Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fall Time

I love this time of year.  Football has officially started, my son is in school, and all the beautiful things that happen in fall.  Even though I currently live in a warm climate I still see a change in the air.  There is something fall like about the clouds even if it's still 87 degrees out.  The breeze is a little different and I'll be excited when next month we will be able to go to the pumpkin patch.  I love the messy job of scraping out all the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin and baking them.  It's a fun project to do with any toddler just as long as your outside.  :)

I really love putting up fall decor as well.  There is something renewing about fall leaves to me.  The beautiful transformation leaves make is just so dang pretty.  I am a creature who loves and even craves change so maybe that is another reason why I really love fall.  To me it's just another leg of the journey but change brings a new opportunity to be better for God.

Today I got a request to post my famous pumpkin bread recipe as well.  I'm really looking forward to making it.  I make it a lot during the fall months.  Not only does it taste yummy but it makes your whole house smell so good.  To me scents of fall like cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin are so very comforting.

Without further ado.  I present the best pumpkin bread recipe ever!!

 Bella Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground saigon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 7 x 3 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix oil, sugar, and eggs together in a large bowl. Mix in pumpkin puree and water. Stir together flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add to the pumpkin mixture, and mix until just combined. Divide batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on wire racks.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Faith Like a Child

Ever since I read the book "Heaven is for Real" I've been seriously thinking about what Jesus said about having "faith like a child".

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."
-Luke 18:17

However, during dinner while my son was physically dissatisfied with what I made for him I realized something.  I'm sure when God asks me to do something or directs me in a direction that I don't want to do, I act exactly like my son.  I'm sure I throw temper tantrums screaming, "No, no I don't want to" or "but why do I have to".   Sure we might be tired when God asks us to do something but He expects us to obey Him, after all, He first loved us.

I can't expect my son to obey me without first obeying my heavenly Father.  I must be the example otherwise I'm just a dictator.  

And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and obey him.”
-Joshua 24:24

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Taking a Step Forward

Those were the words my pastor said Sunday.  I felt compelled that I need to be taking a step forward in my life.  God wants us to live with the JOY He has given us.

It's sometimes hard not to think about the wrong in the world or what is not going right.  Honestly I am happier thinking about what is going right or the good news of the world.  I like to surround myself with positive people because it is infectious.  Not to deny that there aren't bad people and bad things in the world but we don't have to hold that on our shoulders.  It's not our burden to carry.  That's the wonderful news about Jesus is that HE wants us to 'cast our cares' on Him.

The hard lesson I've learned is that it doesn't make you a stronger person to hold on or to carry those burdens all by yourself.  The weight will only bring you down and create anger and bitterness.

So why are you carrying all those burdens on your shoulders???

22 Cast your cares on the LORD 
   and he will sustain you; 
he will never let 
   the righteous be shaken.
-Psalm 55:22

Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
-Luke 11:46

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
-Psalm 68:19

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
-1 Peter 5:7

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let the Waters Rise

I was just listening to one of my current favorite songs.  "Let the Waters Rise" by Mike's Chair.  I think that song is so appropriate yet harsh for some.  Do you welcome the waters or do you run away??

In less than 3 weeks we've gone through an earthquake, a huge thunderstorm followed by a few days of a huge power outage, followed by our electric company workers going on strike, and now a Tsunami.  This is the 2nd tsunami I've experienced and feel we've been really lucky both times.  Times like this make you really have island fever.  All the what ifs.

However, all these things make me realize how powerful God is.  He has His hand in everything!!!  He is always protecting us.  Even though in the midst of the storm it sometimes feels like He places me in the desert, He is ALWAYS there.  With that I take great comfort.

We can choose to let fear become unbelief or we can set it aside and decide to trust God in everything.

I'm so thankful all our military members and families are safe tonight but we must not forget our brothers and sisters we lost and those that so desperately need our prayers right now.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Theology Class & Some Prayer: Week 3

Another great week at class.  We learned about Baptism, What Does It Mean to commit Blasphemy, and Gifts.  To be honest it blew me away.

I don't before tonight I thought about all the different kinds of Baptisms there are, What does the Bible say about it, etc.  I just knew I was baptised as a child and then again in August 2010.  Of course I knew I needed to be baptised after giving my life to God but I don't think it was important to me until God convicted me of it.  I didn't ever want to be one of those people who are just "going through the motions" of being a child of Christ.  I wanted to know it was right to do it in my heart.  Besides what good is it if it's not coming from your heart.  God knows the truth and that's what mattered to me.

Blasphemy.  That is a word that I thought I understood.  What I really didn't understand is, is it really unforgivable.  What if a person who committed blasphemy but then later in life became a Christian, would they be accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven.  What if I committed blasphemy in my youth and never realized it.  My pastor posed a great statement though.  If you are thinking about what if I did that before I was saved you didn't do it.  Blasphemy is a reference to people with hardened hearts who keep refusing to see God's goodness, God's miracles, His Son.

