Monday, December 29, 2008

Broken Hearted

You may feel your dying on the vine
No where to turn, out of time
Trying hard your reaching out
and though you try you still keep falling
still you hear a voice thats calling you-

Broken Hearted, Come to the river
let the healing waters soothe your wounded soul
Broken hearted, He will deliver today,
let the glory of his light coming shining through
Let Him finish what He started in you!

You may feel your crying out in vain
Worn out and helpless too much pain
look beyond the emptiness,
and when you look He's there beside you
take the hand that wants to guide you through

You may feel your burden hard to bear
You may think that Jesus doesn't care
Just remember Clavary
there He suffered willingly
Just so you and I could be free!

Broken hearted, Come to the river
let the healing waters soothe your wounded soul
Broken hearted,
He will deliver today
Let the glory of His light come shining through
Let Him finish what He started in you!

Song by Brush Arbor, last verse added by LVC

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Chirstmas Poem

Baby Jesus sweet and small
came to live and die for all;
shed his blood for you and me,
to cleanse our sin and set us free.

Once he lay on manger bed;
Angels kissed his lovely head
richest treasures wise men brought
and bowed before the baby's cot.

Shepherds spread the joyous truth
"Salvation's come through this dear youth"
And people everywhere did laud;
that Jesus was the Son of God.

Once He hung upon a cross;
Devils laughed and scorned his loss.
"A thorny crown upon his head,
See him beaten, he is dead!"

But Lo, an empty grave, come see;
The Lord is risen, triumphantly!
He paid the price, he conquered sin;
His blood will cleanse our heart within!

Baby Jesus sweet and small,
came to live and die for all;
Come be saved and filled with love-
God's dear Son, sent from above!

(Written by ~Elizabeth A. Van Cleve)

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Home-made Christmas Gift

I received a lovely gift from the D-family and I thought I would share it here.
Sister S. took a home-made pledge this Christmas and we were some of the beneficiaries of it. After services one evening I was summonsed out to their vehicle where I was handed these...

The only difference is the red tin had a really good candy-stick tied to the top that the girls and I devoured on the way home.

The square granite is a trivet for my kitchen which I am making good use of. The man of the house (Brother M.) made this. It looks like a ceramic tile and he glued feet to the bottom of it.

Very nice!
When I opened the tin the first thing I noticed was all the candy kisses since they are my favorite...
Next, I untied the ribbon and found a darling Noah's Ark Christmas tree ornament...
Underneath the ornament we found a lovely hand knitted wash-cloth...

And just when I thought the fun was over, surprise! There lying at the bottom of the tin were two bars of hand-made goat milk soap...

What a lovely Christmas present. A lot of thought and love went into this one and is much appreciated here at the Van Cleve house!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Day of Caroling

Yesterday we went out on our annual Christmas Caroling expedition. Our first stop was scheduled for 9:30 AM at the rest home on Garfield. We reluctantly pulled our weary bodies out of our warm beds nice and early and scrambled to get ready to go. We had to stop and pick up Sherry and kids and then head over to the Gallagher's. The kids grabbed an apple out the door and Felecia read us the Bible while I drove and then we prayed together. Before I left, I e-mailed a few people and asked them to pray for us. When we arrived at the first home they were all waiting for us. Some of the faces I recognized from last year, some were new. Brother Andy introduced us and then we sang and a few of them joined in. The kids did solos on the piano and harp.
I gave a testimony and invitation to Jesus Christ and then we sang our grand finale: I'll Never Miss Heaven for the World. All went well. The overseer of the place thanked us profusely saying how she remembers us from last year and how much she appreciates us. The kids passed out candy canes to everyone and the general feeling was good. Now it was off to stop number two- the rest home on FO where Sister B. stays.
When we arrived they were not as ready for us, but Sister Glenda played on the harp while some of the residence gathered in. We went through the same process except Sherry testified in the end this time.

I had thought we were scheduled for three homes but found out this was the last one. So we went to eat and then decided to go visit Zoya. After our visit with her we headed out to Mercy Folsom Hospital.
By this time I was so extremely tired and was beginning to grumble within myself. We had included the hospital last year when Sherry had requested it, but this wasn't what we normally did. So this year when they asked us to come back, I was not overly eager. But we had decided to go ahead and now as I headed down the overly trafficky roads into Folsom I felt irritated. I just wanted to go home. I was so tired I had a hard time keeping my eyes opened.
When we arrived Sherry led us to the floor where she works and there we began to knock on doors and ask people if they would like us to carol to them. The general response was very positive although a few declined. But I was unprepared for the responses we would receive in this very intimate deliverance of song. The patience looked amazed as we all squeezed into the rooms followed by a big beautiful harp. As Sister Glenda began playing it and our voices lifted, blended in harmony, praying inwardly for God's Holy Spirit to fill the room, hearts were moved. Most of the patience cried. One elderly man got on the phone and called his wife beaming "Honey I got a whole choir in my room right now. Would you like to hear them?". One lady that was visiting someone came and told us she remembered us from a rest home where she had seen us singing last year while visiting her aunt. Her aunt had since passed on. She asked where we were from. We told her the Church of God in Carmichael. Another elderly lady sobbed and kept asking for one more song. We ended hers with "Tell Me the Story of Jesus". She told us that we had brought warmth to her heart. I clasped her chilly hands and let her know our hearts were warmed too. A male patient was out walking with what appeared to be his wife and two little daughters and they stopped to listen and thanked us too. Brother Andy prayed over a few of the patience. It was sad and yet so joyful, so beautiful, so what Christmas, LIFE should be.
On my way home my heart glowed with warmth and love. But I was also chastened that I had ever inwardly complained about going. I told God I was sorry. It is such a blessing to work for Him. We were all exhausted when we got home but oh so blessed.
This morning while I was outside I looked around at the beauty around me, and was so filled with the love of God I could scarce hold back the tears. God is good. The earth is filled with the goodness of God. It is the goodness of God that leadeth thee to repentance. These thoughts flooded my mind. The fire in my heart for the love of God lept and crackled. What a beautiful God we serve!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Candy Bags

