Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Refrigerator Pickles by Brenda Riden

My garden has had tons of cucumbers this summer, and I found this super easy recipe for the most delicious sweet pickles. And the best part? They are super easy to make!

Refrigerator Pickles

3 cups sliced cucumber
3 small onions (I used 1 large onion)
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 t. salt
1-2 t. celery seed

Put cucumbers and onions in large bowl.  Mix vinegar, sugar, water and salt until dissolved.  Add celery seed.  Pour over cucumbers and put in jars and put in refrigerator.  Will keep 2-3 months in frig (if they last that long).

From Savoring Time in the Kitchen

Monday, August 25, 2014

Word for the Week

Make the most of every opportunity. 
Colossians 4:5

A very popular Christian blogger had this scripture on her Facebook page recently with, basically, the instructions to live life to the fullest, being totally there and aware. Sounds good, doesn't it?

I wanted to see the scripture in context, and here's what I found. The verses surrounding this one tell the Christian how to live the Christian life with commands like "devote yourselves to prayer, with an alert mind and a thankful heart" and "let your conversation be gracious and attractive, so that you will have the right response for everyone."

This scripture is actually a continuation of a first part:

Live wisely among those who are not believers; 
and make the most of every opportunity.

This "make the most of every opportunity" is actually telling us to look for ways to share the Gospel with nonbelievers. And do it by being alert to opportunities and by being gracious. 

Kind of puts a different spin on it, don't you think?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Want to Hear Beth Moore?

Refresh Women's Ministry has 4 tickets available to hear Beth Moore at the Fed Ex Forum this weekend - Friday night and Saturday morning for $59.00 each. If you are interested, please call Lisa tomorrow at 662-349-5005. You will need to pick up your wristband before 3:30 tomorrow. For time schedule click on the following link: http://www.lifeway.com/Event/Womens-Event-Living-Proof-Live-memphis-tn

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Creole Okra by Paula Roten

I'm the girl who likes my okra cornmeal-coated and fried. Slimy okra? No way! But I happened upon a recipe years ago that surprised even me. I still can't believe I like it, but it is a dish I can't wait to have every summer when the fresh tomatoes and okra start coming in. 

A friend gave me some tomatoes recently, and I commented to my mother that I would love to have some fresh okra so I could make the Creole Okra. She said she had made it with frozen cut okra before and it did fine. So I decided to try it. It wasn't quite as good as the fresh, but it certainly hit my spot!

Creole Okra - 2 servings

1 T. butter
3/4 cup sliced okra
2 T. minced onion
2 T. minced green pepper

3/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

1. Melt butter in skillet. Add the okra, onion, and green pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. 

2. Add the tomato, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Made in Heaven...for Life by Christie Smith

There are moments that change us. They are moments we remember forever or moments that change the way we live forever. There are great moments that break our hearts for the good… the mission trips and the conferences… holy places that we get to share with friends who are on the same page, the friends in the same season of life or those seeking the same things we seek. But what about the bad moments that change us forever… the moments we don’t choose? The phone call that tells you someone you love has died. The diagnosis that scares you to the core. The struggles over hard choices we have to make for unwanted issues with our kids. Are these not holy places too? In the good times, it’s easy to find people who want to share in the moment. But when we walk with each other into the sacred, holy places that change us, the moments that leave us speechless and begging God to answer our question of “why,” we form bonds that will never be broken. These friendships are refined and strengthened in the fires of life. And these are the friendships that will outlast all others. So, don’t be afraid to share these sacred places with others. We all try to put our best foot forward. We have our “Facebook worthy” masks on and rarely want anyone to see the blemishes in our lives or in our souls. But when we show each other the raw parts of ourselves, places that are still healing, it is an intense kind of intimacy that is sacred. And sometimes, it’s where our world and God’s world collide. His original plan for us was relationship. It’s what we were created for. But I think we seldom, if ever, reach the level of relationship that He intended. We rarely open ourselves up enough to let anyone really know us. And maybe that is because that openness in the past has been met with judgment and criticism instead of love and acceptance. But don’t let that stop you from finding those friends that you can be transparent with, friends that you can trust your heart to. Trust me…they are out there! Sometimes it takes going through those hard times to show you who those friends are. And if you have those “in the furnace of life” type friends, it makes the hard times a little better.

If you’re lucky enough to have this kind of friend, first…thank God!!! Your friendship truly is a gift from Him! Second…tell them! Too often we let thoughts and feelings go unspoken. These friendships are made in Heaven to help us get through the cruelty of this life and to share in the joys as well. And last…invest in them! Live life together, make time for each other and choose to be there through it all.

