Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Encouragement

A little funny for your sweet weekend!

Enjoy some time in worship this weekend as well!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Monday

Week 3 (click to print pdf) - Amy Gentry
Monday: Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers with angel hair pasta
Tuesday: Crockpot Pork Roast, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Wednesday: Hamburger Steaks, baked potato, green beans
Thursday: Southwest Grilled Chicken, Mac and cheese, salad with cucumbers
Friday: Taco Salad with queso

Week 4 (click to print pdf) - Amy Gentry
Monday: Bubble Up Pizza and Salad
Tuesday: Marinated flank steak, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli
Wednesday: Taco Skillet and Salad
Thursday: Tilapia and Shrimp
Friday: Homemade Hamburgers

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Monday

Week 1 (click to print pdf) - Stephanie H.
Monday: Cheesy Enchilada Casserole, Mexican rice
Tuesday: Easy Crockpot Potato Soup
Wednesday: Baked Club Pinwheels and fruit
Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas, chips and salsa
Friday: Crispy Shrimp Pasta, Pillsbury French Bread

Week 2 (click to print pdf) - Suzie M.
Monday: BBQ Meatballs, baked potatoes and veggies
Tuesday: Good Eats Tilapia, brown rice and broccoli
Wednesday: Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
Thursday: Chicken in Wine Sauce, new potatoes, veggies
Friday: Lime Chicken Tacos, Spanish Rice, Beans

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Titus 2 Cute Tuesday

Launch Pad, Part 2 by Stephanie H.
We have our backpacks hanging in the laundry room, which is on the way out the door.  The letter on the hook is the first letter of our kid's names.  This is also great for after school.  They hang their backpacks up after school and I go through them all in one place.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reaping What You Sow

"For whatever a man sows, he will also reap" Ephesians 5:7 HCSB

The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs

"Let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven" Matthew 5:16 HCSB
A "Must Read" to your child this month

Lead Me

Lead Me
Biblical Priority #1 - God
by Kim H.

A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 NASB

It’s not easy to think before you react. Although, practicing a deep breath, a long pause or sincere prayer before reacting is greatly beneficial. I know this to be true; anger produces more anger…or strife, frustration, ect. This can be a horrible cycle that passes down generations. That cycle can be stopped now with God’s help.
I share the same type of personality with one of my children. We tend to get in many disagreements over various things. If I react in my flesh, I always regret it. When I submit to God’s spirit to lead me, things always work beautifully.

When my child would disobey or disrespect me; instead of my first reaction- which may be negative, I would say a simple prayer like this. ”Lord, convict them.” It would always amaze me shortly after that, my child would come to me with a repentant heart.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 NIV

CHALLENGE: Pause and Pray before reacting. Step back and watch God step up.

Ripping What You Sew

Ripping What You Sew
Biblical Priority #2 - Marriage
by Jenn V.

Reaping What You Sow on Marriage – Wow! That’s a loaded statement isn’t it? If I had a nickel for every time I nagged, whined and took my husband for granted, I could quit my job and have a sweet ride sitting pretty in my garage to boot!!! I grew up an only child and so that means I got all the attention, especially from my dad. He was and is a great dad to me. He could give lessons to other fathers on how to properly cherish a daughter and make her feel like the apple of his eye. Little girls should feel like they are princesses in real life, not just in pretend play. One thing though, I just forgot to hang up my tiara when it was time to get married. That servant heart didn’t surface right away. It took a little while for me to finally realize and tell God, “HEY! This isn’t workin’ out like it’s supposed to!”  That’s when God helped me to see what I was doing wrong. I kept comparing my husband with my father. BAD IDEA! They are two different people who have their own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Families are like a quilt. Every selfless act of servitude for my family is a new patch, sewn together with God’s grace and mercy. My self-centeredness was ripping up my quilt at the seams. Then once I learned to accept my husband the way God made him, guess what happened? I started feeling cherished by my husband! I have tried a thousand times and I still can’t make my sweet Mother-in-Law’s amazing homemade Mac and Cheese, but he loves me anyway, amongst all my many other we-won’t-discuss-here-faults!

Luke 6:37-38 of The Message Bible says, “Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”

CHALLENGE: Go a whole week and say nothing but “Sweet Nothings” to your spouse and see what happens!

Help! My Son Constantly Complains

Help! My Son Constantly Complains
Biblical Priority #3 - Marriage
by Carri P.

My son literally complains when he does almost everything. Can anyone else relate? So, what in the world to do? This is what I asked a group of ladies and received a wonderful tool I absolutely must share with you.
First, I told my son how God wants us to be joyful about our lives and happy to do the chores we are assigned. I then made him memorize the verse on complaining, “Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure children of God.” Philippians 2:14 HCSB. Finally I explained to him that each and every time he complained he was going to write the verse in a notebook I provided to him.

