Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coming soon to a tummy near you....

Chocoholics rejoice! (And please, wipe your drool off of the monitor....) It will be CHOCOLATE week here before you know it on my blog! A week of yummy choco-decadence to get us primed and plumped for the upcoming Thanksgiving/Christmas season :) And I can say this with authority, but chocolate is one of the few flavors that I crave every day. With a different chocolate recipe every day and a couple of cocoa tidbits scattered along the way, this is some blog reading that your tummy won't want to miss!
Chocolate week begins Saturday, November 1st....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

No need to drown it in ketchup (cuz it's built in)! Hooray! Seriously, what is not to love about combining sweet & savory flavors? This meatloaf recipe is the only one I make, and people and animals love it. The brown sugar truly makes this, and it has a touch of ginger to boot.

Serves 8, Ready to devour in approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. Save time for the future and make up an extra loaf to freeze.

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs or packaged bread crumbs

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan.
-Press the brown sugar in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan and spread the ketchup over the sugar.
-In a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place on top of the ketchup.
-Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until juices are clear.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Pro-Life & Politics Post aka The Big One

One of my "Matters of the Heart" on the left pane of my blog tells you I'm pro-life. With the upcoming election in a matter of days, I feel personally compelled to shed light on how pro-life and the Presidential election go hand in hand. This post will mostly be filled with links and videos, and I would request that you take the time to explore them.

I cannot put it any plainer, but human life matters to God.

"Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed." (Deuteronomy 19:10)

"Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you." (Ezekiel 35:6)

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Proverbs 31:8-9)

And what is being "pro-choice" truly about? Giving the woman the choice to kill. After all, if you're not choosing life, then...you're choosing death. From 1973-2005, more than 45,000,000 legal abortions were performed in the U.S. alone. "It is thoroughly inconsistent for anyone who supports abortion to be unwilling to face the reality of what abortion does." WARNING: Very graphic photos...These are real and untouched photos of the results of abortion.

Anything and everything related to questions you might have regarding the abortion debate.

What is Planned Parenthood? (Honestly, before I was knowledgable about the abortion issue, I only thought it was a place to receive birth control).

Abortion clinics prey off of the disenfranchised, destitute, and minorities. It's a big business to say the least. Want to hear an actual recording of a phonecall to Planned Parenthood?

Why should abortion be a major factor in deciding about whom to vote for? What about ending the war? Getting us out of this economic crisis? John Piper explains why it's okay to be a one-issue voter.

Randy Alcorn explores Obama's pro-abortion stance and includes clips from Rick Warren's debate at Saddleback Church.

Voting matters too. We're instructed to do everything for the Glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). And we will be giving an account before the Lord one day, as to everything we've done (Romans 14:11-12).

Here's a clip of NARAL (Pro-Choice America gleefully endorsing Barack Obama below.

So what about the other side of the coin? Those moms who choose to have the baby even when it's not convenient or wanted? Desiring God writes a piece that I have referenced mentally time and time again about how the baby saves the mom. Just this past Tuesday at the Salvation Army, as I was chatting with a young teen celebrating her son's 3rd birthday, she mentioned how he had changed her life for the good. By the grace of God, this baby got her off the streets, and she's pursuing getting her GED and enrolling in beauty school.

Let me make it very clear, if we who are pro-life want to talk the talk, we must also walk the walk and help women at pregnancy crisis centers. They're making a huge decision, and they desperately need encouraging support and financial help. Let us not forget the couples who choose to keep their baby despite a diagnosis of Down's Syndrome or a terminal disease like Trisomy 18. One of my very favorite video diaries is about a very special baby with Trisomy 18.

All children have the right to life. Aren't you glad your mother chose life??

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thoughts on the current election Q&A

Just a side note into politics here:

Q.Who the heck am I supposed to vote for?

A. For various reasons, you may not feel gung-ho about either major party candidate. Understandable. There are things I like about both Obama and McCain, as well as dislike. But what do I do if I'm in a quandary about whom to vote for? And what about the "lesser of two evils" approach?

