Tuesday, December 28

A new look at...

While driving to church one Sunday morning, we listened to a preacher on the radio, who gave a short, but, very profound lesson on prayer. I'd like to share some of what he said with you. It really got me to thinking about some things in an entirely new way.

Depending on our upbringing, personal experiences... etc. we may each view prayer a little differently. "Prayer is powerful" can seem like a cliche' to some people. I have personally witnessed God perform MIRACLES as a result of prayer, but my human mind tends to forget the awesomeness of God sometimes. Whenever I'm *trying* to patiently wait on God to answer my prayers, the phrase "prayer is powerful" seems to sound less and less convincing each time I say it. Prayer IS powerful. I know that. But sometimes I don't claim that statement for myself personally. It's more of: "Well, God can do that for THEM... but I'm not even sure He cares that much about my situation" type of thinking.

Yes, there are many cliche's about prayer. About being in your "closet" in daily prayer. It may become a repetitious, mechanical act for some of us at times. There are many statements we can make about prayer, but perhaps the most important one is: Prayer is intimate. It's an INTIMATE one-on-one conversation between you and God. Any important relationship in your life requires intimacy. There are a lot of Christian books out there about prayer. Lots of "4-steps to this kind of prayer life"... and so on) type philosophies. But, imagine this: You meet a person for the first time. You really hit it off. Your personalities really seem to click with one another as you chatter on about this and that... then as it's time to leave, you say, "Alright well, I think this could be the start of a great friendship! So, I think we should follow this 6-step program on how to become great friends. The first step is: we've gotta spend a lot of time together... and so on... blah blah blah..." How do you think that person would feel? Well, they'd probably think you were pretty weird for starters :) and they would probably prefer that you talk to them in the future because they interested you; not because you were following steps in a program. Right? Well, now let's apply that thinking to God. He genuinely wants to have a PERSONAL, INTIMATE relationship with us that involves communication (i.e. prayer.)

Matthew 6:6 (NIV) says, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

He doesn't want us to talk to Him only when we think others are watching. He also doesn't want us to be ashamed to talk to Him when others ARE watching. It's not ABOUT those other people- it's about YOU AND GOD! That's the point!

Now, let's relate this thought about intimacy with Revelation 3:16. God tells us that He would rather us be hot or cold, instead of lukewarm. I'll be honest with you, I have never fully understood this verse. I thought, "Isn't warm better than COLD, God? Why wouldn't you rather someone be a LITTLE interested than not interested at all in you??" It didn't make sense to me. But, that radio preacher gave an illustration which helped me see this verse from a different angle. There was a man who called the preacher for a counseling session. He said, "I am so afraid that I've completely alienated myself from God for good." "What did you do?" the preacher asked. "Well, I was upset about a circumstance in my life and I started blaming God. I got so angry at Him, that I cursed His name. Now I realize my anger was wrongly directed, but I don't know if He will forgive me." The preacher responded with a question. "What is the opposite of love?" The man finally answered "Hate, I guess." "No, the opposite of love is indifference. No one can hate something they care nothing about. You can't muster up any kind of emotion if you are not interested."

How many marriages are torn apart because one or both of the spouses become indifferent? Maybe a husband would rather sit and watch television than work out his problems with his wife. There isn't much hope of recovery if you are not interested in recovery- is there?

So, God would rather us hot or cold. He despises lukewarm. Be overwhelmed with love and joy, or be angry- but FEEL SOMETHING! Perhaps this is a liberal interpretation of this verse, but it really made me think in a whole new way! I am very in love with my Savior. I have also gotten very angry and offended at Him in the past. I faced those feelings, asked for mercy, and He helped me come through my hurt. But, it's when I become INDIFFERENT towards God, when I lose interest and no longer make time to talk to Him that He says He will "spew me out of His mouth".

He wants intimacy. He wants my love. He wants my heart. All the rest is pomp and circumstance.

Hopefully I gave you something new to think about. I'll be chewing on that sermon for awhile...

