Challenging you to create a Psalm

At the beginning of August, I started reading a Psalm a day. Weeks before, I was asking God to increase my confidence in Him. I decided to use an older Bible that I had not used in a while and when I turned to Psalm 1, I read many notes that I had written in the Bible years earlier. One of the notes reads: “Confident believers are happy because their faith is adequate to provide them total trust. (The Upper Room Disciplines 2000, May 29).” What a great confirmation that God was going to increase my confidence in Him.

Also, a Women’s Bible study came available right around then, “A Sweeter the Honey Study of the Psalms”. I signed right up. It was filled with so many good and tasty treats from God’s Word, Yummy! (Taste and see that the LORD is good, oh the joy of those who trust in Him. Psalm 34:8). It was really a blessing and truly a help to increase my confidence in God.

One of our assignments was to write a Psalm. We were given a tool (below) based on Psalm 18. The day that the ladies in my class shared our Psalms, I challenged my Facebook friends and family to create a Psalm of their own. Several people asked me for tips and tools to start their Psalms, so here they are.

  1. Pray that God will help you.
  2. Be honest with yourself and God – open up.
  3. Take down notes of Bible verses that minister to you, your life verse or other verses.
  4. Be creative – whatever that looks like to you.
  5. Spend time silently with God asking Him to speak to you.
  6. Listen to things that others say that encourage you or speak to you.
  7. Use the tool below as a guide.
  8. Have fun!

Believe it or not, you might be surprised with what comes through your writing time. After I read mine aloud to the group, one of the leaders said, “What a beautiful Psalm of Confidence”. So I renamed it. I had not told her that I desired to have more confidence in God. But that is what came to light in the finished product through the process of writing.

This is just a tool. I will add my picture Psalm as well as my written Psalm below. Some of the ladies in my class wrote Psalms similar to the template, but others started with it and ended up with something far different. One lady set her Psalm to music and another lady had an Ebenezer (Rock of Victory or Memorial stone) which she had written on. You can paint or draw a picture, put together a collage of pictures or words. You can write a song or a story. Spend some time asking God what He would like you to do. I don’t draw very well, but I am inspirited (excited) that my picture actually looks like a treasure chest! Be creative!

Psalm 151 A Psalm of _________________ (your name)

  1. I love You, O Lord, my _____________________________(What/who is God to you, eg. Savior, Refuge, Counselor). The Lord is my _______________________, my ______________________ and my ____________________ because He _______________________________ (Write something God has done for you) I will praise Him.
  2. (Explain your situation, distress, enemy,….here, and write how it makes you feel) ____________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________
  3. I trust You Lord with ______________________________________________ (Your situation, future, enemy, …) and know that You will hear me. Lord, give me victory over ______________________ _____________________________, give me strength for the battles/suffering that may lie ahead; and give me grace and mercy as I wait upon You.
  4. Lord, You delivered me by _________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
  5. Lord, I praise You _______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

A Picture of my drawn Psalm: The LORD is my Treasure, my very Great Reward:

img_20161019_224729

A Psalm of Confidence – Psalm 151

Beloved LORD and My God, my confidence and hope are in You. You are my Rock and my Refuge; You are my Shield and my Buckler. You are my Path and my Guide. You are my Light and my Life, apart from You there is nothing. You alone are my Provider, my Inheritance, my very Great Reward.

I am Your daughter, You have chosen me. In You alone will I trust; I will not lack anything and I will not be put to shame. Oh I long for the day that flesh and distractions no longer get in the way of a sweet time with You. Then I will fully know You and Your great love for me.

Thank You LORD that You hear me, that You communicate with me and respond to me. You hear me when I cry and You answer me.

God, I need You! Unless You come through, there is no hope (Tikvah) and the enemy will have won. He mocks me saying, “she will never recover from her ‘sacrifice’ or from debt she has accrued and will accrue.” The enemy taunts with lies saying I am not hireable where I can receive a decent wage and benefits. He says no decent vehicle will be found for me to own, and there’s no place to call home. He says all the men who follow You are married or too busy to want to be with “the likes of me”.

I praise You LORD, You catch me in a net of Your mercy and grace so that I will not fall into the enemy’s web of lies. I praise You LORD, Your Word illuminates the darkest places and brings truth to light.

LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the enemy. Help me, LORD my God, for I rely on You, and in Your name (Ha Shem) I have come against the vast lies of the enemy. LORD, You are my God; do not allow the enemy to be victorious in his plot to ruin me. Do not allow anyone to look at my circumstances and say that it is because You do not exist or that You do not care.

