Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm Back And Have Missed You So!

Oh my goodness...it stopped it right in the middle of the video and THAT'S the freeze frame it gives? Some mutant, droopy-eyed, scary face of me? Thanks YouTube! Well, if you aren't scared to watch the video after seeing that, then I am grateful for you! Enjoy, and I will see you tomorrow! ~Debbie~



Monday, January 12, 2015

Keeping Momentum 365 Days

You've worked all week, the kids have tried your patience, you've missed activities that you have committed to because of unscheduled interruptions we call life. How do you stay on track? How do you keep momentum going to push forward, to bring the most positivity out of your situation, and to focus on maintaining your momentum? All of that while trying to balance so much that comes at you on a daily, sometimes even hourly, basis. Keeping momentum...not just for an hour, not just for your work day, but we are talking 365 days a year. How do we keep pushing forward in our walk with the Lord, how do we keep that balance in family and work to be sure that we are not distracted by the world's chaos? We do it by taking a step back, breathing, and reminding ourselves of God's promises. Living the Word every day through our lives and our actions. This is what helps keep momentum. This is what gives us gives us strength. This is the only sure hope that we can make it through.

1 Corinthians reminds us that if we stand our ground, nothing we do will come out empty and that we will bear fruit . No matter how hard, no matter how ridiculed or chastised we are for our choice to stand up for Christ and to live a right life; if we persevere and push through, everything we will have done will be used for the good of the kingdom if we do not hold back. Remember that, and that can help keep you pushing forward to fight the good fight. “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 MSG)

Speaking of pressing on, Philippians shows us this same concept. Looking for the finish line, not getting focused in what is tripping us up right now or how much farther we still have to go. We need to focus on today, battle today, because tomorrow will have a whole other set of circumstances that we need to focus on in that time. But each day if we push forward searching for the finish line and that beautiful ribbon that we can raise our hands high and run through with our heads held high and smiling in victory, then our prize is eternity with Christ. We can have that, we can cross that finish line...but not without momentum. “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:14 NLT)

James 1 goes on to tell us that we WILL have trials, we WILL have tests in this life. That is part of living in an imperfect world and a corrupt society. But we are given the tools to persevere, we are given the promises that we don't have to walk through these fires alone. There is no temptation that can come before us that the Lord does not give us a way out of, if only we want it bad enough. Temptations of the mind to worry, control, and stress. Worries of the flesh to be less than honorable with our eyes, thoughts, or body. Temptations of power with money, position, and manipulation. But when we choose right choices and when we persevere--when we walk through that fire-- James 1 shows us that we will receive the crown of life. This is been promised to us generations back from Our Almighty Father himself. We know He is perfect, we know He is all-knowing, and we know He never fails. So we can hold that deeply in our hearts and know that we WILL have hard times, we WILL face circumstances where we are scared, we are hurt, we are betrayed, we are worried, we fail others ...but if we look to God to get us through those circumstances we can stay on the right path. We CAN live an honorable and godly life, and we CAN receive that crown to have placed upon our head as we cross that finish line we spoke of earlier. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:2 NIV)

In closing, I want to turn to Romans. This specific Scripture kind of wraps this all up and embodies everything we just have gone over. Basically stated, there's so much more to come than we can see. God knows so many things that we don't know. Do we want to give up, settle for less, live less respectable then we could...especially if we don't know the circumstances, outcomes, consequences, or what it will cost us in the end? There is more to come, there are riches and glory beyond our wildest dreams; the ones that we store up for heaven. But we have to keep pushing forward, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Exhausting? Absolutely. Even just saying that you may say that is impossible. However, there is one thing we know about God; that all things are possible with God. Romans remind us of being overshadowed in trouble, of us losing our patience, of a feeling that we got the short end of the stick. But what's the truth? The truth is God is there all the time, we need only to go to Him and ask Him for help. “There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5:3 MSG)

Continue praising Him through the hard times, asking Him to give us patience in the trying times, asking Him to keep our respect and purity in our marriages and relationships, asking Him to help us keep our head free from pride when it comes to control or power in career or friendships. One Scripture that really puts it into perspective for us is this one…when we think our lives and trials are more than we can bear and that we will not be able to make it through, memorize this Scripture and keep it close to your heart to remind yourself of how much smaller everything is than it truly seems sometimes, and of the continual blessings that God pours down on you: “Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up.” (Hebrews 12:3 GNB)
The Holy Spirit and the Lord wants to pour into our lives in a way that we can't even comprehend. He has so much waiting for us at that finish line and He aches for us to claim our prize. To claim our prize we must finish the race, to finish the race we must maintain momentum. Sometimes it doesn't look like it's worth it in the moment, but I am telling you...it is certainly worth it at the final destination. Won't you all please keep momentum with me? Keep your eyes on the prize, and walk with me...no, RUN full speed with me through that finish line to receive your crown!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Giveaway Winner Announcement!!!

GIVEAWAY WINNER!!! Our winner of the Beth Moore "Living Beyond Yourself" Bible study on the fruit of the spirit is.......{drum roll}.........Doreen Hayes!!! Congrats Doreen, be sure I have your address so I can send your prize off next week! Our next giveaway will begin on January 19th and will be announced here! Thanks for entering everyone!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Year's Goals...Christ's Grasp

We are over one week into a brand new year. A clean slate of 365 days to make our lives count. What choices have you made: is there something that you want to improve upon this year? Is there a group or event that you want to get involved in? Is there a fear you want to finally put aside and just jump in with both feet to try? Well, today we are talking about this year's goals. A goal is a realistic and attainable vision that has a timeline of accomplishment. Goals can be big, small, and they can even change as they progress. But the important thing that we want to talk about today is making sure that our goals and visions align with God's will. We should walk like Christ and make decisions with our eternal outcome in mind. We should do our best to walk upright every day, give joy and love to others, and be full of forgiveness and empathy. These are the characteristics that Jesus embodied as he walked upon our earth as a sinless human. These are also the characteristics that God calls us to seek out in ourselves, the attributes that He wants to refine in us to make us as close to walking in the image of Christ as possible. When it comes to allowing Christ to have a grasp on our hearts and our minds, we need to be in the Word of God. We cannot live our lives right or make sound choices if we are not breathing in Scripture of God's instruction book ,which gives us all of the answers of how to live a Christian life and what will reap the most abundant rewards not only in heaven but on this earth while we're here. So how do we do that, how do we live in God's will and reap rewards on this earth in a world that is so corrupt and twisted, but still focus on our eternal treasures we are storing up for heaven?

John 7:17 ESV "If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority". In other words if you want to do God's will, you will read His Word. By doing this you will know what He wants for your life, what He finds acceptable and unacceptable, and what can hinder you having a relationship with Him.

Romans 2:12 MSG "If you sin without knowing what you are doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you were doing, that's a different story entirely. Merely hearing God's law is a waste of your time if you don't do what He commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God". This is a very strong warning to us that if we are walking as Christians we need to make sure that our minds, our attitudes, and our behaviors mirror that of Christ. We can't read God's Word and ask Him to bless us and do His Will through us if we are knowingly doing things that are reprehensible and sinful to the flesh in His eyes. We cannot just read the Word and say we are Christians, we have to live the Word and breathe the Word every single day in our walk.

Romans 8:27 NIV "And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God". When we pray to God and ask Him to make our heart like His and ask Him to help us be a good and wholesome person that serves and loves on others, He imparts His Will on us. If we truly love Our Heavenly Father and want to live out His plan for our lives, we need to fall into His plan. He knows all and can do a much better job governing our life if we give it over to Him.

Matthew 6:33 GNT "Be concerned about everything else with the kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things". Simply put, put God first and make him the center of everything you do and everything you are, and He will take care of the rest. He will provide for you, He will find the perfect partner for you, He will show you how to have joy even in stormy circumstances. With God as your center, you can walk through fire without being burned or even carrying the slightest smell of smoke.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths". We all know this Scripture well probably, but it is one of my favorite in the Bible. It constantly reminds me that God's ways are always best. He sees the end whereas we don't even see 5 minutes in front of us. Who would you rather have making your decisions and choices and guiding your path...yourself and other humans that are just as clueless about the future and what their life holds, or our sovereign God who knows how our life ends far before it even begins?

Matthew 6:21 NLT "Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be also". This reminds us to be careful of our actions and the way we treat others. It reminds us to be faithful, committed, kind, forgiving, loving, merciful, and graceful. Because whatever we consider as important, that's what holds our heart. If we consider this world and all of its torment and temptations as what we are focusing on and want to fall prey to, then that's where we store our treasures, that's where the pain and misery of our lives will be stuck when things fall apart. But when we have the desires of our heart aligned with God's will, that is where abundant life, joy in all circumstances, and assurance of eternity at Jesus' feet become a reality.

1 Corinthians 10:21, 31 AMP "You cannot drink the Lord's cup and the demons Cup. You cannot partake of the Lord's table and the diamond stable. So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God". This is similar to the Scripture stating that we cannot serve two masters, stating that we cannot do God's Work and then let money or other masters rule us on this earth. This is very black and white, the same as the words in the Bible. You choose to live worldly, or you choose to live for Christ. If you even dip a toe into Satan's side, you have no business serving the Lord. This may seem harsh, but God does this for our own protection. He knows how crafty and manipulative the enemy can be and that even the slightest little temptation we give into can cause our minds or our hearts to quickly become blackened and spread to the point that we fall far away from God and become people who are doing things that we will sorely regret and cannot take back. So let's focus on taking the Lord's cup, and being at the Lord's table. The one place that is preparing a mansion for us in heaven. I want the mansion, not this world. So let's make sure that this year we strive to make sure our goals are strongly grasped by Christ's attributes and characteristics. Then we can guarantee we will be making the right choices and living the best life possible for ourselves and others. Have a beautiful day sweet readers, & I will be back with you on Monday!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Today's Video and Recipe !!!

Hey everyone, happy Thursday! Here is our recap video of the week, and a peek into next week. Below the video you will find our recipe of the day which is Hot Buttered Lemonade. For y'all that are freezing in the Midwest and East coast, this one's for you!!! See you all tomorrow with a new article. Be blessed, stay snuggly warm, and remember how favored you are!


 



HOT BUTTERED LEMONADE



Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients• 3 cups water
• 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2/3 cup palm sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
• 1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
• 3 cinnamon sticks (optional)

Directions1. In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer water, lemon juice, sugar and lemon peel until sugar is dissolved.
2. Pour into mugs; dot each with butter. Drop in a cinnamon stick, if desired. Serves four and is super cozy!




Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Life Word and Verse For 2015...What's Yours?

While everyone is busy trying to stick with their resolutions, or second guessing them, I'm coming to you today excited to give you an alternative to a typical resolution. We're going to talk about finding your life word and verse for 2015. So first we need to talk about what a life word and verse is, and next why do we choose one, and finally how do you choose one or how will you know what's right for you. So let's get to it!

What is a life word and verse - a life word basically is a pretty simple concept, it is a single word that resonates most deeply with you as something that you want to focus on throughout this year to understand better or to dig deeper into with your daily life. Basically it can be used as a term to focus on in order to become more mindful and to practice a new behavior and mindset. This helps keep you focused and committed to a specific goal throughout the year and it can allow you to come back when you get off track, by reminding yourself of what your focus is and what you're supposed to be rooted in this year. Some people's life word stays the same for multiple years as they continue to refine and grow in that purpose, and some people change their's every year as the Lord leads them. 

The life verse is basically a verse that coincides with the word you have chosen. It is something that should remind you of why you chose that word, what you are trying to learn or understand about that word, and how it relates to you personally. It should be a scripture that you can memorize and keep tucked away in your heart and mind to give you strength and accountability as you return to it in study and meditation.

Now, why do we choose a word and verse instead of just doing a basic resolution or going through our Bible studies as normal and not pinpointing a certain word or Scripture in the Bible for ourselves? Well, the reason we do this is because our lives get so busy, so scattered, and so full of attention on other things that we often forget to focus on growth for ourselves in a specific area that we have had struggles in. Sometimes we brush it under the rug, sometimes we just don't know how to approach it to learn more about ourselves or to grow. So by doing this we can have something that we can call our own to focus on and help us reach out to Christ and ask him to refine us, show us what we need to change or what we need to learn about ourselves through this word and through the Scriptures. We can also use it to learn more about others and to better relate to them and love on them. Instead of something that is fleeting, like a resolution or a temporary promise, this is a focus in God's Word of something within you that you want to re-purpose and live out in a more meaningful way.

Finally, how will you choose your word and verse, and how on earth will you even know what fits best for you in this season of life? The first part of that is an easy answer, pray to God. God will reveal to you the parts of your heart and your being that He wants to transform, grow, or sometimes eliminate all together. If you pray to the Lord and seek earnestly for His answer of what you can change about yourself, what you can make better, and how you can be the best you this year and be able to give back to others the best way possible- He will speak to you and reveal something that will help you in your journey and in your walk. Even if you don't understand it but you're continually getting confirmation of a certain Scripture that keeps coming to mind, a certain word that just keeps weighing heavily on your heart. Those are the signs of how God is trying to speak to you and let you know what His Will is for you. The second way is to just look within yourself and see perhaps something you've been struggling with, or something that you have wanted to change for so long and you just feel so lost and don't know how to approach it. Ask God to reveal to you the perfect Scripture and word that correlates to that behavior, habit, or attitude that you want to cleanse yourself from. He will always show you the right way and He will always reveal the best purpose for your calling and for His Kingdom. You can also ask others around you. Don't be afraid to ask what qualities they see in you that they really love, what things they see in you that they feel you're still timid about or may need to blossom in. Constructive criticism from godly counsel or another practicing Christian is an invaluable resource, however, always make sure that you get confirmation from the Lord as He is the only one that has the sure answer on these things.

So basically just pray on it, look into your own heart - you know yourself better than any other human on the earth, so trust in that and know what you start to seek out what you want to focus on this year, what you want to improve, who you want to be. That should lead you to a Scripture verse, and then you can start growing and becoming accountable in that area so that by the end of the year you should see a huge transformation in that specific area of you as a person or in your life. This is why we choose one word, because we have a habit of wanting to change everything at once and solve every problem, and in essence what we end up doing is pretty much giving just a little piece of ourselves here and there, and here and there again, and never really focusing in deeply to change one specific area before we move on to something else.

That's what we want to attempt to do here; let's focus on this one characteristic, this one heart struggle, whatever it might be for you - then let the Lord refine it, grow it, eliminate it from our life if that is His Will. But to do that we have to pray to Him, we have to choose our word and verse, study it and memorize it, and apply it daily to our lives. If any of you need help finding your one word or need Scripture help to be pointed in the right direction to something that correlates to a word you've already chosen - please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to counsel you in that area and see if we can go to the Lord in partnership and ask that you are led to the perfect word and verse for 2015- a word that will make this the abundant life and year that God desperately wants for you. You all are so precious and favored in the Lord's eyes, and I am excited to be with you on this journey.

My word for 2015 is "loved" - I want to focus on knowing my worth through Christ's eyes, find value in myself, and remind myself of the sacrifice he made because I am loved. My verse for 2015 is Zephaniah 3 :17. This scripture states, "The LORD your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The LORD will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you". Would you all leave a comment with your word if you have chosen one, as well as your Scripture if you have one. If you don't have both or either yet, feel free to say that as well and I will be happy to reach out to you and see what we can partner in to make sure that you have your word and verse for the year. Thank you sweet readers, & I will be back with you tomorrow with a short video and on Friday we have our next article. Be blessed!

Today's Recipe!

Aaaahhhh, here we go...the fooooood! Today's recipe, as promised, are delicious Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies! These are soft, flavorful, and are wonderful to put in a little treat bag and pass out to neighbors and your favorite businesses. Happy eating, and stay tuned for our article later today!


CHOCOLATE CHIP SNOWBALL COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tsp organic powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Additional powdered sugar, for rolling

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips. If dough is too soft, chill it until you can work it easily with your hands.
  3. Scoop 1 tablespoon balls of dough and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes until bottoms are just slightly brown. Remove from oven and cool for just a minute, until you can handle them. Fill a small bowl with powdered sugar and roll each cookie in the sugar until coated. Place on a rack to cool.  (Once cookies are cooled, you may want to re-roll them in more powdered sugar.)
Mmmmmm-mmmmmm!!!! Enjoy!! :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Resolutions vs. Newness

Hello everyone! Here we are, our first FULL blog article of the year. I cannot believe we are five days into 2015! Time is already flying even faster this year. So before we get to the point that we don’t even realize months have passed us by, I want to talk to you today about a very important reminder…your new self, which you are graced with when you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

