Fudge, Punch, and Trusting God

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We put up our Christmas tree just a few days ago. Decorations abound. Little hands are fashioning cards and drawings. Christmas is in the air. Sometimes, I get caught up in the light shining in my children’s eyes and I love every single moment of Christmas preparation. Other times, I’m far too concerned about how to pull it all off. There’s been nothing but bad news financially this year and, as we face the new year, there’s little hope that things will get better. I want to do for my children; I just don’t always know how. But, sometimes I forget–Christmas isn’t about having enough money, about getting things, it’s not about a tree, shiny lights or toys. It’s about our Lord, rejoicing that He came. Being amazed became He came for me. It’s about trusting Him. If He can save me, He can provide for my family, plain and simple. He isn’t up to one but unable to do the other. Christmas is also about my family. My beautiful, precious, family. God’s grace and my loves, they are my greatest gifts.

Even though money is beyond tight, like most Moms I like to do things for my family. I may not always be able to do what I want to do but, whatever it is, it’s always done with love. One of the ways I like to do for them at Christmas is by making them a special treat or two. We love fudge and through the years, I’ve made all kinds. On the stove top, with velveeta, chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla and on and on. One of the easiest ones I’ve ever made has to be the one I’ve included here. If you don’t think you can make fudge, guess what? You can. And it won’t burn, it won’t fail, ever. It’s all done in the microwave and it just couldn’t be easier. Sometimes, when time is short, I still turn to this recipe. My family still loves it, even after all these years. After you’ve looked over the fudge, scroll on down and read the Cappuccino punch recipe. We don’t make it every year but when we do, they love this also. Try it, I think you’ll like it also.

***Microwave Never-Fail Fudge***

If you follow directions, it will never fail. While not completely classic, it’s both easy and good. Everybody that I have ever served it to loved it. My children think it’s great that they can make fudge “all by myself.”

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Place chocolate chips, condensed milk and butter or margarine in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave about 3 minutes (until the chips are melted). Stir once every minute as it melts. When melted, stir in the chopped nuts, if desired. Pour into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish. Refrigerate until set.

***Cappuccino Punch***

This makes a fantastic Christmas punch!

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee granules
1 cup boiling water
2 quarts milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
Combine the sugar and the coffee granules and add to the boiling water stirring well until both are dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Just before you are ready to serve, pour the coffee syrup into a large punch bowl; add the milk and scoops of both ice creams and stir until the ice cream is melted. Makes about 1 gallon.
Merry Christmas!

Until next time,

Anna

Soli Deo gloria!

Thanksgiving Yummies

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Cranberry Walnut Breakfast Pie

This is our annual Thanksgiving breakfast treat. Often we serve sausage links along side of it. Delicious with coffee!! This is easily doubled and you can leave the walnuts out if someone doesn’t like them. Just add a few more cranberries to the mix. We always make one pie with walnuts and one without so everyone is satisfied. Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving!!

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cup cranberries

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 eggs, well beaten

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (can use vanilla if out of almond)

Combine flour, sugar and salt. Add nuts and cranberries and mix well. Mix the beaten eggs, melted butter and extract together and then add into flour mixture. Stir well. Spread into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Spiced Corn Muffins

If you want something other than a traditional roll for Thanksgiving, these are very good. Of course, you could do both! Be a bit careful with these, as they are tender. Do not use low-fat items.

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

1 cup biscuit mix

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons cornmeal

6 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In a bowl, stir together the melted butter or margarine, sour cream, milk and egg. Blend well. Add the biscuit mix, baking soda, cornmeal, sugar and spice. Stir until blended. Scoop into greased muffin tin (or use liners). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Wishing you God’s greatest blessings,

Until next time,

‘bye, ya’ll!

Anna

Aaahhh, Thanksgiving

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Aaahhh, Thanksgiving…my favorite holiday without a doubt. As much as I love Christmas (and I love it bunches and bunches), Thanksgiving wins out as my very favorite holiday because it lacks the commercialism associated with Christmas. Stores do try to sell you fake turkeys and pilgrims of all kinds but besides that there’s not much more that they can do except sell you groceries (if there is, they haven’t thought of it yet!). Thanksgiving is for thanking God for His bountiful blessings and gathering with family and friends to enjoy a meal together.

