Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Our time behind the bars went very well -- for which we praise the Lord! Thank you to all who were praying. I know those prayers made a difference.
Tomorrow will be a Christmas day for our family like one we've never had before -- we're going to prison! We are very excited about this opportunity that the Lord has given us, and would covet your prayers for tomorrow. My sister Rachel posted more details on our family blog, and instead of repeating everything she wrote, just go check out her post, and thank you so much in advance for praying. The body of Christ truly needs each other! Merry Christmas to you all!
"...the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup honey OR 1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
3 cups milk
1 cup oil
3-4 cups raisins (or to preference!)
Mix the yeast with 5 cups of flour, set aside. Heat the milk and oil, dissolve the salt and honey (or sugar) in the liquid. Pour over flour and yeast; stir gently. Add 6 eggs, and beat HARD for 3 minutes. Add the remaining flour, and knead for 10 minutes, adding raisins after 5 minutes. If doing this by hand, let it rise for an hour, punch down and then form the dough. Our family uses a Bosch, and it eliminates this step.
To form, take the normal amount of dough you would use for your bread pans (sizes differ!) and roll it out -- long and narrow, making it's width slightly smaller than your bread pan size. Brush with a very light layer of butter and vanilla, sprinkling LOTS of cinnamon on top. Roll up tightly, place in pan and let rise for 45-60 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes, or until golden brown. After it cools, frost with a thick glaze frosting, sprinkling a hint of cinnamon on top. Slice -- and enjoy! Our family especially likes this toasted and buttered...if any of it lasts that long!!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
That sounds terrible! Yet how often do we have no room in our lives? There are some who don't want Jesus anywhere in their lives. Some of us have allowed Him partial residence, while still others have opened up all to the Lord but one tiny area. Then there are a few who have totally surrendered everything to the Lord, and He permeates every area of their life. They hold nothing back, but have truly invited the Savior to be the King of their life.
Where are you? Have you opened up your heart to the Lord Jesus?
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
Monday, December 18, 2006
so one cannot always tell what becomes of his influence.
and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ
among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
II Corinthians 2:14-15
Friday, December 15, 2006
To give a little history -- Brittney and I met through blog-o-sphere, and after reading her blog for a few months I realized that her sister had married a Nebraska boy (who we slightly knew) and they lived in the same town that we did! Isn't it a small world? When Brittney came down to spend some time with her sister, I was thrilled to finally meet them, which led to bike rides and picnics as the summer progressed. I'm so glad God created friendships!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
With Christmas coming, out comes all the family recipes and goodies to bake. The little girls and I did sugar cookies this week, using Grandma's recipe. (And no one can make sugar cookies like Grandma! They are so soft they literally melt in your mouth!) We had so much fun messing in the flour, sampling the dough (shhh---don't tell Grandma we did! [grin]), licking our sticky frosted fingers when we were all done, and last but not least, eating the final product!
Thou Great I AM,
I acknowledge and confess that all things come of Thee --
:: life, breath, happiness, advancement,
:: sight, touch, hearing,
:: goodness, truth, beauty --
:: all that makes existence amiable.
In the spiritual world also I am dependent entirely upon Thee.
Give me grace to know more of my need of grace;
Show me my sinfulness that I may willingly confess it;
Reveal to me my weakness that I may know my strength in Thee.
I thank Thee for any sign of penitence; give me more of it;
My sins are black and deep, and rise from a stony, proud, self-righteous heart;
Help me to confess them with mourning, regret, self-loathing,
with no pretence to merit or excuse;
I need healing,
Good Physician, here is scope for Thee,
come and manifest Thy power;
I need faith;
Thou who hast given it me, maintain, strengthen, increase it,
Centre it upon the Saviour's work,
:: upon the majesty of the Father,
:: upon the operations of the Spirit;
Work it in me now that I may never doubt Thee
:: as the truthful, mighty, faithful God.
Then I can bring my heart to Thee
full of love, gratitude, hope, joy.
May I lay at Thy feet these fruits grown in Thy garden,
:: love Thee with a passion that can never cool,
:: believe in Thee with a confidence that never staggers,
:: hope in Thee with an expectation that can never be dim,
:: delight in Thee with a rejoicing that cannot be stifled,
:: glorify Thee with the highest of my powers,
burning, blazing, glowing, radiating, as from Thy own glory.
Italics added --
Excerpt from The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers
Though I had never before read this particular book, as I browsed through it last night these words jumped off the page at me -- such heart is seen in these old prayers of the Puritans. I personally was blessed and challenged, and wanted to share it with you today.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
With the completion of our new CD, it brings back to mind the three days we spent in the recording studio. Even little Charissa went in for a day! We put some ear phones on her (they were bigger than she was!), held her up to the mic, and she sang right on cue!
Any ideas to what she is singing or saying?! I'd love to read your captions or quips!
No, the highest mark of wisdom is humility; it is submissiveness of spirit to God and others, that seeks advice, heeds good counsel, and takes to heart reproof.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
The desire of [my] soul is for Your name...
The more we know of God, the happier we are...When we became a little acquainted with God...our true happiness...commenced; and the more we become acquainted with Him, the more truly happy we become. What will make us so exceedingly happy in heaven? It will be the fuller knowledge of God.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Answers to prayer often come in unexpected ways. We pray, for instance, for a certain virtue; but God seldom delivers Christian virtues all wrapped in a package and ready for use. Rather He puts us in situations where by His help we can develop those virtues.
"Hear my prayer, O Lord!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Those cheeks just keep filling out!
O how she steals my heart!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
you RECEIVE my words,
and TREASURE UP my commandments with you
making your EAR ATTENTIVE to wisdom
and INCLINING YOUR HEART to understaning;
yes; if you CALL OUT for insight
and RAISE YOUR VOICE for understanding,
if you SEEK it like silver
and SEARCH for it as hidden treasures,
you will understand the fear of the Lord,
and find the knowledge of God.