There are two views we can take in this lifetime when it comes to the way we change, the goals we set, and the behaviors we modify. We can choose that of the world, or that of Jesus. The way I always think of it is by dissecting two specific words: newness and resolution. Resolution is temporary, it is done with good intentions but very little follow through, and it is something that we often do in order to look better to others and be held high or credited for our accomplishments. But is that what we want—recognition from the world? Maybe…but why? Can they save us? Can they plan our path for eternity? Will they even be here for us tomorrow when we wake up? Sadly, the answer to all of those is, no. Resolutions are fleeting, resolutions are worldly based, and resolutions are lighthearted promises to self or others.

But what if there were something more—what if there was such a thing as forever, permanent, genuine? There is…and his name is Jesus. He came to save us, and God graciously gave us His only begotten Son so that we might live and have everlasting life. Isn’t that a beautiful word…everlasting! So I like to focus on the word “newness”. Newness means a fresh start, a clean slate, a gift of another chance. Romans 6:4 (NASB version) tells us, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

The ultimate sacrifice, the maximum price. Jesus gave himself to pay for our sins: past, present, and future. He was pure, sinless, and perfect. We are the complete opposite of all of those things, yet his love for us knows no bounds, and he believes we are worth every lashing, every ridicule, every thorn, every drop of spit cast upon him. We…are…worth…it. He makes us new. It is nothing we do in or of ourselves, it is a gift he has willingly and lovingly bestowed upon us. Newness, a second chance (and sometimes third, fourth, hundredth, and so forth). When we accept Jesus our sinful selves and old habits and patterns are washed away and we become a brand new person from the inside out. Does this mean we will never sin again, we will never fall back into patterns, and we will immediately quit bad habits? Absolutely not. The Christian walk is the long and narrow one, full of many struggles, trials, and often a target on our back that Satan gladly aims at relentlessly. But we now have a Savior to walk us through the storms. We have a mighty protector and counselor who can help us to walk more like him in our attitudes, habits, behaviors, and choices.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) There is your proof, there is your confirmation. God himself shows us that when we accept Christ into our hearts, we will become new. Capable of things we never thought possible and able to walk through fire if we are called to for our purpose in God’s Kingdom. Through our own strength we cannot accomplish this, but with newness in Christ we are given something divinely important to our Christian walk: the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He is always there—protecting, watching, guiding, listening. But it is up to us to follow the Holy Spirit and allow our choices to align with God’s Will. God gave us free will for a reason, but He also gave us His instruction book (the Bible) as a step-by-step guide to the RIGHT way to walk through this life morally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He gives us every tool and every promise; newness in Christ comes when we use those tools and believe in those promises.

One of my favorite verses in the entire Bible can be found in John 15:5. The NET version says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.” Isn’t that a comforting Scripture? It really reminds us of just how small we are in the big scheme of things. Without God NOTHING is possible, and with God ALL things are possible. We are an extension of Him and His Holy attributes. He longs for us to become new creations and walk in the righteous path He has tenderly placed at our feet, though we do not even come close to deserving it. He wants us to live abundantly, bear fruit, and live life full of joy. But we cannot do that if the world is in us or if we are not willing to pick up our cross and die daily to who we are, in order to become who God has designed us to be.

So which will you choose—resolutions which point to a worldly tradition and are done fleetingly with no follow through, or newness which places before you the ability to store up treasures for heaven and the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus and see our Heavenly Father face-to-face in eternity. I choose newness and the chance to live and love as Jesus did. I would love to have you on that same path, walking hand-in-hand with me as we enjoy abundant life and beauty with a new heart, mind, and soul.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Welcome To The Weekend!

Hello, sweet readers! Happy Saturday! As promised today we have a video with a little info about the week to come, and the entry form for the first giveaway of the year! Well, the video should explain it all...so go ahead and click and see all we have going on this coming week!

P.S....Yes, the video shows the books backwards, but you get the idea...like I said, newbie here and y'all are my guinea pigs! Grateful for you!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a beautiful first full week of January!

Blessings,
Debbie


Friday, January 2, 2015

Digging Our Heels In...

