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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joy To The World - Seabird

Musical Muse: Joy To The World
By Seabird

In the Spirit of Christmas I share one of my favorite arrangements of Joy to the World by one of my favorite bands-Seabird.  Check them out! They have some amazing music.  Hope you enjoy! Merry Merry Christmas to you and yours.  God bless!

If you can't see the video click HERE

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

God,Christmas,Time & Some Football For Good Measure


Okay so I know this might come as a surprise to a lot because this is...in essence a video about football.  Yes, that's right people.  I have posted a video about football...whoa! For those of you who do not know me personally, it will not be a big deal. But for those of you who do, I know it will..lol.

Click HERE if you can't see the video

Because...I do not follow any type of sports whatsoever...never been interested in them...ever. And I probably never will...lol. Anyways, getting to my point.  I posted this video because it struck a cord me with me about something else.  Here is a man who is resigning from what is known as a very prestigious position in the world of collage football for one reason-more time with family.  He realized that he will never get the time not spent with family back.  

With only a few days left in 2010 this really spoke to me. It's made me think about how I've spent my time this year and what I wanna do with it next year.  I originally saw this video at Pete Wilson's blog.  He wrote this on his post which lead me to mine.  Think about this...

"Despite what you might think, your greatest commodity is NOT money. It’s time. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time. Do you have many regrets on how you’re spending your time?"- Pete Wilson

So as the year comes to an end which for many of us can be a very stressful time because we are busy with  all that is expected of us.  Party's, buying gifts, wrapping those gifts, baking, cooking, getting the house company ready etc.  Think about how and where and with who you're spending your time.  We must not forget the reason why Christmas even exist. Seek God! Keep Him as number one and He will direct your steps and make sure your most precious commodity is well spent-not only now but in the years to come.  He won't let you down-ever.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" -Mathew 6:33

Narnian Thoughts

Last weekend I went to the movies and saw part three of
The Chronicles of Narnia: The voyage of the Dawn Treader
The whole movie was awesome. I even cried.
There were two quotes from the movie(among the many many many great ones) that really resonated with me.
The first one was from a little mouse by the name of Reepicheep.  He was talking to a boy named Eustace who was having a difficult time in believing Narnia was real.

“We have nothing if not belief” -Reepicheep

There’s a lot of truth to that.  Without belief we don't have faith  Without faith we don’t have hope. Without either- we have nothing.  They are all interconnected and intertwined.  We cannot fully have one without the other. 

King Caspian (far right)
The second quote was said by King Caspian at the end of the movie when he was reflecting at the end of his “voyage” right in front of Asland country. (Asland Country is what I believe to be is C.S. Lewis’s version of heaven in the World of Narnia.) Caspian asked Asland if his father was in there and Asland responded that he could only find that our for himself by entering. But he advised him that if he entered he could never return. In the rush of emotion of knowing that he could see his father, King Caspian turned and started to walk to enter Ashland’s country but then stopped himself and thought for a moment. and then with tears in his eyes he said:

 “I’ve focused on what was taken, rather than what was given. I was given a kingdom”- Caspian

In king Caspian’s case he was longing to see his father, and was even willing to leave it all to satisfy that desire to see him but then he realized how that would only benefit himself. He realized that for the greater good he must stay and be King to his people-he was given a kingdom.

WOW! Yeah that stuck with me. Wow, so many times as believers we focus on all the things that we had in the “good” times of life and we forget the promise that God has given us when the going gets tough. He gave us His kingdom to be enjoyed with Him. He is sharing HIS kingdom with us because He loves us that much! Not because we deserve it but because of His grace...wow. I think sometimes we forget to look at all that we gain in Christ rather then what we “lose”. Many times that happens to us when we feel alone  because we’ve been ostracized by family and or friends for believing in Christ. But with God there’s always a silver lining…We are never alone. We must be faithful in our walk and believe that God will be with us ‘till the end when He says “Well done my child. Enter in and rest”
"Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.
 Teach me your way, LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD." - Psalm 27:10-14

