Monday, August 18, 2008

A Cupcake of Coffee.

Recently, I began posting with a network of women that post every Saturday, under the heading of Then Sings My Soul Saturday. I love being a part of this. I really enjoy reading what the other women have to say, and I love having a place to reflect and report a song that ministered to me that week. This weekend a few things got in the way and I did not post mine. I felt badly enough about it that I almost did that entry today instead of this. But, I am going to save it for next, Saturday. I mention that here because some of the what I will say here will in part be repeated to a degree next, Saturday.

This past week, a dear blogging friend of mine sent me some of the Mrs. Meyer's dryer sheets, and Lavender Window Cleaner she had mentioned on her blog. By the way, until August 24th, all orders over $50 will have no shipping charges if you are interested in trying any of her products. I am very happy with them, and plan to use some of these products regularly. It has been a long time since I really enjoyed cleaning my home.

I began blogging because of this blogging lady. Kim, has an enjoyable web site and personal blog. She also has a blog for her cards. She is an amazing stamper. Her cards have been published in national stamping magazines. I really enjoy just looking at them. Well, in that package of Mrs. Meyer's products, she sent me two of her handmade cards. One card was sent to me, for me. The other card was left blank to use as I wanted. The card sent to me had the sentiment "Friends" on it. This was the first card she made using a new toy she bought. The other card was the first card she stamped after a short time off from stamping. She asked me to choose a stamp set and that would get her started. I love the set "Sweet Herbs" and she had made a beautiful card with it some time before.

When I received those two cards, I knew immediately I would frame them. She is a dear lady and friend and those cards mean something to me. I have changed over the years. I no longer decorate my house to "look" good, I fill it with those things that I have sentimental attachment to, things I love, things that make a house, my home. One of my spare bedrooms is what my family refers to as, The Pink Room. And it is. There are pink candles, a pink quilt, a Victorian chair with tapestry cover that has pink roses that belonged to my dear neighbor Joyce, the footstool that was my mother's that I recovered in pink floral tapestry. You get the idea. There are several other things in that room that are so special to me. One of those things is a my parents first bedroom suit. It is now 51 years old. Another precious thing in that room is a the Morse sewing machine that has been around since before my time, was my mother's, and I learned to sew on it. The machine is in it's original cabinet and the accessories box is still on the door. On top of that cabinet is pink potpourri that rests in a lead crystal bowl. That was one of the two pieces of crystal I gave my mother when she retired from 33 years of working for the federal government. And now... that bowl is joined by two precious framed cards.

Kim's blog is called, Coffee in the Morning, and it used to be, Coffee and a Muffin. While framing those cards, I got to thinking about "Coffee"... go figure. That was when I came up with the idea to experiment a little with coffee and cake. The result was some Coffee and Cream cupcakes. A Cupcake of Coffee, really. :~) I will not attempt false humility here, they taste GREAT! I am very happy with them and so are those that have taste tested them for me. Since these Cupcakes of Coffee were inspired by Kim, when we are able to get together in Texas, hopefully sometime soon, I will make a batch for her and her family, and whisk (no pun intended) them down to her.

Pull up chair and have a Cupcake of Coffee with me!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today, one of my daughters' and her husband are celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary. So I thought a cake might be nice. Shocker, huh? Her favorite color was always pink growing up. Alas, she has left the pretty world of pink, and as an adult become a citizen of the lovely world of lavender. So, five roses small to large, graduating in size to represent the growing in their relationship over those five years, and of course in lovely lavender. She has always loved those fun sprinkles. I sprinkled those little colored things on her Coco Wheats while she was growing up. Actually, I sprinkled color on just about everything for her. Now though she still loves the whimsy of sprinkled color, she loves the sparkle of the crystal sprinkles (and diamonds... how they do grow up).
You will see just those very crystal sprinkles on those five roses. May their marriage always have crystal communication, sparkle in romance, colorful fun adventure every step of the way, and continue to grow in every beautiful way!

I love you Melissa and Larry! Congratulations, on five years of marriage!

And as always...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Spreading some sugary sunshine.