Well I finished 132 candy bags to pass out to the Bible Story Time children this evening.
It ended up being a 3 day project, but I will feel it all worth it if the bags bring happy smiles!
The tags took the longest. Joyce was over yesterday morning to help out and Felecia and I were up to midnight last night filling the bags. I finished up the tags and ties them on today. I started at 8:00 AM finished the last bag after 2:00 P.M.
I am frequently asked why I take so much time on the tags when most the kids will just rip them off and throw them away. I gave this a lot of thought and at last I know the "why".
Because I want the candy bags to smile at the children. I want them to give them a warm feeling if only for a few minutes. I want their memories of Gods church to always have a warm loving feeling with it.
It may be just a little thing, but it's my reason.

To make the tags I picked up boxed Christmas cards at the dollar tree. There were 15 cards per box. I then cut out the middle of the picture of the manger scene into a circle. I used a larger circle to cut out a frame out of card stock. I used craft scissors for a scalloped edge.
I glued the picture onto the card stock then I used glitter glue around the edge of the picture to make it sparkly. I hot glued a piece of gold rope to the back in a loop to hang from. I then tied these onto the bags.
We wrote "Merry Christmas, Bible Story Time, 2008" on the backs.
The bags have a fun assortment of candy in them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pumpkin Fudge Winner!

Announcing our Pumpkin Fudge Winner...
Officially selected from the trusty Random Integer Generator...
Entry #5 Sister Joycelyn. Congratulations! I will be making that fresh as soon as you let me know if you want it with or without walnuts. Joyce was our costume creator for our play and did a beautiful job. I will post a picture of the fudge when it is finished. Thanks to everyone one who showed their support and left me a comment on my blog!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baking Stomboli

Monday night Sherry and her kids, Chris and my family all went out to get our Christmas trees. We had a lot of fun. Amber made everyone hot cocoa to take along and when we got back to Sherry's house we enjoyed hot apple pie from Apple Hill with ice cream. So now we are working on getting our tree decorated. It is our tradition to have Sausage Stromboli when we decorate the tree. This is the only time I make it and it is so good. The original recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine. I have modified it somewhat in that I use my dough from Three loaves of Bread which is part whole wheat flour. I also use a preservative free sausage. Try it! I have my own kneading technique. I beat the dough mixture adding one cup flour at a time until it is too thick to beat. Then I stir in as much more as possible before turnig out onto floured surface. Here I used freezer wrap paper to knead on. I dampened the table underneath to keep the paper from sliding around. After each fold I press the dough out flat using a rocking motion with my knuckle. I have better success getting to the smooth surface with this method. It cuts my kneading time at least in half.

Ahhhh... the grand finale! Want a piece? Here is the recipe *wink*

Dough from Three Loaves of Bread divided in half or 3 loaves of frozen Bridgeford bread
2 lbs of bulk sausage, cooked, drained and cooled
16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs plus one more
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 Tbs Parmesan cheese
  1. Mix together in large bowl, cooked sausage, 2 eggs, basil and cheese.
  2. After first rising of bread dough, roll out into two rectangle shapes.
  3. Spoon sausage mixture down one side of dough within one inch of edges.
  4. Fold dough over filling and pinch edges to seal.
  5. Cut four diagonal slits across top of Stromboli.
  6. Beat remaining eggs and brush onto top of Stromboli.
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  8. Cover (I never cover mine) and let rise until doubled, about 45 min.
  9. Bake at 375 for 20 min or until golden brown.
  10. Slice; serve warm.
Yield: 2 loaves
***Don't forget to enter my first give away of 1 lb of my secret recipe for Pumpkin fudge:
Autumn Give-Away

Friday, November 28, 2008

Autumn Give-Away!

I love Autumn! It is my favorite time of year. Beautiful golden colors against blue skies. California sunsets are incredible. I see God, how wonderful he is in blessing us with such a feast for the eyes. The aroma's of spiced baked goods, the chilly nip in the air, the frosty mornings and cozy evening by a warm fire. I even love the rain. I love to hear the raindrops and wind and smell the fresh fragrant air, and feel the cool water splashing on my face. Everything about fall is beautiful.

So I am in baking mode. Busting at the seams with busyness. Its a wonder I have time to even post this. Some of the things I have already made are my homemade pumpkin pie~

pumpkin cookies with maple frosting~

I made tons of these luscious cookies. We passed them out to the kids at BST last week.