LORD You are the Cornerstone and Foundation. You are an Anchor in the storm. You are the All-Powerful Creator God and Conquering King. With one command from Your mouth, LORD the enemy will be put to death.

Abba Father, LORD Jesus, Holy Spirit, You love me, You have a very good plan for me and You are in control! I am confident that I will see Your goodness in the land of the living.“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” May those who do not know You see what You have done for me and know that You alone have moved on my behalf.

So, consider yourself officially challenged by me to create a Psalm to God. Please share with me (and others) what you end up creating. May I also encourage you to give others the same challenge??? You never know what will come of it!

Also see the story and the Psalm from the “Sweeter than Honey Bible study continued… Challenged to write another Psalm.

Christmas Baking Already! Yes!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..well, I usually don’t think that way about this time of the year, but this year I do!  A friend of mine got a Kitchen Aide at a fraction of the price and decided to invite some ladies over to her place to make Christmas cookies the first weekend of November. At first I thought it was crazy, but then I really got into it.

So I decided to make some of my own since I am trying real hard to be on a lower-carb and no processed sugar diet. Also, I figured out that I can make the cookies in stages, so it is not so hard on my body.

Another friend and I have looked for Bob’s Red Mill low-carb mix in most the local stores but it is nowhere to be found. I also looked on-line for different ideas for low-carb flour. Almond flour is awfully dense and most everything tastes almond-like. I was going to add some soy or whey protein powder since I heard that was good too. Then I went to a local Asian store to see if they had any kind of low-carb flour and I found yam flour which is more of a starch. I wanted to see what would happen when I mixed Almond Flour (Trader Joe’s), soy protien powder and the yam flour…the result??? A low-carb “flour” mixture that tastes almost like white flour and it has a very similar texture to flour too so I can use it one to one! Yay!

The other challenge was that I didn’t just want to look on-line for low-carb, no processed sugar recipes because I have a few recipes from some of the clients I had when I was a senior caregiver, so I decided to just see what would happen if I made some changes.  The results???? Yummy cookies! Yay!

img_20161112_215642550

Here are some recipes. I hope you all enjoy them!

LP’s Pfeffernusse Cookies (low-carb, processed sugar-free)

  • 1/2 C Molasses
  • 1/4 C Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 C Butter (can also just use 1/2 C butter or 1/2 C Coconut Oil)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 t Anise Extract (I used 1 t Anise Extract and 1 t ground Star Anise)
  • 4 Cups Low-carb flour mixture
  • 1/4 C Stevia (or other processed sugar substitute)
  • 1/2 C Raw unprocessed brown sugar (or other processed brown sugar substitute)
  • 1 1/2 t ground Cardamom
  • 1 t Garam Masala (she recalled this over ground nutmeg but she might have been thinking of Lebkuchen???)
  • 1/2 t ground Cloves
  • 1/2 – 1 t ground Ginger (I like Ginger so I use more)
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t white Pepper (they are pepper cookies…just not the same without it!)
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda

Mix together the wet ingredients (I like to just use a whisk). In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Combine the ingredients from both bowls and stir until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough into small meatball sized balls. Place on a cookie sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. (Some people dust these with powdered sugar but I think they are sweet enough as is.)

AR’s Twice-Baked Italian Cookies (Biscotti)

  • 1 C Stevia or sugar substitute
  • 1 C Olive Oil
  • 4 T Anise Seed (I reduced this and added some ground Star Anise – it makes it extreme if you taste the dough, but finished product is delicious!)
  • 4 T Anise Extract or Anise flavored Liquor (Annisette or other)
  • 3 T Bourbon Vanilla or Bourbon (or 1 T Vanilla & 2 T Water) I added some Almond Extract
  • 2 C coarsely chopped Almonds
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 5 1/2 C Low-Carb flour mixture (1 used 4 C LC Flour mix and 1 1/2 C Almond meal but then ended up having a lot of oil coming off when baked so I will probably reduce this down in the future.)
  • 1 T baking powder

Mix first 5 ingredients, beat in eggs. Combined flour mixture and baking powder. Combine all the ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

On lightly floured board, shape cookie dough with your hands to form flat loaves that are 1/2″ thick, 2″ wide and as long as the cookie sheet. Place no more than 2 loaves per sheet parallel and well apart. Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to touch. The cut loaves at an angle to form slices that are about 1/2″ wide. Lay slices on cut side close together on the cookie sheet and return to oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool on wire racks.

My client used olive oil and not butter and it really tastes better that way.