Here's a snippet from LadiesAgainstFeminism, "I would really encourage you to go back and read the sad history of compromise coming from voting for the "lesser of two evils." Instead of standing against evil, Christians are capitulating to it as long as it is "slower" evil. This does not work. God has clear commands for us in Scripture that deal with the qualifications for civil rulers. He also assures us that He is the one Who puts rulers in power, including wicked rulers as judgment when His people disobey Him. We cannot "do evil that good may come" (Romans 3:8)."

Q. Okay, so now what. Is anyone else running for President?

A. Oh good grief, I had no idea...there are dozens more?! I'm leaning towards Mickey Mouse; again.

No, seriously, my wonderful, albeit persuasive husband introduced me to Chuck Baldwin. Read about him, you may like him, or you may not.

Q. Will I be throwing my vote away if it's not for the major party candidates?

A. Just what exactly is a wasted vote? "A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go." (written by Baldwin himself)

This article helped appease this line of reasoning for myself. Worth the read...


A. And now for some great election humor....Maybe it's your civic duty NOT to vote! Watch the hilarious, frightening clip from John Stossel on 20/20.

Or perhaps you should know whom you're voting for? I mean, weren't you aware that Obama's running mate is Sarah Palin???

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No one likes to hear truth if it's opposed to what they know.

"You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They'll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you're doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God's servant."
2 Timothy 4:3-5 (MSG)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Making a Leap of Faith

As believers, we are challenged to do many things: be holy, forgive, evangelize, give, love. All of these require faith. Sometimes I have strong faith, and other times weak faith. Being the non-confrontational person that I am, I am often gripped with fear despite numerous remindings from God's word that He didn't give me a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and self-discipline (1 Timothy 1:7).

I took God's word seriously today, took a leap of faith, and admonished someone through a lengthy letter. Admonish means to caution, advise, counsel against something. What compelled me to do such an unorthodox thing?

A troubled marriage of a loved one, on the brink of divorce.

The past week God has subtly and overtly given me nudges to do this. The thought of not doing something, scared me enough to actually do something! It all started with this convicting post from Voddie Baucham, and yet another post from Carolyn Mahaney. It then culminated when Brent and I finally went to see Fireproof last night. Everywhere I turned, I kept hearing messages of covenantal marriage. How could I be blind to what God would have me to do?

Believers must speak truth in love. We aren't doing anyone any favors if we watch someone racing towards a cliff without flagging them down with a stern warning...STOP!!! Really, who is the more loving one then? The one nodding quietly in approval or the one speaking up to help save you?

I only pray that this letter will be received in love, because I was firm yet gentle in my writing of it. Please pray that God would mend my loved ones' marriage.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autumn in Vermont

We had a wonderful time in Vermont, visiting Stowe, Waterbury, and Burlington. It truly made me miss living in the mountains. The brisk air, heavy winter coats, and the smell of hot apple cider wafting in the air. Truly a season to behold!

Taking in the beauty of bright golds, vibrant reds, and garish orange was a visual wake-up call for me. Simply being in the midst of nature did my heart good. Autumn is my favorite season of the year, it's filled with anticipation for me. Rearranging my closet with turtlenecks, sweaters, scarves, and coats. The smell of cinnamon-scented pinecones at the hearth, with a robust pumpkin sitting idly by. Making fresh loaves of pumpkin bread. Having reasons to cuddle up close with someone on hayrides. Bonfires. Toboggan hair. (And I realize a toboggan is a sled too). Watching my dog sense the nip in the air too, and even she walks a little differently ;)

All of this to say, is that now more than ever(!), having just tasted Autumn in Vermont, I am very excited about Autumn rolling into my backyard. Though with temperatures in the mid-high 70s, I think it will be a couple of weeks longer.

To whet your appetite, here are some pictures from our trip: