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 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 she is.  The last and final chapter in this
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 ;)

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!

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 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! 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!!  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 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


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 :)
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

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  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"! I literally yelled that out! I knew at that moment...right then and there it was a God Given name literally! ;), as I sit here and type this I honestly don't remember what the other contenders It was as if the Lord erased them from my mind...Now I know that doesn't seem to crazy or extraordinary but 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

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These babies are just in time for fall!  All the cool crisp air reminds me the holidays are just around the corner! My favorite time of year! :) I made these the other day when I went to my friends house for dinner.  Neither of us had ever made them before so we bought the ingredients and hoped for the best.  She found the recipe and asked me to take care of dessert while she cooked dinner for us (fettuccine Alfredo...Yum-O!...I have to ask her for the recipe to post it up!).  It was so cute baking with her two sweet girls.  Her youngest (She's three) was so excited about being able to bake that she could hardly contain herself.  She kept asking me what she was going to do next.  She would then squeal with excitement as soon as I told At one point she even said ''My mom's going to be so pwoud!"...too cute! Dinner was great, and the muffins turned out delish.  We omitted the cardamom because our market didn't carry it.  We didn't even notice it was missing and we used walnuts since our store didn't have pumpkin seeds; but any nuts work well. You could even enjoy them with caramel machiatos like us if you want! Enjoy!

Almost-Like-Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Courtesy of: Musings Of A Mommy

They are very close to the kind you can buy at Starbucks.  She took a recipe for pumpkin bread, added lots more spices and the cream cheese, and here you go. They are wonderful hot, but be very careful of the cream cheese - it gets very very hot and you could burn yourself. That would totally ruin your experience.

Almost-Like-Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of cardamom (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
8 oz package cream cheese*
Chopped nuts** (walnuts, pecans) (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together except cream cheese and nuts. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Put 1-2 tsp cream cheese in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools, as it is very very hot. Makes 24 muffins.

*The best cream cheese to use is the cheesecake flavored kind. Put the entire tub or brick on a piece of aluminum foil, or wax and shape it into a long log (about as thick as a quarter). Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour. Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife. If the disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This keeps the cream cheese in one big lump, and also lets you push it down into the batter.

**Starbucks uses chopped pumpkin seeds, which are very good if you can find them.

Update: We used "Honey Nut" cream cheese from Philadelphia Brand cream cheese.  We did not add any sugar to the cream cheese but you can add a little if you would like it to be a little sweeter and taste more like cheese cake.  Happy Baking! :) 

What's In A Name?...Lots and Lots Part One: Why?

Hi guys! As promised I am finally writing about the story behind my blog's Sorry it's taken so long. :) So here goes...I'm going to give you a little background as to why I started my blog to give you a better understanding of the name.  This may be a little long, so bare with me.  :D

The Lord for a long time had been putting in my heart that I should start a blog. I'm not gonna lie; the thought of starting a blog and putting my thoughts out there for all to see (and even comment!)..was very scary for me! I put it off for a loooong time.  I always figured That I might one day write a book (wink wink).  
It's a big dream of mine to write who knows...If God wills it; someday I will.  But, anyways...I knew that the Lord had walked me through certain experiences in my life for a reason. The reason as to why, I'm not entirely sure.  What I do know is that it drew me nearer to Him.  But even with that said whether my personal experiences would help someone else or not I wasn't really sure of.  I had always could I use my pain to glorify God.  How could I help someone, somehow? Even if it was just to make them smile or offer encouragement somehow...even in it's smallest increment.  I knew that the Lord wanted me to give out the comfort that had comforted me. So after putting it off, I came to the realization that blogging would be perfect for that in many different ways.  It would give me access to the entire world through the Internet, and would be a good way to  keep record of my walk with the Lord.Win win right? Well, except for the tiny fact that you're putting yourself out there for all to see and be able to criticize But even with that...the thought that I was in some small way contributing to someones life as the Lord had asked me to was great.  So, with that I pressed on as I knew I should share my my little story and maybe somehow help someone along the way.  So this is not me saying how to live your life.  This me showing you how the Lord has helped me and maybe along the way I could help some one else.  So, to be that vessel...or stepping stone that the Lord uses to bless someone, what an honor.  

With that said, you should know that I love "little" stories.  The stories that we might forget if we don't write them down because even if they are not that crazy or unbelievable.  I believe they are.  God allowed them to occur for a purpose and that is good enough for me.  It's the little things that move me most. :)   Now don't get me wrong...yes, I do believe the big stories are good too. similar to the ones you hear about  a mother who's son is saved after X number of years she had faithfully been praying for his salvation..  I'm not trying to down play them.  Not at all.  I  believe those testimonies are awesome and essential and every other positive adjective you can think of but like I said I relish in the little things.  In the unseen beauty.  In the not so obvious. The little gems or stones that Lord sets in our path to grow and learn from.  The little things that the Lord gives us along the way  in our walk with Him to remind us that He is there.  He's there through the storm, through the valley, and though the desert-He's there through it all.  The big and the little.  That's why God Given Cupcake was born. 

Part two coming soon :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Desert Song

Musical Muse By: Hillsong United - Desert Song

"This is my prayer in the desert.  When all that's within me feels dry. All of my life; in every season; you are still God.  I have a reason to sing.  I have a reason to worship." That is so true. Regardless of what my circumstances are I still need to praise God because of the love I have for him because he loved me first.  He loved me when I was unlovable and continues to do so! That in it of itself is will keep singing!!!! :) Hope you're week's looking up!  God bless.

This is my prayer in the desert
when all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
when triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be empited again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Psalm 63

I really wasn't  feeling like myself the other day.  I'm feeling better now I think somtimes we forget God has a way better view of the life's bigger picture than we ever will.  I think this can be especially difficult for us when we find ourselves walking in what feels like a barron dessert where we think that God doesn't hear us or has given us the cold shoulder.  As I was reading the word the other day I was reminded that He is with us no matter what and if He doesn't answer it doesn't mean that he has forsaken us or given the cold shoulder.  As I read I was reminded that it means He is working. He has a plan for me and I musn't focus on the barroness of the here and now based soley on what I can see but remember that my hope comes from Him and only Him. He has a plan for me.  He has a plan for each of us and I need to just keep my eyes on Him and He will lead me out of that dessert.   I pray it blesses your heart as it did mine.

Psalm 63:1-11 A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

"O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
They who seek my life will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God's name will praise him"