Thursday, December 18, 2014

The one thing that is impossible for God...


If there's one thing God has spoken to me repeatedly through all of my Advent devotions, it's this truth from Luke.  Our God is the God of the impossible.  Throughout the Bible, every person that God used in mighty and powerful ways faced an impossibility that they had to trust God about.  In every situation, God kept His Word and His promises.

In two thousand and fourteen, I've seen some big answers to prayers that I've prayed for years and years.  Yet, there remains a couple at the top of my list that I haven't seen answers to yet.  One in particular, the enemy has been taunting and tempting me to give up on.  I've found that my best response to the enemy is to go to God and admit my doubt, admit my unbelief, admit my frustration about praying the same thing day after day, year after year.  "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief" may just be six of the most honest and powerful words in the Bible.  

I'm so thankful that God's Word is a rock beneath my feet that is unshakeable and immovable.  When my emotions say to quit believing, to give up,  I cling to the firm foundation of the truth, of the Word. When it says NOTHING  is impossible, the Word gives one exception. "It is impossible for God to lie", Hebrews 6:18 declares.  In the Amplified Bible it goes on to say that it is impossible for God to ever prove false or to deceive us.  Then it says that we who run to Him for refuge have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before us.  WOW!  Isn't it amazing that He even provides the hope we need in order to not give up! I'm choosing to grasp and hold fast to hope right now.  I'm choosing to trust in the God who cannot lie and in the unchangeable truth of His Word.  I'm choosing to keep praying for the the things that look impossible to my physical eyes, that seem impossible to my unsteady emotions.  

I know some of you are facing impossibilities, too.   You are weary from years of praying and crying out to God, but not seeing answers.  I pray that these truths from God's Word have been as encouraging to you as they have been to me.  I'm believing  that we will all be filled with God's peace, that we will all grasp firmly to the hope appointed for us by God Himself in our praying and waiting.

still following, 

   



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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Three Christmas Cookie Recipes for you!





My Favorite Sugar Cookies 
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture and incorporate well. Wrap and chill 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake til edges are just golden on ungreased cookie sheet.




Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
Cream together:
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 Tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add dry ingredients and combine:
(whisk or sift baking soda into flour first)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups rolled oats
1 12 oz. package white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
zest of one orange
Chill dough for best results and then bake on greased cookie sheet in preheated 375
degree oven
for approximately 10 minutes.




Ultimate Ginger Cookies (recipe by Ina Garten)
(words in italics are my slight tweaks to the recipe)
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
• 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
• 1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)- (make sure it is the *dry* ginger and not the moist ginger)
• Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

Preheat oven to 350° F and line cookie sheets with parchment or Silpat mats. 
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for five minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for another minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for one more minute. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.
Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon,  scoop out walnut sized ball of dough, roll it with your hands into a round ball, lightly roll it in granulated sugar. Place them on parchment covered baking sheet and flatten slightly using the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be cracked on the outside and soft on the inside. Leave the on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then transfer to wire cooling racks. Cool completely before storing.

still following,




Also linking to All Things Heart and Home

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Bokeh...

(Kim's elevate texture, lighten, 20% opacity)

For today's photos for Texture Tuesday,
I decided to focus on bokeh.
("Bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke (ボケ), which means "blur" or "haze", or boke-aji, the "blur quality." 
Bokeh is pronounced BOH-Kə or BOH-kay.-quote from the Nikon website)

(Kim's follow texture, add, 20% opacity)

From the first Christmas that I owned a DSLR camera to the current season,
capturing the bokeh of the lights on the tree has always been a fun photo challenge.

(Kim's hughes texture, screen mode, 20% opacity)

I hope you enjoy looking at my efforts.
I enjoyed capturing them!

(Kim's franklin texture, lighten, 15% opacity)

(Kim's benjamin texture,  lighten, 20% opacity)


still following,
Kim Klassen {dot com}



Sunday, December 14, 2014

O Come Let Us Adore Him...


I know better.
A busy day always goes better when I take the time to start it with time with God
reading His Word and praying.
Yesterday, Saturday, I had some chores I wanted to get done,
some errands to run,
some Christmas baking to do.
I got up and dove right into the busyness, 
telling myself I would have my time with God later.
I got done with my stuff at 10 pm and took a hot bath and went right to bed,
disappointed in myself for letting my own agenda crowd out my time with Him.
This afternoon, following church and lunch and a baby shower,
I had another list of things I wanted to get done,
but this time I chose the best thing first!
He's worthy of my time, my adoration, my everything.
I'm so thankful He doesn't shun me when I mess up,
but the minute I turn to Him, He's there waiting for me.
I don't want the busyness of the season to rob me of time spent with the Reason for the season!

