Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking Forward

Since a new year is almost here, I thought I would share some of the Bible study and devotional resources I will be using next year.

I have used a couple of year-long Bible reading programs in the past that I have liked, but this year I have fallen in love with the One Year Chronological Bible. I use it in conjunction with Wendy Pope's blog. She has a daily lesson to go along with each days reading. This has really helped hold me accountable. You can also have the daily readings delivered to your inbox if you don't want to buy the Bible.

Another resource I have enjoyed using is Proverbs 31's devotions. I get these in my email every weekday. They are very well done and include journaling ideas and reflection questions.

I will also be doing the Siesta Scripture Team on Beth Moore's blog. I did this 2 years ago, and it was so much fun. I'm really glad she decided to do it again this year.

I hope you find some of this helpful. What are you planning on using next year?

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Word of the Year

Did you know austerity is the official word of 2010? You can read about it here. Austerity means "enforced or extreme economy". Based on that definition, I suppose 2010 was a very austere year.

My official word for 2010 was contentment. At the end of 2009 I started to think about what I wasn't, and what I was struggling to be. The word content kept coming to mind. I wanted to stop wanting things, and to start being content with what I already had.

My first step in making contentment my word was to find a corresponding verse to go along with it. I chose 1 Timothy 6:6, "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth". I wrote this verse down in several places and memorized it. Then I sat back and waited for opportunities to practice being content. Trust me when I tell you I had opportunities to practice contentment coming out of my ears.

My word for 2011 will be ministry. Russty is lead worship again, and all those old feelings of inadequacy are already popping up. the verse I have selected for this year is 1 Corinthians 15:58, " strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless". I also want to learn more about ministering through my Bible study and reading this year.

Is there anything you want to work on this year?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

French Dip Sandwiches

A couple of years ago, I found this recipe for French Dip sandwiches. It is very tasty and it uses one of my favorite appliances...the crock pot.

                                                French Dip Sandwiches
                                                3-4 pound rump roast
                                                1 can beef consomme soup
                                                1 package au jus mix
                                                1 package Italian dressing mix

                                   Combine the consomme with the au jus and Italian
                                   dressing mixes. Cook on low for 10-11 hours. Serve
                                   on sandwich rolls with the juices for dipping. Add
                                   cream of mushroom soup and sour cream to leftover
                                   meat and juices to make stroganoff for the next night.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gramma's Fudge

My Gramma Savery made delicious fudge. She usually served it as an appetizer to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner, so whenever the holidays come around I get a serious craving for it. This is the closest recipe I have found to it. It is super easy and very good.

                                       Peanut Butter and Chocolate Layer Fudge
                                          1&1/2 cups chocolate chips
                                          1&1/2 cups peanut butter chips
                                          1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Melt peanut butter chips with half a can of the milk.
Stir til smooth. Spread in 8x8 pan lined with wax paper.
melt chocolate chips with half  can of milk. Stir til smooth.
Spread on top of peanut butter. Cool in the fridge for 3 hour
Remove fudge from pan and cut into squares. Makes 32.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Review:Just Between You and Me

I read a lot. One of the things I wanted to do on this blog is discuss some of the books I read throughout the year. One that I read this week is Just Between You and Me by Jenny B. Jones. I will start right out by saying I liked it. It was a quick, easy read. I like that kind of book.

Just Between You and Me is about woman named Maggie who has to return to her hometown to care for her young niece. Of course she has to confront her old life, which she has spent years trying to get away from. She also has to confront painful memories of her mother's death, and her own fears.

There is definitely a strong message in this book about giving your fears over to God, and going out on a limb to do what He wants you to do. I thought the author did a fairly good job getting her point across without being too preachy. The main character in the book is smart and sassy. I enjoyed getting to know her through out the book. By the end, I was really rooting for her to get everything worked out.

 I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys chick-lit or romance. It's a fun book with a good message. And that ladies and gentlemen is my first book review.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. We did. I am always relieved when the turkey comes out of the oven, and I realize I haven't ruined it. It tasted very good this year, and to my delight and surprise there was a gravy packet in the turkey! I am now a loyal Jenny-O customer.

We put our tree up on Friday and decorated the house. It looks great. I may try to put a picture up in a few days. Today I wanted to talk music. I am a musician. I love music. And I really love Christmas music. I still have the first Christmas carol book I played out of when I was 7 years old. I have very fond memories of listening to Christmas music growing up. My mom was partial to Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, and Evie. Over the years I have collected my own favorites. Here they are in no particular order:

                                                Christmas - Michael W Smith
                                                Christmastime-Michael W Smith
                                                It's the Thought That Counts - Twila Paris
                                                Peace On Earth - Casting Crowns
                                                One Christmas Eve - Wayne Watson
                                                A Christmas Story - Point of Grace

I must say, Christmas by Michael W Smith is probably my favorite. It came out shortly after Russty and I were married. Listening to it makes me feel like a newly wed again. What are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

I mentioned yesterday that I might be trying a pumpkin bread recipe. My mom loves pumpkin bread, and she has mentioned several times that she has had trouble finding it in the Walmart bakery this year. Well, the thought of my mother wandering through the Walmart bakery not finding pumpkin bread broke my heart. Of course I pulled every cook book I owned off the shelf, and made finding a good recipe a priority.

As it turned out , I only found one. It is very good. I have set one loaf aside for my mother, and the other we have been nibbling off of all morning. Here it is. It goes really well with coffee.

                                            Pumpkin Bread

                                            1&1/2 cups sugar
                                            1/2cup oil
                                            2 eggs
                                            1/3 cup cold water
                                            1 cup pumpkin
                                            1/2 chopped nuts
                                            1 3/4 all purpose flour
                                            1 teaspoon baking soda
                                            1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
                                            1 teaspoon cinnamon
                                            1/4 teaspoon salt
                                            1/2 cup chopped dates

Cream together sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time, then add water and pumpkin. Sift and add the flour, baking soda , nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Makes 2 loaves. Wrap in foil immediately to retain moisture.

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving  tomorrow? I think I am. I have reviewed the turkey and gravy tutorials on, my turkey is thawed, and I am ready to wrestle it into submission tomorrow morning.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Banana Bread

I love baked goods. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, muffins, 'em. Give me a muffin and a cup of coffee and I am happy. I have a very tasty banana bread recipe I thought I would share today. I baked it last night so we could have it for breakfast this morning. Yes, I had it with a cup of coffee, and yes, I was happy. Here it is:

                                  Banana Bread
                                  1 cup of butter or margarine
                                  1/2 cup of white sugar
                                  1/2 cup of brown sugar
                                  1 cup ripe mashed bananas
                                  2 cups all-purpose flour
                                  2 eggs
                                  1 teaspoon baking soda
                                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                  1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Cream butter and sugar, add all other ingredients. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Serve warm with butter or cream cheese spread ( and coffee).

I might be trying my hand at pumpkin bread tonight. We'll see. Do any of you have any recipes that go great with coffee? I'd love to try them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My First Post

I have been wanting to blog for a while. I look at other people's blogs and think "wow, that would be fun". Then the reality sets in that I would have to write about something. That presents a problem since I tend be shy. So this is an experiment for me. Can I come up with things to write about? We'll see. It should be fun.