10.20.14

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:12

When I read this in my email this morning, I knew I had to share it today!  If we could all genuinely say this prayer every day…wow!  What a difference our lives would be and the lives of others.  

Son of God

I went to see the Son of God movie yesterday.   It was a decent film.  Movies like this one and the Passion of the Christ have to take some liberties and I sometimes struggle with them.  The liberties in this movie made it seem more relational then others, which is probably how it was…not just the Word, but the downtimes, too.  I could nitpick both movies…but the fact is that I am glad that they are in the movie theaters for the public to see.  I am so excited that we live in a country where we are allowed to have Jesus be the star in a film.  I love that both movies get The Message out there and I pray for the souls that see the movie that they may take a step closer to Him.

The previews we saw included Heaven is for Real and Noah.  Heaven is for Real looks like it is matches the book pretty well.  Noah has some big names in it and it will be interesting to see.

As excited as I am that these movies are in the theaters, I get nervous that since they are in the movie theaters, people will think of them as fiction or fantasy.  So, I pray.  It has to be better that they are in the theater than if they were not.  So, I pray.  I pray that a piece of the message, the Word, something will bring salvation to those who are not yet saved.

UPDATED:   Everyone is asking me about the movie and this is my response to one of my most recent inquirers:

I left the moving feeling a bit let down and I couldn’t really figure out why.  I knew there were lots of changes from the Bible, subtle as they might have been.  Changes that people who don’t know the Bible wouldn’t know.  The more I thought about it and the more questions I was asked about it the more I realized I was more diappointed than I first thought.  
 
I was on guard right from the start when they showed the wise men visiting Jesus right after His birth.  And then they changed the last supper with the bread and Jesus forcing it into Judas’ mouth…and didn’t emphasize why He was dying…which should have been the whole point of the movie.  Plus they put in scriptures that were accurate but in the wrong places.  I could continue.  I know it is a movie, but it is a movie about Jesus and if it is going to be seen as fiction than it probably shouldn’t be in the theaters.  I would probably take it better if the new Noah movie has inaccuracies b/c that story isn’t likely to affect someone’s salvation.  But to change Jesus’ life…
I know a movie cannot be responsible for bringing someone to Christ, but I don’t understand the point in changing it.  I know there are different interpretations, but things were actually changed, and so yes, it would be considered false teaching.  I think of them in the same way as the big tv Christian personalities (televangelists) who say everything right…almost…but why twist it at all?  Will they be the ones outside the gates telling Jesus they did all these things for Him and He saying He doesn’t know them.  I pray that the movie has positive impacts and not negative.  And I know I am not better than anyone, I just try to discern what is acceptable and not.  I have a lot of my own garbage I pray about too.  So I am not claiming I know all or anything like that.  
 
Sooo…I probably could continue, but that is a good summary of my thoughts.  And they are just my thoughts from my understanding of the Bible.

1.5.14

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Christmas

The days surrounding Christmas had ups and downs this year, but one thing that NEVER changes is that Christ came down all those years ago to be born here on earth, leaving His perfect Kingdom, so that He could save our lives.  That is THE meaning of Christmas.  That is the unchanging good news.  That is why despite sadness we have joy!

Joshua’s birthday celebration:

Christmas Brunch, before eating commenced:

Some yummy recipes this year included banana cream cheese stuffed baked french toast, blueberry white chocolate coffeecake, scones, quiche and about a million other things.  😉

Here are a couple desserts after they were dug into…red velvet cheesecake and butterfinger bars:

The butterfinger bars were very good…a little difficult to cut and the recipe is surely for a small pan (I used a 9×13 and had to double and it was still a stretch!)

The red velvet cheesecake I couldn’t try, because of the red dye, so I am not sure how it turned out, but it looked good!  😉

BUTTERFINGER COOKIE DOUGH CHEESECAKE BARS

YIELD: Makes one 8×8 pan

Ingredients:

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE LAYER

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips + 1/2 cup for top
  • 5 Butterfinger bars, king size

CHEESECAKE LAYER

  • 8oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

PREPARATION:

Create a sling by lining the pan with foil so that there is a one inch overhang on each side. Cover foil with bake spray. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE LAYER

Melt butter and let cool to warm. Add in brown sugar and mix to combine. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine.  Add in flour and fold to combine. Add in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips and fold to combine. Pour mixture into pan; set aside.

TO MAKE CHEESECAKE

Add all ingredients in a bowl and beat until blended. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Press 3/4 of cookie mixture into pan. Place Butterfinger bars side-by-side on top of cookie dough. Pour cheesecake mixture on top. Crumble remaining cookie dough sprinkle on top of cheesecake layer along with remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips all over top.
  2. Transfer pan to oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove from oven set on wire rack to cool.

 

RED VELVET CHEESECAKE

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Prep Time: 1 hr + cooling and chill times

Cook Time: 1 hr, 15 min

CHEESECAKE:
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

RED VELVET CAKE:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.  In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake  and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

2. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not overbeat).

4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

5. Frost and decorate the cake

12.12.13

Our family that lives in Texas recently lost an amazing pastor, Ronnie Smith.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/05/american-teacher-ronnie-smith-shot-dead-jogging-benghazi

They shared with us this beautifully put together, completely scripture based sermon from him.  I implore you to listen to the entire thing, word for word.  It is the Truth.  It is not long, but even if you run out of time, listen to it in pieces.  🙂

I also encourage you to pray for his family, as well as give praise to God that his family knows that he is without a doubt at Home with his Savior.

http://austinstone.org/resources/sermons/469–the-history-of-redemption

11.3.13

4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:4-5

10.29.13

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds
are forgiven, and whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the one to whom the Lord
shall not impute sin.
— Romans 4:7-8

 

Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, only because He first loved us, are BLESSED beyond even our knowledge.  We get the mercy and grace that we do not deserve and we do not receive the punishment we do deserve!