Feb 27, 2009
Betty Crocker's Favorite Doughnuts:
4 egg yolks (or 2 whole eggs)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. soft shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Turn onto generously floured board. Roll out 1/3 inch thick. Let rest 20 minutes.
Cut with doughnut cutter. (I used a biscuit cutter)
Fry in hot oil until brown. (Temperature should be about 375 degrees).
Drain on a paper towel. Serve plain, sugared, or glazed.
I did our doughnuts in melted baking chocolate and then sprinkled them with red and white sparkling sugars.
Feb 25, 2009
"Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19
As a creature of habit, I always like to sit on same end seat of the same red leather couch that is in our small group room on Sunday mornings. We meet in a cozy fireside room furnished by a local furniture company with some ultra comfortable seating. For years I've sat in that same spot. Two weeks ago when I walked into the room, there was a blue leather chair where the red leather couch has always been. Now, that may not be a big deal for you; but for me, I wasn't sure what to do. I always sat in the same spot and if I moved to another sofa, that might be a spot a friend usually sits in. Eventually I did slowly walk toward the new chair and deposited my coat and passed by to hug a friend in small group (secretly hoping that maybe when I turned around my red leather couch will be back in it's place.) No, it did not move. So I joined my coat and hesitatingly sat down in the blue leather chair. I had a hard time focusing because mentally I was making a list of why I did not like this new chair:
It was new to me.
I like my red leather couch.
It is a chair, not a couch.
There was no room for all my family and loved ones in this chair.
I like the red couch.
I know the comfort of the red couch.
I was not comfortable.
I do not like change.
Last week I was thrilled to see the red couch back in it's spot and I sat down quite quickly. Oh so pleased that I was back into my routine of the right seat, at the right place, at the right time. Just as I like it. But, something was not right. You know that feeling the Lord allows when He is calling you to something new and you choose the safe, the known, the same old thing that you've always been doing?
The Lord and I had church right there on that red couch before the class even got around the room to finish our prayer requests. Yes, I was back on the comfortable red couch. The comfortable red couch that I've always chosen as my seat. The comfortable red couch that allows me to sit with others that are my friends and loved ones. But in my heart, I know God is calling me to some new things. Without a doubt, He moved us to a new area. He is at work in our family. He is calling me to do some new things for Him. Areas where I do not feel comfortable. Areas where I feel that I am alone; but I'm not - He is always with me. And I can't go back to the same old red couch and be comfortable when He is calling me to the new, the blue, the Faithful, the true.
Lord, I think I get the visual now
It's taken me so long and I've furrowed my brow
Hesitant I've been at the thought of trying something new
But Lord, I want to do what You alone call me to do
Help me Lord to get off the comfort of the red couch
And as I stand to take Your courage, help me not to slouch
I want to do whatever new You call me to
I know that You are faithful, loyal, true blue
Help me Lord to not hedge my life with comfort and routine
But be willing to walk by faith and follow You, though unseen
Knowing that with You Lord, I'm never alone
You'll lead me and guide me till You call me home.
In the Precious, Holy Name of the Eternal King, Amen.
Feb 23, 2009
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2
Don't you just love how the book of John opens? Victoria Leigh is writing an outline and a thesis statement for a paper. It's like the thesis statement of the book of John is in the first two verses. The awesomeness of thinking that when the beginning began, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Next week I'm going to tuck Acts 1:8 in my heart:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Acts 1:8 (NASB)
All the way home from worship, Victoria Leigh told us all about the sweet and adorable babies that she helped care for in the nursery at church. She was so excited about each and every baby in the nursery, I was convinced that we attend The Church with all The Sweetest babies gracing the nursery. She could have sold tickets to allow people to just come by and take a peek at these darlin's with her delicious descriptions. The telling of sweet details of their expressions when they woke up, their precious names, all about their blankies and diaper bags continued through lunch and by the time we arrived at a baby shower the teens and I were invited to on Sunday afternoon, I had baby fever. BAD. But me oh my, my fever subsided with this darlin' baby that we were celebrating. Oh my, he is darlin'. And I love the sweet look on Audra's face as she just soaked him in while his mama opened gifts and his daddy recorded them. I thought that was sweet - I'd never heard of a proud papa doing that and it just blessed my heart.The baby shower was the perfect occasion to use some sheets from the treasure box of vintage paper I found at a small shop in a nearby town. It delighted my heart when the new mama told me she loved the paper and didn't want to tear it so she could keep it - oh, little things delight me!
Feb 20, 2009
Feb 18, 2009
Unity has been on my heart and mind for the last eight months. I desire unity in my heart, my home, my family and my church.