I do have other cookie recipes, but I am tired tonight so I will add those another time. You’ll just have to check back another time. Please leave me comments if you try making these cookies. I’d love to know what others think.

Challenge: What recipe(s) would you like to see low-carb and processed sugar-free??? How would you change it? Please share your ideas with me!

 

 

 

The enemy’s Hand has been overturned!

I don’t usually read prophecies but for a few weeks have been getting daily email from Spirit Fuel. Today I just read the title and it spoke to me, “The Enemy’s Hand Has Been Overturned!” I read what Edie Bayer had to say and it was different from what is in my head. She talked about soil being turned-over or tilled with seeds already planted and coming to fruition.

For me, the title spoke to me much differently. You see, before I donated part of my liver to Lupe, I felt like I was in a card game with the enemy. I needed to ante-up but had nothing else to put in so that I could win except for God. I was going to have to find housing in what seemed an impossible way. (You can read that blog here!)

The prophecy talked about it being in past tense – it has been done. The enemy’s hand has been overturned and he did not win! I realized that I have not written about what God has done. I was in temporary housing with my Step-Mom – it was not meant to be lived in, but we made it through. Then God blessed me through people in/through my church who paid for a temporary apartment for me ($3000 a month for a month) then another 15 days there through another church and family member of Lupe. I did go back to the temporary housing for 21 days.

I had given everything I had and more to be able to donate….it seemed like the enemy would prevail in the “card game” in regards to my housing. But his hand was overturned by God’s winning hand!

You see, God moved me right when it seemed like all was lost, when it seemed like I had made a huge mistake and would look like a fool…God moved!

I don’t live in my own place, but I have a nice sized room with a gorgeous view and beautiful curtains. I have a garden to play in and all of my plants have a place. My cat Bebe is here with me. I am spoiled twice a month with housekeepers coming in to clean the floors, bathrooms and kitchen. I have a housemate who encourages me and prays for me. I am in a safe neighborhood close to the police department and walking distance to restaurants and stores. I am able to have guests over for Bible study, games, meals, etc. All in my price range.

I am still not sure what going forward will look like. I am in between funding ending for short-term disability and Social Security Disability accepting me. I have applied for unemployment because I am able to work – with limitations. It seems like another impossible situation. But you know what??? I already have the victory! The card game has been won and God is the winner. I look forward to writing about what the journey will reveal! I hope you will join me!

Just being myself

One year I worked for a non-profit agency that had yearly fundraisers. The year I worked for them, they decided they wanted to hire a clown to be at the fundraising event. But they were unable to find one. I let my boss know that I was willing to be a clown at the event because I had my own costume and make-up….at one time, I even had my clown face registered with a clown registry! (Yes, crazy enough, clown faces can be registered!)  My boss was delighted, so the day of the event, I got to work early enough to put on my make-up and costume.  However, as I finished putting white on my face, I would notice that my skin would start to show through. I thought maybe the oils in my skin were causing the white to come off, so I used some powder and then applied more white. I would get finished with one side only to have the white come off the other side again. Well, I was running out of time, so I prayed God would help me (I wasn’t sure what else to do!).  As clear as day I heard in my heart, “I no longer want you to wear a mask. This is who you used to be but I have made you brand new!” At that point I stopped trying to get my skin fully covered and only a few people asked if I had issues with my makeup.

I was a bit stunned at what I thought I had heard God say since a clown isn’t a bad thing! (Well at that time, this year I have seen how the enemy can use a clown for evil.) But after the event, I prayed about it some more and decided that I would give my clown costumes and make-up away. The hard part is that I wanted to take part in my church’s Harvest Festival and I was encouraged to dress up.  I had no clue what to do…so I prayed and felt like the answer was to just be myself.

What does that look like? Well, the first year, I was trying to get a baking business going, so I wore my apron and chef hat. One year I had the idea of wearing my cap and gown from when I graduated from community college. Another year I wore my cap and gown from when I graduated from university. There might have been other similar “costumes” but I can’t recall what they were.

I was running out of ideas. Who am I???

Well, I really like to pray, so I thought it would be interesting to try to make a prayer closet for me to wear. And I finally got the opportunity to do that when a neighbor down the street from me got a new appliance several days before the harvest fest.