In my neck of the woods, children went back to school today. Among them was my granddaughter. So, not having the blessing of living near a grandchild in the past, I took full advantage of the situation and made a few cupcakes to take into the school office. My granddaughter came over to the house last night to choose the cupcakes she wanted to go into the box for the secretaries. This morning with treat box in hand, I got to go with her, my daughter, her dad and younger sister to be dropped off at school. That may not sound so special to some of you, especially if maybe you have lived near grand children all along, but it was precious to me.

My granddaughter was so impressed with the cupcakes, and so excited to get them to the school that I thought I would share a few photos with you.

The first two photos are the cupcakes as my granddaughter found them when she came over. Photos will enlarge if clicked.

This next photo is of the cupcakes she chose to put in the box to take to the school.

When the office staff bites into these little treats, they will find a big burst of unexpected flavor. Each cupcake is filled with a cooked filling I make. The cupcakes are lemon, the frosting is a vanilla buttercream, and they are each filled with either a fresh lemon curd, or strawberry cream.
What fun!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays: Blessed Assurance

...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:22~23

Today's post for Then Sings My Soul Saturdays, will be short. I am thankful to be able to report that this week has been pleasantly uneventful. That being the case, I have not had one song that has been on my heart all that much more than any other. There is one though that has maybe run through my mind, and that I have sung just a little more than the rest I suppose. As I was walking earlier this morning, I was praying for one of my daughter's and her husband. Blessed Assurance ran through my mind quite a bit during that time, and I broke out singing it right there on the track. Decision made. Blessed Assurance, would be the song for this week.

I honestly wondered how long it be before one of Fanny Crosby's, precious hymns would make my Saturday, post. Fanny Crosby, was mistakenly given wrong medical treatment when an infant and as a result was blind for life. Nevertheless, she lived to be 95, and wrote over 8,000 songs based on scripture~ gospel hymns. She had an evangelical heart. Her focus was not on the amount of faith one had, but that of the object of their faith which must be Jesus Christ, and Jesus, only. The lyrics to the beautiful hymns she wrote were based on her absolute confidence in Jesus. Her confidence was not based on how she felt, but on how she knew the Bible to be infallible, absolute truth. Her assurance was based on the faithfulness of God, His Word, and His love.

I am believing for something very important in the life of my daughter and son~in~law right now. A big decision is being made this week between them. This decision has far reaching consequence, or reward. I am bringing every scripture I know out that pertains to this situation, receiving each promise that pertains to this situation, and asking God for His Will (Word) to be actualized in their lives and believing I (they) receive it. Like Fanny Crosby, I have such a blessed assurance, because I also know her Savior Jesus, and put my confidence in Him. The last verse of this precious hymn is what bore deeply into my soul as I sang; Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Thank you Jesus, for such a blessed hope.

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.


Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.


Blessed Assurance
Public Domain, 1873
Francis J. Crosby, 1820~1915
Phoebe P. Knapp, 1839~1908

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Red Pepper Vinaigrette

The day before yesterday, I decided to finish up the leftover Angel Hair pasta that was in the refrigerator. I was going to get enough healthy fat for the day from the walnuts at breakfast, the salmon at dinner and some cheese I would be having on the pasta. So, I really did not want to drizzle olive oil over the pasta. I decided to use up the last of the Newman's Own Lighten Up Italian Dressing. The bottle you see in the picture below is that emptied bottle, and is the 8 ounce size. Then, the next day I am wanting to have a nice big ol' spinach based salad. Oops... dressing??? I receive Dr. Andrew Weil's, Daily Tips and Weekly Bulletin's, in my email. I remembered seeing in one of the Weekly Bulletin's, a recipe for salad vinaigrette that I wanted to give a go some time. Seemed like just the time to do that. I had all of the necessary ingredients on hand, and went at it. The recipe below filled my empty bottle up perfectly, as you will see. Result... a very delicious way to accent your salad. This vinaigrette is so flavorful and satisfying. You know, I have known this for some time, and I am sure this will be redundant for you, but I must say how amazed and delighted I am to keep discovering how satisfied I am, how much more energy I have, and how much clearer my thinking is when I eat those foods that are healthy, and prepared the way they should be for my body to receive optimum benefit from them.

This vinaigrette has no fat in it, the ingredients are basically the staples of one's kitchen, it's a snap to make, it is very economical and so full of flavor that I have just switched from store bought, ready made dressings and vinaigrette's to this one. If you try it, please let me know what you think.