Recently I called to inquire about an activity available for the teens. After hearing many of the details and asking questions, I was told that it was multi-cultural and then there was a polite pause by the other party on the line... All I could think was that it would just prepare us to stand before the throne of Christ. (Revelation 5) It so did not matter to me or to the teens. I 've heard Dr. Tony Evans talk about how the red blood of Jesus Christ unites regardless of skin color. How true. All to often, I find I lump myself and "others" into categories and tend to be most comfortable with "others" that are like me. As I think about our own place of worship, what a vast assortment of "others" (or as Psalm 133:1 says "brothers"), we have:
Young and old
Singers and noisemakers
Rich and poor
Weak and strong
Bold and shy
Those laughing and those mourning
In need and in want
Struggling and standing
Givers and takers
Formidable and fashionable
Teachers and pupils
So much of who I choose to be around is my personal preference and nowhere in Scripture, for that, do I find a reference. I believe the Word calls me, as part of the body of Christ, to be unified in the following areas:
Unified in purpose for our Lord
Unified in passion for His Word
Unified in praising His Holy Name
Unified in praying His will be done
Unified in pledging our lives to Him
Unified in perishing to self and sin
Unified in persevering the attacks of the enemy
Unified in practicing godliness daily
Unified in preparing hearts to meet Him
Unified in provisions He gives
Unified in promoting His Kingdom
Dear LORD, I long to be with you, on Your side
Despite personal preferences, help me to be unified
One body of believers united in Spirit is God's plan
Am I willing to give up any thing that is selfish or of man?
In each and every life You long to be lifted up and glorified
Am I willing to let You reign and my wants be crucified?
As I am unified in Him
Victory we are going to win
Let me not be content to complain on the bench
My grumbling to God must be a stench
It does not matter the age, education, size, sex, social status or race
We all can be covered by God's abundant and amazing grace
Lord, let us be concerned about the red blood of Christ
And no longer be held any thing that has kept us in disunity's vice
Today Lord we pledge to let go of dividing sin and pride
Before You Lord, we want our hearts unified
Your will is what we long to do
Help us to be united and faithful and true
One day every tribe, tongue, people and nation will be before Your throne
We can practice unity now on Earth, our temporary home
Let Your Spirit lead and guide
Father, we long to be unified
Feb 16, 2009
My memory verse this last week was:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled; nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
After troubled, there should be a comma instead of a semicolon...
The teens and I enjoy a time of prayer and Bible reading each morning before we start our lessons. We started this time (in addition to personal times with the Lord) to agree together over several specific requests and petitions before our Lord. We have been reading the Proverbs together and I felt the Lord leading us four days ago to the book of John. I am a schedule person, so I thought maybe it was what the Lord wanted us to start after we finished Proverbs this month. But the Lord seemed to indicate that we were to make the switch mid-way through. So we just started reading through the book of John together. And I was so excited to pull my next card from the deck of the Embrace The Word memory cards to find it was the first two verses of John! It was sweet confirmation that we were reading the book the Lord wanted us to read. Next week I'll be hiding John 1:1-2 to tuck in my heart:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2
Our budding Betty Crocker (to borrow Nancy's endearing nickname for our youngest teen) has been busy again in the kitchen making Oreo Truffles. Victoria Leigh's recipe and more pictures are posted here. To add to the valentine festivities, she decorated with milk chocolate hearts and Wilton's Sparkling Sugars.Growing up my dear mother made every holiday special. I cherish the sweet memory of opening up my lunch box each year (when Valentine's Day fell on a school day) to find my sandwich cut out in a heart shape. My dear mother's traditions have carried down to our celebrations. On Valentine's Day, I try to use the same cookie cutters my dear mother used to make our meals more festive. Breakfast included a blueberry-cranberry coffee cake and mild sausage, both cut out with heart shaped cookie cutters. My favorite holiday decorations are ones that the teens have made. Last week I listed our teens valentine art from their grade school years in my gratitude journal. Pictured below is one of my favorite pieces crafted from the busy and creative fingers of a second grader named Victoria Leigh. The pink heart has a hole cut in the center and she taped a cross in the cut out and wrote: "Only Jesus will fill your heart". Simple and true, no matter how we try or search, "only Jesus will fill your heart".
Feb 13, 2009
Feb 12, 2009
Mom asked me to post and introduce myself to the Lamplighters. I made these cookies with my cousin, Claire, who was recently here. I hope you enjoy them. And remember, like my mom would tell me and sis when we were little, if you eat any of the dough or the icing, go wash your hands!
3 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. In a small bowl combine flour and baking powder; set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla; Beat
until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; mix
well. Chill.(an hour should be good)
3. Roll out on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters for desired
shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
4.Bake at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes.
Here's a picture of a little creativity after using the cookie cutters. The hand cookie was Claire's favorite!
Usually we ice them with this recipe:
Buttercream Decorating Icing:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound(about 4 cups)confectioner's sugar
3 Tablespoons cool milk
Cream butter and shortening together with an electric mixer.