God is always with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He gave us His only son-He gave us Himself.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reflections

I thought this painting was absolutely beautiful.
It's by a lovely artist named Helen Brooke.
Check out her beautiful work HERE
"Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope." - Ephesians 3:20

Ephesians 3:20 is one of my favorite passages of the bible. I find that the more I read the word of God the more He surprises me. The Lord is the ultimate romantic, and writer…there’s just something about His choice of words. The fact that He took that time to write us this love letter mesmerizes me. Who am I? Who are we?...Such fickle people, individuals, humans, sinners…That the King of the universe….think about that…THE UNIVERESE…took the time and effort to write a whole book detailing how and why He loves us and why we’re worth it in His eyes.

It breaks my heart to think about how many people don’t know God and even worse..choose to walk away from Him. I sometimes wonder about the latter. Did they ever really know Him?

I think that if one would just give God the chance a real chance I think he would blow peoples minds…(More than “we could ever dare to ask or Hope” Eph 3:20 )
I think a lot of people are on the band wagon of “I’ll believe in God when He reveals himself to me”(..or something along those lines.)

Unfortunately that’s not always how it works…yes God does and can “show” Himself to you but we must acknowledge Him first.

He comes knocking on your door and you must open the door to Him.

Think about it in the natural…One must first hear a knock and recognize that someone is at the door.
Then believe that they are there and it’s not our imagination and then act upon opening it.

Our Super natural relationship with God begins that same way.
We must recognize when He is knocking on the door of our heart.
We must then make a conscious decision to open it to Him
And once we do that we will see Him in all His glory and He will astound us.

(now of course this is all hypothetically speaking because no one has literaly seen God but it is an example in the natural that the Lord give us so that we can understand the supernatural.)


We will not “see” God or anyone for that matter if we do not at least open the door.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

God The Silversmith

According to Wikipedia: "Silversmiths saw or cut specific shapes from sterling and fine silver sheet metal and bar stock, and then use hammers to form the metal over anvils and stakes. Silver is hammered cold (at room temperature). As the metal is hammered, bent, and worked, it 'work-hardens'. Annealing is the heat-treatment used to make the metal soft again. If metal is work-hardened, and not annealed occasionally, the metal will crack and weaken the work."

Sound familiar?...Remind you of Someone?...hmmm?

A friend of mine shared this story below with me and I absolutely loved it...I think sometimes when we are in the thick of the heat of life we need little reminders like this to help us on our journey.  Especially when the pang of the hammer comes and knocks us down; which we can see is an essential part of becoming a beautiful piece of silver to shine for the Lord. 



Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.
"This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.
 That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.
 As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
 The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
 The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed..
 The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'
 He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

 Remember this if nothing else...

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep working in you until He sees His image in you.  Whatever you're going through, you'll be a better person in the end.  Trust in God.  He won't give you more than you can handle and rest assured that you are in good hands. God bless!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Phil Wickham - Heaven Song

Musical Muse: Phil Wickham-  Heaven Song

Here's another song I love from Mr.Wickham. I thought this acoustic version of Phil singing it is so sweet.  Enjoy! Godbless!


You wrote a letter and You signed your name
I read every word of it page by page
You said that You'd be coming, coming for me soon
Oh my God I'll be ready for You

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song

I hear Your voice and I catch my breath
'Well done my child, enter in and rest'
Tears of joy roll down my cheek
It's beautiful beyond my wildest dreams
I want to run on greener pastures

I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing...

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing
No, I cant wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song

Snickerdoodle Score!!


