Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Carmel Winner and My New Blog

Well...
Christmas is over but our vacation is not. We are loving sleeping in, playing games, eating junk food, shopping with our gift cards, and staying up too late.

But I do have business to attend to so I had Freshman pick out a number and the lucky winner is

6!

My Neighbor!


So Linda I will be dropping off your Carmel's!
You so deserve them!

In other big news.

I am moving.
My blog that is.

I was introduced to Wordpress through blogging with incourage and I really like it so I am moving this operation over there. It has taken me some time to get used to it but I hope you will come over to my new house and make yourself right at home.
For those of you who have been following you can subscribe there as well. It just looks a little different.

I love having this interaction with all of you so I would hate if any of you get lost out there. Just email me at Rosyrose72@gmail.com if there is any problem.

It's been good blogger but It's time to say goodnight.

My new address is raisinpraise.wordpress.com

I may just throw a house warming party.

Come over and see.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!



Today I got this gift in the mail from my Friends over at Day Spring.
They are some of the neatest people you will ever meet!

If you haven't checked them out yet now would be an excellent time! They are having sale on their Christmas Merchandise!

Thank you to all who visited me at Incourage yesterday.

And for those who have entered the Carmel giveaway.

Remember there is still time to enter until Monday!

We started our Christmas celebrating yesterday and shall continue all weekend.

This season has been different for us. I can say with all certainty that we are right where we are supposed to be and that brings me peace. My greatest wish for you this year is that you find Jesus not just in the manger but as your closest friend, King of Kings, and Prince of peace.

He is the Messiah come to earth. That still brings tears to my eyes!

Hugs to you Bloggy Buds!



Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Good Gifts

I remember back a couple years.. to my teens...
(okay so I'm using couple of years loosely)
I was at a friend’s house for a party.
It was close to Christmas and her mother had dozens of gifts under their tree.

I was mesmerized by the intricate way her mom had carefully wrapped each one.
I had never seen anything like it.
She had beautiful bows, with designer paper and homemade cards on each package.
It obviously made an impression on me!

I remember thinking how much fun it would be to receive one of those gifts!
The contents may not have been all that special but the exterior looked perfect!

Have you ever received a gift that was so beautifully wrapped you didn't want to open it because it would ruin the wrapping paper?


To Read more go here to InCourage

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Carmel love for you




One of my favorite Candies to make and eat every year is Carmel's.



I love them with Chocolate.


I love them with Pecans.

And I love them Just straight up.



They are my candy of choice.


So today I will share them with you.

Here is the recipe.


1 c butter


2 1/4 c. brown sugar


dash of salt


1 c. light corn syrup


1-15 oz can condensed sweetened milk


1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in 3 quart saucepan. Add sugar and salt, and stir thoroughly. Stir in corn syrup and mix well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat to firm ball stage..245 on your candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered bar pan. Cool and cut into squares. Add Pecans and Chocolate if you want to make turtles.

Now all you need to do is leave a comment about your favorite holiday treat. This will enter you to win a box of Carmel's! I will Open the give away today through Monday, December 27.

Don't forget to come back Thursday.
I Will be a Guest blogger over on the Incourage Blog.

Thank you friends. It's been so good getting to know you better in and out of Cyber Space.






Monday, December 20, 2010

Chi Town...I love you at Christmas!

Last weekend we took a little train ride to Chi town.
I think I was born for the city.
Especially at Christmas!

Sometime during the Christmas season we like to take the kids downtown Chicago. I am always so grateful to bring them home again! So many people! It can be a little stressful keeping track of them at times....not mentioning who but one decided to wander off in a 4 story bookstore that had around 16,000 people in it(give or take a few)!
So I am especially thankful this time.
We were also excited to have Malaina's friend Erin this year. She fit right in to the mix and was a delight to be with!

A few fav's...
Lego Store
Street Singers
American Girl
The train ride
Hot coffee
Lights Everywhere
Escalator rides(down the up..Thanks "ELF"!)
Food Court at Water Tower
Glass Elevators
Window Displays


We Love the street Singers/Shows.