Picture Credit

Thursday, December 23

Yummy Holiday Treats

Potatoe Chip Cookies

Sis. Beverly Rushing brought these (along with her recipe) to a cookie exchange years ago. I've been making them ever since & my family and friends LOVE them!
I liken them to pecan sandies- but just a little better due to that "secret" ingredient.
Tip: don't tell people they have potatoe chips in them- make them guess what it is. :)

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 12 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup crushed potatoe chips (original Lay's is fine)
1 cup chopped pecans
Powdered sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. Gradually add flour and mix well. Add vanilla & chips. Mix. Stir in nuts last. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet by spoonful, and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in powdered sugar. Bake @ 350F for 8-10 minutes.

Sunday, December 19

A personal update...

Wow, I can't believe how few and far between my posts are getting lately. Just wanted to drop a quick note and say I'm still alive ;) I've started several posts lately, but haven't had the time to finish them. I will try to do so soon. I'm sure all of you can relate with how busy this month always is for me! Thank goodness my Christmas shopping was finished up weeks ago & is no longer on my long "to do" list!

The past few months.... well, 6 months really have thrown me for a serious loop. Physically, mentally, emotionally... I've just been going through quite a lot lately, I suppose. And, though it humbles me to ask this: I would really appreciate your prayers if you happen to think of me. I need to continue trusting that God knows exactly where I am and still has an amazing plan for me, if I'll just wait on HIM. I am feeling emotionally weary lately, so please pray that God will give me strength & refresh my spirit. I am finally over the "every day, all day" morning sickness- though I still have my moments... most of the time I feel pretty great, so praise the Lord for that! Baby girl is doing great and kicking up a storm! (When asked a couple of wks. ago) I wasn't too nuts about advertising our baby name on Facebook... it just seemed like a REALLY public broadcasting station- but I don't mind my *small* circle of blog readers knowing :)

We've settled on the name: Adalynn Grace  (we'll probably call her "Addy" for short.) And (thank goodness) the name is finally starting to "take hold". I'm actually calling her that now... I even made her a wipey case with "A" in cute little rhinestones! (I'll post pics later :)

SO! On to our family PICTURES!! Those of you who are on facebook have probably already seen this album, but I'm posting it here as well. My sister Courtney is always so gracious to take our family pictures (and this year, chase our kid all over the place while doing it :) We REALLY appreciate her taking the time to do it for us- we think she's such an amazing & gifted photographer! Enjoy..

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas this week! I know we've all heard it countless times, but let's not forget to sit down with our families this Saturday and read about the Lord of all creation, leaving His splendor to come here and redeem us. There is a reason for all the "fuss", for all the lights, tinsel & celebrating... so let's re-ponder that beautiful story... & thank Him that He came.




Friday, December 3

Strawberry Cake

Here's what I'm making tonight....
well... sorta. I'm actually allergic to strawberries. Yep... sad. But, I'll give you the original recipe then fill you in at the bottom about what I do so I can eat it :)

This Strawberry Cake is incredibly moist and pretty dense (the way I like cake if ya haven't figured that out yet ;)


1 box white cake mix
1 box instant strawberry jello (regular small size)
1/2 of the tub frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed & pureed

Follow cake mix directions as normal, then stir in dry jello mix and thawed, pureed strawberries. Be careful not to over mix. Bake cake @ 350F degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly before icing.


1 box powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 tub frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed

Pour off a little of the juice from the thawed strawberries, then mix with the butter and powdered sugar. (Use hand held mixer on medium speed- I don't puree berries for icing due to the hand held mixer sorta doing that job.)


I got this scrumptous recipe from my mother-in-law Donna Mofley. She makes it a lot for family dinners. The most I could ever do was smell it and watch other people eat. I think I snuck a TINY bite every now and then- hoping my tongue wouldn't swell as a result...

Then, I decided to revise the recipe so I could eat it! Besides the color of the cake being darker, there's not much difference in the 2 versions. Nick says they taste about the same to him. Here's what I do:

Instead of strawberry jello, I buy raspberry.
Instead of frozen strawberries, I buy a bag of frozen raspberries... except they don't come in the tub with syrup, so I put them in a saucepan and cook them down with a little sugar to taste. Now I can indulge like everyone else- YAY!!!!!!!!!!!