Jul 29, 2016

For the Love of Lamp Lights


I really enjoy lamp lights, so I am going to start sharing lamp lights that I have seen and appreciate.  It seems everywhere I go, I notice the lamp lights.  I have a gazillion pictures of them, so you are in for a treat!  This picture was taken last week when I Friend-cationed with Cindy at the seashore. When I see the three chandeliers, I think of Father, Spirit and Jesus. I love the cross on the architecture and it makes me think of the throne room of GOD.

Happy Friday friends!

The Lamp Light Shines!


Taken at the House of Blues


Jul 27, 2016

Busy

Does life seem busier now than it use to be? Do the days and the hours move at an accelerated pace? Is there more to do now than in earlier days?  I don't know about you; but it seems to me that busy punctuates my schedule, my days, my hours, down to minutes ticking by on the clock.

Last week while at the seashore, I took along a book gifted to me by a friend, with the intention to sit and read and enjoy every word. I am just a few pages shy of finishing the book; but somehow the whole experience of sitting and reading at another location highlighted to me how very busy I have become.  Busy doing many things; but what is the most important? What is of lasting and eternal value? What am I doing that is just spinning my wheels verses traction and tread in the kingdom of GOD?

One is good, the other is best.

I want GOD's best.

Last night at the close of a meeting, I pulled out a blank page of paper and the words just seemed to flow from my pen, then as I wrote, I realized it was HIM - the LORD speaking to my heart.  And I've awoke this morning with a hunger for more of these experiences with HIM.

I want to sit more with HIS Word and listen to what HE has to say.
I believe with every fiber of my being that HE is alive and active today.

But lately it seems as if the busy-ness of life has just got in the way.
And in conversation, I seem to have so much to say.

But I hear the gentle prompting to rest, to listen and slow down -
To not be so active and busy in my activities about town.

In the quiet and in the steady rhythms of life,
I'll excel at being a Godly wife.

Busy-ness can be a thief,
Robbing us of priorities that should be chief.

If I am to busy to hear
That my Savior is near,

Then I am too busy.
Slow down, life's pace can make me dizzy.

There is no intrinsic value in being busy. And lately, I've been there. I'm thankful that there has been no big event that has caused me to re-evaluate my priorities; but I feel that the LORD is doing a great work in me. That no matter how many items are on my to-do list, I want to accomplish the *things* HE desires of me.  And if I am busy running around, I'm not going to hear HIS still small voice.  Thankfully, I have a choice.

LORD,
Help me, the lasting to choose
Because I don't want to lose
The eternal value, the eternal gifts...
Help me - above the pull of the world - to lift.

Before me I see so many blank pages
And empty, vacant stages.

Just waiting for YOUR words -
LORD, I want YOU to be heard.

Come right upon my pages
Be with me in transitioning stages.

From busy-ness to being still,
I want to fully live out YOUR will.

Hallelujah and amen!

Jul 25, 2016

Baked Squash and Zucchini Fries


When you have a friend that shares her garden bounty with you, you try many new ways to prepare squash and zucchini. Last week I made these delicious fries.  They were flavorful and crispy on the outside and tender inside.

Zucchini and/or squash - quartered lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pam spray
Parchment paper - makes for easy clean-up

1. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and place a cooling rack on it and coat it generously with Pam or a non-stick spray.

2.  In a small bowl, combine spices and cheese.

2. Place squash and zucchini on rack and drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle the spice and cheese mixture on top.

3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy!


Jul 18, 2016

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Peaches



I don't think there is anything like a good ripe peach during summertime.  We got a basket of free-stone peaches this last week and several of them were not ripe enough to eat, so Victoria baked them with butter, cinnamon and sugar...they were delicious!

Ingredients:

3 large peaches (they do not have to be ripe!)
2 Tablespoons salted butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1.  Slice peaches in half and remove the pit.

2.  Place in an oven safe pan.

3.  Place a small amount of butter in the center of each peach.

4.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together  and sprinkle over the peaches.

5.  Bake 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Enjoy!

Optional:  top with vanilla ice cream!


Jul 13, 2016

Still



As an adverb, The Free Dictionary defines still as:

Continuing now or in the future as in the past.

I've done a devotional on still as an adjective; but as I thought about the prompt for today's post, the adverb meaning was the word I needed. It's what GOD is speaking to me. I don't share on the blog here to preach. I share what HE is teaching me personally.

There is so much turmoil in the world today.

There is unrest.

There is loss.

There is sadness.

There are problems.

There are struggles.

There are situations that are uncomfortable.

There are decisions that are difficult.

There are people that challenge me to love like Jesus that bear my same last name.

There are constantly changing agendas.

But hallelujah, GOD never changes. HE is still the same yesterday, today and forever. He is "continuing now or in the future as in the past."

HE was.

HE is.

HE will be.

Hallelujah!

In an uncertain world, HE is certain.  I think of the words to One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture:

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing... Remains, yes
One thing Remains.

[Chorus x3:]
Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me

Because,
On and on and on and on it goes
Before, it overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains
So, one thing remains.

