Thursday, July 9, 2015

Staying in God's Will

This morning as I went through my email and now scanning FB, I have noticed a lot of people are posting verses asking God to help them to do His will in their lives.  I don't know how many Bible verses there are about doing God's will but I imagine there is a great number.

This is probably one of the most difficult things to accomplish in our everyday life.  We leave our home in the morning on fire for the Lord and ready to tackle anything that can possibly come our way.  After all we did ask God to help us find and do His will.  Maybe we should be asking Him to "Keep" us in His will. When we walk out the door of our home we will be constantly bombarded with worldly ways and some are presented to us in such a way it is easy to just say yes and forget about our talk with God.  I am guilty of having the best intentions of remaining in God's will but I become distracted and easily enticed through out the day.

If you think it would be easier to remain in God's will if you stayed home 24/7 you would be wrong.  God tells us in Matthew 28:19 to go out (out of your comfort zone) and make disciples of all nations,..  His commands are His will for our life.

Begin today to sincerely pray that God will keep you in His will as you go out into the world.  Don't forget to put on your armor you will need it to make it through the day.

Enjoy your flowers and enjoy your new found life in the will of God.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

I promised to share my Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie recipe and this is my first attempt at sharing a recipe on my website with step-by-step instructions.

I like recipes with stories and this pie has a story behind it.  Several years ago Jennie James and I were on a road trip and we discovered a hidden jewel in the tiny town of Leslie, Arkansas (population 469).  Leslie is located at the Junction of Highway 65 and Highway 66.  We had originally stopped at the Serenity Farm Bakery and asked where we could eat lunch and the cashier suggested the Skylark Cafe and it was just around the corner.  The Skylark Cafe is located in a quaint Victorian home that is over 100 years old.  We were hooked from the building alone.

Seating is limited but we did find a booth to sit in.  The sweet waitress told us off the bat that if we wanted dessert we needed to order it first.  She began naming off the desserts (yes, many) for the day and we were totally lost.  She suggested we go to the cashier register and 'read the wall'.  We decided on two different desserts, then we could share with each other.  I ordered the Strawberry Cheesecake Pie and I honestly don't remember what Jennie ordered.  The pie was a slice of heaven.

Being the cook, I dissected the pie when I got home and tried to duplicate the recipe.  The following recipe is what I came up with on a rainy Saturday afternoon.  The complete recipe is at the end.  You can skip all my ramblings and go directly to the recipe or you can stick around and learn how not to make a big mess in your kitchen, when you use the wrong size pie crusts.

These are the ingredients you will need:  8 ounces cream cheese, two prepared pie crusts (this recipe makes two large pies), 1 small box of Strawberry flavored Jell-O (I use sugar free), sugar, Cool Whip and two 16 ounce containers of fresh strawberries quartered and cornstarch (I forgot to put it in the photo).

Begin by letting the cream cheese soften until it is at room temperature...and prepare your pie crusts and bake according to your package or recipe directions and let cool.  You can use a prepared graham cracker crusts but they really aren't big enough to hold all of this wonderfulness.  If you prepare your own graham cracker crusts be sure to use 9" pie pans.  Anything smaller and you will have strawberry filling all over your kitchen...this is experience talking.

Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and add the 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and blend until it is well combined.

Now add the Cool Whip and blend.

When the Cool Whip is blended with the cream cheese, set the bowl aside

Looks good, doesn't it?

In a medium saucepan empty the box of Jell-O, dash of salt and sugar.  Add 1 cup of water to the Jell-O.  Mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water together until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Add this to the Jell-O and cook on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to thicken it will also turn to a clear red when it is ready.

Now it is time to get to work.  Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between the two baked pie crusts.  Refrigerate while you prepare strawberries.

Slice/quarter the strawberries into a large bowl.  There should be four cups of strawberries maybe a little more and of course you have to make sure they are good by tasting a couple.  Pour the Jell-O mixture over the strawberries and stir, be gentle you don't want to bruise the berries.

Almost finished, now spread the strawberries over the pies dividing as evenly as possible.  Refrigerate at least three hours.

When cool top with whipped cream of Cool Whip and enjoy.  I took these to a July 4th cookout and didn't get a photo of just a slice of the pie.  Sorry.


Makes 2 - 9 inch an


2 prepared 9 inch pie crusts, baked according to package or recipe instructions
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
9 ounces Cool Whip (I use Lite Cool Whip)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
3 ounce box of Strawberry flavored Jell-O (I use Sugar Free)
1 1/2 cups water (divided)
Dash of salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar (or you can use Splenda granulated)

Crust:  Prepared crust according to directions or your favorite recipe.