So, who came to mind when you read this article?
Share this with them and let them know that they mean the world (and the next world) to you!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Word for the Week

We never know the burdens someone else may have. Let's purposely speak kind and encouraging words to those around us. Let's give the benefit of the doubt to those who seem unkind to us. Maybe they are dealing with anxiety and discouragement that we don't know about. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fearless Faith by Vicki Taylor

I’ve been camped in the land of Judah for about a week now with King Jehoshaphat. I am beginning to realize that I am a slow learner when it comes to what God wants me to learn, especially about faith. I wish I was one of those people who can read a scripture, know immediately what the Lord is saying, and apply it to my life then. But I am not. I have to sit on it a while and let it sink in to my brain until it finally reaches the darkest corner in my heart, pushing out all doubt, unbelief, and fears that I have buried there. And that’s why I’ve been camped in Judah with Jehoshaphat…

Now, Jehoshaphat had been told that a multitude of armies were coming against him, and he was very afraid. But what Jehoshaphat did, instead of cowering in fear, is he “set himself determinedly, as his vital need, to seek the Lord.” (Amplified Bible) Simply put, he asked the Lord for help. He had a great need; he went to his Great God. He gathered all of Judah around him and they began to seek the Lord together, yearning for Him with all their desire.  

When you have a great need, do you seek your Great God? We Taylor’s are a small group, four in all. But, when we have a “great need,” we gather together, like campers around a camp fire, sending calls and texts across three states getting the need out. Nesbit to Oxford to Atlanta and back, we all pray together across the miles, for our great need. Staying in contact constantly seeking, waiting, yearning. We rejoice when God answers, we wait when He lingers. We live by faith…  

There are times, like Jehoshaphat, “We are powerless against this great need, we don’t know what to do, but we will keep our eyes on You Lord.” I believe God allows tribulations and crises in our lives to not only teach us to rely on Him, but to teach others how to rely on Him (like our children). Our response to these trials and crises is what others see.  

I myself have a tendency to be fearful, like Jehoshaphat. What God wants for us is to find freedom from our fears. You see, real freedom is not the liberty to do what we want or the absence of trials. Jon Bloom says in his book Not by Sight, “Real freedom is the deep-seated confidence that God really will provide everything we need.”  EVERYTHING!  If you really believe that, you are truly free and have nothing to fear whatever your situation.

Unfortunately, the only way for us to experience this kind of freedom is by continually being the recipient of God’s delivering power and faithfulness. And that’s why we are to “count it all joy” … when we meet those various kinds of trials, which continue to come. They are making us free … fearless and free.

I believe what God is saying to us through this story is … trials will set you free from the bondage of a fearful faith. In 2 Chronicles 20:15 the Lord told Jehoshaphat, “Be not afraid or dismayed of this great multitude: for the battle is not yours, but God's.” By giving our fears to the Lord and letting Him fight our battles for us, we learn to cultivate a fearless faith.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Another Iced Coffee Recipe by Paula Roten

Remember a few weeks back when I told you I love all things coffee? Well, I've found another iced coffee recipe, and I like this one even better than the last one I gave you. Like the other one, this is a "healthy" version. Feel free to de-healthify it if you wish.

Iced Coffee
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Starbuck's packet of Via Italian Roast coffee (or 2-3 tsp. instant coffee)
splash of vanilla flavoring
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of sea salt
Stevia, to taste
1 tsp. vanilla whey protein powder (I use Jay Robb's and I use 2-3 tsp.)

Blend all ingredients together in a blender or shaker jar. Fill a quart size canning jar with ice, pour the coffee mixture over it, and fill the rest of the way with cold water. Stir and enjoy! (I prefer mine a little stronger, so I don't fill the jar all the way with the water. Find what you like!)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Need You, Jesus by Lynda Leeson

I Need You Jesus

Prayerfully listen to the words of the above beautiful song and consider Peter's question to Jesus in John 6:68 (NIV):

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words 
of eternal life."

There are so many in our local body dealing with "stuff" that we would prefer not to have. I was struck by the simple truth of this question..."To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." I don't think that simply means life in heaven. I believe that starts when we accept Christ and the answers are always found in Him.

Don't be overwhelmed. 

Look to Him. 

He has the answers.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Word for the Week

Have you thought to do this when you are in trouble and need God's help? It's a real test of faith: Praising God before He even provides the help we need is a true picture of our faith in Him. Can we praise Him for whatever is going to happen? Can we praise Him before we know whether or not He will deliver us?