March 12, 2018

Individual Cheesecakes

This is my motherinlaw's recipe... It is naturally gluten free and they are soooo good.

Preheat oven to 300

3 8oz pkgs Cream Cheese (softened)
1 c. Sugar
5 Eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla

Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each. Add vanilla.

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill each 2/3 full and bake for 40 mins. No more! They should rise but not brown. Remove sooner if they start to brown. Allow to cool but keep oven on. Cakes will create a concave area.

1 c. Sour Cream
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 t. vanilla

Mix together with spoon. Put some in each concave area of cakes. Bake 5 min more. Cool completely and keep refrigerated.

These are not too sweet and delicious!

March 10, 2018

What's in a Holiday?

Been contemplating some things about holidays and "honoring" days and did you know that nearly every day of the year is a "National...something...Day"?! It may be national ice cream day or french fry day or bacon day or international women's day ... really? I get some of the holidays...Christmas, Easter, 4th of July or Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, possibly even Labor Day but there are some that I don't get. Even most of the ones I already mentioned are mostly used by the world as an excuse to get drunk. Sometimes I think the government recognized holidays are just an excuse to take a day off work. I'm all for that! When I was a kid we got Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays off but when my kids were in school they combined them into President's Day and now Martin Luther King Day is added in.

The one I have been thinking about is coming in May. You guessed...Mother's Day. Ha, I bet you thought it was going to be Memorial Day. It is a day the government appointed to set aside to honor mothers everywhere. In fact, men are encouraged to honor their mothers and their wife who is the mother of their children. So, that's kind of a double whammy. The same goes when Father's Day comes around in June for the women. I get it. Just like Valentine's Day is supposed to be a special day for couples that gets recognized even though it's really just a money maker for stores and the couples should be treating each other right, special and with respect on a daily basis but on February 14th we are to step it up a notch and spend money so the stores can make a profit. Can you hear my sarcasm?! 

The Bible tells us in the Ten Commandments to honor our father and our mother....this means daily. This means all the time! And, as we taught my kids and as Bob and I taught to teens as youth pastor, it means honor goes beyond obedience. Obedience is when you still live at home under parent's roof. Honor is a life time commitment. Honor is what happens as a result of your character that reflects positively back to the parents! It's also what happens when the parent is not present with the child. Most kids can act correctly when authority is around (MOST!) but when a child does right when they think no one is watching...that's the true test. 

I was reminded this past week about the real way my kids honor me. I was reminded when my son called to talk. It is not always by them remembering to send a card or call on Mother's Day, because truthfully, sometimes life gets busy and they forget to send a card or call. Sundays are very busy (which is the day the government chose to pick for honoring know the day most have off anyway...including them!..except those in ministry or heavily committed to helping around the church). Some Sundays even a phone call would be rushed. I'm actually ok with that even though I know when those times have happened my kids feel awful about it. 

Here's what I know for sure...they honor me often. They are praised to me by others. This reflects what Bob and I taught them. They call me for advice on a regular basis. They call me when they need to vent out frustrations so they do not explode from holding it in. They know they can trust me to listen, to steer them when they are off in their thinking (and yes I do tell them) or to remind them to look at it from a different perspective. They know I am a safe zone. This honors me. I know for a fact that not all parent/child relationships are this way. I've been in ministry life in three different states and observed too much not to realize this fact. I am very thankful for the relationship I have with my daughter and son. I can talk with both of them privately about nearly anything. This fact alone brings me honor. I'll take it! It's worth much more than a card made of paper. The knowing in your heart that your child values you and your opinion is priceless. Hey maybe I should make a commercial! lol

So, for me, Mother's Day is any day that my child chooses me. When I am their go-to person. I hope and pray I never let them down. I'm sure I have in the past but hope I never do in the future. 

February 27, 2018

Spouses and Best Friends

I am going to marry my friend today...
The one who shares my 
Dreams, Life and Love

This is what our wedding invitation said on the front. 

Bob and I were friends before we even started dating. I was actually going with and "promised" to one of his high school friends. We dated for 1 1/2 years before marriage. It was a long distance romance though. He was in the Army in Colorado and I was in Missouri working. This was way before cell phones and long distance calling was not done by most on a regular basis. We wrote many letters and he called me every other Sunday to talk. We saw each other when he had "leave". We even planned our wedding long distance! He flew in to St. Louis 6 days before the wedding and then went deer hunting for two days as soon as he got in to town! lol 

I'm digressing...sorry I was enjoying thinking over old memories! The song we danced to at our reception was "You're My Best Friend" by Don Williams (mostly because the band didn't know how to play "There's No Way" by Alabama; which was "Our" song). My point is...
When we first got married we thought we knew all about being friends. I'm sure most think they know. Maybe those who were childhood friends and high school sweethearts do know about friendship but I think that spouses become true friends over time in their marriage. 

