Just the Little Things

So I have been thinking a lot about gifts, and the small things that are so special!

About a year ago grandma was sick with cancer and mom was taking care of her. That was such an incredibly hard time. We girls needed to take care of our siblings and keep the house running! It was such a draining time – But we were blessed within it. God’s people stepped in and showed love and care. And it meant SO much. Lots of meals, flowers, notes, coffee and encouragement. Times when I wasn’t sure I could go on, He sent someone! Sometimes it was just the little things; Maybe just a hug, and someone saying they care.

Remember, it doesn’t need to be big to show someone you care!!! I know for myself, that I tend to think it needs to be big and elaborate; But it really doesn’t. It may just be the acknowledgement of care to a friend that counts or a hand picked bouquet of flowers.

Let’s not miss opportunities to bless people because we think we don’t have enough to give. Give what you have in love and that is truly enough!

Written by Damarus

Philippians

PHILIPPIANS 2:1-18

  1. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2. Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3. Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. 4. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15. That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.

16. Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. 17. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. 18. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

As I read through the book of Philippians recently I was very blessed by what I read. I highly encourage you to read the rest of the book and allow God to speak to you through it. -Ginger

Baking: Tips & Tricks

Hello you all! Today we decided to share a few baking tips and tricks since we all seem to come in close contact with food at some time or another! Baking is fun but it is oh so disappointing when we don’t have the ingredients, or it flops. Mistakes are part of life but we can learn from them and turn them into growing experiences. Here are some random things we have learned.

TIPS & TRICKS

  • This is a simple one but handy to know. 3 tsp. = 1 TB. 4 TB. = 1/4 c.
  • Something that I do all the time in bread making is called the ‘windowpane test’. It tells you if the dough has been kneaded enough. Take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. If it can stretch enough to see light through it, it has been kneaded enough, but if it can’t stretch that much without breaking, knead a little longer and then try again.
  • Recipe calls for sour milk or butter milk = 1 c. milk + 1 TB. vinegar. Let sit 5 minutes and there you go!
  • Does your pie crust shrink substantially when you prebake it? Press a piece of tin foil against the crust in the pan and bake for about three quarters of the time then carefully pull out and finish baking. This has really helped me!
  • Before beating egg whites or something delicate, wipe out bowl with a little vinegar. It makes sure that there is no grease that would hinder the egg whites from beating.
  • When making chocolate chip cookies, refrigerate the dough for half an hour before baking. This prevents them from spreading too much in the oven. Also if you add 1/4 c. maple syrup to the dough it adds great flavor!
  • Baked goods lose their fresh favor so quickly but freezing soon after baking ,unless you plan to eat it the next day, preserves that much longer. Like for cinnamon rolls, I just barely bake until done and then freeze them un-iced. Then whenever you want fresh tasting cinnamon rolls real quick, pull out a pan and pop in the oven at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit until soft and warm. Ice with favorite frosting and enjoy! One of my favorite make ahead pastries.
  • There is 1/3 c. of jello in a 3 oz. box.
  • When a recipe calls for a packet of yeast = 2 1/4 tsp. of yeast
  • If you are going to whip cream put your bowl and whipping attachments into the freezer. When they are good and cold whip up the cream and because of the cold it will whip up faster and better.
  • This is something that I am still trying to do better at. Measure dry ingredients , but especially flour, by spooning in cup and then leveling of with butter knife or something. If you scoop the cup in, it packs a lot more then is called for which can throw off your recipe.
  • And whatever you make, be sure to add the flavor a heart of love adds!

Compiled by Daisy

Being Handicapped is Only a State of Mind + Bonus Story

“Kinza,” my two year old brother asked, “will you read a book to me?”
“Sure,” I said and went to one of our many bookshelves to look for a book that I hadn’t already read to him 47 times. Scanning the books I grabbed one titled “Fanny”. I remembered the book from my childhood, but couldn’t have told anyone what it was actually about. Close to the bottom of the front cover was a sentence that read,
“Being handicapped is only a state of mind.”
The more I think about that now, the more I like it, and realize how true it is.
Opening the book, I started reading to my little brother. He enjoyed the story and pictures about the three-legged cat named Fanny. The further I got into the story, though, the more I realized that I actually needed to read this book about the three-legged cat. In the story, the other farm animals don’t talk to Fanny at all; they feel that because of her handicap, she will be embarrassed and awkward, and since she’s different, she certainly wouldn’t have much to say.