And a Cranberry, Pear and Walnut Torte with Cream Cheese-Orange Frosting~

This year I plan on making several varieties of fudge and giving plates of them as gifts. I have been working the last several years at perfecting different fudge recipes. I just made Coconut Creme fudge for the first time the other night and WOW! It is so YUMMY! I will also be making Butterscotch Fudge and Chocolate Mint Fudge, and my secret recipe Pumpkin Fudge. YES, it is a secret recipe as it took me awhile to develop it to the way I like it. So, since I cannot share the recipe with you, I have decided to do a random give-away for 1 lb. of Pumpkin Fudge. I will be using the Random Integer Generator to pick a winner. Simply leave a comment to this blog entry to be automatically entered into the contest. I will pick a winner Monday morning, December 15, 2008. No anonymous comments please! Have fun, and Happy Autumn!

Post Note: I will mail fudge anywhere in USA. Sorry, no out of the country entries will be accepted this time. Also, winner will be given the option of choosing to have their fudge with or without walnuts.
***to answer post #7, yes there is free shipping... for the winner that is :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Here is a sobering reminder that we have so much to be thankful for... and even more to be praying for!

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the 1 million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare,
even for the United States and Canada.
If you can read this message,
you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore,
you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

So remember as you are celebrating "THANKS GIVING"....
Enjoying that 20 lb turkey with all the trimmings...
Surrounded by your family and/or friends...
That you are among the few persons in this world to be so privileged.
Don't fail to truly give thanks from your heart.
Remember those that are less fortunate.
Take them before the throne of God and ask our dear Lord Jesus,
"please show me how I can use our blessings to help the lost and dying world. I am not my own. I am bought with a price; with the precious blood of Jesus. Lord, take my life and use it to carry on your work and purpose... the salvation of souls!"
"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am, If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:" (Isaiah 58:6-10)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Six Random Things...

Ok, I was tagged again, this time by my sister Amanda. I am supposed to write six random things about myself. Hmmm.... not an easy task. But for the fun of the game I will give it a try. Here are the given rules:

Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog.Write six random things about yourself.Tag six people at the end of your post.Let each person know he or she has been tagged.Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

#1 I LOVE Winnie the Pooh. I love his song "Up down, touch the ground puts me in the mood,Up down touch the ground in the mood, for food.I am short fat, poud of that thinking poundage wise, I improve my appetite when I excersize!" which leads to random thing...

#2 I LOVE food! I love to eat it, prepare it, and I love to feed people.

#3 I have a crooked nose. It slid to the side of my face in the year 2000, when I passed out and hit a hutch on the way down. The plastic surgeon was never able to put it back right again. SIGH!

#4 My two favorite Bible characters are King David, because he was so brave and he also has a passionate nature that I can relate to and then Joseph, because he was so upright in the midst of extreme adversity. I often pray "LORD, make me a "fruitful bough" like Joseph. That is what his father Issaac called him when he blessed him.

#5 I have always related to men better than women for the most part. Although I do have some really true and close girlfriends, I tend to be drawn to men in conversations more often. When I was a young girl, I was always hanging out with my brothers much more than my sisters although I was in no way a tom-boy. I just liked being with them better. I was never into the frilly girl stuff.

#6 I've always wanted to go live in another country and help needy people especially little children. I used to call up on those telethons to raise money for starving children and donate a whole .50 (thats how much I made an hour babysitting) Sometimes I think I will live the second half of my life in some foriegn land. But that is completely up to God now, and so far....

Ok, I am tagging... Brittney, Kassidy, Shirley, Joyce, Priscilla, Sherry

Friday, October 17, 2008


"I am determined, to live victorious
till He has finished His purpose in me
And nothing shall shake me,
for He'll never forsake me
and I am determined to live for the King!"

Dear Lord,
I bow before you, with a humbled heart
at how great you are, and how insignificant I am.
And yet you see me, you care about me,
Nothing that I pray is too small, or too big for you.
You are almighty, all powerful, and able to do
over and above all that we ask.
You have NEVER failed me yet, and you NEVER will.
I trust you LORD! I count it an honor to trust you,
to know you, and to seek you even to know you more.
Someday, I will see you Jesus. Yes, someday soon,
all my aching heart will melt away, and I will feel my tear stained face
cupped between the palms of your nail-scarred hands,
and you will look into my eyes, my eyes that haved turned away in mistrust from so many
but I will look into your precious loving, crystal clear eyes and I will know forever,
that everything is all right.
I already know in my heart, that everything is alright;
but when I, like the apostle Thomas, can touch you,
and like the other apostle, can lean on your breast, I will be so comforted.
I long for that comfort. Sometimes I get a taste of it when I pray
and read from your precious word.
Sometimes I think to find it here in some important work
or in the heart of some special person.
O, foolish heart, only in Jesus, only in Him can we ever be satisfied.
Lord, I commit my life and heart into your capable hands, for I know
that is a safe place to put them...eternally safe.
Be my light, broaden my steps before me.
Go before me and make those crooked places straight.
Help my heart, my passionate heart. May it ever be passionate for you,
My God, my Abba Father.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Banana Pancakes with PB and Honey Sauce

I made these this morning for breakfast. Everyone liked them and they were so filling. They are a meal in one- bread, protien, dairy and fruit. Another great way to use up those over-ripe bananas. Try 'em! Don't be afraid of the fat content. Just read up a little on Why Butter is Better, and go ahead and use that butter!