At first, couples tend to hide who they really are from one another. In a sense they may even lie to one another about likes and dislikes and preferences. Maybe this is to protect feelings but I think it is more than likely to hide your inner most thoughts and desires from the other. Also, I believe most couples have to learn to become best friends because they have gone from high school and/or college friends or work buddies to spending time with mostly their spouse. I think this is a good thing and goes right along with the leaving and cleaving that happens when the couple separates from the parents but should also include strong friendships outside the spousal communion. Shouldn't the person you've chosen to share life with be the one with whom you have the strongest friendship?!

Over time and through experiences and as you trust one another more, the guard is let down and you allow the other to see more and more of who you really are. You become less hesitant to share thoughts, ideas, dreams and opinions. These are at the core of what makes up a friendship. KNOWING the other person. 

I can say without hesitation my best friend on earth is Bob. There is no one I'd rather spend time with than him! He's my favorite person and ya know what?...that being said there are still times he gets on my nerves! There are times I get upset with him or even need to be away from him. lol I can also truly say that those times are very few! That's how close friendships learn to deal with one another and all the quirks and flaws and forgive one another of faults and mistakes. I don't think you make it 31 years without becoming best least not happily. 

If you read this and you don't consider your spouse your best friend, it's time to work on that! Share with one another! Let go of petty arguments and trivial annoyances and love and LIKE each other! That's the true test... love is commanded and even decided that you do even on days you don't feel it. LIKE is something that had better be there, or the friendship and a happy marriage will not survive!

February 20, 2018

What Makes a Good Family Life?

I've been thinking back to my childhood and realizing how good it was even though things weren't perfect. I grew up surrounded by love and lots of fun and laughter. Been pondering what may be missing in today's family atmosphere. I think it is the family table that is missing. Families today are spending less and less time around the dinner table together. If they do eat together, they are not talking and sharing. They are looking at their cell phone or tablet. I grew up at the family table. I grew up knowing I was loved and my family, immediate and extended, knew humor. There was much laughter even though many tragic things happened there was still so much laughter. 

Along with the above mentioned things, God is also missing. Families are not putting God in the center of the family unit. They no longer go to church together (this was missing in my childhood) and even if they attend church, they don't pray together or even discuss Scripture. This part is something that Bob and I have worked hard at amending in our family life with our kids. Prayer and Bible discussions are still present in our family when our kids visit. 

So, what are the things needed for a good family life? Let's just say that families who pray, play and stay (stay at the table) together have joyful lives. These are the most important aspects of a good family.  

February 9, 2018

What About Riches and Greed

Not sure where this post will go and it's early in the morning so we will see. Recently my hubby had an online debate with an old school mate of his and let me just say that the school mate was quite misguided in his thought process. This guy is a Trump hater for mostly one reason...he's rich. I think that is the attitude of most Never Trumpers. They can't stand him because he is rich and all rich people are conniving users that have walked all over other people to get what they have. There may be some people out there that are that way but I don't think it is the norm. This man just kept saying that Jesus hates greed. My husband could not convince him that rich and greed are two different things. The Bible is clear that the love of money is the root of all evil. That doesn't mean that if you have money you are evil. It means that when you love money so much that you will do whatever you can to obtain it, you will be more likely to fall into evil ways of sin. Money is what makes the world go round. It is what is necessary in our economy to eat, for transportation, for having live. 

By dictionary definition, greed means a selfish desire to have more of something (often money) than is necessary. Now, in reality this could be money, possessions or even power. 

I find it hilarious that those who vote with the democrat party seem to think that democratic politicians aren't rich! They are rich and truly only want to be generous with tax payers money. They run their mouths while neglecting the very things in their personal lives that they spout during their campaign. 

Now, let's look at greed--a selfish desire to have more of something than is necessary. Hmm, so someone who breaks into someone's home and steals, would be guilty of greed. Someone who harms or kills someone else to gain a position of authority is also guilty. Someone who neglects their spouse, children, church etc. to work and gain money to feed the desire for possessions or bank accounts or even retirement accounts is guilty of greed. The Bible calls greed covetous or covetousness. However, simply having money is not greed. Being successful and smart with a business or even an inheritance to keep money in the bank is not greed. ---As long as a person has not treated others unfairly in the process! If they have been unfair...that is greed! 

In my opinion, people who are able to work and yet live on government assistance instead are the ones who are greedy. They want and desire with no willingness to obtain for themselves. They want money and possessions but want someone else to provide it.