A little disappointing not to see the Silver Zippy man this year.

But we did love the bucket drummers and the 3 wheel bike show.

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus was the Macy window display this year. Which was cool for Malaina Because she just had a solo in that song for their school Christmas show.

And this sweet man who took our trash while we waited for the train. We loved his happy attitude as he picked up peoples trash.

Good night to all...So good to be in a warm bed again,
While
Visions of sugarplums dance in our head.




Tomorrow I will be having a sweet give away for someone who leaves a comment about their favorite holiday treat.

Come see me then and tell all your friends to join the sweet party!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Old time Favorite Brown Sugar Cookies


When I was a little girl there were two ladies at our church that were in my childlike mind the essence of what a good cook should look like. They were both a little portly and let me tell you that ANY thing they would bring to potlucks would taste like it came from heaven!

And if we got so lucky to be invited to their home it was like a feast in the palace! No hamburger helper or boxed mac and cheese would have been allowed in their kitchen!


So when my grandma passed away over 10 years ago...I got her old falling apart, hand jotted recipes, church cookbook. It's my prized cookbook! And instead of marking the recipes that I like with my normal star or "good" comment I just put a little heart beside the name of my beloved childhood fantasy baker. Who is now living with my grandma and Jesus. I'm sure they are preparing great feasts for the Kings birthday party!




So when I found her yummy cookies in here I instantly fell hard!
And today I am going to share them with you!

Without further ado


BROWN SUGAR COOKIES
2 C. Brown Sugar 1 c. rich milk(cream or sweetened condensed)
1 C. Shortening 1/2 t. salt
1 Egg 1 tsp. vanilla
2 t. soda 3 1/2 C. Flour
2 t. baking powder
Cream sugar and shortening, add remaining ingredients. Mix well and drop on cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes.
Frost with brown sugar frosting
1 stick butter
1 C. brown sugar
2 1/2 C Powder sugar
Mix and add 1/2 cup milk

Cool the cookies and frost.
It's just a early little Christmas gift from me!
Don't forget to come back next week for my giveaway!

Smashed Garlic red potatoes

Do you like comfort food?

Mmm yum!

I made this dish this week. I combined several recipes and made this.

Smashed garlic red potatoes.

I took about 7 medium red potatoes and microwaved them for 11 minutes.

Then I took some of the red peelings off. I took my potato masher and smashed them up.

While I was cooking the potatoes I had taken a garlic clove cut off the top and wrapped it in foil. I baked it for 1/2 hour at 350.

It becomes really soft and sweet. I then used two of these cloves and mashed it into my potatoes.
I added a 1/4 stick of butter and 1/2 cup of sour cream.

Season with salt and pepper, spoon into a baking dish.

Cut several more pieces of butter and lay on top. I baked it at 350 for 15 minutes or until it was hot and bubbly.


Serve it with little meatloaves and bread.
**Next week I will be giving away some homemade Carmel's and on the 23rd I will be a guest blogger on the
in courage website. So come back and see me then!
Have a wonderful weekend friends!

















Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cow Worship

Are you familiar with the story of the trendy cow worship?

You know what I’m talking about don’t you? The story that started with a Dramatic Exodus from Egypt that involved cinematic like drama, including a miraculous march out of the city, to the waters of the Red Sea being drawn back as a curtain. A people whom God had chosen were now in the desert awaiting his next word. And while they waited they grew bored. Frankly God just didn’t seem very close any longer. And he was busy up on the mountain with their leader, dreaming up some rules for them to follow.

So, they decided to throw a little party and have a little excitement. If God wasn’t going to give them anything more maybe this would give them a high.

And as their leader, Moses came down that mountain, and saw them worshiping a cow, he was furious! These people who had just seen the astounding work of God’s hand betraying him to this..this cow!

I haven’t been worshiping any cows lately. I mean it’s not really my thing, but the principle of this story cannot be missed.

These people, who were bored, became people who followed what they had seen done all their lives back in Egypt. This is apparently what the “cool, popular, trendy” people of the day did to socially fit in. And they thought in order to have a good party one must follow the trends.