In reading the book, I realized how I can be so much like the other animals on the farm. When I see someone who is handicapped or even just a little different, odd, or not up on the latest, I am tempted to judge them by their exterior, and think that I can’t talk to them, as it would be awkward, and we would have nothing in common, and they surely can’t have much to say. Jesus was not like that. As it says in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female- for all of you are one in Jesus Christ.” We can also look at Jesus’ life as portrayed in the Bible. He certainly showed love to everyone- rich, poor, Christians, sinners, and everyone in between.
In the end of the book, a little puppy befriends Fanny and they become inseparable. Through this relationship, the other animals see that they, too, can be friends with Fanny, as it’s not awkward talking to her, and she has things to say: an entire heart full of things she had always wanted to say.
Stop and keep your eyes and ears open for those around you whose voices are never heard. Sometimes the most unpromising-looking people are the ones who have the most to say. Many of them may have an entire heart full of things they’ve always wanted to say.

Bonus: Sequel to last week’s post!

Last week we decided that we wanted to to go canoeing and kayaking at a reservoir close to our church after the service was over. We got food ready for a picnic and strapped our canoe and kayak onto the back of dad’s truck, ready for a party! I started out, driving the truck to church, but when I was right in the middle of town I happened to glance in my side view mirror and saw a strap fly and the canoe disappear.

“What the huff,” I said, “This is not what I need on the way to church!”

So, my younger sister and brother and I climbed out of the truck to inspect the situation. Immediately I did what every girls does first and called my dad!

“Hey, I lost the canoe in the middle of town!”

“Shoot,” he said, “well, I’ll be right there.

So, although he was almost to church he turned around and came back to help me.

Before he made it to where I was, though, two creepy guys stopped and asked if they could be of any help. When I say creepy I mean it, too! We’re talking pistol strapped to belt and the whole nine yards!

“Well,” I said, “My canoe kinda fell off the truck and there’s not much I can do. “My dad should be here soon, though.

“We’ll help you out at least by getting the canoe onto the truck,” they said.

So, up went the canoe and then one of the guys remembered he had a strap in his truck and he got it and strapped the canoe tight! I thanked them as they quickly left, wishing I could do more. I mean, they actually gave us their strap!

God definitely watches out for us, even in the little things! You know what, this actually kind of fits into what I wrote earlier about not judging people by their exterior. Some of the most creepy looking people turn out to be the most generous, kindhearted and helpful!


Written by Kinza

A Flat Tire and God’s Protection

The other day my nine year old brother, Patrick, and I were driving along when I heard a weird clunking noise that seemed to be coming from my front left tire.
I told Patrick, “I am gonna pull off and see what’s wrong.”
I hopped out to find that my tire was very flat. Like it was almost driving on the rim.
Thankfully I was on a road that has a fairly wide berm, so I got my car off the road completely and called Dad. Thank God for Dad’s that put up with their daughters calling about mechanical issues! Unfortunately, he was two hours away and couldn’t come help me. He said everything to put the spare on should be in my car and if I can’t figure it out, call him and he’ll walk me through it.
While we were in the process of figuring this out, a big, dark green van pulled up behind me, and a guy that I would label as creepy came over and asked if we needed help.
I was like, “Well, my tire is kinda flat.”
So he got down and tried taking the nuts off, but he couldn’t, so he called his buddy who had a bigger lug to come. He’s like, “yeah, there’s a young lady here with her son…” and I am thinking, “how old do I look?”
In the meantime, I was getting something out of my car, and I laid my phone and key on the seat, and shut the door. What do you know, the doors were locked. Talk about a bad day gone worse. I just wanted to scream. The last thing I wanted this alleged “creep” to know was that now I didn’t have my phone, but I asked him if he wanted to try to unlock my car anyway. Thankfully the trunk was open and the back seat easily went down enough for Patrick to crawl in and get my stuff.
By then this man’s friend came, as well as another random guy who stopped by. They were all of the same stripe; tattoos, smoking, and just rough looking.

Eventually they got the flat tire off and tried putting the spare on. But since I never needed the spare before, I had never looked at it, and unfortunately it was not made for my car. The bolt patterns just didn’t quite line up.
Kinza was about 20 minutes from me, so she headed over to pick us up. I told these guys she was coming and they could go it they wanted. But they said they weren’t going anywhere until she came. So they waited there until we got the flat in her car and made sure I had my key and the doors were locked (they were very concerned that I do this right) and we were on our way.

I know that God was there the entire hour we sat along the road. Never would I have felt safe with those guys or trusted them, but maybe they were trustworthy. Maybe they weren’t. But I do know that whether it was the symbolism of my head covering or simply God’s presence, we were protected and God used those men to help us. The whole situation also taught me not to immediately judge people just by their looks. Everyone is created and loved by God and has the potential for great things.

Written by Ginger