Thursday, August 30, 2012

Something Beautiful

"For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty Savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
(Zephaniah 3:17)

So incredible that He delights in us, with gladness - this is beyond my comprehension. How He takes us with our weaknesses and failures, and makes us into something beautiful. And He is close beside us, always.

"No set of circumstances could ever isolate you from My loving Presence. 
Not only do I see you always; 
I see you as a redeemed saint, gloriously radiant in My righteousness."
 (Jesus Calling)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Place of Safety

"Know My Divine Power.
Trust in Me.
Dwell in My Love.
Laugh and trust.
Laughter is a child's faith in God and good."
(God Calling)

Sometimes it's easy for me to trust. And there are other times when I hold back. This holding back happens most often when I want to be in control. Maybe thinking that I know best. But how can I, a created being, know better than my Creator? Especially One who only desires what is good. And He tells me to dwell in His Love, to trust, and even to laugh. As a child, with no worries or concerns - just enjoying the moment.

To totally abandon myself to His care. To live in a place of complete freedom, with no worries. Thanking Him for everything that He allows; trusting in His love.

"Really feel as if you are in a strong Tower,
strongly guarded,
and against which nothing can prevail."
(God Calling)

Loving Lord, You alone are my place of safety. When I wander away, bring me back to this place. You are my shelter, my refuge, my only safe place.

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I trust Him."
(Psalm 91:1-2)

(Photo above taken in Cinque Terra, Italy - on our 40th Anniversary Trip, a gift from God.)

And an invitation to come along with me as I am schooled deeper in prayer.
Beginning the first week of September, on Wednesdays ...

Heart Connect:
Living a Life of Prayer

Linking up with:
Work in Progress Wednesday
Life in Bloom
Thought Provoking Thursday
Faith-Filled Friday

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meat Loaf Miniatures {Freezer Fare}

This is a great freezer meal recipe. On our last Freezer Meal Day, three of our daughters and I doubled this recipe, and made up 6 pounds of ground beef into these delicious little miniature meat loaves. They were easy to prepare for the freezer, a fast and delicious main dish for future meals.

Meat Loaf Miniatures

1 cup ketchup
3 to 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 eggs, beaten
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups Crispix cereal, crushed
3 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 pounds lean ground beef

In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Remove 1/2 cup for topping; set aside. Add the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, cereal, and seasonings to remaining ketchup mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. Crumble beef over cereal mixture and mix well.

Press meat mixture into 18 muffin cups (about 1/3 cup each). Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Drizzle with reserved ketchup mixture; bake 10 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink (and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees).

Serve desired number of meat loaves. Cool remaining loaves, then freeze. Once they are frozen, transfer to freezer bags; seal and freeze for up to 3 months.

To use frozen meal loaves: Completely thaw in the refrigerator. Place loaves in a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through, or cover and microwave on high for 1 minute or until heated through.

Yield:  1 1/2 dozen

Click here to print recipe from the Taste of Home website.

Linking up with:
Tasty Tuesday
I'm Lovin It
Feasting in Fellowship
Friday Flair

Morning Nutrients

"Grow strong in the Light of My Presence.
As My Face shines upon you,
 you receive nutrients that enhance your growth in grace ...
I designed you to commune with Me face to Face
and this interaction strengthens your soul."
(Jesus Calling)

Reflecting on the past week, and thanking Him for His gifts ...

Early morning rays of sun on a farm place in Kansas
Cousins who put us up for night after my uncle's funeral
The peace of countryside

An uncle who is free from the sufferings of Parkinsons
At long last, at Home where he has longed to be
Comfort and love shared with my aunt and her family

Family, and loved ones
Sweet connections, even at a time of loss

Life with the one I love
Sharing a devo outing together each week
Peace that surrounded us at Lake Cunningham

A daughter and her two little ones here
Five-month-old granddaughter in my arms
And three-year-old grandson picking veggies from our garden

Two more grandsons joining us
Blessed by three three-year-old grandsons

Continuing to read through His Words, now in Jeremiah ...
"Plow up the hard ground of your hearts ... " (Jeremiah 4:3b)
"But blessed are those who trust in the Lord ... " (Jeremiah 17:7a)

Quiet moments to listen
His call to "wait here for a while. I have much to tell you." (Jesus Calling)
His Words, full of rich nutrients

(Counting 1000 Gifts in 2012 #660-681)

Linking up at:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Memories of June Days

Sharing a few of the digital scrapbook pages that I completed this past week - and remembering special family times. So thankful for photos that capture memories ...

Top Page Credits - Page template: SSDLOT_Alb5_PG3; Paper: mturnidge_makeawish; WordArt: JRE_ReflectionsOftheHeart; Embellishments: mturnidge_gooddaysunshine.

Bottom Page Credits - Page template: GISSketch60at; Paper: mturnidge_gooddaysunshine, mturnidge_makeawish; Embellishments: mturnidge_gooddaysunshine.

