. 

6. Pour salad dressing over pasta mixture; mix well. 

7. Stack 3-4 lettuce leaves on top of each other; cut into thin shreds. 

8. To serve, line Chillzanne Bowl with lettuce. Spoon pasta salad in center of bowl. Garnish with tomato rose. Serve using 3-Way Tongs.

Yield: 6 servings 


Brenda Riden
Pampered Chef Consultant
www.pamperedchef.biz/brendariden
 




Monday, April 8, 2013

WORD FOR THE WEEK

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 
Command those who are rich in this present world 
not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, 
which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, 
who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
I Timothy 6:6, 17

Don't exclude yourself from this verse because you don't think you are rich. Contentment is elusive unless we intentionally put our hope and trust and expectations for provision in God.



Friday, April 5, 2013

IS THAT YOU GOD? by Christie Smith


Is that You God?

Hearing God's voice above all the noise

Recently, I read this article about those voices we hear inside our head. You know the ones. The voices that continually echo as we are trying to listen to the pastor on Sunday morning or to our kids telling us a really long story about what they did during recess or while we are watching a movie. Our minds tend to involuntarily multi-task and constantly produce thoughts throughout the day. In this article I read it said that over 70% of the conversations we have in our head are negative. 72% of the time we are saying negative things about ourselves. We're saying stuff like "I'm not good enough" or "Why would they say that about me?" or "I'm just a failure today." So, basically, for every 10 words inside my head...7 of them are negative. Only 3 are good. A survey asked mothers to keep track of how many times they made negative comments, compared with positive ones, to their children. They admitted that they criticized ten times for every time they said something favorable. A three-year survey in one city’s schools found that the teachers were 75% negative. The study indicated that it takes four positive statements from a teacher to offset the effects of one negative statement to a child. (Institute of Family Relations in Homemade, December, 1986)

John 10:3-5 (MSG) "The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.”

The question is not "Is God speaking to me?" but rather "Can I hear Him?" First and most importantly, you have to know that you are a child of God because He speaks to every one of His sheep! He is speaking to you! John 10 doesn't say "they could hear His voice or can hear His voice or might possibly hear His voice." It says that His sheep KNOW and HEAR His voice!

So, why don't we hear Him? We live in a time of "media multi-tasking." We have tv's, radios, smart phones, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. So many things fight for our attention throughout the day. So much "noise." We have to make a conscious decision to "CLEAR THE CLUTTER." In this article I was reading, it said that 8-18 year olds spend an average of 10.5 hours a day focused on some sort of media outlet. 10 1/2 hours! Now before we "adults" get on our high-horse with the kids, the article also stated that adults spend an average of 8.5 hours focused on some sort of media. The kids are more about the texting and social network media while adults are more focused on TV. Regardless of what your "pit" may be, the fact is we clutter our mind and ears with so much outside noise that we fail to hear the inner voice that's speaking to us. We think of God speaking in terms of the booming, powerful voice we hear in Matthew 3:17..."this is my son in whom I am well pleased." But that's not how God speaks to us. We want Him to flash some huge message onto a billboard. He could do that, but probably won't. Most likely He will do what He said in John 4:23-24 

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”(MSG)

God doesn't have to use His loud, powerful voice anymore. He has given us His Spirit that lives inside of us once we become His child. The task is to learn to recognize it. To intentionally make choices to seek that Voice above all else. To worship Him above all else....above all media! One of the hardest things these days for people to do is to be still. But that's exactly what God tells us to do in Psalm 46:10. I love the way the Message puts it... 

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
 loving look at me, your High God,
 above politics, above everything.”

Step out of the traffic! That's exactly what all of this technology is ... "mind-traffic." It's time to start seeking His voice above ALL else, start allowing Him to influence us more than we let all the clutter influence us! Start letting Him give us the desires of our heart instead of letting the world give them to us. I've always misunderstood that verse, 

Psalm 37:4 "Take delight in the Lord,
 and he will give you the desires of your heart."

It's not that if you desire nice things...a big house, new car, nice clothes...God will give them to you. It's that God will give you the right desires! If you seek after Him first and foremost, then the things that you desire will be the things that He desires. Your heart will be like His heart! 

So, how do we hear God's voice? Simple. We listen. He is speaking, but He's not going to yell over all the noise we cram into our heads. We have to choose to do things that will allow our minds and spirit to quiet. We have to shut off all the outside influences that are fighting for our attention. Media, multi-media, social media...all of these things are tools. The question is what kind of tool are they in your life and who is using them? Are you using them as a tool to help you grow spiritually and to help you encourage others to do the same? Or is it a tool being used by Satan to keep you from living the full life God intended? 

It's ok to drive without the radio on. It's ok to turn your phone off. It's ok to go one day without facebook or twitter or instagram, etc...And it's ok to go one night without prime-time TV to spend time with our families. Ask yourself, "Who or What am I worshipping?"











Thursday, April 4, 2013

GOING DEEPER by Vicki Taylor


In the past month, I have been on an emotional roller coaster. Several things have been going on in my life, and I feel the Lord is leading me in a direction that I have been resisting. And believe me, that’s enough to make one emotional. You cannot run from what God will have you to do. In order to get my act together, I did something during the Holidays that I never do…I took time off. That’s right, I took vacation to spend time at home (where I love to be) to read, spend time with the Lord, and find out just what He is wanting me to do. Hold on with me because it’s going to be a ride.