Hello, sweet readers! It's that time...the New Year celebrations are over and it is time to focus on embracing each day and all that God gives us in the moments we have. I wanted to do this post earlier, but it has been a bear of a week. I have actually logged over 135 hours with my work over the last two weeks, so I have barely had a moment to breathe! But I promised the first post today, and I want to be sure I hold myself accountable and follow through for y'all! So let's get to it!

I want to let you know 3 things today:
1) What we will be discussing in blog articles for the month of January.
2) What our first fun giveaway prize will be, and how you can enter.
3) Our first recipe of the year, and why I am adding recipes to the blog.
4) The story behind the videos (of which I will post tomorrow since...well, you know, my bear of a week prevented me from having the time, focus, or necessary hair/make-up days to get it recorded)!

So, heeeeeere we go (so excited to share)!!!:

1) Blog articles for January- the topics we will be covering are: Newness In Christ/Resolutions, Life Words and Verses for 2015, Year's Goals-Christ's Grasp, Keeping Momentum 365 Days, Making Prayer Time New, Community and Connection, Keeping Accountable and Committed, Ways To Study and Apply Scripture, De-Stressing Your Schedule, Get Out-Get In Touch, Plan Your Passions, The Year of "What-If", Bibles-How To Choose What's Right For You, Family and Fellowship, Devotionals and Their Purpose, Quality of God vs. Quantity Of This World, I'm Not A Status-I'm Loved By A Savior



2) A freebie already? Well of course! What better way to start the year than in serving, giving, and love! So our first giveaway will begin tomorrow and go through the 10th of January. I will have a Rafflecopter form that I will post right here on the blog tomorrow morning. Just follow the instructions to enter (simple stuff) and THIS is what you can win! A brand-new copy of Beth Moore's Bible study entitled "Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring The Fruit Of The Spirit". I absolutely love meditating over and breathing in God's fruits of what makes us good stewards and what embodies who He is. I am hoping some of you will want the chance to study this as well! Winners for all giveaways will be chosen at random by the Rafflecopter program.





3) And now for one of my favorite things....foooooood!!! For those of you who know me well, I am and always have been a total foodie. I love to be in the kitchen baking, cooking, and creating (and can often be found sharing pictures of my freshly made goodies)! So I want to share with you all as well...twice a week I will post a recipe I like (typically one food recipe and one drink recipe) that I hope you will find yourself drooling over and wanting to try! They may be simple snacks, full course meals, or sweet desserts. But rest assured, they will make you want to snuggle up with a plate or cup of something tasty! This week's recipe is one I chose because it is quick, easy, my kids LOVE it, and with school coming back in session in a few days, it's the perfect time to share! I hope your little's will like it!

FIRE ANTS ON A LOG

Ingredients:
Celery stalks (4)
Raspberry flavored cream cheese or peanut butter (1/3 cup)
Dried cranberries or raisins (1/4 cup)

Directions:
Cut stalks into approximately 3-inch pieces and peel off strings. Spread your choice of cream cheese or peanut butter on each piece. Sprinkle cranberries or raisins on top. Put a few in a ziplock bag and include in the kids' lunches for a fun treat. I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of mine for some of that "dirt" effect, and it adds great flavor!


4) Weekly videos are something else new I am implementing. Now, is this because I like looking at myself or the sound of my voice? Absolutely not! I am trying to become more personally involved with you beautiful people, and I feel a voice and a face helps to make that connection. I can pour my heart out into words, but sometimes when you see the blessings and joy you bring me through my voice and smile it helps to capture it a little better. I also am using you as guinea pigs for some upcoming ministry videos I will be doing ;) So I will be posting a weekly video talking a little about each topic, the giveaway/FB party that may be going on, the recipes that will be forthcoming that week, and just sharing my thoughts and excitement with you about our time together! I will post the first video tomorrow, and I am so looking forward to writing more posts and recipes! 

So that is is my beloved's...the coming posts will be much deeper, contain more insight, have much better planning and forethought, dig into Scripture, and be a lot of fun! But as I said, I wanted to follow through on my promise to y'all, as you are a treasure to me. Writing and serving makes me want to wake up each morning and puts an unexplainable calmness and happiness in my heart. Through this blog I am not serving you all, YOU are serving and blessing me. Thank your or being a part of this, and I look forward to big things right here at Life, Love, Lessons & The Lord in 2015! See you tomorrow!

Blessings,
Debbie