Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Other Times, Other Seasons, February Note Card Party at Vee's

The snow is so beautiful, and it keeps on coming. As does the ice. As Mister is out front chipping at the ice that coats our sidewalk, let's revisit other seasons, shall we? (my link feature is still wonky....dunno why)

Mount Gretna, PA, is always a great place to visit.  Originally a summer church meeting camp ground affiliated with the Methodist Church, it is also used today as year round residence for some, vacation homes for others.

The beautiful details on the front porch of the Mainstay Inn in Cape May, New Jersey, still enchant me.

Our back porch off the family room is a delightful place to while away the hours.
Oh look....the dog in the bottom left.  Always wanting to go back indoors.  C'mon, it's a beautiful day!!

And just because......Chickie was graffiti a few years ago.  It has since been painted over, but I did like it!

Joining Vee for February's Notecard Party!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I got the idea from Pinterest.  It was called Pinata cake, and was much prettier than mine.  The rest is pretty  much all me.

1 box cake mix  (chocolate would be good, but all I had was white with pudding in it...)
1 box instant chocolate pudding (cause I didn't have chocolate cake mix)
1/4 to 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (cause I didn't have chocolate cake mix)
1/2 cup water....which I subbed in half of it for coffee...
1/4 cup veg oil
1 cup vanilla yogurt (instead of sour cream)
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

Put all ingredients in a bowl.  Mix slow for a minute to combine ingredients, and then on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Throw in a bottle of red food coloring if you want red velvet cake.

Turn into prepared 8 inch cake pans.  (wax paper the bottoms and grease/flour the sides)

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so, til done.

Cool 10 minutes.  Turn out of pans.

I love to cut my cake layers, so I cut each layer in half horizontally.
And then cut a circle out of the middle of 3 of the 4 halves.

 Layer.  Frost it.  (Seven Minute Frosting because it's fun)

 Layer.  Frost it.  Layer. Frost it.

Pour your M&Ms in the middle.  Put the top layer of cake on.  You know, the one with no hole in the middle.  Frost the whole cake.

I made this cake as a Valentine's Day surprise for Chickie.  I was able to keep it a surprise by telling her that I was making a cake for our youngest cat's birthday.  We selected February 14 to be his birthday because he regularly gets cranky and finds us repulsive and cringe-worthy, and we theorized that perhaps having a birthday celebration on such a day of love would encourage him to be more loving.

We're kind of weird that way around here.

Be blessed today!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When Praying Became Striving

(King's Gap State Park)

When you pray hundreds of thousands of prayers, weeping, fervent you know your prayers never die?  And that God doesn't stop answering them?  And that you can only see a tiny glimpse of the big picture, that He is working mightily behind the scenes in ways that you may never know this side of heaven?

And that there can be a season when the praying, the weeping, the becomes striving?  And if you ask Him to consume you, abide in you, take you over, live through you, that sometimes it becomes a time of releasing....which is a part of trusting.....and thanking Him for what He is doing because even though you can't see behind the scenes, He is working.

Know this.  He. is. working.

My favorite author, Grace Livingston Hill, in "Blue Ruin", said it to me this way, yesterday: this law of life through death affects every relationship in life.  How in learning new spiritual truths, even the great oft-heard doctrine of Christ's victory on the cross over sin, we have to get to the point where we give up utterly, in despair of ourselves, before the Holy Spirit can really teach and make a part of us the truth which before we had learned only with our minds.  For then, in that hour of death, when we find ourselves at the end of our own power and we throw up our hands and say, "Lord, I can do nothing," then we find that truth which we though was learned long ago is the only thing which can grip us and bring us out into victory.  
     He spoke of service, how it, too, comes under this law of life through death.  How we must die even to our service for Christ sometimes before it can be effectually used by Him.  How there comes a time in our service when from sheer force of circumstances, adversity, and fruitlessness we feel that we are at an end.  That is our testing time.  When that time comes, no self-life is left, but only Himself in us, free now to work.  Then is the time when we discover just how much of our work was a matter of popularity.  Whether we were out to make a name for ourselves; whether it mattered to us when people said nice things about our work, or when they said mean things and criticized.
     "From all this self-life, we have to be emancipated before God can use us," went on the preacher earnestly.  "We have to get to the place where is does not matter in the least what people say or do, so long as God is satisfied and we are in the way of His will.  This is the way of peace and the way of victory.  But we have to go down to the realm of death, the 'I' has been crucified that Christ in the power of His resurrection can be revealed."

When the cross has done its work, there is liberation from all human limitations, and Christ breaks forth from the grave in a way that gives Him mastery of the whole situation.  Those who have been identified with Him in His death are raised by Him to a life on a supernatural level, and through them He achieves such things as were before utterly impossible.  

Was this God's message especially for her?  It was in some ways just what her mother had said, and yet---it went further.  It was one thing to have something wrenched from you and to bow to God's will; it was a step further to hand that precious thing over and let Him do His will.  Was she ready to do that with Dana?  Just give him up to the Lord?  Maybe he would find the way to God and know all this deeper message someday, but was she willing that, in order to work this for him, and perhaps for herself, too, she should hand over the thing she prized most in life?

Very often it does seem as if God requires a lot of us; that this cross makes tremendous invasion , tremendous demands, and sometimes forces the demand to the point of pain when we have to hand over to Him something very dear.  We seem all the time to be givinggiving.  It seems that the law of sacrifice is tremendously at work.  But this is the road and the law by which, and by which alone, the infinite and transcendent gain can come.

Are you prepared to let go in order to obtain?  Let go the temporal for the eternal, the transient for the abiding, the earthly for the heavenly, the present glamour for the ultimate glory?  This is the way to possess all things.....The compensation is overwhelming as at the cross we lay our treasure in the dust....that the Almighty should be our treasure.  

Be blessed today.


Monday, February 3, 2014

The View Out My Window Today

Though I don't know how much snow we will get.  These days, the best weather forecast I can find is by looking out the window.

So, snow today, and then tomorrow night comes the big ice storm, and then another storm scheduled possibly for the weekend.

Our schools, trash collection and churches and colleges have closed.

I'm still trying to brainstorm for something sweet to make to nosh on, that will appeal to all 3 of us.  Oh, and it must be gluten free.

Hope your day is beautiful,