As soon as payday rolls around, we’re going to start looking for a turkey. We’ve got lots of children, so we need (want) a big one. I’m talking BIG, 24-26 pounds big. Good news is, you get more bang for your buck once your turkey is over 12 pounds. Over that, you’re pretty much paying for the turkey rather than the bones. And there’s so much you can do with turkey. Our favorites are turkey pot pie, creamed turkey, turkey sandwiches and turkey Tetrazzini. I never really cared for turkey soup though I know lots of folks who love it.

I start cooking a day or two before Thanksgiving. It’s just easier that way. On the morning of, we get up and I make cranberry walnut pie and little sausages (that’s why my children call ‘em) and we watch the parade together. You never watched the parade? Pity. Yes, there’s too many songs, too much talking, and not enough of the floats, marching bands and balloons but it’s tradition! So tradition wins out and we watch it over breakfast and the little ones keep on watching it as I head back to the kitchen to cook And they always enjoy it. :)

I like to make several different side dishes. Always dressing (we’re Southerners so it’s dressing, not stuffing), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, a relish tray, rolls and gravy. There’s always a couple of pies or three. Besides that, it depends on money, time and what we want. There might be corn in some form on the table (corn pudding, jalapeno corn pudding, corn on the cob), maybe green bean casserole (which, though I love green beans, I don’t care for the casserole but the others like it), maybe a salad, ambrosia, macaroni and cheese, or some other vegetable dependent upon what sounds good and what we can do. It sounds like a lot (though I never make everything I’ve mentioned) but the meal and leftovers, including left over turkey and the possibilities it presents, takes care of our family for days and days. Sort of a mega-Thanksgiving cooking spree.

Yes, I love Thanksgiving but I love my God and my family more. Far more than the food or the parade, praising Him and being with them is what makes Thanksgiving special. I’m looking forward to it.

What special traditions or foods does your family enjoy on Thanksgiving?

 

 

My Heart is Still

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A beautiful poem for those who long to serve. The poet is, to me, unknown.

I longed to walk along an easy road,
And leave behind the dull routine of home,
Thinking in other fields to serve my God;
But Jesus said, “My time has not yet come.”

I longed to sow the seed in other soil,
To be unshackled in the work, and free,
To join with other laborers in their toil;
But Jesus said, “It’s not My choice for thee.”

I longed to leave the desert, and be led
To work where souls were sunk in sin and shame,
That I might win them; but the Master said,
“I have not called you, publish here My name.”

I longed to fight the battles of my King,
Lift high His standards in the thickest strife;
But my great Captain had me wait and sing
Songs of His conquests in my quiet life.

I longed to leave the hard and difficult sphere,
Where all alone I seemed to stand and wait,
To feel I had some human helper near,
But Jesus had me guard one lonely gate.

I longed to leave the common daily toil,
Where no one seemed to understand or care;
But Jesus said, “I choose for you this soil,
That you might raise for Me some blossoms rare.”

And now I have no longing but to do
At home, or far away, His blessed will,
To work amid the many or the few;
Thus, “choosing not to choose,” my heart is still.

 

Has Beth Moore Become a False Teacher?

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Has Beth Moore Become a False Teacher? Brannon Howse and Justin Peters discuss this topic in light of Beth Moore’s own words. Brannon plays video clips of Beth Moore that you must see if you want to know if Beth Moore should be called a false teacher.

Curious? Click to watch for yourself.

Has Beth Moore Become a False Teacher?

WHY WE BELIEVE CHILDREN WHO DIE GO TO HEAVEN By R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and Daniel L. Akin

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Few things in life are more tragic and heartbreaking than the death of a baby or small child. For parents, the grief can be overwhelming. For the minister, to stand over a small, white casket and provide comfort and support seems to ask for more than he can deliver.

Many console themselves with the thought that at least the child is now in a better place. Some believe small children who die become angels. They are certain these precious little ones are in heaven with God.

