Thursday, April 28, 2011

Did you pray first?

A dear, dear friend reminded me of something very simple yet hard. She didn't ask, "Did you pray first" as an admonishment. No, she asked it in love and as a reminder to herself as well.

Something awful happens. What do I do? Reach for the phone to call a friend. When really, yes really, I should be going to God.

My Sunday School class talked about this very thing a few Sundays ago. Why is this so hard? We all agreed we like to hear a person on the phone. We feel like we are "heard". We like the instant gratification of spilling our guts and "hearing" a voice saying it is going to be okay or giving advice or simply acknowledging.

There is nothing wrong with talking to friends when you are having the worse day "ever". Nothing. In fact it is wonderful. However, when I go to friends first, I usually take God out of the equation all together. Sad thing to admit but it is painfully true.

And, while my friend and I were talking this morning, she posted two small post-it-notes saying "Pray first" on her phone and on her computer. Excellent idea!

So, all that to say....I encourage you to not take God out of your bad days and go to Him first. THEN pick up the phone or email. Friends are wonderful and God made us friends for a reason. But it wasn't to replace Him.

I needed that reminder today.

My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me."
And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming."
Psalm 27:8

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This Makes Me Happy

This was on GMA this morning. Watch here... [you will need to sit through a commercial but it is worth the wait!]


Doesn't that just make your day a whole lot brighter?!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Praying for Your Future Husband

Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His by authors Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer is a must for single women. I would have appreciated this wisdom and truth when I was young and single.

As a married woman and mom, in all honesty, when I first read the title I thought, Oh boy. Another how-to book that is probably full of fairy tales. I can officially say I was wrong. Really wrong. The book is filled with honest life stories from the authors as well as "guests" who have implemented praying for their future husbands.

Praying for Your Future Husband is full of encouragement, not condemnation. The authors do a wonderful job of showing not only will this make a difference in the life of your mate, but, also grows your relationship in Christ. What may start out as a one way conversation with God about your future man becomes a triangle effect between you, God and the future spouse when you pray.

What I like about the book is Robin and Tricia's stories are at different ends of the spectrum yet similar. With differing life stories in the book, it makes it realistic and will relate to a vast audience. The same holds true for those who contributed their story in the book as examples.

Honestly, I had the same question swirling around my head while reading: Some people just never get married. What about that situation, huh?! I believe my question was answered in the chapter about contentment. So, don't throw this book out before reading it if you are wondering the same.

Jammed packed with honesty, wisdome, prayers for your future husband, prayers for you, scripture, discussion questions, a few pages to journal a bit, and of course the many real life stories from real women, this book will appeal to many and be used in various settings.

A side note: my 17 year old daughter got a hold of this book the day it arrived in the mail...she finished it in a matter of hours, not days! Granted she didn't read the discussion questions or journal in the few areas provided or take time to really think about what she read. But read it quickly knowing I needed to review it.

Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer have written a book truly needed in todays culture. Bravo, ladies, for listening and obeying God's calling!

FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Shout out... friends.

Almost all of us have them.

Whether a mom, an aunt, a boy, a girl, a sister or brother, a mentor.

It isn't someone who you necessarily see or talk to every day.

It isn't someone who has to be your same age.

Those friends you thought you'd always be friends with from high school? You'll be lucky if you have one of those same friends by the time you are 20. Sad, but true.

There will be seasonal friends who come in your life at the right moment. Then, you slowly loose touch later on.

Friends come in all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds.

What is really important in a friend is loyalty, trustworthiness, ability to listen, and just plain being there.

It is someone you'd do anything for...within the legal aspects of the law...

Friends don't hold all the answers (only God does).

But, God certainly can whisper words of wisdom to a friend when offering advice.

Go to God first but remember a true friend is always there to listen to those sobbing moments in your life.

May you have wonderful friends.

And, may you become and be a wonderful friend to others.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

For Real

I just finished the book Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent.

It is good people, real good.