I feel the Lord calling me to go deeper with Him. I know I can hear you saying, “Deeper?” That’s what I said. Then I read something my friend Chuck Swindall said… “That which is “deep” in God communicates to that which is “deep” in nature (that caught my attention being a gardener) and that brings about change.” I’m beginning to see why I have been resisting His call to go deeper. Chuck goes on to say, “It happens all around us, and most often we do not even notice. This “deep” in God calls to the “deep” in the trees in the fall, and their leaves begin to change into beautiful colors. The “deep” in God calls to the “deep” in the salmon, and millions travel back over many miles to spawn, and many die in the process.”

The Psalmist says in Psalm 42:7 “Deep calls to deep…” It’s the deep place, deep within us, deep in our foundation where we have our heart anchored to Christ, where our soul is. Deep in our inner being where God speaks, where He communicates with us Spirit to Spirit. That’s where He’s calling me to be with Him. In the deep quiet where I don’t hear anything but His voice in order to grab hold of the deep truths He wants me to learn.  

Am I ready? Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know is that change is usually painful, and I really don’t like pain. As a matter of fact, I usually run from it. Remember… I like comfortable! But we are not here to be comfortable. We are here for His glory and that means growth and growth means change, sometimes “deep” change. How can I know Him more if I do not go deeper with Him and get to know Him more?  Well, I can’t. And honestly, I don’t want to miss being with Him. He pulls at the longing in my heart to know Him more, and that is what I desire to do, go deeper, know Him more.  

In order to do that, I have to spend more time with Him. Put away the things of this world that do not matter and settle down and put my focus on Him. Quit resisting, and weed through all the earthly distractions that the enemy throws in my face. Learn to reorganize my life and my time to center it around His timetable for me. Yes, I do want to go deeper and see where and what He has for me…I want to know Him more, I want to be so sensitive to His voice that I will be able to hear it above all the noise pollution in this fallen world. I desire Him to be so deep in my heart that it beats for His glory and not my own. Now that’s deep!

Just in case you are wondering, I am not there yet. We are all a work in progress. What I do know is that I am in Christ and all God’s promises for me are “yes” in Christ, every single one of them!!! So if God wants me to go deeper, then deeper I will go with Him. Because He is not going to allow me to go alone…He will be with me…deeper still.





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CONFETTI PASTA SALAD by Brenda Riden


Here's an easy pasta salad that uses fresh veggies and fat-free salad dressing. Something healthy after eating all those chocolate bunnies during the Easter holidays.

Confetti Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1  cup broccoli, coarsely chopped
1  cup cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1  package (9 ounces) fresh tortellini, cooked and drained
2  small carrots, thinly sliced
2  tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
 
1  garlic clove, pressed
1/2  cup fat-free Italian salad dressing
1  teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1/2  cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: 
1. Chop broccoli and cauliflower with Food Chopper. 
2. Combine all ingredients except cheese in Classic Batter Bowl, tossing gently. 
3. Top with cheese. 
4. Serve using 3-Way Tongs. 

Yield: 8 (1-cup) servings 

©The Pampered Chef, Ltd. 2003
www.pamperedchef.com


Brenda Riden
Pampered Chef Consultant
www.pamperedchef.biz/brendariden
 






Tuesday, April 2, 2013

MOTHER DAUGHTER FRIEND TEA

Please join us 
Saturday, April 27 
at 12:00 noon 
for our 
Mother Daughter Friend Tea. 
This is for ALL ladies. 
All ages. 
Even your little people. 
Please come in your nicest "tea" attire. 
Of course, hats are welcomed, in fact, encouraged! 
Nellita Young will be our speaker! 
Tickets are $5.00 per person. 
Sign up at the Ministry Table this Sunday.
Bring friends, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, Everyone!




MARY MAGDALENE by Tony Manley


After I went through the resurrection of Jesus, I couldn’t get past the repetition of seeing this same woman near Jesus at the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. When I say repetition, I mean she was in all four gospels. So, I decided I needed to meet her and find out what made her heart tick.

This is the little bit of background on who Mary Magdalene was. “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons.”  Mark 16:9  To have seven demons is to be described as quite possessed of body and mind! Most commentators agree that this is an indication of the severity of her problem. Some say the demons were illnesses of the mind and/or body. So to be delivered from seven different illnesses at once or seven different occasions demonstrates Jesus’ care and authority.

Being delivered from pain, bitterness, addiction, anger, unforgiveness…just fill in the blank of a great physical or mental need…is a miracle of healing. Now, imagine all seven of them all together or at different times. Overwhelming and wearying is my feeling of this type of life. Being delivered from her demons was new life to Mary Magdalene! 

This is a Mary Magdalene heart! The heart that is so grateful and needy toward her Deliverer that she stays so close to the foot of the cross because that is where the Giver of her life was. Jesus was her Deliverer. Mary Magdalene believed the only reason she was alive and well was because of the healing touch of her Deliverer. The Jewish authorities would have been completely aware of her presence throughout the crucifixion. Yet, she showed no fear. Only focus. She had more courage than the disciples, for she stayed and was identified as one of the women with Jesus. When I read the account of the resurrection, Mary Magdalene is there. John records that she was the one Jesus revealed Himself to first!

I have a new friend named Mary Magdalene. I too have had the healing touch on a sin-possessed heart. I too am alive with abundant life. Mary Magdalene models for me a closeness to the Deliverer that fear, distraction, or casual commitment could not interfere with. She had a healed and healthy heart that clung to the truth Jesus spoke. “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Me will live…” (John 11:25).

Many believe Mary Magdalene became, after the resurrection, one of the strong pillars in the church. Can you imagine being mentored/discipled by her? Or having her as a Sunday School Teacher or Bible Study Leader?

The good news is I have the same opportunity to ignite love for Jesus as Mary Magdalene lived out in her life. I have what she had - deliverance from darkness and no hope into light and hope!

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news:  “I have seen the Lord!” John 20:18