However, it is important for us both to ask and answer some important questions if we can. Do those who die in infancy go to heaven? How do we know? What evidence is there to support such a conclusion? Sentimentalism and emotional hopes and wants are not sufficient for those who live under the authority of the Word of God. We must, if possible, find out what God has said.

It is interesting to discover that the Church has not been of one mind on this issue. In fact, the early and medieval Church was anything but united. Some Church Fathers remained silent on the issue. Ambrose said unbaptized infants were not admitted to heaven, but have immunity from the pains of hell. Augustine basically affirmed the damnation of all unbaptized infants, but taught they would receive the mildest punishment of all. Gregory of Nyssa offered that infants who die immediately mature and are given the opportunity to trust Christ. Calvin affirmed the certain election of some infants to salvation and was open to the possibility that all infants who die are saved. He said, “Christ receives not only those who, moved by holy desire and faith, freely approach unto Him, but those who are not yet of age to know how much they need His grace.” Zwingli, B.B. Warfield and Charles Hodge all taught that God saves all who die in infancy. This perspective has basically become the dominant view of the Church in the 20th century.

Yet, a popular evangelical theologian chided Billy Graham when at the Oklahoma City memorial service he said, “Someday there will be a glorious reunion with those who have died and gone to heaven before us, and that includes all those innocent children that are lost. They’re not lost from God because any child that young is automatically in heaven and in God’s arms.” The theologian scolded Dr. Graham for offering what he called “. . . a new gospel: justification by youth alone.”

It is our conviction that there are good reasons biblically and theologically for believing that God saves all who die who do not reach a stage of moral understanding and accountability. It is readily admitted that Scripture does not speak to this issue directly, yet there is evidence that can be gleaned that would lead us to affirm on biblical grounds that God receives into heaven all who have died in infancy. Some evidence is stronger than others, but cumulatively they marshall strong support for infant salvation. We will note six of them.

First, the grace, goodness and mercy of God would support the position that God saves all infants who die. This is the strongest argument and perhaps the decisive one. God is love (1 John 4:8) and desires that all be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). God is love and His concern for children is evident in Matthew 18:14 where Jesus says, “Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” People go to hell because they choose in willful rebellion and unbelief to reject God and His grace. Children are incapable of this kind of conscious rejection of God. Where such rebellion and willful disobedience is absent, God is gracious to receive.

To read in full, please go to http://betweenthetimes.com/index.php/2012/10/02/why-we-believe-children-who-die-go-to-heaven-3/

Taking a Stand for Modesty

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“yes, girls, it’s our fault if we strike the match to ignite our thoughts with lust, but you don’t have to pile up twigs at our feet and douse them in gasoline.” J. D. Greear 

Modesty is an attitude of the heart. When a woman loves the Lord most of all, she will rejoice in her ability to serve her brothers in the church by clothing herself in ways that don’t lay a stumbling block at their feet. When a woman loves herself most of all, she won’t.

There are times that a woman may want to serve the Lord but still fail to dress modestly. Perhaps she wasn’t ever taught how visual guys are, maybe she doesn’t think of herself as having any physical assets, maybe she is still growing spiritually. If her heart is right, she can be taught. She’ll welcome the teaching.

It’s an uncomfortable subject. Most preachers don’t want to get up in the pulpit and address modesty. I can understand why they don’t but I also think they ought to reconsider. Teaching on modesty can be done gently while still honoring the Lord’s truth. Many ladies no longer try to be an example to the younger women and girls and/or don’t think they have it in them to be a Titus 2 woman. If you are one who haven’t wanted to be an example, please examine your own heart. Is your heart right with God? Are your own clothes modest? If not, talk to the Lord about it, please. If they are, are you too busy? Too tired? Were you untaught yourself? If you are a godly lady, you’ve got something to teach and there are younger women who desperately need and even want your guidance. I was one who desperately sought for guidance when I was younger. No one ever stepped up to the plate though I did hear every single excuse imaginable why they didn’t have the time to invest in me. Don’t be one who does that to someone else.