I boldly asked if I could have their box and they willingly gave it to me.10661949_10154717845475109_7018001576398974231_o I drew up some plans and found some 10668940_10154717845130109_8583389040875711864_osuspenders I could use to hold it on my shoulders and the church had some white paper that I could use to cover the box. As the project came along, I decided that I would make it a prayer booth instead of a prayer closet. On one side of the box, I added a pocket for prayer cards and pens. On the other side, I added a place for people to put the prayer cards and on the back of the booth I put in large letters, “Need Prayer? Ask me to pray for you!”

Harvest Fest 2014
Harvest Fest 2014

Right away, I was told that the costume was of poor character but I did not let it phase me. Within minutes, children were walking up to me and asking me for prayer. You see, the front had a little “table” where people could write down their prayer requests, but unknowingly, I had made my prayer booth just right for kids to lean in to talk with me as long as I got down on my knees. T0 my surprise, children of all nationalities were asking me for prayer. One child begged his mother to let him talk to me. Her reply, “but we don’t believe in their ‘god’!” The little boy didn’t care. He wanted prayer! It was a very special night for me for sure!

I wrote on my Facebook wall after the Harvest Fest was over: “It was so fun and rewarding to walk around dressed as a prayer booth for Trinity’s Harvest Fest. Please pray for the little boy pictured with me. He asked for a healthy brain and eyes. His mother said he has brain disease. So many children came to me for prayer…one even ‘tithed’ a piece of her candy for my prayers for her mommy to get well.”

Last year I was still in the hospital from the donation surgery (Trinity didn’t have a Harvest Fest anyway) so I didn’t need to come up with a “costume”.img_20161028_163232926 This year I had no idea what part of me I should portray. As I asked my housemate her thoughts, Bebe climbed up on my shoulder. She said, “You can be Bebe’s Mama!” So I went to the dollar store to look for a stuffed cat to attach to my shoulder only they didn’t have any. I did find an Army Hat and remembered that I had a bunch of plastic toy Army Men and Army signs from the War Room party I had during the summer. So I decided to go as a Soldier in Jesus’ Army by putting the sign on my back and taping the toy soldiers on my clothes. Little by little my “men” were falling off…guess the battle was pretty tough! I don’t have any pictures of my “costume” but it really wasn’t much to see in comparison to my prayer booth.

I have no clue what part of me I will portray next year. Maybe my readers need to write and give me some ideas (0:

Challenge: What would your “costume” or “costumes” be if you were to portray who you are??? Please leave your comments.

The God of 10 cars (and more)

In early 2015, my Mom offered $6000 towards a new to me vehicle, not to fix current vehicle or to have the cash but for her to wire the money to a dealer.

My car at the time was a 1999 Volkswagen Passat. I had bought it with 4 miles on it in June of 1998. It had been a good car to me for just shy of 17 years and I was having a hard time letting it go. But it needed a new catalytic converter and emissions work if it were to pass smog. It also started having other issues too, it seemed things were just falling apart on it. And someone crashed into my front bumper leaving it dented. Ugh! Ok, I know I needed a newer vehicle. Something more reliable.

I had a friend refer me to her friend who worked in a car dealership. He was looking for a specific car for me but when it didn’t come in and nothing in my price-range came up, he searched the internet for me which led me to a car in Fremont which sold right as I was arriving to the dealership. They found a 2004 Toyota Corolla CE with 118,620 miles on it on the back of the lot. The engine looked real clean, new hoses & belts. I am not sure why I bought the car other than the fact that my registration on my Passat was due but not able to smog so felt rushed. I bought the 04 Toyota Corolla.

Less than 23 hours after picking up the car, I went on a “God date” (out for dinner by myself where I can journal or just spend time praying or in God’s word). Almost immediately as I picked up the menu, I felt God speak in my spirit, “I love you, I have a plan and I am in control!

Less than an hour later, the engine light came on. I called dealership and was told they could do nothing because I did not buy a warranty. I took it to my mechanic. After $1449.98 and four trips to my mechanic, I found out the engine needed to be overhauled or replaced. After contacting Better Business Bureau, the dealership finally contacted me to say they would check out the car. At one point they offered to replace the engine with a used engine with similar miles but I no longer trusted them and finally after two of my friends went with me to talk to a manager, my money was returned to me. (Many say this is a miracle in itself). I was still out $1449.98 for the work my mechanic did on the car! )0:

But God had told me, “I love you, I have a plan and I am in control!” And boy has it been a plan that I would never have been able to dream up or even fathom (this is one of my favorite words, “fathom”!)

My friend Becky from church took me to drop off the car originally for the dealership to check out. I had to leave the car for several days, so she allowed me to use her car “whitey (1)”.

Becky needed her car back but her husband would willingly ride his bike to work and allow me to use his car “Greenie (2)” After a few weeks, Becky let me know they needed their car back.