Three Ingredient cookies! Who could resist that?! Cheap and cheerful!
(I know there are four things in the picture below, but water really doesn't count...lol ;D)


I made some Snickerdoodle's for my Sunday school class last week. Against my better judgment I was gonna make them from scratch but then I found this baby at Publix while I was shopping….score! I’d never seen this flavor before in Betty Crocker’s store bought cookie mixes…must be something they only bring out for the holidays because it was next to some pumpkin spice cookie mix too (in a special holiday section of the store). So you can imagine I was elated to find this because I’m notorious for burning cookies. I can make anything else in the kitchen…no problem…but cookies…oh bother... I’ve never been able to conquer them. Not really sure why. I guess they’re my kryptonite in the kitchen…lol. Anyways… :D I made the cookies according to the package and to my surprise they came out awesome!!! I was ecstatic and the kids loved them. They were really surprised that I had made them…lol. (Oh little kiddies…so was I…trust me). Here are some pics of my cookie adventure. Hope you give it a try. One day I’ll be brave and make them completely from scratch, but until then…I’ll be looking to my friend Betty for a helping hand. :D


 This is how the cookies look when you scoop them out and roll them in the cinnamon and sugar before they're baked. :)


 Don't press them down. They will get flat just like these all on there own :)




Check this baby's out! Super yummy and easy peasy to make! Gotta love that! :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Reasons To Be Thankful

In the spirit of thanksgiving and all that it means; I wanted to share with you a devotional by Greg Laurie that I read this week that really touched my heart.   May it speak to you and touch your heart as it did mine.  We have much to be thankful for...even for the little things :)  I pray that you and yours have a
 Happy Thanksgiving! God bless!!!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
— Psalm 107:1

It seems as though merchants really don't know what to do with Thanksgiving. They market Halloween and Christmas and make a lot of money off these holidays. But they don't really know what to do with Thanksgiving, which is really very spiritual in its origins. It was designated by President George Washington in 1789 as a national day for giving thanks to God.
In the midst of all our feasting, it is very easy to forget about the one we are celebrating. Sometimes we even forget to give thanks altogether. You might be thinking, Well, I don't have a lot to give thanks for. Maybe you are having financial troubles or health problems. Maybe there is conflict in your family. But we need to put things into perspective. As someone wrote,
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won't survive the week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 20 million people around the world. If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8 percent of the world's wealthy.
There is a lot to give thanks for. And the primary reason we were put on this earth as human beings is to glorify God and to give Him thanks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cielo

Musical Muse: Phil Wickham - Cielo

This is one of my new favorite songs of his.  There's just something about it that takes me to another place.  It makes me think about the glorious day when God comes back for us and we enter His presence.  How exciting!! :D  Makes me think how trivial everything of this world really is in comparison to God...wow.  Can you imagine?...if this is a human singing just imagine how beautiful the angels must sound...wow.  Enjoy! God bless!!

"Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the LORD with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn
Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King."- Psalm 98:4-6





I'm walking through the bright white gates
Breathing in and out your grace
All around me melodies rise
That echo with the joy inside
So I start to sing
But I can't sing loud enough
I can't sing loud enough
When I'm singing for You my God
I can't sing loud enough
I can't sing loud enough
When I'm singing for You my God
With a thunder roll and a brilliant light
Your glory boasts and the heavens shine
The saints and angels stand in awe
Captured by the beauty of it all
So I fall to my knees
But I can't bow low enough
I can't bow low enough
At the vision of You my God
I can't bow low enough
I can't bow low enough
At the vision of You my God
I can't hold it all inside
I'm reaching for the One who brought me out of death and into life
But I can't lift my hands high enough
Life my hands high enough
When I'm reaching for You my God
I can't lift my hands high enough
Life my hands high enough
When I'm reaching for You my God
Oh I'm reaching for You my God
I'm reaching for You
I'm reaching for You
I'm reaching for You my God

Cheese Swirl Pumpkin Pie

Swirly Pumpkin Pie?...why yes.  It sounds lovely...

