Saturday, October 27, 2012

That's Not My Job!

 “I would hope that the Christian businessman or woman, whether lowest on the corporate totem pole or the chief executive officer, would be distinguished from the rest not only by conscientious work but also by graciousness, by simple kindness, by an unassuming manliness or modest womanliness, and above all by a readiness to serve…even if that means serving coffee instead of serving on the committee you were itching to join.”
-Elisabeth Elliot, On Asking God Why

Nowadays, our churches offer so many options.  There are so many classes from which to choose.  If you don’t like one, you can change your mind and find another one. Whatever works for you is what you do! 

While options can be a good thing, sometimes I think Christians can fall into the trap of only doing what they want to do.  This can play a part in areas of service as well.  Sure, we will serve at church, but only where we want to serve. 

The Bible talks about how each believer has been given a spiritual gift. 
1 Peter 4:10 says: “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 
He gave us these gifts so that we can serve each other.  But, sometimes it’s seems as if we use our spiritual gifts as a license not to serve.  For example, let’s say person A has the gift of “administration.” They might use the excuse that “it’s not their job to serve coffee at church because they should be used to do another task...a task they deem as more important.”  But, the fact of the matter is: person A just does not want to serve coffee.  God could, in fact, use someone with the gift of administration to serve coffee, as He could use another person with any other gift.  He didn't give us our spiritual gifts so that we could pick and choose what jobs we want to do with them.  He gave us our spiritual gifts so that we could better serve one another in whatever jobs are needed to be done. So, in whatever job we are doing, we can use our spiritual gift to serve each other.  Our gifts are not given to us to give us a way out, but to help us serve more effectively. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jesus Advent Celebration

A friend shared this with me the other day and I could not wait to download my own copy!

Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, has created a special advent celebration booklet.  Starting with November 29, you will find devotionals each day leading up to Christmas. It begins with Genesis and covers stories throughout the Old Testament that all point to the birth of the Messiah. Nancy Rodden has illustrated full color ornaments that can be cut out and hung on your own tree—one ornament for each devotional. 

I am so excited about this free resource!  Our church will be setting up a little display for our members to have the opportunity to participate in this celebration with their family.  I hope you and your family will be blessed as you read the devotionals each day leading up to Christmas. 

To download A Jesus Advent Celebration, see here

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Meal Planning: 50% off Coupon Code

Meal planning services seem to have gotten really big lately.  I like the concept, but as I've looked at them, I've thought they seemed expensive for a job I should probably just do myself.  

A few months ago, however, No More To Go was offering 50% off for a 6 month menu planning subscription.  I began to research it and liked what I saw.

From the website:
  •  No more wondering what's for dinner!
  • 5 complete meals delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.
  • Complete with grocery list so you can also shop from your mobile device.
  • All recipes have modifications for gluten free, vegetarian, and kid friendly meals.
  • Interesting and delicious recipes using fresh, healthy ingredients.
  • Save time, sanity, and your grocery bill.

 I’ve been using it now for 10 weeks and have been impressed. Basically, I’m getting some great recipes that are kid-friendly, healthy, and homemade.  The best part is that they are awesome recipes that I would never think up on my own.  And, I have them all saved on my computer so I can use them time and time again. 

Anyway, I emailed Stacey (the creator of No More to Go) and asked her if she’d be willing to offer a 50% code again so I could share it with all my friends.  She agreed, so stop by her site and get 50% off.  The offer can be used for the 6 and 12 month subscriptions. 

Coupon Code: NMTG50

It is valid until the end of October, so please feel free to share with your family and friends. 

I read this verse today and it was such a powerful reminder that our Savior and King is above everything.  May we die to ourselves each day so that we can become more and more like Him!

“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.”  Jude 1:24-25

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Healthy Breakfast Cookies?

 On Saturday morning, our three year old son came running into our bedroom and said, “Mommy, I want some giant bear-sized cookies for breakfast!”  Where he got that term, I don’t know, but looking as cute as he was, I tried to think of a way to make a healthy cookie for him for breakfast.  I began creating my own recipe by substituting healthy options in other recipes. I had my doubts as to whether or not these would turn out.  As soon as they came out of the oven, however, we ate them up so quickly!  Full of ground flax seeds, oats, coconut oil, and yogurt….these are actually healthy breakfast cookies!  We served ours with some fresh fruit and milk.  Enjoy!