It is working! It is amazing how well our children respond to the word of God. We must sow God’s truth into the lives and minds of our children so that we may reap a wonderful harvest of God honoring thoughts and behavior from them.

CHALLENGE: Start a “complaining notebook” for your child and have him/her memorize and meditate on God’s word.


Biblical Priority #4 - Home
by Stephanie H.

What image does the word hospitality bring to mind?  Wikipedia says: Hospitality involves showing respect for one's guests, providing for their needs, and treating them as equals. Notice it does not say have the nicest decorated home or be the best pastry chef. It says to provide for your guests, show them respect and treat them as equals. Sounds to me like showing God’s love to others. We are to minister to others through hospitality, Romans 12:13 (NLT) says, “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”

Have you ever thought about Jesus being our perfect role model for hospitality? He showed respect to everyone, provided for everyone’s needs and treated everyone as an equal. Jesus often fed people before He preached. God has given us many examples of hospitality. Romans 16:1-2 (MSG) “Be sure to welcome our friend Phoebe in the way of the Master, with all the generous hospitality we Christians are famous for. I heartily endorse both her and her work. She's a key representative of the church at Cenchrea. Help her out in whatever she asks. She deserves anything you can do for her. She's helped many a person, including me.”

CHALLENGE: Who can you minister to this month through hospitality?

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together
Biblical Priority #5 - Service
by Amy G.

Pastor Adrian Rodgers once said, “You always reap what you sow, you reap later than you sow, and you reap more than you sow.”

According to Webster’s, to Sow means to plant a seed for growth, to set something in motion. Are you sowing by investing in the godly relationships in your life? To reap means to harvest, to obtain as a result of effort. Are you seeing that the relationships that you have invested in are thriving and fruitful? Are you DOING LIFE TOGETHER?

The first Christian church in the new testament was not called the First Church of Jerusalem,” it was not a building at all, it was a group of people who had their lives forever changed by an encounter with the resurrected Christ.

How do we DO LIFE TOGETHER today, where we are?
“They worshipped together at the Temple each day, (Sunday mornings and Sunday School/Life Groups) met in homes for the Lord’s Supper (small group studies and prayer), and shared their meals with great joy (fellowship-moms night out/ men’s fellowships/pot luck dinners) and generosity (assembled together to serve the local community)- all the while praising God and enjoy the goodwill of all the people (thriving relationships). And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47 NLT (emphasis mine)

The first believers were sowing real, intimate, daily community and they were reaping new believers who, too, had their lives changed.

CHALLENGE: This month, put into motion plans to gather with another believing family for a meal and see what you reap due to your effort.

Wrapped In His Arms

Wrapped In His Arms
Biblical Priority #6 - Love One Another
by Suzie M.

Three years ago my best friend lost her mom to Ovarian Cancer. It was a bittersweet time. Our prayers were answered that she did not have to suffer long, but I had just given birth to our 3rd child, therefore I could not be with my friend. All I could do was pray for her, cry with her and listen on the phone to whatever she needed to get out. I had been to many funerals: grandparents, friends, friends’ parents, but when it’s your best friend you hurt when they hurt. I did not know how to comfort her, everything I did or said felt inadequate. Even months later I could not “complain” about my own mom to her, how could I when she would probably give anything to have her mom back even for one day driving her crazy. Little did we both know that two years later we would be walking through this valley together again, only this time it was my mother-in-law. She too had Ovarian Cancer. She too did not have to suffer long. And though I would have loved to have had my best friend right beside me I knew she could not endure it. But I also knew she was always a phone call away. I knew she was praying for my whole family. I knew she would have the right words to say.

God did not allow her to go through suffering for nothing, for He will be glorified. “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” John 14:13 Our Father in Heaven is the God of all comfort, and comforts us in our very time of need. However we too, are commanded to comfort one another. My friend was and still is a huge source of comfort that God uses to comfort me and my husband as we walk through this season, but I know He is the Author of it all.
God will use me as well to comfort another who will walk through this valley, because His Word is true. I did not know exactly how my friend was feeling at the time but I comforted her the best way I knew. Now I have the privilege of allowing God to use me to comfort another. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Cor. 1:3-5

CHALLENGE: Your testimony of your own sufferings and God’s faithfulness may be just what someone needs to hear today. Share your God story so someone may be comforted or maybe all God wants you to do is pray with and encourage another today.

Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Cinnamon Bundt Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
3/4 cup canola oil (I usually substitute applesauce for oil)
1-1/8 cup water
4 eggs
1 tsp. imitation butter flavoring
1 tsp. vanilla

Filling: Glaze:
3 TB sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 TB milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. imitation butter flavoring.

Combine the cake ingredients in a large bowl & beat on high for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Spray a Bundt cake pan with cooking spray. Layer the batter in 3rds with the filling, starting & ending with batter. Swirl with a butter knife. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Cool about 8 minutes. Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Invert cake, cool and glaze.