Well now that we're all in the thick of Thanksgiving prep I thought it be good to share this with y'all.  I make this baby every year....I absolutely love it. I first made it a few years back because I was looking for a little twist on regular pumpkin pie.  I've always felt that pumpkin pie needed a little more body...and the cream cheese in this baby give it just that plus it makes it so pretty too!  If your feeling adventurous or just want a little something extra in your pumpkin pie give it a whirl. You'll love it. It's a thanksgiving staple at my house. :D


Ingredients:
1 9oz (extra servings) ready made Graham cracker crust
(You can also use two regular size 6oz crusts if don't find the "extra servings" crust or you can make yours from scratch...whatevs...I like to use the store bought...it's cheap and cheerful...less mess :D)
3 8oz packages of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar (divided use)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (use real vanilla extract..not "imitation"...yes it makes a difference)
3 large eggs 1 cup canned pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie mix)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Directions:
1. Make sure all your ingredients come to room temperature before mixing them.  This will prevent the filling from becoming lumpy. nobody
2. In a large bowl mix on medium speed with electric mixer the cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar, and the vanilla until well blended.
3. Add one egg at a time, mixing the batter in between each egg just until blended.
4. Once blended separate 1 and 1/2 cups batter and set aside in a small bowl.
5. Add to the remaining batter the canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup of sugar, and pumpkin pie spice and stir to combine ingredients.
6. Pour pumpkin mixture into crust(s) (if using two divide the batter equally among both)
7.Dollop cream cheese mixture on top of pumpkin batter in several places on pie.
8. To create the swirl effect you can use a toothpick or butter knife.  Drag the knife without disturbing the crust across the pie from left to right and right to left alternating with each line.
9. Bake for about 50-55 minutes (40-45 minutes for two regular size pies) at 325degrees Fahrenheit.  The center will be a little jiggly when you take it out of the oven.

10. Cool pie completely on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least four hours but over night would be best. Serve with some Cool Whip ;) and enjoy your sweet creation. Happy Baking! :)


Here they are fresh out of the oven.  Ready for Thanksgiving :D

Phil Wickham Concert :)




Loved the lanterns and rugs on the stage...

A few weeks backs a couple of friends and I went to a Phil Wickham concert.  I had seen his brother Evan Wickham in concert before but I had never been to one of his.  I loved every minute of it.  I could hardly contain myself about being able to go see Phil Wickham live and worship God!  Phil was awesome.  It's so awesome to see how anointed he is.  Amazing.  The Lord moved so beautifully.  I love the feeling one gets when worshiping God.  There's nothing else like it; to experience that disconnect with the world and only have that direct connection with God...simply beautiful. He sang a good mix of songs from his older CD Cannons and his newer on Heaven & Earth.  I'll post up some of my favorite songs another time for you guys.  For now here are some pics of the night. Sorry for the blurryness...my camara was broken at the time so I could only take pics with my phone. God bless!


We had awesome seats :)
We took pictures "with" him...lol


Thumbs up!!
Thanks Phil you rocked!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Give God What's Right Not What's Left

Hi Guys! So I know I've been sort of slacking on blogging. I feel badly about that but I've realized something...I can't wait for the time to appear but I must MAKE the time.  There will always be things in the way that will seem "urgent" and/or "important" that will in essence distract me.

(Luke 9:23) Following the Lord is a daily responsibility which involves the subordination of my desires and will to His. For this is to take place effectively, we need daily time with Him, waiting at His thrown.

The Lord has really been speaking a lot to me lately and I feel as though I should share but I warn you this might seem random and all over the place...lol.