By this time, I had my money back, but was having a hard time finding a decent car in the price range I had money for ($6000-$1449.98). I asked on Facebook if any of my friends had a car I could use for a week or so while I shopped for a vehicle. One of our church Elder’s and his wife were going out-of-town for a week so I used her van(3).

Still no luck finding a car to buy at that point. My friend Lisa was working for Shuddle while it was still in business and was using a brand new car of theirs so she was able to loan me her car (4) for about a week and a half.

Then, my friend Scott was going to Nicaragua for three months. I asked him to pray about me using his car and God said “yes,” so he allowed me to use his car (5). When I got his car, I pretty much stopped looking for a car to buy because I knew I would possibly be donating part of my liver soon and was expected to not be able to drive for 6 weeks to two months. I thought that I could look for a car after surgery. It turns out that I had Scott’s car for two month and three weeks and he came back one week after my surgery.

Then life was a bit crazy! I was not strong enough to drive for much longer than expected and with high pain levels and medication, my doctor would not approve for me to drive for over five months. After seeing a pain specialist, I was given some medicated cream that gave me the relief needed to be able to drive. Within two weeks of getting the cream I was feeling up to driving when Scott went out of the country for fourteen days and left his car (5 – 2nd time) with me. I picked him up at the airport on a Saturday night and the following Monday, my friend Maggie was going out-of-town for two weeks and allowed me to use her vehicle (6) while she was away.

However, while she was away, I got a skin rash that I could not get under control that turned out being from the pain cream, so by the time Maggie got back into town, the pain levels had increased so much that I was again no longer approved to drive, but I didn’t have a car available to me, so it didn’t matter.

By the time my new meds started working two weeks later, the next car came available to me. This car came from my housemate’s friends from church who I still have yet to meet. They went to Europe for about a month and left their keys here for me to use their Subaru (7) while they were gone (definitely Acts 2:44-45 in today’s context!). I shared about this on Facebook and got a call from a lady who had been my private client while I was caregiving – a sister in Christ who had become a friend (in person and on Facebook). She saw the post and God convicted her that she had a vehicle that needed to be used but was sitting in her garage.

After my month was up with car number seven, I picked up my friend’s Cadillac (8). Now the interesting thing is that it needed some work done on it. I knew I would be having a procedure done and would not be able to drive for a couple of days, however, I ended up being prescribed a new medication that made me very dizzy and unable to drive. Well, the car was in the shop the full length of time that I would be on the new medication (about a week and a half) then my doctor put me back on my original medication because my body was not tolerating the new medication.

It wasn’t long after I got the Cadillac (8) back, when Scott was going to be going out of the country again for several months and asked me to use his car while he was away. Scott’s car (5 – 3rd time). He was not sure when he would return, so I was not surprised to get a day’s notice that he would be back. I was not sure whose car I would use next. However, my housemate’s “daughter” went out of the country for three weeks and left her car (9) at the house.

When she returned, I really had no idea whose car I would use. I really thought I was going to finally have to buy a car. I started looking on-line, but I have not found any decent cars (meaning newer than my Passat with fewer miles and fewer mechanical issues). I considered buying a new one and taking out a loan, but my Mom said she did not want me buying a car with a loan while I am still on disability.

I asked another friend for a ride to church for Bible study. When she was taking me back home, she asked if I wanted to use her second car. I thought she had already sold it. Yep, God provided car number 10 for me to borrow for a few weeks.

I am one week away from the one year mark of donating 60% of my liver and my short-term disability will end next Friday. The day I got the tenth car, I was having quite a bit of anxiety about not knowing where money to live would come from since I did not have any job interviews and Social Security had not approved for long-term disability. I was sharing about my anxiety with my housemate. She asked me, “You mean you are afraid that the God of 10 cars won’t provide?”

Well, if you put it that way, no! I know that the God of 10 cars will provide. After all, He told me, “I love you, I have a plan and I am in control!

Not only did God provide 10 different cars for me to use during this time, but He also fashioned it so that I would not have a car when I was not able to drive. He knows me all too well! I would have been tempted to drive if I would have bought a car but instead He provided cars only when I was able to drive.

I look forward to seeing what He will do next!

Just a little update…car number 10 ended up being stolen Christmas day then wrecked. But interestingly, my housemate was out of town for Christmas, so her car became car number 11. I used Scott’s car (5) again several times and then I used a fancy blue Chevy Volt (car number 12) until a few days before the car GOD brought me came about. Check out the video I made. Waiting on GOD is worth it. He had a plan I would have never fathomed.