Now then, just for a side note, I wanted to mention the type of pasta I use. Barilla PLUS Pasta is the only pasta we now use. I left the white flour pasta world a long time ago. I have to admit though, I was never crazy about the whole wheat versions. Barilla PLUS tastes even better than I ever thought the white pasta did, and it is loaded with protein, fiber and Omega~3's. Yummy.... and again, satisfying.

Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Dr. Andrew Weil


1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried whole oregano
Pinches of rosemary and thyme (Big pinches as I love these flavors.)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 of a roasted red bell pepper (I did use bottled roasted red peppers.)


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix thoroughly. Simple huh?? :-)

From Cheese Curds, to Cheese Cake.

Yesterday morning, Brett Favre left the Lambeau field for the last time as a Packer, because last night Green Bay traded him to the New York Jets. I am not crying, but if I let myself go a just a little I'd be looking for every stinkin' box of facial tissue in the house. Well, I am and always will be a Packer's fan, and I will be wearing my green and gold attire throughout the season, but... I may be wearing it watching some Jets football games. My head is with Green Bay, me wittle heart is with what will always be #4 to me, Brett. So, if you think you would like to read about this, here is an article you can read. What this article lacks in happy news, it certainly made up for in photos. I have more to post today, and this is not one of my favorite posts, so...............

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Salmon: it's what's for dinner.

Last night for dinner we had:

Honey~Soy Broiled Salmon
Toasted Almonds in Rice Pilaf
Fresh Green Beans

The salmon was really good. I was surprised at how much flavor the marinade offered. And, it is so quick and easy to make. Not to mention everything from the salmon to sesame seeds are items I usually have on hand. It was so good, I thought I would share the recipe with you. I did not realize how good it was going to be, so I did not plan to post about it, and so it was eaten before I snapped a photo. Sorry. Having told you all of that, I will now share with you a little something my husband, (my burger, hot dog, pizza, processed and~or fast food loving husband), emailed me this morning.

This is the comic my husband sent me this morning.
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No matter, it was healthy, delicious and satisfying. So, I pass the recipe sans photo along to you.

Honey-Soy Sauce Broiled Salmon

1 scallion, minced (I call them spring onions, you may call them green onions)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 pound salmon fillet cut into 4 portions
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (see Tip)

1. Whisk scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Place salmon in a zip lock style plastic bag, add 3 (I used 5) tablespoons of the sauce, seal bag and refrigerate; let marinate for 15 minutes (I marinated for an hour). Reserve the remaining sauce.
2. Preheat broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Transfer the salmon to the pan, skinned-side down. (Discard the marinade.) Broil the salmon 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes(I turned salmon over and broiled for another 3 minutes on the opposite side to caramelize the honey a bit). Drizzle with the reserved sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

TIP: To toast seeds: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

My adaptation of a the recipe from EATINGWELL: The Magazine of Food & Health
Copyright 2005 Eating Well, Inc.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Guess who is 3?

As always, click on pictures you want to enlarge.

Yes, this granddaughter turned 3 years old earlier this summer. We went to see Junie B. Jones, and get our all of our Junie B. Jones, books signed~stamped by Junie herself for this beautiful little girls' 3rd birthday. But this birthday party is because...

Baxter, is three!

Okay, I am not nuts, or obsessive with the dog. I am an empty nester that likes to make cakes and celebrate birthdays! Okay?? Okay. Let us move on, shall we? Oh incidentally, there is a lovely lady that has a beautiful blog over at Sweet Cottage Dreams. She has a post that involves her Scottie Duhgall's birthday, where she had a bagpipe player play for an hour. Click here to check that out. You may have to scroll up once you get there. Hummm.. wonder if he would stop by next summer for Baxter's 4th birthday?

Now let's move on. I have decorated cakes in the traditional flowery way. I have drawn Pooh Bear, Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake and many other character's and scenes on cakes. I have even carved cakes to resemble trains, airplanes and other objects. But, I had never carved and decorated a Scottie cake. So I thought Baxter's 3rd birthday just might be the time to give it a go.
I used dark fudge frosting because the black is bitter. This week however, I did learn two tricks of the trade on how to make the black and not have it be bitter. So now, I can use black for more than just filling in small areas. There will be next year. :~)

My granddaughters thought the cake was really great. I love their faces here!