No matter how you look at it, you must HAVE before you can ever give! You must have money, possessions or time in order to help someone else. No poor person ever gave someone else a job. Poor people do not create charitable foundations. Poor people are not the ones giving money for research to find cures for diseases. Poor people are not the ones paying out the taxes that run our government and fund the programs that are supposed to help the poor! 

In reality, I think that having hatred in your heart for someone just because they are rich probably makes you guilty of greed... covetousness! You are jealous and desire in your heart for what they have obtained. The Bible says that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he! 

I'm thankful for the rich people who gave to St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis that gave and donated to help offset my mom's medical bills and give her items to help with her care such as wigs, head covers, lotions, pillows, etc. Thank God for those rich people! Thank God for their compassion and willingness to give! It helped us during Mom's battle with cancer. It restored hope and made some things a bit more bearable. It takes having money to give money! Even the poor widow woman that gave her two mites in the Bible, though she were poor, still had to HAVE  the two mites to give. People miss the point of that story... it's about her heart! It's about her attitude! 

When you hate someone because they have more than are the one with the greedy heart and attitude problem! You might want to fall to your knees, ask forgiveness and make it right with the Lord! 

Just a little rant and venting because I woke up at 4 am and couldn't shut my mind off. I've no idea why this subject was on my mind because the incident I mentioned in the first paragraph was over a week ago and I hadn't thought about it since then. 

February 6, 2018

The Art of Aging

Awhile back I posted about what aging means. I want to talk some more about that topic. I want to give some perspective from a 50+ person's eye view. When I got out of the shower this morning, I stood looking in the mirror and wondered who I was looking at. Where has all the time gone? No longer was I 20 or 25 or even 30. That is quite obvious. Gravity has set in and time has marched across me from head to toe. Body parts are sagging, cellulite has grouped up, wrinkles and lines have appeared, and scars from former injuries or surgeries are also apparent along with gray hair. I stand there and look in surprise as I wonder what in the world happened. Then I give myself a knowing look and remind myself that I know exactly what happened! Life happened! Two pregnancies, one C-section, a tonsillectomy, an appendectomy and oh yeah, being hit by a train happened! Gravity happened!

I also have to remember that even though my body has slowly deteriorated, I have also gained wisdom and knowledge. It's hard not to wonder why God doesn't let you have the wisdom with the firm and young body. Then again, maybe it's because you need the firm and young body to live through all the stupid things you do when you are young! You need the energy and young body to live through your mistakes!

Even though my body has aged along with my mind and memory, I get to enjoy my grandkids and pass on to them the knowledge I've gained since raising their parents. I get to have more patience with them than I did with my own kids. Patience is mostly a learned trait. It comes through learning in life that some things are not as big a deal as you once thought. That comes with age. Don't get me wrong there are people out there who are more naturally patient than others but most of the time patience comes through experience and maturity and acceptance. 

So, as I look in the mirror and get saddened by what I see physically, I am also happy to have my current knowledge and wisdom. 

I suppose that the real art of aging is accepting yourself where you are with all your aging flaws. You can set goals for yourself to try to firm up, trim down, color your hair, and anything else you want to try as long as you keep yourself from becoming too down and depressed as you work towards the goals.

Hope this gives some encouragement to those reading who are aging as I am. 

February 4, 2018

Have You Been Touched?

I was driving home from my daughters in Missouri on Friday back to Oklahoma. I was listening to a CD that was recorded by Daniel Waters. I hadn't listened to it for a couple years but I always enjoy singing along with it when I listen. One song with one phrase in particular struck me. It was a song about the healing of Blind Bartimaeus. The song is sung from Barimaeus' perspective as he begs Jesus for healing of his sight. After the healing comes he says..."One touch, He made my eyes to see. Gave new life to me. And I must tell somebody, tell somebody, tell somebody!" 

What an awesome statement! If you have really been touched by Jesus, your sight (spiritually speaking) would be healed. You would begin to see the world from God's perspective. You would begin to understand Scripture and long to read and learn more. You are no longer blinded by Satan! 

Not only is your blindness gone but you have a new life. You begin to live differently than before that touch. New priorities are put in place. Not only on this earth do you have new life, but you have a new life in the future in heaven. Whereas once you were drowning in sin and on your way to hell at your last breath (for ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God) now, you have a home in heaven prepared by Jesus himself as you draw your last breath. How exciting that is! 

If you were truly touched by Jesus and had your blindness removed and a new life given, you would absolutely be telling others about it. If you got a new dress, coat, purse, car or house, you'd for sure go and tell everyone you knew about it. So, why do so many not tell others when they have been touched by Jesus? Why would they not tell others how to be touched? There's one of two reasons why...they were never truly touched or they are ashamed of the gospel and we are not to be ashamed! 

Just something to think about. Have you been touched? Tell somebody if you have been touched!