Filling:  Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together in a medium size bowl.  Blend in Cool Whip.  Spread evenly into the two pie crusts.  Set aside.

Topping:  In a large bowl quarter the strawberries and set aside.  Mix Jell-O, sugar, salt and 1 cup of water in a medium size saucepan.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of water and add to the Jell-O mixture.  Cook until the mixture begins to thicken and changes color.  Pour over the strawberries.  Divide the strawberry mixture between the two pies.  The juice may run over, it it does just put the pie plate on a regular plate to catch the overflow.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip and enjoy.

You may copy and paste to print this recipe.  I am still trying to figure out to make it 'printer friendly'.

Bring Back the Family Table

One of my objectives in life is to bring back the family table. When I was growing up we had dinner (supper) together as a family every night. When my children were growing up we had dinner together every night. Some nights it may have been at the baseball field (original tailgating) but we ate together. With the busy lives of today's families this family tradition seems to be going to the way side. You know it is a problem when there is a television commercial urging everyone to turn their phones off on Sunday night and enjoy a meal with their family. I am not naive enough to believe that the family table will return overnight. It disappeared over several years when we began getting busy with outside activities. Even if the food has to be 'take out' it should be eaten together.
My husband, Bob, sent me the following article. I wish I knew who to thank for the article but I don't.

She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household. - PROVERBS 31:15

R. V. Brown was the sixteenth of 17 children. As he and his siblings arrived at the dinner table, he never understood why his mother stood in the corner with a bowed head. When he was older, he learned that she was praying that the butter beans and cornbread would make it to one end of the table and back without running out!

Of all the rich memories forged in his childhood home, this was the best: dinnertime. Everybody gathered around. Talking, listening and enjoying the laughter and noise of family togetherness.

He can still hear the older kids talking about the work they'd been doing that day. Or about what had happened at school. Another might tell a story he remembered from his stint in the army. And before they finished, R.V.'s daddy, who couldn't read or write, would lean back in his chair and begin sharing from his heart in that soft, arresting voice of his. Little bits of wisdom. Nuggets about how to treat people. Pearls about how to always give your best, settling little problems by using some patience and understanding and not hurting anybody.

I hate to think what the pace of life in today's families has done to memories like these. How many kids, when they grow up and look back on their childhood, will reflect on how much it meant for them to wolf down a fast-food hamburger in the car between ball practice and youth group? I think that what we stand to lose by consistently eating on the run may be a generation that has learned to value activity over relationship . . . and continues to feed self when they could be feasting together.

Give your children something they'll always remember: Give them dinnertime.

Be honest about your dinnertime habits. Are they what they should be? What's one thing you want to do differently about your dinnertime?

Ask God to help you place more value on being together than on doing it all.

These flowers were a gift from my friend, Joan Tornquist, she picked them from her rose garden. I 'had' to use one of my vintage table cloths for these beautiful flowers for dinner that night. Pick some flowers from your garden or from the side of the road and use them for your centerpiece at 'The Family Dinner Table'. Have a blessed day.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July

I would like to take this time to wish each of you a Happy Fourth of July.  I am sharing from an email I received this morning and a post from my son, Scott Lacy​.  Stay Safe.

As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. — Galatians 6:14

A gift like no other, it has become the ultimate symbol around the world for freedom and democracy. Erected in New York Harbor and dedicated in October 1886, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France. For millions of immigrants drawing near to New York City after long ocean voyages, Lady Liberty was one of the first glimpses of America. On the day she was dedicated, the tricolor French flag veiled her face. In a dramatic flourish, the designer and sculptor himself climbed the 354 steps within his own creation to release the flag and unveil the noble, now-familiar face. The statue is 151 feet high, from base to torch — 351 feet with pedestal and foundation included. The seven points on her crown represent the seven seas and the seven continents of the world.

In other words, Liberty is a universal yearning, not just a national symbol.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the great structure fell under the jurisdiction of the United States Lighthouse Board because the Lady’s illuminated torch served as a navigational aid for ships entering the harbor. The statue became, then, a symbol and something much more.

It is the same with the cross of Jesus Christ. Across the world, it is an easily recognizable symbol of Christianity. In reality, however, it is a real and powerful navigational tool that has guided untold millions out of darkness, superstition, selfishness, addiction, and despair, bringing them into relationship with their Creator. To those who live apart from Christ, the cross is a religious icon or decorative emblem. But for those who have experienced its mighty transformational power, the cross is more like a shining torch lifted high on a dark night, welcoming them to safety.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the cross. If it wasn’t for that place and time in history where You laid down Your life for me, I would have no hope at all. But now I have every hope — of meaningful life today and a future in Heaven.

The cross marks the place in time and space when humanity was truly set free.