I'm always kind of scared to do that because...I guess in essence it shows my weakness..(and I really hate to be looked at as weak....not that I feel I should be or am "Super woman"..it's just a thing I have...I'm not entirely sure why)...but I've learned that in my weakness He is strong....
I really understand  now that now..In my weakness God's strength is made strong...wow.  It shows us how much greater and grander the Lord.  Once again the Lord showed me that for those who love Him...everything stems from Him and for his Glory....Think about that...everything.  The good and the "bad".  Nothing comes to pass in this life with out it passing by God first.  If it happens...good or bad...It's because He allowed it to.  To help us grow in our walk with Him, to draw us nearer...but most importantly of all it's for Him to be glorified.(Romans 8:28) But anyways..getting back to what I was saying...
I've been feeling lately like there is no time for anything.  In this race we call life (especially this day in age) it seems as though there are not enough hours in the day to do all that is needed, wanted, or expected of us.  Many times I've gone to bed feeling overstimulated and exhausted by life in general.  I would wait until the end of the day to "spend time" with God because that's the time I had "made".  But in analyzing it now; I wasn't really making that time with God.  I was actually giving him what was left of my day not what was right.  Many times I would fall asleep and wake up the following day feeling like I had cheated the Lord in someway because I couldn't even stay awake for ten minutes reading his word at night.  My day would be filled with getting "urgent" and/or "important" things done but never really feeling like I was accomplishing anything.  There was never enough time.  Always rushing, Always racing.  After a while I started to realize my neglect of spending quality time with God was effecting my state of mind.  In essence I was starting to starve spiritually and I was was dying inside.

In my realization of this I wanted to feel some relief from the craziness of life.  I realized I must decide what is truly essential in life and what is not.  I always use to use the excuse that "If I didn't have to work...I would "find" the time"...ha! Lies!! I know this because on days that I would stay home I would still fill my day with other "important" things like laundry or cleaning or whatever else needed to get done in the house.  This happened repeatedly.  So who was I fooling ? No one but me. Yes, they were necessary things or chores (in it of themselves)but were they imperative or urgent? Certainly not.  Our time In prayer, reading his word, fellowship, etc with God..above all else is important.  It's literary your water for life...your bread..your manna from God.  It will sustain you all the days of your life.

(Mathew 6:11) It shows our need of God's sustenance is daily as is also our need of prayer for God's supply.

So, here's what I learned...

Things that we see as urgent are not necessarily important.  Things that are important are not always urgent.

SELAH!  THINK ABOUT THAT!  PONDER ON THAT!

(Psalm 68:19) God is committed to our care, deliverance and direction (1 Peter 5:6-7) He is our burden bearer, but our need is to learn to take our burdens to the Lord daily.

Ask the Lord to prioritize your day.  Let Him lead you in all you do and you will start to see what "time stealer's/wasters" you've been paying way too much attention to and seemed "urgent" but in actuality weren't.  Remember that the enemy's entire game is to distract us as believers.
.

(Proverbs 8:34) In humble submission to His sovereign purpose; blessing is promised to those who listen but the listening that leads to blessing is a daily matter of waiting on the Lord as our master and Provider.


God Bless!! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Most


This is a clip from a movie that is titled "The Most"
 I thought it was a good example of  the love that is spoken of in John 3:16.  Get the tissues ready! you're going to need them...it gets me every time.

"For God SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. " - John 3:16 &17





For more information on the movie click HERE




Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God Speaking

Musical Muse: God Speaking
By: Ronnie Freeman

I love this song! I had to post it after my last post..ha ha :) How true it is that God can use anything or anyone to speak to us. We need only to incline our ear and listen to what He's saying. God bless!





What's in a Name?...Lots and Lots Part Three: The Story


So...here she is.  The last and final chapter in this trilogy...lol.
Here are part ONE and TWO in case you need to get up to speed :)

I wanna start off by giving thanks to God. If it wasn't for Him who knows where I'd be. Thank You Jesus for who You are. For loving me when I was unlovable and continue to do so. I love you.

Sooo...once upon a time...nah just kidding...lol ;)

The term "God Given Cupcake" was originally coined by my cousin Lucy.  (You may remember her from my Rainbow Cake post.)  That was the name she gave to an experience that she and I had together a few years back. That makes her an eye witness to the event!...lol.