I laughed.
I cried.
I had holy goosebumps.
I'd say that means it is a well rounded book! ☺

I've read books before about Heaven from adult experiences. And to tell you the truth, I had a hard time believing some of the words written. I guess coming from adults, it is hard for me not to be cynical.

But, this was a 3 year old (almost 4) boy telling his parents things that are impossible for a 3 year old to know. At first the dad, who is also a pastor, kept thinking his son's Sunday School teachers were doing a superb job! However, as the son slowly begins to share information over a number of years with his mom and dad, it is extremely convincing that the little boy did spend some time in Heaven.

I have to admit there were times in the beginning of the book I questioned whether the parents were making this up. But as I read more and more, that thought was quickly pushed out of my head. There are scriptures to back up things the little boy said...scriptures a little boy of 3 or 4 would not understand nor be able to read for himself. And there are other people who witnessed him talking about when he was with Jesus. I don't want to give any of the book away but there are so many convincing statements.

Dancer daughter read the book first. She read it one Sunday afternoon. All of it. In one sitting. This is not normal.

It was a borrowed book so I knew I needed to read it before the following Sunday to get it back to my friend. I read it over a two day span...but ONLY because I had to keep getting up to do things... you know, like the laundry, dishes, make phone things.

I highly, highly recommend this book. If it isn't in your church library or local library, check it out here at amazon or another online store you like. It is worth the time to read it and the money to purchase.

Here is a video clip of the family on the Today show in March.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Operation Bundt Cake

a.k.a. The Great Bundt Cake Debacle. The title should give you a hint how my Friday went...or didn't go!

Plans were to make this fabulous Cinnamon Bread (recipe below annndddd, you're welcome) in the morning. In the afternoon, make my husband a birthday cake. After birthday cake accomplished, clean!

Alright. I can hear you laughing at my "plan" already!

I will confess. I do not own a bundt pan. But my dad does. I made this recipe before but in a 9x13 pan. The middle didn't get quite done...we could still eat it, but not quite done. I was helping out my daughter by making this for her. She needed an item to donate to her youth group auction this past Saturday. So, I borrowed my dad's bundt pan.

Just get a bundt pan, pour it in, throw in oven...easy peasy, right?! Yeah, that is were my plans were destroyed!

Apparently there is some sort of secret method of getting a cake/bread out of a bundt pan. Who knew?!

Attempt one (yes, you're starting to see the picture, aren't you?!) wasn't pretty. It didn't pull away from the sides but it was clearly done. So take it out of the oven and wonder what to do. I finally decide I'd flip it upside down (sadly, classic rookie mistake) on the plate. Sounds easy, right?! Wrong! Only half of the cake decided it wanted to come out of the pan and say hi to the plate. The other half was seriously shy. Not salvageable. My mistake? I think it was because I used cooking spray and not "grease and flour" as the recipe directed.

I really debated on what to do. I thought about making it again but this time in two bread pans. But it wouldn't look as pretty to sell at an auction. I went online and typed in "how to get cake out of a bundt pan".

Apparently I am not the only one with this problem! Lots of solutions out there. But do any work? I decided I'd try the "leave it in the pan until almost cool" method. PLUS I greased (with butter because I didn't have shortening) and floured it. Really, greased and floured I might add.

The result?

Isn't it beautiful?!

Oh, and here is another look.....
Is your mouth watering yet?!

Cinnamon Bread
But it tastes like a cake...moist and delic!

1 box white or yellow cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 pint whipping cream (do not whip)
3/4 cup cooking oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix ingredients together.

Mix together 4 Tbsp. sugar with 2 Tbsp. cinnamon; stir into the mixture.

Grease a bundt pan and flour lightly. Bake 40-50 min. at 350 , or until cake pulls away from the sides.

Drizzle the cake with a cinnamon drizzle icing. Heat a little butter and milk in the microwave. Sprinkle in 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon (depending on your taste). Then, add powdered sugar until it's the right consistency to drizzle.