This was Baxter's 2nd birthday. My daughter and her girls were visiting, and they brought their Westie, Sassy to celebrate. No they did not come across 31/2 states just for Baxter's birthday, that was just a perk.

Umm... mom did not make that cake but it was good.

This was Baxter's first birthday cake. What fun!

We had a backyard BBQ complete with lots of friends and family. Good times!

The next few pictures are just a few I chose to put on here because... well because it is my blog, my dog, it is about him, and I wanted to share them with you.
Taking an award at at a Scottish Terrier fund raiser picnic, for being obedient and showing well. Baxter, was a little over one. Baxter is not a rescue, but I have considered rescuing a Scottie. I'd certainly like to have another one.

Happy times!

Proud times!

Baxter, also took first in the Patriot costume category. His costume tied for first in overall good costume. Yep! I made that one. If you go to find the pattern, forget it. I had to make the pattern for Sherlock's cloak and hat.
More good times!

Probably, I enjoy our time grooming better than Baxter, does. But it is a good time of bonding. I originally took these photos to do a little tutorial on grooming Scotties, since Kim requested it. When I told her I would do that, I did not realize having Jon, in the room to take the photos would distract Baxter, so much. It was hard to for him to focus, he just wanted to play with, Jon. So, Jon could not stay and I could not really get a decent tutorial off. Kim, I hope these will do.




and snip.

I have no intention of giving any one of these up, especially this nice new shiny one I got today!!!

Long day. Great day, but long. Somebody is pooped!

Happy Birthday, Baxter!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Favre, "4" on the 4th.

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It's official! Green Bay Packers number 4 Brett Favre, today August 4th, is back on the field. His brief retirement over, he will be playing for the Packers this season. I'd love to be at Lambeau Field today at noon to watch Commissioner Goodell, reinstate Brett Favre to the Green Bay Packers' active roster. He could be on the practice field as early as, Tuesday. Good week to be in Green Bay, Wisconsin!

Welcome Back, Brett!!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays: Because He Lives

Glenn Cornelius Raber
May 12, 1929
July 27, 2008

Of all the hymns and praise choruses I have been exposed to, there are just a few that come to mind and become so real to me over and over again, when hard times hit. Because He Lives, is one of them. After posting on Then Sings My Soul Saturdays last week, I began to wonder what song would weigh on my heart this week that I would be as eager to write about as I was, At Calvary. When Jon, and I got home the following day, Sunday, at about 1:00 in the afternoon, there was a message on our voice mail. Jon's aunt had phoned. Her message was to tell us, Jon's dad had passed away at noon. Our brisk and energetic "Let's go for a bike ride" mindset immediately shifted to somber, still, quietness. In less than one moment's time, my husbands life had changed. Before the stillness of that moment was interrupted with the sound of the laying down of the phone receiver, that beautiful hymn Because He Lives, began in my head. Throughout this past week, I have tried to sing others, even play worship music, but all I can hear is, Because He Lives.

Because Jon's, parents have been failing in health, he has been reading what the Word of God, has to say about sorrow and grief. These are are a few of the things Jon, and I have learned about this subject. To begin with, we both know and understand that there is sadness when a loved one passes away, even when we have the assurance they are in Glory. But, we have learned so much about emotions and how the enemy of our souls would love to suffocate us with sorrow and grief, that if we choose to swim in it, it will drown us for sure. That is always Satan's goal for us. His only goal for us is to steal from us what he can, kill or destroy us. But you see, Jesus took and carried our grief and sorrow with Him to the Cross at Calvary. We really do not have to "grieve" or have overwhelming "sorrow". We can cast that at the foot of the Cross and exchange it for peace and joy. Will we have times of sadness? Yes. Will we have a longing to restore what we have lost? Absolutely. Tears? Plenty already, yes. Will we become despondent and give into out of control grief and sorrow? No. Will we need to seek help? Only at the Cross. We have a place to take all of the sadness, grief and sorrow. I have lost a mother, father, brother and lots of dreams as well. I know how deeply this can hurt. I know we have to acknowledge the loss. But, I also know that we have the ability to choose to fix our eyes, and keep our mind on Jesus, and receive unspeakable and amazing peace and joy. Jon, knows this too.