I want to buy this but I'm not sure if it's for sale...
This photo was taken by: Clare Judith Bowers
Check out her Etsy shop Here :)

The God Given Cupcake story is an example of the ''litte things" or reminders that the Lord gives to us in the midst of the chaos that surrounds us.

A friend of mine was throwing her daughter a "Spa Party" for her birthday.  She had invited my cousin and I to help her (along with a few of our friends) to be the "beauticians" for the little girls.  The party was exactly what one would imagine it to be.  A lot of make up, tiaras, glitter, nail polish and sugar...lol. Everything that matters to a little girl at that age ;) After all the girls were primped, pampered and all the rest; my friend decided it was time to pass out cupcakes.  By this time Lucy and I had been talking for a long time away from the rest of the group and did not realize that they started to pass out cupcakes.  When we finally realized that cupcakes were being passed out in the kitchen it was too late.  All the vanilla ones were gone. There were only chocolate cupcakes left.  (Now I know that doesn't sound like anything out of this world or you might be even saying "so what." In reality it's not a big deal but Lord knows I'm SUPER picky when it comes to chocolate cupcakes, so I usually don't eat store bought ones.  But if and when I do I always get vanilla.) Lucy and I were a little sad because we really wanted one but whatever.  We figured it wasn't meant to be and quickly got over it but we said "God, if only we could just one vanilla cupcake we could share it.  Just one." Everyone by now had come to the living room where we were at to eat their cupcakes.  We were just talking to everyone but something told us to get up and check the kitchen,  in case there happened to be one left.  We figured what the heck.  Let's give it a shot. We walked over to the kitchen in hopes of finding one and sure enough we did! Just one lonesome little vanilla cupcake; like we had asked!...lol.WE checked around and asked if it was anyones and everyone said it was not. It was just sitting there, waiting for us! :D We of course decided to share this God Given Cupcake, because after all... half of a cupcake was better then none at all. So just as Lucy was in the middle of cutting it.  I said "if only we could just get one more, that would really be awesome!" I said this as we were about to take the first bite of our halves.  As I am finishing my sentence my friend  walked over to us and handed us another vanilla cupcake!!...lol.  We started to laugh hysterically and just stand in awe of God because no one had heard us ask for the vanilla cupcakes but He did. 

My life at the time was very dark and even though I was at the party I was very sad about where my life was and how it was changing because my marriage was ending.  I didn't know how the future was going to be or how my life would turn out. But right then and there the Lord reminded me that He hears me. He reminded me of His promise that no matter what; I was not alone because He would always be there and never forsake me. So this is my little labor of love to give back because the Lord has been more than faithful in my life and hopefully through this I can remind someone else that God loves them like He reminded me.

There is no place to low for the Lord to save you from. So, open your heart and delight yourself in the Lord. Open your eyes to see when He sends you those little reminders when the going gets tough along the way that say "I am here and I love you"...even if it is just a little vanilla cupcake. Remember "It's the little things" ;)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Coconut Rum cake

I made this cake for my parents 15 year anniversary.  This is super easy peasy! I usually make regular rum cake but I've been into everything coconut lately...not really sure why...strange...lol. Anyhow, the idea for this cake came from the coconut juice in the red can (see the picture).  My mom and I love to drink it.  It is super yummy.  One day while I was drinking it; I got an idea.  I thought: what if I make a coconut flavored cake and then make a rum glaze with coconut water instead of plain water! I thought it was a pretty nifty idea.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's done that but I think it turned out awesome ;0) I hope you give it a try! God bless!

Cake Ingredients
One Box of Coconut cake mix
Ingredients needed to bake cake
(See back of box)
Coconut flakes (Optional)

Glaze Ingredients
1 Cup of Sugar
Two cans of Coconut Juice (about 8oz each)
1/4 Cup of Rum


1) Bake the cake according to the directions on the back of the box.  You can bake it in whatever shape pan you'd like.  When making rum cake I like to use a bunt pan, just because I think it looks pretty.  Once you've mixed up all your cake ingredients and have popped it in the oven to bake; it's time to make the glaze. 