Add vanilla and salt. Beat in sugar, one cup at a time, blending
well after each addition. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often
with a spatula. Add milk and beat at a high speed until light and
fluffy. Keep icing covered with a lid or damp cloth and store in refrigerator,
when not in use. Yield: 3 cups
Claire carefully adding the sugar, one cup at a time.I use decorator tips, but you can just use a knife to ice it also. Icing them is
my favorite part and I hope you enjoy using this recipe!
Feb 11, 2009
*I am not a sports minded woman
*I don't know who is playing in the Superbowl
*I am not particularly concerned that I don't know
*I was always the last to be picked for teams when we played games in school
*My tennis coach in college told me when the Special Olympics were going to be held
By the hearty welcome, it seemed most of the people in the audience knew the coach and his excellent reputation with his team. I had not heard of either the respected coach or his team. As he walked to the podium, the Lord did a little work in my heart by letting me know He could speak through this coach as well as my pastor. So, I asked the Lord to engage me in His spoken and written Word and to draw the circle of conviction and application around me. And He did. With a coach.
I must rewind and recap (I think a little bit of the sports terminology I heard rubbed off). The last two years the Lord has given me a theme to specifically pray for the year. This year:
*The ball dropped on Times Square, no theme or direction.
*A historic new president took office, no theme or direction.
*Many new opportunities were being presented in my life, no theme or direction.
*A spiritual marker anniversary passed January 21st, no theme or direction.
I was feeling like I was in Habakkuk 3:17. January 2009 started and ended without me being able to put a bow around a neatly packaged purpose or direction for the new year. I felt like I was in the final quarter of the game (yes, I heard the coach say that too!) So I found myself still seeking, still searching, still asking. Sitting on the bench (pew) with the playbook (Bible) February 1st, while listening to a coach speak, the Lord gave me Scripture to pray for the new year. It was as if verses five through eight of the following passage were just jumping off the page to me:
"I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 1:4-8
I can't get the Scripture out of my mind. It encapsulates everything my heart is to cry out for in the new year. Then last week in our small group time (Sunday School as I knew it growing up) the Lord confirmed that this was indeed to be my prayer for the new year with a comment from a retired pastor in our group. Our small group is categorized (according to the roster) as a 30-40's couples class. But we have morphed into a group of believers from college age to 70's that are just loving Jesus and encouraging one another. Twice this older man has spoken specific encouragement to my heart without even speaking directly to me. The words that he spoke Sunday were in response to a comment made by our teacher. I see the Experiencing God teaching at work in my life through the truths learned in the study:
*God speaks by the Holy Spirit
*God speaks through the Bible
*God speaks through prayer
*God speaks through circumstances
*God speaks through the God's people, the church
My darlin' youngest teen just read my post title and reminded me that the new year started last month! And yes, according to the world's calendar it did. But thankfully, I'm on the Creator, Redeemer, and Soon Coming Lord's calendar, and His ways and starting days, don't always line up with man's calendar days!
Lord, let thanksgiving rise up in me always
Let it be on my lips each and every day
For Your amazing grace was so freely bestowed
Covering me completely from head to toe
I ask in everything LORD to be enriched in You
In speech, in knowledge, guide me in what to do
The testimony of Christ is confirmed in me
Let my life be lived so that You, others may see
Lord, pour out all gifts
Generous LORD, without thrift
Leave me not lacking
Send the enemy packing
With eager anticipation
May I await Your revelation
Confirm me Lord, to the end
Keep me before You, without sin
Feb 9, 2009
Merry Memory Monday! I tucked Proverbs 11:30 in my heart this week.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.
Let's check and see how I did (especially on the last phrase that was like a tongue twister!). Yeah! I got it! I want to bear the fruit of a righteous life and yes, I also want to be wise. Lord, allow my path to cross with those whose souls need winning for Your kingdom. This verse corresponds to a theme our pastor is currently teaching on reaching the lost.
Next week, I plan to tuck in my heart a verse that seems very fitting to our current economic times:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
With the snow this last week, we enjoyed such lovely winter scenery. When the blanket of snow melted, I noticed the tulip bulbs beginning to peek out from the soil. I so enjoy tulips. When my mother was in the hospital, a dear friend brought her a dark brown, large handled basket filled with tulips and bordered with hyacinths. I can almost smell the lovely creation just thinking about it! Our darlin' youngest teen has been learning to paint with oils and gave me her first oil painting this last week and it just brightened my day and thrilled my heart. Both the teens enjoy painting (a skill which skipped me!). Since the mantel has looked a little bare since the Christmas greenery is gone, the canvas has a temporary home on the mantel.Spring has arrived indoors! Do you all have any recommendations for framing? I am thinking of hanging it near my desk. Thank you darlin' youngest teen. Mama loves you and is so grateful for your bright and cheery gift. And the fact that there was no special occasion that you gave it to mama. Gift giving is one of your love languages Baby! I like the contrast of colors: the green lines on the strappy leaves that give it depth and the yellow, orange and whites make the cup of petals look so real. This painting will remind me of the time we planted our first tulips bulbs together about four years ago and could hardly wait for them to bloom. Your painting has blessed mama's heart.