[Chorus x3:]
Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me

[Bridge:]
In death, In life, I'm confident and
Covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there's nothing that can
Separate my heart from Your great love...

My heart is full of thanksgiving that in uncertain times and uncertain situations, my GOD is still in control and on HIS throne! Hallelujah!

LORD,
I take rest in, and my thoughts embrace and remain
That YOU alone, stay the same.
In a sea of uncertainty,
YOU are a constant to me.
YOU are a tower, a refuge a strength -
YOU go the distance, every length.
My heart can sing hallelujah -
Nothing ever surprises or is new to YOU.
YOU are always there.
YOU truly care.
As the world, as my life
Spins - I am a daughter, mother, wife
YOU calm,
YOU are the balm.
YOU remain,
YOU are always the same.
Hallelujah.
yes, Hallelujah.
And amen.


Jul 11, 2016

Squash Casserole



My mother-in-love shared this recipe with me in 1995 - over 20 years ago.  I have been making it ever since.  My in-loves have a huge garden and when we lived close by, they shared much of their bounty with us. Recently a friend here has started sharing her veggies with us, and Victoria made this delicious side dish last week.

Squash Casserole:

4 cups squash, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 stick butter
2 cups herb seasoned stuffing mix
Salt
Pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated


1. Cook the squash and onion in a little water for 10 minutes and then drain.

2.  Melt the butter in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Stir in the stuffing. Take 1 cup out and reserve for the topping.  Pat the remaining stuffing in the pan.

3.  Layer the squash and onion in the pan next and then salt and pepper.

4. Mix the eggs, milk and soup together and pour over the squash and onion.

5. Sprinkle the cheese and remaining stuffing.

6. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy!


Jul 6, 2016

Pink, White and Purple



Sunday morning as I perused my closet, I thought about the upcoming holiday and wondered what red, white and blue combination I would wear. Having several choices, my mind kept going to these fabulous pink suede pumps that had just been purchased the night before. Now there is a story to the pumps; but I'm going to try to not get sidetracked. Bottom line: $238 J Crew Italian Suede pumps for $35 at TJMaxx.  I like fashion... And the week before I'd found a great pair of long, wide leg, white Gap pants and a soft, long sleeve, button-to-your-neck, purple and white Chico's top at our local KARM store for a really good deal. It was this combination that I wore on the Sunday before Independence Day.  I felt like a bit of a rebel at first; but, my freedom looks different than yours.  And isn't that so true? As we think of the land of the free, I am so thankful for the freedom I have and the freedom I enjoy. Such a simple freedom to have the choice to pick out what to wear. As I've been thinking of going back to work, I've hoped that I wouldn't have to wear a uniform. It may sound trite to you; but I truly enjoy the fabrics, textures and combinations of clothing.  I like the individuality of an outfit, of color choices and combinations. And so it is in Christ, HE offers so much to me, to us: HE offers freedom. And the freedom I enjoy, may look different from the freedom you enjoy. We have different backgrounds (or closets) and there are different clothes (or people or situations) in our lives. We are all called by unique callings.  We are all called by One Father though, who knows us and knows exactly what freedom we need.

Freedom has a cost.  I realize that the freedom I enjoy was paid for with a high cost. Christ paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Gratefulness wells up in me for the men and women who moving forward through the time of our country, gave their devotion and lives for my freedom. Likewise, I am indebted to a Savior that gave his very life for me. So much has been given for the sake of freedom.

There is a way out. No matter what enslaves us: a way of thinking, a mindset, a sin, a stronghold, an action that has become habitual, etc. I don't know you and you don't really know me (well you now know that I enjoy fashion!); but I know that Christ offers us freedom from whatever binds us, from whatever blinds us, from whatever bids us to its rut and routine. Wherever we are today - in whatever place we find ourselves, there is a way out. There is no lock on the door. I pray that you would seek HIM who is standing and waiting and offers freedom from what you feel enslaves.

LORD JESUS,
Thank you for freedom.
Thank YOU that when YOU set us free, it is individually-
We are not all the same;
But we go and speak and live in YOUR precious name!
Thank YOU that YOU paid the ultimate cost
So save us from a state of perpetually being lost.
YOU have made ways of escape
And we believe, it is never-ever to late.
Amen.

Jul 4, 2016

Banana Split Cake


One of my favorite desserts growing up was Banana Split Cake. When Victoria asked me what I'd like for my birthday this year, I picked my childhood favorite. It did not disappoint. Thank you Victoria for making my birthday special.



Banana Split Cake

12 servings

3 sticks butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
3-5 bananas, sliced
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 12 oz. carton of whipped topping
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 6 oz. jar maraschino cherries

1. Mix 1 stick of butter and cracker crumbs. Press into a 9 x 13 dish.

2. Beat eggs, 2 sticks of butter and sugar together for 15 minutes. Spread over crumbs.

3. Cover filling with sliced bananas and spread drained pineapple over this.

4. Spread whipped topping on top and sprinkle with nuts. Chill.  Top each slice with a cherry before serving.

Enjoy!

And happy 4th of July!