This is what your juice looks
like before it reduces down
 2) The glaze is very simple to make.  But you must be very careful while making it because sugar burns are very painful.  So the ration I use is 2:1.  For every two cups of water I use one cup of sugar.  The amounts on the ingredient list for the glaze are enough to make one batch of glaze.  It can be doubled very easily, as long as you remember to use the 2:1 ratio. 



It should look like this when
it's reduced by half, and 
the juice is more like the
consistency of syrup

3) To make the glaze just pop open the juice cans and pour into a deep quart size pan. (recycle the cans!) Then pour in your sugar and stir until it's dissolved.  It's very important for you to dissolve it so you don't end up with a grainy glaze.  Once it's nice and dissolved put the pan on the stove and bring it to a boil.  Watch it the whole time! Sugar heats up very quickly and burns extremely easily! As soon as it comes to a boil reduce the heat to medium low.  Let it simmer and do it's thang and reduce by half.  Once you knock back the heat you don't have to watch the pot the whole time but don't forget it! It can take up to twenty minutes for the mixture to reduce by half, sometimes less.  Just keep half an eye on it.  Once your mixture has reduced by half.  Turn off the heat and move the pot away from your stove onto a trivet or kitchen towel.  Carefully pour in the quarter cup of rum.  It will make a funny sound as the cool  rum makes contact with the hot glaze.  Don't get scared.  This sound is completely normal. :)

4) Once your cake comes out of the oven let it cool in the pan for a few minutes until it's cool enough to handle.  Once the cake has cooled; flip it over on to a plate or cake dish (whatever you're going to serve it from).  Now you need to poke the cake with a toothpick to make little holes for the glaze to saturate the cake.  Be gentle with it.  You should always treat cake like a lady ;)   Once you get your cake nice and holey; spoon the glaze over the cake until all the glaze has covered the cake. You can then use the coconut flakes to decorate the cake however you'd like. :) 


5) Now you can dig in and enjoy this baby warm or at room temperature; whichever you would prefer.  
Happy Baking! :D




YUM! YUM! YUM!


Bread For The Broken

Musical Muse: Bread For The Broken
 By Dominic Balli

In light of my last post about Samaritan's Purse I thought this song was appropriate.  Not only for that instance but for always.  I absolutely love it.  It's so moving. Enjoy! 

"Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need."- Deuteronomy 15: 10 & 11






Twenty million as they reach for hope
No one looks, no one cries
No one cares, so no one tries
I see children in the night

I met Dominic Balli at Flavor Fest 2010
10-10-10 :)
Chorus:
We need bread for the broken
Give some bread to the broken
We need hope for the hopeless
Give some hope to the hopeless, hopeless
Bread for the broken, broken

I see daughters in the fields
She sell her body for a dollar bill
No one looks, no one cries
No one cares, so no one tries
I see children in the night

Chorus
I cannot live my life daily knowing I am connected to you
So what am I to do
If I was in your shoes
I hope and pray that someone reach out to me and pull me from my blues
So won't you grab my hand baby, let me pull you to me
Let me see what I can do so you can be free
Let me grab your hand brother, let me help you now
Take this love from my heart and put this food in your mouth
And let me paint a picture of freedom
Let me paint the picture of healing
Let me paint the picture of humans through our loving and giving
We need bread

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Operation Christmas Child: Samaritan's Purse

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the ministry of Samaritan's Purse or what they do.  It's a ministry that helps all sorts of people and communities around the world that have been effected by poverty, war or famine and show them that they are loved by Jesus and are not forgotten.  Every year  since 1993 Samaritan's Purse has put together a special outreach by the name of Operation Christmas Child.  It's basically a drive that is hosted to collect shoe boxes that have been filled toys and other necessities by different people from all around the world. The boxes are then delivered to many different children in over 95 countries who are in need.  I have include two videos to better explain what it is, how it works, and how you can make a difference and show a small child that God loves them. Since last year I have been able to get my coworkers and family involved and my prayer is that you can get involved as well in any way that you can.  You can pray, donate, or even volunteer! It all counts! God bless!