I doubled the recipe for my family of five and we have enough for the kids tomorrow. I will assume that you know how to fry a pancake-

In a large bowl, mix together and let stand 15 minutes (while you prepare remainder ingredients) :
1/2 cup oats
1 cup buttermilk

Meanwhile in another bowl, sift together:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour plus 1/3 cup white (I use King Arthurs white whole wheat)
2 Tbs. raw, shelled, sunflower seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg

lightly beat into oatmeal mixture:
2 eggs
1 TBS peanut oil
1 Tbs. Honey
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup milk

Genlty fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just incorporated. Fry as you would other pancakes although these should be a little lower setting on the heat -325 and they take a little longer to cook because of their density. Top with-

Peanut Butter and Honey Sauce
Warm and stir together over low heat:
1 cup all-natural chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup honey

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Favorites!

1. Favorite Smell? Apple Orchards at Apple Hill and fresh baked apple pie
2. Favorite Food? My Potato Soup and Aunt Sherry's Chili
3. Favorite Color? Amber
4. Favorite Drink? Pooh Bears Honey Hot Chocolate
5. Favorite Treat? Pumpkin cookies with maple frosting. YUM!
6. Favorite Place to go? Apple Hill
7. Favorite Candy? Candy corn (me too)
8. Favorite Movie to watch? I don't watch movies, but I love watching the beautiful fall sunsets out here
9. Favorite Clothing to wear? Fall jean jumpers and warm sockies in the mornings
10. Favorite Outdoor Activity? Out door fall festivities, like craft bazzars
11. Favorite Football Team? I don't even know any - LOL!
12. Favorite Fall Holiday? Thanksgiving
13. Favorite Haunted place? The only haunted place I ever liked was the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland
14. Favorite Food at Thanksgiving Dinner? Mashed Potatos and Gravy ( too and homemade rolls)
15. Favorite Pie? I love my homemade Pumpkin Pie
16. Favorite Fall Hobby? Baking...breads, cookies, pies, roast, ect...
17. Favorite Fall Memory? The fun fall birthday parties we have had here for Priscilla
18. Favorite Fall Sight? Colorful leaves, pumpkins and golden sunsets
19. Overall Favorite thing about Fall? Getting ready for cozy nights at home with a fire in the fire place, and the good smells of home-cooked meals. Family, friends!
20. Overall Favorite Season? Hands down its fall. I love it!

I'm tagging Felecia, Joyce, Rebekah, and Priscilla

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Day in Sacramento

We spent the good part of our day today touring the State Capitol and browsing around Old Sacramento. It was very interesting seeing the Capitol. That was my first time inside that building. Shane was loving every minute of it he and told me we need to go back when the assembly is having a meeting. He is very politically minded. Visit his Let Freedom Ring blog.

Any way, towards the end of the day we passed by a man who had fallen off his bike and was lying on the ground. A woman police officer was next to him. Brother Andy said we should pray for him and one of the kids suggested that we go over to him to pray. So we all went over where he was lying and Brother Andy bent down and told him that we were going to pray for him. The man asked him if he was a protestant or catholic. Brother Andy said, "I'm not anything, just someone who loves the Lord." Then he laid his hands on him and led out in prayer. A few seconds later the paramedics showed up and we all watched as they got the man ready to go to the hospital. The man waved to the kids on his way into the ambulance. This whole scene was etched on my mind the whole way home. It was the highlight of my day - Brother Andy praying for this unknown man. It was just like seeing Jesus. It is always sanctifying spending time with the saints.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I was tagged by Felecia!

I am: 40 this year (sigh) life is passing...
I think: about heaven and what it will be like to be there
I know: that Jesus lives in me
I have: three beautiful children
I hate: Hypocrisy
I wish: that everyone would realize that Jesus is the Lord, and that they are going to have to give an account for their lives
I miss: my babies!
I fear: "perfect love casteth out fear"
I feel: too deeply!
I hear: my conscience telling me to get off the computer and go to bed
I smell: air
I crave: pepper poppers and chalk (NO, I'm NOT pregnant)
I search: for honest souls
I wonder: why anyone would reject the truth
I regret: not starting my married life the right way... God's way!
I love: Jesus and the family of God
I am not: discouraged
I believe: God will win and I'm on the winning side!
I dance: when I feel giddy
I sing: with all my heart for Jesus
I cry: and God understands!
I don’t always: know the right thing to say
I fight: for what is right! I fight against giving up...
I write: because I love to.
I win: when I leave things in God's hands
I lose: when I take things into my own hands
I never: want to go back after the world or sin
I always: pray
I confuse: my children's names sometimes
I listen: carefully to the truth
I can usually be found: at home or at church
I am scared: for careless souls
I need: GOD!
I am happy: with Jesus
I imagine: What it would be like to live in a foriegn land laboring for the gospel
Now . . . I am tagging the following bloggers: Shirley and Amanda

Friday, August 29, 2008

Do You Know Abba Father?