Up for a Baking Challenge

I enjoy a good challenge every once in a while. Do you?

Around November of last year a friend and I were out shopping when we came across a kit to make a pineapple upside down cake. I looked at the ingredients and didn’t know what a lot of them were so I put it back on the shelf. I’ve made a pineapple upside down cake before and I don’t recall it having unknown ingredients. Anyway, as I was putting it back on the shelf, I said, “Wouldn’t a coconut and pineapple upside down cake taste good?”  I got a, “Uhhh Yah!” out of my friend.

Well, I had just had surgery a little less than a month before that conversation and I was no where ready for a baking challenge.  I shared my idea with several ladies at church and they all agreed that a coconut pineapple upside down cake would taste good.

Between not feeling up to baking and not feeling creative, I kept putting off looking to find a recipe. Then one of the ladies told me that she was having to go on a low-potassium, low-sodium diet and she was having a hard time finding recipes.  Actually, several of my friends have been placed on the same diet, so I felt a challenge to help them come up with something yummy to eat.

I looked online to see if I could find any recipes and was surprised that I couldn’t find any…well until today when I actually thought of looking up “pina colada” muffins…Go figure, I have already made my own recipe! Haaa Haaa!

Here it is: Low-potassium, low-sodium, Processed sugar-free, Coconut Pineapple upside down muffins! (long name!)

1 C Quick Oats

1 Cup Shredded Wheats (or other low-potassium/low-sodium cereal) Shredded/broken up

1/2 C Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

1/2 C Coconut Sugar

1 t baking soda

1/4 t salt (optional)

1 C Butter Milk *(See notes)

2 T melted unsalted Butter

2 T melted coconut oil (Or use 1/4 C Butter or 1/4 Coconut oil if you don’t want to mix them)

1 – 2 t vanilla

1 egg


Topping

1/4 – 1/2 C Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

1 C Unsweetened Pineapple (or 1 1/2 C Frozen pineapple – Trader Joe’s brand is good)

*If using canned pineapple, reserve the juice and use it as part of the liquid and reduce the amount of buttermilk. Also, if you don’t have buttermilk, mix regular milk in with the pineapple juice and allow it to sit for 3 to 5 minutes. The acid in the pineapple will curdle the milk to make buttermilk.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Grease or butter your muffin tins (this makes 12). Distribute the coconut from topping as evenly as possible between 12 tins. Brown the coconut in the oven for 2-3 minutes (watching it so that it does not burn). Once you pull the muffin tins out of the oven, distribute the pineapple evenly on top of the coconut in the 12 tins (2/3 ring fits perfectly or 4 pieces if cut up).

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Add the egg and the rest of the wet ingredients mixing well. Once combined, add the mixture on top of the coconut in the 12 tins. Bake for 18-23 minutes watching to make sure they don’t burn.

When you take them out of the oven, let them sit in the pan for about 15-20 minutes before taking them out.  I had to scoop some of the coconut from the tins onto the muffins, but other than that, they looked delicious!!!

img_20161001_183156 img_20161001_202455

It was worth the challenge. I hope my friends will enjoy the special treat.

Have you been given a challenge that you have not completed for some reason? I encourage you – no, challenge you – to complete it.  Please share with me how it turns out.  Do you have a challenge for me? Let me know.

God bless you!

Attempt, not success but not failure!

I am not sure why I named this what I did. Interestingly, I had a Bible verse come to mind as I typed the title: Proverbs 24:16 “For a righteous man falleth seven times, and riseth up again; But the wicked are overthrown by calamity.”

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to MyCupCakeAddiction. (Hi Elise, just in case you happen to stop by!) It is so much fun to watch all the videos Elise Strachan puts up on YouTube. She is so creative and just fun to listen to as well as to watch. Even Bebe the cat has started watching the videos with me.  The hard part, is that I am trying very hard to get off of processed sugar and of course, on the videos, everything is loaded with sugar.

However, last night I was watching some older videos and I saw Elise making homemade fondant. I wondered if I could make a processed sugar-free version so I started looking on-line (of course I have no clue what I need fondant for since I haven’t made any cakes in a while!) Looking for a sugar-free fondant recipe caused me to look for sugar-free marshmallows, which ended up causing me to look for a sugar-free marshmallow recipe because sugar-free marshmallows are expensive!