While in Athens, Paul became concerned about the new church he had planted in, Thessalonica. He sent Timothy, to check on them. Timothy took good news back to Paul, as the the Thessalonian's were thriving spiritually. Paul, wanted to go and see them, but he had more to do some miles away in, Corinth. So typical of Paul, he wrote to them. This letter did not contain his normal theology, it was a letter of gratitude for their continued faith in hard times, and encouragement. One of the most beautiful and freeing things he tells them is in 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.

I am not going to expound on all he taught them there, and in other places in scripture. I am only going to point out here that as Christian's, we do have hope, and we do not have to grieve like those that don't. Basically, the teaching about that is condensed in my paragraph above. Isaiah 51:11 says,

[The Lord God says] And the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing to Zion; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

It is not God's intention for us to live defeated. He gave us Jesus, to give us a way to live in victory. Instead of the shoulda, woulda, coulda's of losing another loved one, Jon and I choose to fix our eyes on our hope in glory, Christ Jesus.

Bill Gaither, wrote this wonderful hymn when our country was in unrest, the Viet Nam war, and when the the "God is dead" movement was so strong. Both he and Gloria, were so discouraged over bringing their soon to be born baby into a world in such wretched conditions. By the time their son was born, and they saw him with their own eyes, they were reminded and renewed in their faith. While holding that baby and just gazing on him, they were reassured that Because He [Jesus] Lives, tomorrow is worth living, fear gives way to victory and there is a bright future with hope because of, Jesus. After a long dry time of not writing songs, Bill Gaither gave us this amazing hymn of Victory!

'nuff said.

Song lyrics | Because He Lives lyrics

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

Because He Lives
Words and music by William J. Gaither
© 1971

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bible study brunch, and a bit more.

This summer, Tuesday's became one of my very favorite days. If you have read my July, 9th post, you already know Jon, and I have found a good church here in, Oklahoma. However, they have slowed down for Summer, and things like classes, fellowship groups and Bible studies are suspended until, Autumn. The beginning of June, my daughter and her children were here from Texas, visiting her sister that lives here, and I. While here, both of my girls' children went to Vacation Bible School. Of course every morning, Nana was there waving, hugging and kissing the sweet little eager faces of her very beautiful grandchildren as they were going into the church. In that process, I met some very wonderful women. These women had begun a Bible study that would continue through the middle of, July. After I made some inquiries, one woman took my phone number and said she would pass it on to the woman that should talk with me about this study. That afternoon a dear woman called and was happy to tell me all about it. They met on Tuesday's, and they were reading a novel authored by Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love. Ms. River's, inspiration for this novel and the basic story line was derived from the book of Hosea, in the Bible. She said I was very welcome to come that next, Tuesday. She did not need to invite me twice. I bought the book and off I went.

Now there are two things here I want to say. First, for some time now God, has had me in the "Love Camp". Yep, the "Love Camp". About two years ago I became serious enough about wanting God's plan for my life to be actualized that I began pressing in and seeking Him on just what that would be. In my time with Him, He began to speak to me about how important it is to receive His love, and how few really do. As I have continued in studying what God's love is, I have learned so much. For instance, you can not separate God, from His love because He is Love. Love is not an entity, it is, God. Love is a powerful force and not just some fluffy feeling we like to experience. The truth of the matter is, without it our faith does not work. I have learned so much about what love, God's kind of love looks like.

The passages highlighted above are probably familiar to you, they were to me. But these and so many more are no longer merely "passages" of scripture that are handy to know, they are becoming engraved on my heart. Every time I look in scripture, I see a new aspect of love. Every time I hear a sermon or teaching, hymn or praise chorus, I see a new aspect of love. I am not kidding you, I have been living in the "Love Camp", for two years. Oh, and that is another thing. I am really fond of studying the scriptures about abiding in, God. Well, that is ALL about love. No matter where I turn, God is teaching me what love is, how to recognize it, how to show it, and its value. I am seeing just how little I have really known about it. So, was any surprise that the title of the book these ladies were reading was, Redeeming Love? Of course not. Anytime I press into something anymore, I run into one of the streets in the "Love Camp". I used be a little astonished when I would bump into an opportunity to learn about, or I would receive a revelation about God’s love. Now, I not only expect it, but look for it. I have just gone ahead and built a little cottage and moved my furniture into, the "Love Camp". That is where God wants me to live, to abide, and so there I am and will stay unless He moves me on.