Breakfast Cookies

¾ cup flour (spelt, whole wheat, etc.)
 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup honey
1 1/2 cups uncooked old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup filler (raisins, dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.)
1/2 cup filler (raisins, dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.)
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. coconut oil (room temperature)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix flour together with the ground flax, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add the oats and salt, then stir in the raisins and chocolate chips.
In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, coconut oil, honey, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat together to form a dough.
Drop mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 2 dozen cookies

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stuck in a Rut (See Free Chart Download)

Motherhood is wonderful in many ways, and I am so thankful that I get to spend much of my time with my children at home.  But, sometimes I feel like I do the same things every day…
Cook breakfast – get kids dressed – do the dishes – get lunch ready – fold the laundry -Get kids down for nap – wash some clothes – get dinner started – read books to the kids – eat dinner – do the dishes – get kids ready for bed

It feels like that’s all I do sometimes!  When we begin to feel overwhelmed by the mundane, it makes the time we have with our children seem not so special.  I don’t want to wish the time I do have with my children away because I am tired of doing the same things all the time. 

How do we overcome this attitude so we don’t miss out on the priceless treasure of having young children? 

I think we have to be more purposeful with our time.  We need to make a plan each week and each day so that we have a purpose.  If we don’t do this, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, where we feel like we have to do the same things everyday.  We lose our creativity and our joy.  Instead of teaching our children how to make the most of each day God has given us, we allow our circumstances to put a cloud over our day. It’s time to remind ourselves that we need to make the most of our time and use each day as an opportunity for growth – for ourselves and our children!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

James- A Study Guide

Each week, I lead a home team at my house.  It is comprised of about 15 ladies, and I have really enjoyed getting to know all of them.  For the past five weeks, we have been studying the book of James.  I put together a little booklet of all of the lessons we have done each week, and I hope that they will be helpful to you as well.  

This study guide is here to help challenge you in your walk with the Lord as you read the book of James.  In this study guide, you will be asked to:

  • Read your Bible each day 
  • Memorize a verse each week 
  • Record what God is teaching you 
  • Answer questions that will help you better apply the Bible to your life

Download a copy of the study guide here.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

I had a good bit of chicken and chicken broth left over from my chicken crock pot meal, so I decided to make a soup today. 

Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

1 tbsp. butter (optional)
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2-3 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
¾ cup frozen peas
¾ cup frozen carrots or chopped fresh carrots
juice of 2 lemons
1 cup brown rice

Melt butter in large pot on stove.  Add chicken and coat in butter.  Add chicken broth, water, chicken, peas, carrots, lemon juice and rice.  Set on low and cover.  Let it cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  Add water or milk as needed.  

Crock Pot Chicken and Homemade Chicken Broth

I love our crockpot!  It makes my life a lot easier.  Here is an easy recipe that can help you prepare meals throughout the week since you are cooking a whole chicken.  

1 whole chicken
1 cup water
spices (I used garlic powder, onion powder, and Mrs. Dash)
1 bag of fresh carrots (or chopped fresh carrots)

Remove giblets from chicken.  Place chopped celery, onion, and garlic inside the chicken.  Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the crock pot and add carrots.  Put stuffed chicken on top of the carrots.  Turn crock pot to low and cook for 8 hours. 

When it is ready, remove carrots and chicken. Here is meal number one! Then, pass the remaining broth through a strainer to remove unwanted chicken bones, etc.  Now, you have homemade chicken broth. Refrigerate or freeze the broth. 

Meal Planning: I try to make my crock pot chicken at the beginning of the week and plan meals where I can use the broth and chicken throughout the week.  See Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Homemade Zucchini Bread

I made some zucchini bread for our family tonight, and it was pretty tasty!  I’ve tried several recipes but I decided to create my own and omit all the brown and white sugars, substitute healthy oils for bad ones, etc.  I wasn’t sure if it would turn out, but it did!  I made ours gluten free this time around!

Healthy Zucchini Bread


4 TBSP. Coconut Oil (or melted butter)
½ Cup honey
2 eggs beaten
1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour (or see gluten free note below)
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini (I used one large zucchini)
½ cup raisins (optional)

Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon) and set aside.  Beat together coconut oil, eggs, honey, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix together.  Fold in grated zucchini and raisins.  Pour into greased loaf pan. 

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Gluten Free:
I substituted Pamela’s Baking Mix for the flour and omitted the baking soda and powder since Pamela’s Mix already has that in it.