Well, I made my first batch of homemade sugar-free marshmallows. They look like they were a success from the top, but they weren’t. I knew they were iffy when I was making them because it never fully combined and only started to whip and thicken when I added some tapioca powder. It never doubled in size or began to peak. Well, I will blame the age of the gelatin because otherwise it tasted quite yummy!

I was going to save the attempted marshmallows, but decided that it has been way too long since I had rice krispie treats, so I attempted to make some out of the attempted sugar-free marshmallows. img_20160914_190537749

Again, the picture makes it look like I had success. They did set and they were sooooo yummy! But they had too much moisture in them. Attempt, not success but not failure!

How many times do we do something and it doesn’t work out, so we don’t try again?

I can think of many times that I have felt like I failed at something so I didn’t try again. This time however, I really don’t feel like this is a failure but rather a trial. Those who succeed are the ones who try and try again until they make it. Abraham Lincoln is a great example.

Even in the Bible verse above, the Righteous man doesn’t fall and stay down. He falls, repents and rises again.

So what things have you down??? Have you tried, failed and refused to get up again? Maybe you’ve made a recipe that just didn’t work out?

Encouragement for the day: I encourage you to get up and try again in an area where you feel like you have failed. And if you fail or it doesn’t turn out as you thought it would, try again….even if it takes seven times, I encourage you to try again.  And please share your stories with me!

 

 

Making Kingdom use of the time

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Today I was reminded of something I prayed the other day. I am so tired of wasting my time on Facebook, playing games, looking at the guys on Christian Mingle, reading the funny pages…etc! I want to be using my time for Kingdom purposes! Today as I was studying Ecclesiastes with a friend, she mentioned Psalm 90:12. We talked about the difference between worldly wisdom and the wisdom of God. We are to ask God for His wisdom.

After my friend left, I was reminded of the prayer I prayed that I might use the time I have here on earth for Kingdom purposes. YES! This is what I want. I want to number my days and use them wisely.

So I thought it odd when I felt like I was supposed to walk to the Post Office taking a route that led me past Target. I found myself questioning the LORD. I have too many things. Why do I need to go to Target?img_20160831_160559 “Cookie Cutter”. Ok, I am supposed to look for a cookie cutter – which kind of makes sense since the package I was taking to the Post Office was cow gingerbread cookies for my Step Mom Belva Kay (well and for my Dad too! But Kay is the cow person.)

I like to surprise people and God will occasionally show me who to surprise and how to surprise them. (I ought to ask more Him more often!)

I thought about my timing. It was already 1:11pm and we have been going through a warm spell the last couple of days. I would be going in the heat of the day, but knowing God is my shelter, I ventured out.

It was very warm, but there was a nice cool breeze, so it wasn’t too bad! I got the package sent and then headed to Target. I looked and looked for a cookie cutter. Finally I found a set of 3 but I really did not feel like that is what I was to buy. So, I questioned if I was hearing the LORD correctly. Then as I was about to give up, I decided to look into the Halloween section. As I passed the first aisle of Halloween, I noticed a very nicely dressed middle aged woman. She was beautiful, but I thought she might think I was strange if I walked up and told her that. So I went to the baking section. I was intently looking at the cookie cutters when the woman stopped right next to me.  I told her, “you are beautiful!” She blushed and thanked me then told me that I am beautiful too. Then she moved her hand and I saw a very fancy cross on her necklace. Then I said, “oh that makes sense – the light and joy of the LORD are on you.” She again blushed and told me that she tries to walk in that. “Oh I know how that is,” I said, “I have to say, ‘Less of me and more of You LORD!'” She agreed and then told me that her children and grandchildren all lived out of state. She was thinking about sending them something for Halloween but wondered if she should bother. I told her I was looking at the cookie cutters but that I no longer celebrate Halloween, instead I celebrate the harvest. She liked that very much. She told me that she had many pumpkin things at home that she could use but couldn’t find anything she liked at the store. I decided on the 4 different sized pumpkin cookie cutters instead of the fancy pumpkin cookie cutter with a bat. The lady then told me to have a good harvest. I said, “God bless you!”

As we parted, I almost cried. I used to ask God for Kingdom appointments but have not asked Him in a long time!  All I could do was praise God for allowing me some Kingdom work.

As I walked toward the cash register, I thought I would check the price of cereal. One that I used to buy was a decent price. I checked the sugar content because I am trying real hard to get off processed sugar. “Wow, 8 grams of sugar!”, I thought. As I put the box back on the shelf a woman was reaching for it. I said, “I didn’t think it had sugar in it, but it does!” The woman said, “I don’t think so,” as she looked for herself. “Wow! That’s crazy that this company gave into the sugar fad. This is supposed to be a healthy cereal!” I told her that one of the cereals that I eat which is sugar-free is “Uncle Sam”. After we talked about it, she told me that she was glad to have bumped into me so that she would know the new info.