The second thing I want to say, is that I see no need to read material wrought with emotionally upsetting subject matter. This book revolved around such themes. I was somewhat comforted to find I was not the only woman there that held this view. The overall message of love expressed through forgiveness is portrayed, but the path to get there is so jaded with troubling matter that the overall message pales in its outcome. I think the author is good enough that she could have found a way to convey the plight of the human condition without Jesus, some other way. It was like cussing. Those words are available to use, and certainly make a point. There are other ways to say the same thing though, and without being objectionable or distasteful.

Reading this kind of material makes just about as much sense as asking a panel of male church leaders to peruse Playboy, Hustler, and a few other pornographic publications so they could see the exact condition of their male drive, their human condition, and how deeply they need a Savior. What you allow into the portals of your mind, your eyes in this case, is in, and remains there. Perhaps such an exercise would have a measure of a positive effect on those church leaders. But the seed of decay has already been planted.

My ears do not itch for drama. In fact, I avoid exposing myself to those things that are upsetting and are the peace and joy thieves of our lives. If there is no place for me in being a part of the solution, I don’t involve myself. Reading such emotionally disturbing material is not something I can bring resolve to for anyone, and it only opens the door for troubling thoughts for myself. I do not need to be rocked from some place of complacency an author assumes I as a reader am in, to see the need for and beauty of forgiveness, and how it is directly related to God’s Love. I make it a lifestyle to practice the wisdom of, Proverbs 4:23.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. NLT

It is amazing where my mind and my heart can go if I do not guard them.

Philippians 4:7b says,

His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

I found no peace in some of the scenes I did read in that book. It honestly did not take me long to put it down. The last thing I read in that book will ensure that I never pick it up again. I guess I am not a the means justify the end, kind of girl.

I realize Ms. Rivers, is an incredibly popular author and perhaps, though I doubt it, I may try another one of her books from the Lion Series, or Unafraid, or most likely the children’s edition of, The Shoe Box.

I did get off on a bit of a trail there. But, it was not a wandering haphazard rambling rabbit trail. I want to cause every reader of this post to stop and think about what you read, watch and listen to. Remember, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life". And, the way we think determines how we are, how we behave, what we know and believe. Those things we allow in our minds, form our thought patterns. Begin evaluating what your mind feeds on. Judge it. And then guard your heart by protecting it from the deposit of disturbing material. You will be so happy you did, and once you begin to filter those things out that deviate from edifying or blessing you, that are in fact unsettling and truly not necessary, you will begin to experience joy and peace that you won’t let anything steal from you. I have a long way to go in my walk with the Lord, but this guarding of my heart I know a little something about, and am so glad I do.

Now to bring this to full circle. I did enjoy my time with these ladies. Though I did not immerse myself in this novel, I was able to be a part of it all because the real subject matter revolved around the redeeming love God, shows His people in, Hosea. That I had a good grip on and our conversations were so candid and enriching. Scripture was brought out and discussed from throughout the, Bible. They are a great group of women and I honestly plan to continue in Bible study with them when they begin in two weeks, even when my church starts things back up full swing in the Autumn. There are three different studies to choose from for the fall. The one I have chosen is, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by, Joanna Weaver. My daughter told me a couple of years ago that it was a good book, so I bought it. Being a Martha, life got in the way and I never read it. Learning to be a Mary, I have dug it out, dusted it off, and very excited to get to the first meeting after our little break.

We ended our time together for a short break for Summer with a brunch. I took some Deviled Eggs, grapes and olives.

I realize this post probably comes off a little harsh and maybe preachy. But, I have grown to really care about those of you that read this blog. I care enough that I want to share those things that I have found to be valuable to me, with you. The things I would want you to share with me if they did me good. So, if this seemed to not be as fluffy and "feel good" as some other fun posts, please take it in the manner it was given, love.