Sometimes I look around and wonder if we have been sucked into the practice of trendy cow worship. I wonder if God must look at his people and say sadly, “I want so much to be near to you but I cannot because you are too busy with your own forms of worship”.

Have I made God a product? Does he need to perform certain acts before I worship? Do I make him only an object that I run to in crisis? How have I turned to other gods when he doesn't act instantly on my behalf? Do I need to understand God in order to give my life in full obedience?

It makes the cow worship seem a little shallow.

I think instead this should be my focus.

I worship God every day because He alone deserves it.
I worship God Not because he serves me or gives me what I want.
I worship him in the good and the bad because I have come to trust him.
I worship him because I have a relationship with him.
I worship God in a way that is not always fashionable and may be misunderstood.

The question that keeps coming to my mind is this.
If I worship a god I can fully understand, is it really God?
In other words, figuring out God’s way is like a squirrel figuring out ours.

Maybe we need to spend less time watching what’s going on in Egypt and focus on the God who delivered us from it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days to Christmas

Sunday dinner is in full swing. The children are making jokes. The spaghetti and bread with dipping oil provides a light atmosphere where nothing is very formal. Occasionally the dog scurries over to clean up a crumb that has fallen to the floor.



There are 12 days left to Christmas.... How will we spend them? I ask for ideas. The little one has many.


The others chime in as well…
“How about caroling for some neighbors?”
“Maybe we could take some food to a shelter”.
“Remember our neighbor who lost her husband this year”.
“Slide money under someone’s door”.
I nod as I take notes…all good thoughts.




We determine that we will live out this season intentionally, giving in love. Not just to each other but praying that God brings someone down our path that he wants to “love on” this Christmas.



We start the 12th day with a Christmas Story and a song….
“Silent Night Holy Night”
And then we try it in German as the story spoke of.
“Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht”
And the verse out of John 1… “the true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world”.



I wonder if I truly celebrate his birth…the coming Messiah, or do I only make it a festival of lights and endless parade of parties and shopping.



He,



The light of the world..



came one night long ago, in the town of Bethlehem. But there was not a room for his sweet little head! How sad that no one recognized it was he, the king of all kings, arriving on that most Sacred of nights.


But what makes my heart skip a beat today is the fact that he is coming again…
How will he find Bethlehem this time? Will I have room for him here? Or will my rooms be full of stuff? Will that stuff clutter the king’s chamber?


Will he find in me any resemblance of what his life on earth portrayed?




Humility




Love for the world..especially the lost.




Time Alone with the Father,




Making Disciples,




Obedience even to the end.




His Resurrection Power.




I need A pause in the hurry as I remember the True Spirit of The Life I Celebrate.




And may His light be the light that shines from our eyes this Christmas.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Growing up in him

“Mommy look, I "growed up " some more, see?”

Keeping a growth chart on the wall is one way to chart the physical growth of children. It’s a measurable way of recording how they have changed.

I know some families who do this and I think it’s a really great idea. I guess I don’t do it mostly because I didn’t start when the older ones were young and it feels kind of weird to start when they are 13 and 15. (Plus the 15 yr old seems to have stopped growing….she is trying to break 5 ft)

I was thinking about growing up and I started processing how we gauge our spiritual growth meter. Is there a tangible way we can look from one year to the next that shows our growth(or perhaps shrinkage).

As I think about ending the year in just a few weeks I wonder if I can take a little time to find out what my growth chart would say about me. Here are some of the things I am measuring myself to.

Romans 5:3-6 (New Living Translation)
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the

Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Here are some of His Bench marks of growth.

  • Rejoicing in the middle of our problems and trials
  • Endurance to persevere
  • Strengthening of character
  • Confident hope of salvation
  • Embracing God’s love for us
  • A fresh infilling of his Spirit which changes our hearts.

    Are these the kinds of ways you want to grow?
    Do we have a choice if we are his followers?
    Where are you today on your personal growth chart?
As 2010 draws to a close I pray that this next year will be full of more opportunities for growth. Not because it’s so much fun but because there are rich rewards for those who are willing to be shaped, molded, deepened and established.


Growing up in him, until one day I will stand before him as he hands me my growth chart, when I hope to hear him say,
“You are quite grown up my little one. Welcome home”.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Intercessor

I have recently discovered Eric Ludy....


This message was just so moving!

If you are feeling like there are breaches in your life.... God wants to heal you!
He rescues us so we can rescue others!


If you have 7 minutes I encourage you to watch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RCVp-qeXLA

Friday, December 10, 2010

God with us Immanuel

Today I am reflecting on a baby.
A baby that was born one night in a little town of Bethlehem.
It was a night full of bright heavenly hosts, choruses of music and proclamations of peace.

I am thinking about what it must have been like for him. The creator of mankind became flesh. To move his all wise and knowing being into a tiny, helpless frame. To feel all the growing pains that his created children encounter. After only knowing a palace and streets of gold to humbly find no place for his head. For the first time he felt hunger pangs and discomfort as the straw may have scratched his back. Was he cold? Did he cry?

Messiah come to earth...

The one the prophets had foretold.


Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.


He is God with us Immanuel.

And As I recognize who he is,

I fall at his feet and as Mary did
I will treasure him up in my heart.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My hope is Built on Nothing Less


I have a hope.

A hope that does not lie in..

My reputation.

My bank account.

My children's behavior.

My cooking.

The Government.

The size of my house.

My fingers that play the piano.

The amount of clothes in my closet.

How crafty I am(or am not).

Someone Else's praise.

How many friends I have.

My job.

My abilities.

My health.

My intellect.

The cleanliness of my house.

Whether I get to see my grand kids someday.

What my scale says.

What I get for Christmas.

Where I live.


How my retirement fund looks.


How many people listen when I talk or write.





So if this is not where my hope lies.....

Then Why do I make these things so important?

If we believe that God is who he says he is,

If we believe that He has given us a hope and a future,

If we trust that he is Large and In Charge.

Why do we spend much of our days talking, thinking and living as if he's not?

Today I will commit to:


  • Take every thought captive.

  • Live for an audience of one.

  • Grow in Grace and the knowledge of my Father and the plans he has for me.

  • Give my life in complete obedience to him.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand...All other ground is sinking sand.


All other ground is sinking sand.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Deeper Still Conference

What a weekend! Man...Sometimes it's nice to live in a bubble with almost 14,000 women and have the strong teaching of God's word poured into my life! And even more fun when I can share it with some dear friends.



These are 2 of my Bible Study friends, Kim and Rolonda.
We have enjoyed getting to know each other in a rich way the past few months...bonding through the Word.

So I invited them to come with me to the deeper still conference.



As you can see by this picture. We enjoy us some cheesecake!!



Here is my top thirteen things I remember of the weekend.



1. Being Encouraged to live life by His Word.



2. Stepping out in faith with the arrows he has given me, and letting him fill the Margin.



3. Hearing these ladies talk candidly about all kinds of issues.


4. Hearing Kay Arthur's testimony and and her inspirational teaching on living out our Christian walk. This women is 77!!! That is an inspiration all by itself!




5. Everyone is wearing boots! Even 77 year olds!

6. That Birmingham is full of kind souls.




7. Never mess with women when they are trying to hail a taxi.



8. That although these women are Godly and have a platform they are just women like us. They have ashes to beauty stories....God can redeem and call whomever he pleases.

9. I can go through the pain if I can find 1 piece of the puzzle that brings purpose to the pain.



10. Worship with 14,000 women is so magnificent....what will heaven sound like?

11. Meeting new friends...bloggers, pastors wives, mothers, singles, and photographers.



11. Faith without works is dead. If I say I have faith I must walk in obedience.




12. Laughter is good medicine.




12. God never gives us anything for amazing sake only...it's always for something greater.





13. While it is always fun to go...there is nothing like coming home to these faces!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

So long...