Last night was the first service of our Fellowship meeting. It was so very good from the very beginning to the end, when another name was written down in heaven. Welcome to the family of God Sister Kathy! I wanted to share my notes from the beautiful message that was brought.

Do You Know "ABBA FATHER?"

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" Romans 8:15
In the Garden of Eden there was nothing between God and man. They enjoyed a precious, sweet, communion. But sin broke this communion.
In the Old Testament God's people rarely referred to God as a Father.
When Jesus came he introduced us to His "Abba Father". The word "Abba" has reference to a very intimate, close, loving relationship. Jesus was willing to do what it took to see us reconciled to God as "Abba Father". He took our sins upon himself... a sinless lamb.
Jesus loved his Father, just as a little child would love his father and want to tell others all about his "daddy". So it was Jesus' desire to show us His "Abba Father". "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." Luke 10:21 Jesus was rejoicing because what he had come to do was being fulfilled. Devils were being cast out and souls were being delivered from sin. Jesus loved and admired his Father.
"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth his rain on the just and on the unjust". Matt 5:45 Jesus was telling people all about how great God's mercy is and how our Father loves. We were all in that evil part before. Thank God for his mercy. "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven...That thine alms might be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly." Matt 6: 1, 4 Jesus loved to please His father and he was telling us how to please him; to do what we do for HIM, not for show.
Jesus taught us how to pray beginning with "Our FATHER", again showing us to come to God as we would a Father. Nobody else but God deserves that special place of reverence. Even little children can call Him their Father: " Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Matt 18:10
God wants us to get close to him intimately.
Jesus taught us that "Abba Father" loves it when "two or more agree". (Matt 18:20) The enemy knows this and will work to get you not to agree so God won't intervene.
God loves peacemakers- those willing to bear their cross and humble themselves so there might be peace.
God loves giving us the best (Luke 11:11-13) 13 "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" The Father is saying, I want to give you ME! I want to be there for you, to be close to you intimately. We need this infilling of the Holy Spirit. Without it, we will have a hard time reaching sinners because "self" will get in the way.
Jesus came to bridge the gap between the sinner and the Father. His blood was shed to take away our sins so that God could once again come and abide "inside" us. God cannot even bare to look upon sin much more to dwell in a vessel that is sinful. God the Father gave his best. He gave us His Son. It was not easy for him. Jesus paid a horrible price for us to be able to have our sins taken away.
Do you have the cry "Abba Father" , what can I do for you? How can I continue the work Jesus started on the earth?
Lets look at Jesus' relationship with the Father in the garden; "And he saith, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death: (he knew what he was facing) 36- And he said, Abba Father all things are possible unto thee; take this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." This "Abba Father" is the cry for the comfort that is needed- and it's the comfort that is there through the Holy Ghost.
Jesus did not have to go through with this (Matt 26:53) He had to be a willing sacrifice from a heart of love. It is the only sacrifice that will work, and reach a soul. It takes something in you beyond just a "work". It wasn't the cross that killed Jesus, it was the sins that were put on him. He wants to be there for us.
Do you know him as "Abba Father"?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Unto Myself My Child I Would Bring Thee

Unto Myself my child I would bring thee!
Who like Myself thy sure solace can be?
Who can reach down, down so deeply within thee?
Give to thy heart such a full sympathy?

Mournest thou sore that thy loved ones have failed thee?
Failed, sadly failed thy true comfort to be?
"Why did they fail" dost thou ask? Let me whisper--
"That thou shoulds't find thy heart's comfort in ME."

Unto Myself! Ah, not unto others,
Dearest, or sweetest, or fairest, or best;
Only in Me lieth unchanging solace;
Only in Me is thy promise of rest!

Child of My love, to Myself I would bring thee!
Not to some PLACE of most heavenly bliss:
Places, like people, may all disappoint thee,
Till thou hast learned to drink higher than this.

Unto Myself, my dear child, I would bring thee!
None like Myself thy full portion can be!
While, in my heart, there is hunger and longing
That I might find choicest treasure in thee.
Unto Myself! To MYSELF---not my service!
Thou to most sweetly and certainly prove
That I can make thee My channel of blessing,
Use thee to shed forth the wealth of my love.
Author J Danson Smith

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Best of Bran Muffins

These muffins pack a powerful punch to start the day with. Loaded with fiber, they also contain magnesium, calcium, protein, potassium and a healthy dose of B vitamins which are known to increase energy level and are a mood enhancer. They are surprisingly tasty and induced a tempting aroma while baking. Add a boiled egg and a slice of melon and you are well on your way to a great day!