Feb 6, 2009
And as I gazed at areas previously hidden to my eye, I could not help but think of the Truth of God's Word that says "But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known." Luke 12:2
I think this one is my favorite - the sky, the clouds, the shadows, the snow covered mountains, the green grass speckled with snow, the trees huddled together as if trying to keep warm.
This one is beautiful too. Maybe I shouldn't have said the last one was my favorite. I believe I have many favorites.
The same evening the Salesman called on his way home from an appointment and asked if I'd be interested in an outing to our favorite nearby waterfall. The waterfall area is one of our favorite places to visit and one of my first posts will show you what it looks like in summertime. And since it is a remote spot and lit only by the Lord's Light in the night sky, I have pictures of my dear family from the outing. Here's our darlin' youngest teen sporting her cute toboggan and a brace-less smile!Audra Elizabeth all hooked up to her Ipod and carrying my walking stick since I *had* to take pictures.
I loved how my toboggan-sporting youngest teens flash light beam hit right on the step in front of her. It was dark out there. While the water from the falls was rushing and rambling over the mighty rocks and down the full and swelling banks of the creek bed, we quietly walked. The trees and mountains provided a haven from the hub-ub of everyday life to be surrounded by the wonders and darkness of a wintry night. This picture makes me think of the title of this blog - By the Lamp Light - isn't this how our Lord asks me to walk? I want to see the brightness of His glory as I walk on this pilgrim pathway. He says, His "word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." Ps. 119:105
Keep me focused LORD only on Your light and content and faithful with The Light You are illuminating on my steps and path. Give me perseverance when the path seems dark and the Light falls only on the next step.
I mean for Friday around here to be fun. The Lord seems to bring His application though to my everyday life and what starts out as a post about the beautiful snow here, today He draws back to His Word. I do love seeing Him in the every day, and truthfully want it no other way!
Feb 4, 2009
As I got closer, I thought of my life and the daily decisions I make. Not harrowing, life changing decisions of ruling a country, commanding a fleet or defending freedom. But daily, as I travel this pilgrim pathway, I come to a fork in the road with the choices I make. I can either choose to respond in the flesh or in the Spirit. "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6
Personally, I am faced with many choices daily without even stepping outside my home. My flesh might say, "Have cheese and chips," while the Spirit says "Are you really hungry for physical food?"; My flesh says, "Go ahead and post about all the fun stuff you've been doing," while the Spirit would say, "Your darlin' teen needs a button sewed on her coat." My flesh says, "Don't worry about exercise, your muscles will hurt anyway," and the Spirit prompts me to get moving because my body is His temple.
As a home school mother of two teenage daughters and a dear husband who works out of the home, I am presented with opportunities for the flesh or the Spirit with my family. God, in His goodness, gives me daily opportunities. How do I respond when a business call interrupts a family lunch? Ouch, this hurts. How do I respond when I don't understand Algebra 2 or how to conjugate a verb in Spanish 2? I have daily choices. Choices to make for following the desires of my flesh or following the lead of the Spirit of God.
The next area the Lord brought to my mind was others. Daily, I make decisions regarding others. When the Lord lays someone on my heart, do I follow through with a phone call or an e-mail, or do I allow the flesh to say, "Oh, you'll see her tomorrow." When a friend shares a prayer request do I take the time to ask her if we could agree in prayer on the matter right now or do I say, "I'll pray," and then forget? Do I love those I come in contact with like Jesus, or do I get impatient when the cashier can't locate a bar code and every line has 3 or more customers waiting? Will I choose to respond in the Spirit or the flesh?
Lord, daily I find myself at a fork in the road
Especially when tempers flare and I feel a goad
So many times, Lord, I just want to spout
In my flesh, God, I just want to shout
When "things" just don't go my way
When people that I love seem to upset "my" day
Oh, my flesh and it's selfish desires
Seem to have a life of their own that never expires
But Your Word Lord is Faithful and True
And at the forks, Lord, I'm believing You
Your promise says the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace
It's what I want; help me Lord, the flesh to release
Oh, I want Your life and Your peace
And fleshly desires to end and cease
Fill me Lord with the mind of Your Spirit
Let me hear You speak and Your Word, keep me near it
When presented with a fork in the road
Let my self expire and fill me with Spirit overload
I want You Lord in every way, every day
Help me dear Lord at each fork today. Amen.