Do you remember I told you that DaySpring paid for my way to the Deeper Still Conference?

Well...

It's Friday and I am more than a little bit EXCITED!!



I will be flying with my Beth Moore Study ladies. :)



... at 5:30 am. Ugghhh.


Flash Back of Black Friday!



I got an email yesterday from my new friends at DaySpring telling me that they have some spots near the front saved for us!



That's right!

Right up there in the spit zone.



So I may be gone for a bit....but I'm sure you will see pictures upon my return! Maybe even one with my new BFF...I mean Beth. :)



Either way I know God is going to speak....I want to be prepared to hear!



Pray for us.

And for our families. My little one is telling me of her disappointment in my choice to leave them a whole weekend.

I feel her love!



Well...Until next week.



Hugs!



Ta Ta!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fight or Flight.

My youngest son just turned 11.
You might think that he is older than that if you were to talk with him.
He is a question asker.
Processor.
Witty.
Very driven.
And typically will not back down from a fight.
In fact when he was a baby we had to teach his older brother, who at that point was the more passive one, to defend himself from his baby brother. Because if he wanted something….he chased after it…and if he didn’t get it he was passionate about the pursuit.

So I found it interesting that recently after an altercation with a bigger boy, my husband asked him what he thinks would fix this problem…and my passionate man child said….

“I think I’ll move to Canada.”

I have had many thoughts of fleeing situations.
I am truly a turtle when it comes time for conflict.

And if I'm forced into it...I get shakey and start to get all weepy.


Hate. It.

I typically tuck my head inside my shell and back out the nearest exit.

Flight baby…. Canada here I come!

I recognize there is a time to stay.
Like when I’m committed to a marriage or when I’ve made other binding contracts.

Is there ever a time to flee?

Flight is often equated with a lack of courage.

But at times the most courageous thing one can do is run.

Fast.

And

Far.

So my question is…
Do I flee the things that I should flee?

And do I stay and battle the things that I should pursue?

I look at my favorite lady in the Bible, Esther .
This is a woman who was in a situation that required courage beyond compare.
She recognized her position as she responded to…. “For Such a time as this”….. living out her faith to the God of her Father. Responding in a most courageous way by looking out for the interest of her people at the risk of losing her own pretty head.

And then we have Joshua.
The guy that God had march around the city of Jericho blowing a horn.

Yelling..acting like an idiot…drawing attention to himself.

But he didn’t start like that. When God called him, in the beginning, God had to remind him over and over…”Be strong and courageous”.. and then… reassuring him… “I am with you”!
And Josh was given the victory as he stayed engaged in the battle God had called him to.

But then we have Joe,Jacob’s son…You know… Joseph.
That handsome guy was seduced by his boss’s wife.
The noble character of Joseph would not allow the situation he found himself in to determine his likely fleshly response. He didn’t just “go with it”.

He Fled.

To Canada if you will.

And his reward?

A false accusation.

His reputation maligned.

A jail cell.

What did God have in mind? This looks like a complete lack of intervention from the all knowing one.

The Father who cares?

Did he care?
I’m sure Joseph had to wonder at times as he sat in a jail cell year after year.

Had God left him there to die?

If you know the story you know that God had major plans for Joseph.
Plans that included The Palace
and Royalty.

If Joseph had decided not to flee, we don’t know how the story would have ended.

He may have missed jail.

But

He may have missed God’s big plan for his life as well.

Is there something that you are having trouble fleeing?
A temptation that keeps calling your name?

A seduction to

Some thing
Or

Some one that is unhealthy and

Harmful to you and others.

Maybe it’s time for you to take a one way trip.

Maybe you‘re having trouble trusting that God is big enough to handle your march around Jericho.
The battle has become so difficult you don’t think you can make it one more day.
But we can be assured that just like Joshua and Esther if he has called us to it he will complete it in and through us.
It may look ugly. It may take patience. You may even be left with scars.

But

It could be that for this purpose you were created.
Yes,
Whether

Flight…
Or
Fight…

We were most certainly created for such a time as this.