Please visit their website HERE to find a local collection site in your area, donate online, follow your box or more info!

What Operation Christmas Child is all about:


Once you've decided to donate...

Here's how you pack your shoe box:

 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hungry I Come...

Musical Muse: Joy Williams: Hungry (Falling On My Knees)

"Hungry I come to you for I know...You satisfy.  I am empty but I know Your LOVE does NOT run dry..."



"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" - Matthew 5:6


I had this song in my heart the other day.  As I kept thinking about it I couldn't help but think about what it is to "hunger" in the spirit.  I know that we're all familiar with physical hunger but I kept thinking that there has to be some people that don't realize that without God that ''Empty" feeling that does not go away is a spiritual hunger. As humans we can try to fill it with all sorts of other things (kids, a career, hobbies, possessions, friends, and anything else you can imagine) but we must realize that God put that hunger in us so, it can only be filed BY Him.  Only He can satisfy that hunger in us as He is the one who created us with it because we were made to worship Him.
 "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near." - Isaiah 55:6




Hungry I come to You
For I know You Satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your Love does not run dry

So I'll wait for You
So I'll wait for You
I'm Falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus You're all this heart
is living for.

Broken I run to You
For Your arms
are open wide
I am weary but I know
Your touch restores my life.

I'm falling on my knees
offering all of me
Jesus You're all this heart
is living for.

Hungry I come to You
For I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love does not run dry


What's in a name?...Lots and Lots Part Two: How?

Picking up where we last left off...Here's part two coming at ya! ;) Read part one HERE :)

Sooo, when I had finally decided to give blogging a go. I was kind of stumped as to what to name it. I knew that I wanted to name it something that kind of explained what the Lord had placed in my heart to write about and a little about my love for cooking. I had wondered for a long time what name could I possibly give a blog that 1. I liked, 2. was easy to remember and 3.had to do with God and cooking.  I had prayed about it for a few weeks and then when God revealed it to me it was like if the sky had opened up and shined a light on me....lol.  I remember I had received a catalog in the mail from the Family Christian book store and was flipping through it as I normally do.  It was an ordinary day when all all of a sudden as I'm going through the pages of their catalog I see a little  notebook with a cupcake on it that has the verse Psalms 34:8 "Taste and see the Lord is GOOD".  <<<---See the pic :)  At that moment...I felt the Lord say to me "Remember the 'God Given Cupcake Story?...well I want you to name your blog that"...wow! I literally yelled that out! I knew at that moment...right then and there it was a God Given name literally!...lol ;) Anyways...now, as I sit here and type this I honestly don't remember what the other contenders were...lol... It was as if the Lord erased them from my mind...Now I know that doesn't seem to crazy or extraordinary but seriously...to understand why the story behind my blog is special to me you must also know that at the time my ''God Given Cupcake'' story took place I was in a very dark time in my life. It was a very trying time for me.  The story in itself is not very complicated and some might even find it.."not that big of a deal" but I have always believed that the AWESOME God that I serve does things that are not always the ''norm'' or expected. I LOVE that the God that I serve gives what I like to call "little" personalized reminders of how much He loves us.... :)

So to answer what exactly is a ''God Given Cupcake". The short answer to all of y'alls question is:....It's exactly what it says it is. A cupcake given by God.

Now I know that sounds crazy but I am a firm believer that God can and will use anything and anyone to He pleases to remind us of His love for us..and yes in my personal experience He will even use a cupcake....It's the little things. :)

Part three's in the oven...and almost ready! Ya'll comeback now ya hear! ;D