Modesty needs to be addressed in our churches. For far too long, those in leadership in our churches have either ignored the subject of modesty or been legalistic about it. Both are extremes. Both are wrong. Let’s start with you and with me. Let’s examine our own hearts, minds and motives. Do we love the Lord? Do we really really love Him or are we loving ourselves more? Do our clothes reflect our love of Him? (Guys, this is for you too. Men can be immodest just as easily as the ladies can.) Are our clothes too costly? Flashy? Tight? Sheer? Too short or low cut? Are we trying to draw attention to ourselves? Are our main efforts on improving ourselves focused inward or outward? Let’s examine ourselves in light of Scripture and make sure we’re right. Then let’s step up and honor the Lord by taking a stand for modesty.

 

 

He Giveth More Grace by Annie J. Flint

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He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His pow’r has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!

Some days I long for God…

Originally posted on A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®:

IMG_4978.JPGThat’s is absolutely true and more so today. I came across a Puritan poem-prayer that articulates this longing a lot better than I could…

My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride.

How precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased with…

View original 104 more words

On Christian Modesty

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I wasn’t raised to be modest. Growing up, I regularly wore short-shorts, tube tops and revealing swimsuits. So did the other girls that I went to church with. Those were modern times and old-fashioned rules just didn’t apply. Or so I was told.

I grew up, married and had children. I dressed my little girl in shorts and halter tops and swimsuits, nothing as revealing as my clothing had been but still more-so than I now believe is appropriate. As she approached her teen years I grew uncomfortable with the idea of her dressing as I had once dressed. And, by that time, I had two other young girls, impressionable and with ever-lasting souls and the way they would be dressed as they grew up was also weighing on my mind. I started researching this modesty issue.

No matter what we’re talking about (music, clothes, habits), there’s a danger of swinging too far to the right thinking that if we do more than is required, we’ll be even more pleasing to the Lord and that’s what I did when I became more aware of the need to be more modest. But God tells us in His Word that we are to be temperate, showing moderation in all that we do. In other words, neither going too far this way nor that. Growing up, my home tended towards being legalistic. Immodesty was allowed but many other things weren’t. They weren’t disallowed because God said it but simply because the church thought it. In other words, they were Pharisees, adding rules in order to keep rules. This was the tendency in my family as well as the church that I grew up in (considering the times, that is). As I studied what the Bible said rather than church doctrine, my beliefs changed. I changed. So how we dressed changed.

We have an obligation to the Lord to do all that we do for Him. He is God, we aren’t, and it is He that we are to obey. It’s oh-so easy to add rules upon God’s Word in order to make extra-sure that we are pleasing Him. On the other side of the coin, it’s so easy to excuse our behavior by saying “Everyone’s doing it” or “Times are different” or “That’s old-fashioned”. Neither is right. Neither pleases Him.

We must examine our heart. Why do we desire to dress (or do anything) as we do? What motivates us? Is it fear of man? Long-standing rules? The desire to abolish long-standing rules? Pride in our own spirituality? Or is it what Scripture refers to as “fear of the Lord”?

Proverbs 1: 7 says that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If we’re ever going to be pleasing to the Lord, we must start here. He is God and we are not. He has all power and, in the end, we have none–none to save ourselves, none to change the future, honestly none at all. God is Sovereign and we can’t always even open a bag of cereal without ripping the bag and spilling it. Wrapping our mind around Who God is goes a long way towards developing the right kind of fear of Him. That’s when we start developing wisdom. The wisdom that guides us as we delve into an understanding of modesty–or anything else.

So after running the gamut for a couple of years, going too far this way or that, I grew in my understanding of what it really means to be modest and was able to teach my daughters better than I had been taught. My oldest daughter is now grown and gone. My two younger daughters and I have long settled into an understanding of what it means for us to dress with modesty–and why. We still have rules but they are based in a desire to honor the Lord rather than in Pharisaical rules or modernism. My daughters are allowed to make many of their own choices as long as they are seeking to please the Lord. One daughter loves jeans. Another is pure vintage. Both love the Lord and His truth. Both are feminine. Both are modest. And both are pleasing the Lord with their desire to please Him because both of them know Him and fear Him. And that’s where a desire to be modest must begin.

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A Mother’s Work

“What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow.” Martin Luther

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