After she thanked me, I went on my way. “Thank You LORD for another appointment.” I really want my life to matter. I want to encourage people, to surprise people and to see people walking in their God given gifts. I want to make the most of the time I have. Yes LORD, Yes LORD, Yes, Yes LORD, AMEN!

Today’s encouragement: I encourage you to ask the LORD to help you to make the best use of the time you have been given. Ask God to help you use your time for Kingdom purposes. Then please share what God has you do with your time.

Psalm 90:17May the favora of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.

War Room Viewing Party

I am so INSPIRITED that I got to have a War Room viewing Party!

I decided that I use the word “excited” way too often, so I came up with a new phrase, “I am so Inspirited…!” Maybe it will become the new craze. Then I can say that I was ahead of the curve on one.

I shared in my last blog, War Room Party Plans – Shhhh! Confidential, that I love to surprimg_20160907_093230075ise people. Well the ladies in my Bible Study group and a few others were very surprised!  Before they even got in the door, the surprises started. I had covered the doorbell with a special note: “God wants YOU for His Army” says Uncle Sam. “Enlist now! Recruitment office here! Take dog tag and enter to enlist.”  At the bottom of the page, I taped a bag of store bought dog tag party favors. And then I unlocked the door so my guests would be able to come on in while I got some other surprises ready.

IMG_20160904_150229744img_20160907_101750929img_20160906_182516

I found several ideas on-line from others who have had War Room Viewing parties, but I wanted a little bit more than they did. So I made some little army man Bible verse cards as a little reminder for each woman to take with them. I arranged them on the table with a Jesus Army sheet that I also found on-line which I printed and colored. Funny thing is that I had no idea it had a puzzle back ground when I printed it. When I started to color it, I noticed the lines which really cemented to me that it was supposed to be used since quite a few of us enjoy putting puzzles together. It helped my to remind the ladies that we are all pieces of the puzzle and we are all nimg_20160907_212026eeded to make up His Army.

I had also added some paint color swatches with a sign that read, “Praying in color” for our prayer time. Each lady was encouraged to take a swatch and write down the prayer needs of the other ladies in the room. It was a sweet time after the movie was over.

In the kitchen, I had Camouflage plates and napkins. Plus I made each lady a camo color gingerbread “War Room” (I was encouraged not to call them “mini war houses” because I drawl out the “war” too much. I told the ladies the dilemma and they got a good laugh.)

img_20160907_093442648img_20160907_093835719img_20160907_095029528

Before the party started, I looked at the dog tags which say, “Name _________” and “Rank _________”. It wasn’t until the movie was over, that I really got the impression from God that I needed to encourage each lady to add their name and then ask God what is their “rank” in His Army. We all have a part and each “Rank” plays a different role. We are all called to be part of the battle.

Today I want to encourage anyone who has not taken up their place in the Lord’s Army to take that step today. Watch the War Room (or host a War Room viewing 12388516width178height178party) for further encouragement. And then, ask God what your rank is in His Army and what role He has for you to play. Please share with me how you were encouraged.

“You’ve done it again, Lord. You’ve done it again.
You are good, and You are mighty, and You are merciful! And You keep taking care of me when I don’t deserve it.
Praise You, Jesus! You are Lord….

Raise up more that will call upon Your name.
Raise up those that love You, and seek You, and trust You.
Raise ‘em up, Lord!
Raise ’em up!

Lord, we need a generation of believers who are not ashamed of the gospel!
We need an army of believers, Lord, that hate to be lukewarm, and will stand on Your Word above all else!
Raise ’em up, Lord!
Raise ’em up!

I pray for unity among those that love You.
I pray that You open their eyes so that they can see Your truth, Lord.
I pray for Your hand of protection and guidance.
Raise up a generation, Lord, that will take light into this world; that will not compromise when under pressure; that will not cower, Lord, when others fall away!

Raise ’em up, Lord, that they will proclaim that there is salvation in the name of Jesus Christ!
Raise up warriors, Lord, who will fight on their knees, who will worship you with their whole hearts, Lord!
Lord, call us to battle, that we may proclaim King of Kings, and Lord of Lords!

I pray these things with all my heart.
Raise ’em up, Lord!
Raise ’em up!

“Raise ‘Em Up”, from the movie “The War Room”