******************

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

#5505-#5529

12/8/14-
-spending some time with our youngest daughter and her boyfriend
-soup simmering, the Christmas tree and candles glowing, reading my She Reads truth devotions
-going to get a coffee and driving to the river to watch the Christmas ships with my hubs

12/9/14-
-because of Jesus I stand before Father God chosen and blameless
-a beautiful big bluejay
-youngest granddaughter, who's getting too big for it, napping in a nest of blankets in the playpen
-a fun evening taking the two youngest granddaughters to the penguin movie and out to dinner at Chipotle

12/10/14-
-some time to write
-our youngest grandson's giggles
-the way my oldest granddaughter likes to help organize things, (she helped me organize all of our dvds!)
-falling asleep earlier than normal after two days of watching the grands

12/11/14-
-going on a run, 
(in spite of not feeling well, thinking it might make me feel better, but now I know it was a God nudge!),
 right when the neighbor lady a couple blocks over was out checking her mail,
stopping to talk to her and her starting to cry telling me her husband was just diagnosed with cancer 
and so I asked if I could pray with her and she gladly accepted
(will you please pray for S and her husband G 
and for me as I want to be an instrument of God's love to them during this time)
-staying home with a migraine and just resting for the rest of the day
-no power outages or damage to our house in another bad windstorm
-the hubs telling me our church prayer meeting went great inspite of a power outage at the church

12/12/14-
-an encouraging time at our Minister's Fellowship International lunch

-a beautiful day and no migraine so I could enjoy it!


- a wonderful time with my husband at the concert with the Northwest Gospel Choir and the Oregon Symphony



12/13/14-
-a cozy fire in the fireplace


-the good feeling after getting a bunch of work done
-baking Christmas cookies

12/14/14-
-the sweet reassurance of God's presence
-going out to lunch with friends and our middle daughter and her family
-spending time with Jesus

gratefully yours,

Saturday, December 13, 2014

1 John 3:1...


You've heard it said that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Yes, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus,
but God the Father's love for us is the reason behind Jesus' birth!
God made us so that we could be included in the perfect circle 
of the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Due to man's sin, He sent His Son Jesus to redeem us from our slavery to sin.
Jesus was eternal existent with God.
He is God.
He was born of a virgin.
He lived a sinless life.
He died a substitutionary death for us on the cross.
He was raised from the dead.
All so we could become God's children.
All so we could be included in the perfect circle of the love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Through our acceptance of God's free gift of salvation through Jesus,
we are twice His.
His because He made us
and
His because He redeemed us, bought us back from the enemy.
What manner of love is this?
Love eternal, unending, overwhelming, all forgiving, perfect.
And it's yours, fully and freely.
All you have to do is receive it.


still following,





Scripture and Snapshot


SUNDAY STILLNESS

Also happily linking up with the lovely Lisha Epperson.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Friday Favs...Christmas dining room 2014


I've shown you a bit of my kitchen, my entryway and my living room.
Now welcome to the dining room of my wee little house!
In the photo above is my dish cabinet with some open shelves above, 
and my little Christmas tree that I use to count down to Christmas 
by adding a tag with a title of Jesus for each day in December until Christmas day.


that help block the view of the side of my refrigerator and also add lots of storage.



Here is another photo of the corner of my dining room.
You can see a peek of the "sleigh rides and Christmas trees" sign that I made last year,
hanging over the dining room window.
You can also see my Target boxwood wreath layered over my chalkboard.



Here's a  close up photo taken last year of my homemade Christmas sign.


Some of my Universal China Woodvine pattern sits on the open shelves.


The top of the dish cabinet holds a wooden caddy with some of my Christmas transferware dishes inside. 


On my dining room table, this old wooden tote holds some ironstone, a couple of holiday cookbooks,
and some holly.



I hoped you enjoyed seeing my Christmas-y dining room!

It's almost Friday, friends!
On Friday, the hubs and I have an annual pastors' Christmas luncheon to attend,
then we are going on a date to a concert downtown in the evening!
Whatever you are doing, 
I pray that you have 
a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and 
a safe and BLESSED weekend!




Also linking to All Things Heart and Home

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