3 cups shredded 100% all-bran cereal
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup organic raisins
1 cup boiling filtered water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

In a large bowl, combine the cereal, oil, and raisins, and pour the boiling water over them. Set mixture aside to cool slightly. In a small bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and molasses and honey. Add this to partly cool mixture. In another small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the cereal mixture, stirring just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Cover batter with a plastic wrap or damp cloth, and let sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably 1 hour.Preheat oven to 400. Grease 24 muffin cups, and divide batter among them, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, and, when they are slightly cooled, take them out of the tin and place them on a rack to cool completely. I like to eat them warm!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Seven Beautiful Words

When I was in first grade I was at the top of my reading class. Somewhere in between that class and when I finally dropped out at 17, I became literally convinced that I was stupid. I failed at everything I tried. I couldn't read anything and retain it. I couldn't concentrate on anything a teacher was saying.
Later, when the Lord Jesus began to reveal his love to me and to bring me to a place of real healing, I timidly went back to adult school and gained my diploma. Then, I began to read again. At first I started with the Bible. God opened up a window in my heart and sunshine came pouring in when I would read his precious word, and I was beginning to understand some things. As my confidence grew, I started reading through whole chapter books, and to my delight would finish them and have enjoyed them. This opened up a whole new world to me. I began to discover words, beautiful words that I had never realized existed. Beautiful, character building words. In the beginning, I didn't even know what character meant. I would look the words up in the dictionary and be in awe of them, wondering if I could ever possess such a word in my own character. I would fervently pray for this new beautiful word to become a part of me.
Maybe you know them already, maybe not. But they are truly beautiful, and they are jewels to be coveted. I hope that they might one day all be a part of me.
God is just so wonderful. The work he does is complete and a real miracle. You can safely trust your heart in His love expressed in his son Jesus Christ.

Seven Beautiful Words
  1. Noble: possessing outstanding qualities- I first encountered this word in a Louisa May Alcott book. It referred to a character that was brave, and strong and self sacrificing for the good of others. "Nobel Prize" comes from this concept of contributing work for the interest of humanity
  2. Integrity: an unimpaired condition; soundness; incorruptibility; - I saw this word in books as well as the Bible, used to describe a character that you could trust; one that would never think of lying to you, or using you; one that would always keep their word. An upright man!
  3. Purity:the quality or state of being pure "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ---spotless, stainless; free from harshness or roughness; free from moral fault or guilt. This is truly our Savior. Oh the beauty of purity!
  4. Virtue: Strength; conformity to a standard of right; moral excellence; chaste
  5. Charity: benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity; kindly liberality and helpfulness esp. toward the needy or suffering.
  6. Gentleness: kind; amiable; free from harshness, sternness or violence; mild, docile, soft--the very word gentleness stirs deep emotion inside my heart. It is lovely to speak, beautiful to behold. I am in utter awe at the beauty I see in the gentle saints of God.
  7. Jesus Christ: I cannot but include the most beautiful word the world has ever known; the Lord Jesus Christ! Only through him are any of us able to obtain anything beautiful. Only through the Savior, who was the ultimate example of integrity, handling the crushed sinner with love and gentleness, going about in charity to serve humanity and bowing his lovely, noble, pure, virtuous head in submission to the Father, gave his undefiled body up on a cruel cross. He who did all this to save me from the wretch I was, and teach me the beauty of holiness. What a Savior! What a friend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blueberry Sunrise Yogurt, By LizAnn

Blueberries have the highest anti-oxidant benefits of any other fruit. One cup of Blueberries contain 14 mg of vitamin C and .8 mg of vitamin E. They can slow the aging process and help maintain mental alertness.
Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that fight yeast and improve the immune system. It also is a good source of calcium. The problem is most people get the little sugar laden yogurts which undermines the health benefits of yogurt. This recipe uses an all natural sweetener product called Stevia Balance with Inulin & Chromium, found at your local health food store. Inulin is derived from chicory which actually stimulates the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria and has a low glycemic index which is good news for the sugar sensitive system. Chromium, a trace mineral, is known to help reduce the need for insulin in diabetics.

2 Cups organic, whole milk, plain yogurt
1 cup organic frozen blue berries
3 packets Stevia Balance
1 banana, sliced
4 Tbs, unsweetened coconut

Mix the yogurt, Stevia, and blueberries together. Divide the banana up into four small bowls.
Top with the yogurt mixture, dividing evenly
Sprinkle with coconut
optional: add a few sliced almonds

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Loving Roe

Oh loving Roe, how can it be
You've come to walk beside of me?
I turn to leave, she follows nigh;
A loving roe now by my side.

She frolicks in the pastures fair,
The sunlight glistens in her hair;
In merriment I laugh and play,
my loving roe has come to stay.

I pant for water, cool and clear,
My loving Roe, she draweth near;
I drinketh full, my thirst abates,
My loving Roe doth satiate.

My step is weary, my head drops low,
I gaze upon my loving Roe;
She lieth near me, still and sweet,
Till I can get back on my feet.

I lose my way, in fear I cry,
and look into her tender eye;
And there reflected back I see,
A man of strength and dignity.

My loving Roe, she follows near,
I sense danger, she perks her ears;
And keeps a watch upon my lead,
My loving Roe, she trusteth me.

She skips and splashes near the stream,
In sunlight fair, her hair doth gleam;
I jump and sport with bucks for show,
They wonder at my loving Roe.

My heart is light, I stand up tall,
Strong and Brave, she hears my call;
With gentle steps she draweth nigh,
My loving Roe doth satisfy.

My gentle fawn, so fair and dear,
Her love is constant year by year;
How did you come to love me so
And be a faithful, loving Roe?
Author Liz V.C.

"Let her be as a loving hind and pleasant roe;"
Proverbs 5:19

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy 47th Birthday Troy!