The Pastor also talked about receiving the fullness of the spirit.  What Gifts do you have and how to receive empowerment for them.  I think you can read things in the Bible about Fruit of the Spirit or reaping the rewards of fruit.  For me I didn't really understand what that all meant.  My Pastor really clarified it all through a simple drawing.  Imagine a lush fruit tree.  There are 3 elements which are needed for that tree to bare fruit.  Sun, rain, and good soil.  The tree by itself can't force fruit to grow from it's branches without help.  With the help of these elements it has beautiful fruit.  Similarly to our faith.  Without God's word and the Holy Spirit we can't bare fruit.  We can't experience empowerment with our spiritual gifts if we don't ask God to help us desire out gifts.  We don't choose our own gifts.

That lead into a beautiful closing of the class.  Another class next door to us at the church is on Prayer and Healing.  If we wanted we could get prayer for empowerment of our gifts.  My flesh wasn't really wanting to but I felt my heart said yes.  So I went and 2 wonderful ladies layed their healing hands on me in prayer.  It was awesome.  I left with an intense warming feeling that I couldn't quite comprehend.  On the drive home God really solidified my gift for helping other women. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Theology Class: Week 2

Where do I begin.  It was another great class.  I just wish it was longer.  Tonight the class was on Repentance, What is Faith, and Who is Christ.  It was a really abbreviated amount of info.  This is just what was on my mind about these things.

I've realized I've never gone further than looking up the definition of repentance.  Tonight's class really made me look at things I need to repent on.  I use to think because I wasn't committing a major sin that I was a "good person".  With some things I felt guilty or I just understood what I was doing was wrong.  When really that is just the beginning of repentance.  I really need to have an emotional connection (crying out to God) and finally a personal decision to renounce the sin.  The main question I really need to keep asking myself is How is my sin offending God.

In retrospect I face a lot of temptations but to fight temptation, that's the true test of character.  Even Jesus was tempted.  I think you can get a better grasp on this idea by watching the beginning scene of the movie "The Passion of the Christ".  Jesus is praying and being tempted by Satan.  I think too often we think that Jesus didn't experience the same emotions as we do.  So often we can miss temptation in our own lives because we give into feelings of resistance.  For example I LOVE food.  Especially at night I get this sweet craving and become tempted to eat or over eat.  So many times I don't think of the temptation part...just the part of how "good" it will taste.

What is Faith??  To me it's more of a feeling, sometimes an action word.  Since I was young I've always known God was near me.  It wasn't until I was 24 did I really experience His love but I've always known God created me for a special purpose.  So faith to me was knowing what is in my heart.  I've always felt my heart was connected to God.  Faith to me is also an action word.  It's a confidence in knowing that God is in control.

Who is Christ??  What a loaded question.  I'm sure I'll always be trying to wrap my little brain around who Christ is.  Like I mentioned earlier Christ faced the same temptations we do everyday.  One question that I'll be praying about is did Christ have a super strength when it came it temptation.  Of course he was Jesus and as John 5:58 says, "before Abraham was, I am".  He is the foundational belief of being fully man and fully God.  How awesome is that!!
He had human weakness and limitation.  When I think of this I think of all the rejection Jesus faced as a man.  Yet He had enough strength to know He was the ultimate sacrifice.  He didn't resist the temptation to flee from harm.  He was the example of a perfectly obedient life.

I could probably write so much more but I'm emotionally and physically tired from everything going on.

Until next week...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My new Theology Class

Just got back from my first ever Theology class.  Lets just say it answered a lot of questions of mine but I feel like I really don't know much about God.  For starters have you ever just sat and thought about God's everlasting, his eternal presence.  Look to your left and just keep looking and looking and he is there and all the things you can's see, he is there.  Now do the same thing but look to your right.  We can't understand how vast, wide, or that His love is big.  But how big is it??  It's not something you can contain.

My only emotion right now is WOW.  It hurts my head to think how he loves us.  As it says in the bible his love stretches from everlasting to everlasting.  To try to understand this in the physical world we live in is mind boggling.  IT doesn't make sense because His LOVE is so HUGE!!!!

I feel like I've been running a marathon and now God has given me this new strength, this new perspective of what he wants to reveal to me.  How AWESOME IS THAT!!!!

A big question that has bothering me to try to understand is:  THE TRINITY.  And also what are the differences between Body, Soul, and Spirit.  What do they mean and how do they relate to how God wants them to line up, to synch.

We all have bodies.  But what is your soul, and your spirit??  Before we were saved christians we may have a body and a soul but have a spiritually dead "spirit".  That made so much sense to me because I know what it's like to be spirtually dead.  Maybe a more appropriate question is how to wake up our spirit.  How can we learn how to connect with the body and soul.
We can be surrounded by the most perfect spiritual experience but have no feeling in that area.  It takes God drawing you into Him to awaken that deadness.  So you can cry and feel connected to God, possibly not knowing how you got there but nevertheless you are there and your "trinity" per se  is in unison.

What an eye opening night filled with feeling like I'm surrounded by HIS love!!