47 Little Facts About Troy you may or may not have known-

  1. Troy was a preemie baby weighing only 4 lbs 7 oz when he was born.

  2. When he was a young boy he used to hang his sister's barbie dolls by a noose from his bunk bed.

  3. Troy was in 4H and raised Cornish Game Hens.

  4. Troy has only lived in two places his whole life; he lived in a renovated barn house near Greenback and Garfield till he was 14. Developers ran them out and he has been at his current residence ever since. He said he cried when they moved.

  5. Troy has worked at his current job at Sutter Roseville Hopital scince he was 18; almost 30 years now.

  6. Troy met his wife at that same place of employment. He started dating her when she was 18 and he was 25.

  7. Troy played blues guitar for years and was such an exceptional player that his friends said he rivaled Eric Clapton!

  8. Troys middle name is Yoshimi a Japanese name given by his mother who is Japanese. The name means "to rejoice in beauty" which is very befitting for him.

  9. Troy LOVES the out doors and nature. He often has a leaf pressed in a book or a pretty rock or pine cone in his pocket.

  10. Troy enjoys Archery.

  11. Troy loves to hike around in the mountains and would love to live in them.

  12. Troy is a very routine person. He rarely changes his daily routine.

  13. Troy is an extrememly faithful and loyal friend that would give you the shirt off his back.

  14. Troy loves to read books about nature and out doors. One of his favorite books is "The Last of the Mohicans."

  15. Troy calls both his wife and his daughter Priscilla "boogie".

  16. Troy has an unborn son in heaven named Samuel.

  17. Troy is very dependable.

  18. Though he is small framed, Troy could always beat his peers at arm restling when he was a younger chap, no matter how big and buffed they were. It left them shaking their heads and his wife beaming!

  19. Troy has a sense of humor though somethimes unseen by the general public. After one of their first dates, Troy brought in a very long hair to work that he found in his truck and handed it to Liz who was working at the register, and said, "I think this belongs to you!"

  20. Troy carries a pocket knife with him everywhere he goes.

  21. Troy loves mowing the lawn.

  22. Troy just spent his day off building a ramp for Kenny so he can get into their house with his wheel chair. Awe.... so sweet!

  23. Troy is a very gentle daddy. Not much spanking going on around here!

  24. Troy was saved 14 years ago on Mothers Day!

  25. Troy loves fishing and took Liz on her first fishing trip where she caught several trout. He also took her to her first concert, bought her her first brand new jacket, and took her to many places around N. California for the first time.

  26. Troy is a helper.

  27. Troy always gives his wife exactly three kisses when ever he gets home from work.

  28. Troy likes salt and used to carry a salt shaker around and eat it when he was young.

  29. Troy loves a good rain storm.

  30. Troy chops stacks of firewood every year with an ax.

  31. Troy is a "handy man". He can fix just about anything, and if he's not sure how, he learns.

  32. Troy is very intelligent. His wife thinks he has and encyclopedia for a brain.

  33. Troy used to love to go hunting and would like to again soon.

  34. Troy can be very brave when needed. He demonstrates the statement: "courage is fear that has said his prayers."

  35. Troy is very giving.

  36. Troy picks up Felecia every Thurday afternoon from her job and brings her a "special lunch."

  37. Troy does not like water...swimming that is.

  38. Troy is a natural born oraganizer and his employer makes full use of him often, taking him from his regular work, to organize a freezer or closet.

  39. Troy is a very detailed cleaner as well.

  40. Troy loves a BBQ'd steak.

  41. Troy plays guitar sometimes at church.

  42. Troy helps his son Shane with many endeavors such as building a chicken coop and putting up fencing for a barn yard.

  43. Troy's favorite color is green the colors of nature.

  44. Troy is a collector. His drawers are full or very organized collections.

  45. Troy is very creative and artistic. He has made things like you would see at craft bazzars and he gets many compliments on them.

  46. Troy gets more compliments on his garage than his wife gets on the house.

  47. Troy's dad is Dutch and his family lineage goes back to relations with Daniel Boone and the Wright Brothers. The Wright brothers created a bike called the 'Van Cleve' bike.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lying In His Bosom

Last night the church choir sang a song about how someday we are going to wear a robe and crown. On the way home from church I was meditating about what it will be like to see Jesus.
And I thought, a crown, hmmm... we will toss our crowns at his feet. But with all the excitement and billions of souls gathered 'round, I will be comforted when I can crawl up in his lap and snuggle close to his breast. I tried to envision just that. How my heart felt comfort at just the thought of it.

I have often reflected with great yearning of the disciple that leaned on Jesus' breast: "Now there was one leaning on Jesus' bosom, one of his disciples whom Jesus loved." John 13:23

And then to my joy I was reminded of the beggar: "and it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels unto Abraham's he is comforted." Luke 16: 22, 25

Bosom --- lap, the area in which one holds and cradles a loved one; the inner person; the heart; the seat of affection.
" I will trust His love, for it e'er will last
It is rich and warm and free
Through the years of life, it will hold me fast
And my help and comfort be
To my waiting heart, all its treasures rare
As a sparkling stream shall flow
In the Joy of God, I shall ever share
Just because He loves me so. A-men!"

"He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Names Written Down in Heaven

I am so excited to annouce that we have THREE new babes in Christ. Alicia Simmons was saved last week during services, and then Carina Reis was gloriously saved last night, and I got news that Katie Grace was saved too. PRAISE GOD. I am so happy is not the word.... elated...full of JOY!

Please pray for these young new converts and welcome them to the beautiful family of God.

"...My soul doth MAGNIFY the LORD, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior....For he that is mighty hath done GREAT things; and HOLY is His name!" Luke 1: 46, 49

Saturday, July 26, 2008

To Be Understood or to Understand?

"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." St. Matthew 16: 24-25

There are many times when my heart has been so burdened with things, hard to understand. Even I don't fully understand. Sometimes I long for someone to understand. "Why?", I ask myself, "Why does it matter who understands?"Sometimes we can feel so all alone. Then I come to that sweet hour of prayer, and all I can do is cry, and I know that my LORD understands. He understands better than I do. Yet in our human, we sometimes long for that human comfort; a sounding board...someone who will just listen.

Then I realize, "wait a minute! I am wrapped up in myself, and that makes a very small package." I look for others who have needs and when I sit and visit with them and they have a chance to be understood by me, my own little cross shrinks as I realize how I am not alone in this battle. I am sometimes amazed at the trials others are suffering through or have suffered through. The following well known prayer comes to my mind often when I feel my heart crying out for God to please send me someone who will understand:

"LORD, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
Author Francis of Assisi

Even when I am crying out to Jesus, I am reminded how little I understand all that he suffered through for me. The persecution, false accusations, loved ones rejecting him, friends forsaking him and misunderstanding him, imprisonment, a horrible beating (I remember, as it were, a small portion of what it's like to be beaten and its very scarey) people mocking him, hating him, and ultimately killing him in a very barbaric and humiliating way. Even before the cruciftion, how he died to himself and became poor, no where to lay his head; how he hungered, felt the strength of temptation and ultimately tasted death and seperation from God. All this, so he could understand us, and succour us in our time of need.

Oh, what a beautiful Savior! May God help me die to self and to ever seek to understand rather than to be understood!

Oh to understand! Jesus understands all we go much better than we. We only sip a very tiny portion of the cup that he drank.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bare Your Heart

LORD, What shall I say, what can I do
how can I open the door?
To tell some poor wandering soul
about you and how great you are

Bare your heart Liz, Bare your heart
tell them you were once where they are
tell them how dark, tell them how low
show them the terrible scar

But LORD, I'm afraid, so tender my heart
I'm certain would break open and bleed
How can I lay open my soul
to reach the poor sinners need
Bare your heart Liz, Bare your heart Liz
Don't be afraid for I'm here
I will take care, to help you along
there is no need to fear

But Lord, I'm ashamed so sinful was I
I'm certain would stain me again
How can I help the dying lost souls
and show them Jesus, my friend?

Bare your heart Liz, Bare your heart Liz
Tell them the blood washed away
every single shameful stain
and your standing clear today

Lord, I will Bare my heart just for you
no matter what it may cost
For you bore your heart, and you suffered shame
to rescue the poor and the lost

Bare your heart Liz, Yes, bare your heart
for that is how souls will be found
when you open your heart, and pour out my love
My light and my grace will abound!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Healing in His Wings

"For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again" Proverbs 24:16

A south American traveler tells of a curious conflict which he once witnessed between a little quadruped and a poisonous reptile of great size. The little creature seemed no match for its antagonist that threatened to destroy it by a blow, as well as its helpless young, but it fearlessly faced its mighty enemy and rushing at him, struck him with a succession of fierce and telling blows, but received at the onset a deep and apparently fatal wound from the poisonous fangs, which flashed for a moment of angry fire, and then fastened themselves deep into the flesh of the daring little assailant.
For a moment it seemed as if all were over, but the wise little creature immediately retired into the Forest, and hastening to the plantain tree, eagerly devoured some of its leaves, and then hurried back seemingly refreshed and restored, to renew the fray with vigor and determination. Again and again this strange spectacle was repeated: the serpent, although greatly exhausted, ferociously attacked, and again, and again wounded its antagonist to death, as it seemed, but the little creature each time repaired to its simple prescription, and returned to renewed victory. In the course of an hour or two the battle was over--the mammoth reptile lay still and dead and the little victor was unharmed, in the midst of the nest and the helpless little ones.
( Praise God! )
~Springs in the Valley

Memories dark and forbidden
like demons they crowd my mind
and threaten to overtake me
pursuing me from behind

Laughing they mock and surround me
"You'll never escape," they sneer
we hold the keys to your future
Larger than life they appear

Shadows dark and foreboding
cut like a knife through the years
like a hand reaching out to grab me
stirring up all of my fears

Oh for a black board eraser
and an easel to draw anew
a picture of happy childhood days
where love and compassion grew

Oh for a handful of happiness
of love and security
Would I not be a stronger soul,
serving God confidently?

Memories dark and forbidden
pushed back by the Saviors hand
chased away by his angels here
subjected to His command

Shadows dark and foreboding
give way in the light of His love
wrapped up in warmth and security
of promise from above

Jesus my Savior, my hero
my eyes lifted up to thee
Bring healing and hope to my rescue
and set me completely free!
Author Liz VC

Friday, July 18, 2008

In the Garden with God

It all started with dirt...

And some seeds...