Linking up with:
In the Studio

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In the Present

"I guide you continually,
so you can relax
and enjoy My Presence in the present."
(Jesus Calling)

Live today - not yesterday, or tomorrow. How I need to remember this. Regrets from the past, or worries about tomorrow occupy my mind too often. Today is the day that matters. 

"Concentrate on staying close to Me ...
pray about everything;
then leave outcomes up to Me ...
Take a deep breath, 
and dive into the depths of absolute trust in Me."
(Jesus Calling)

Lord, help me to learn more about living in the present - enjoying Your Presence in the present.

"Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to You
and wait expectantly."
(Psalm 5:3)

(Photo above taken on the beach by the Sea Urchin cottage on Campbello Island, New Brunswick.)

And an invitation to come along with me as I am schooled deeper in prayer.
Beginning the first week of September, on Wednesdays ...


Heart Connect: 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chicken Fajita Pizza

I love this recipe - and like to serve it for family and guests, alike. Using the refrigerated pizza crust also makes it a quick one to prepare.

Chicken Fajita Pizza

1 tube (13.8 ounce) refrigerated pizza crust
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup julienned green pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (or more)

Unroll crust into a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan; flatten dough and build up edges slightly. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute chicken in oil until lightly browned. Add the onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until veggies are tender and chicken is no longer pink. Spread salsa over crust. Top with 1 cup cheese, chicken mixture, and remaining cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Yield: 12 slices

Click here to print recipe from the Taste of Home website.

Linking up with:

Tasty Tuesday
Trick or Treat Tuesday
Hearts 4 Home

Capturing Thanks

Our internet has been down for the past three days, and thankful that it is up and running again. And so thankful for photos that capture the wonderful gifts from God this past week:

Thanking God for ~

41 years with my best friend and husband, for a special afternoon and evening together celebrating our life together - all a gift from God.

little grandsons who had great fun showing grama and grampa all their playtime fun - such precious gifts.

a daughter who trained well, and had the fun of taking part in her first 5K run, exactly 15 years after her bone marrow transplant for leukemia - she is a gift from God.

time with another daughter and a granddaughter & grandson, going to a consignment sale, and this granddaughter starting kindergarten this past week, along with her brother starting 4th grade - a gift to be close by to share life.

long phone call with a son far away, catching up on his life - his call, a gift.

several staff meetings this past week - our team, each person, a gift.

an early morning prayer gathering, praying for one of our new campuses, and the amazing possibility of  new volunteers - a gift, and answer to prayer.

high school students meeting all summer, led by college student volunteers - such a blessed gift.

a sense of expectancy as we enter another year with Cru (Student Venture), watching as God opens up current and new campuses, paving the way for students to hear about and follow Jesus.

"For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
(Isaiah 43:19)

(Continuing with the counting of 1000 Gifts in 2012 #646-659)

Linking up with:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Name

Forty-one years ago today (August 14, 1971) I became one with the one I love more than any other on this earth. Since that day, I have been incredibly blessed to grow even more and more in love with this one, to the place where we know each other deeply, more deeply than we are known by any other person. We are truly one.

And on that most memorable of days forty-one years ago, I also took on a new name - his name. Since that day, there has never been a question - whether I sign in at a doctor's office, sign my name to a check, receive mail in my name ... never a question. Warrick is my name, and I am entitled to all that comes with bearing that name.

There is another name that I bear - a name of even greater significance. A name we receive at another time of decision and exchange. A time when we cross the line of faith and place our trust in God's provision for us in His dearly loved Son - when we exchange our own way of life for His. And we are given a new name. The name of Jesus.

When we approach the holy, creator God in prayer (this greatest of privileges), we do not come as strangers. But we come as one bearing the name of Jesus. He is our Bridegroom. Jesus is the name we use, and we are entitled to all that comes with bearing His name.

"The Heavenly Bridegroom could do nothing less;
having loved us and made us one with Himself, 
what could He do but give those who bear His Name 
the right to present it before the Father, 
or to come with it to Himself for all they need ... "
(Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer)

There is never a question when I present my requests to the Father - I do not come into His Presence as a stranger. But I come bearing The Name. 

"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.
There we will receive His mercy,
and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
(Hebrews 4:16)

Loving Lord, please forgive our unbelief and our hesitancy. Help us to live boldly and confidently bearing Your Name. And may we continually grow in oneness with You, our Creator - growing to the place where we know and are known by You, more intimately than by any other.

(A re-written post from the past - and photo above taken from the peaceful little cottage we stayed at last month during our travels together through the New England states.)

And an invitation to come along with me as I am schooled deeper in prayer.
Beginning the first week of September, on Wednesdays ...
Heart Connect: Living a Life of Prayer

Linking up with:
Work in Progress Wednesday
Life in Bloom
Thought Provoking Thursday
Faith-Filled Friday
Soli Deo Gloria

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

An easy, but delicious dessert to prepare for a special summer meal - I've made this recipe many times. Very yummy on hot summer days! I love that it can be prepared ahead of time, even several weeks - then stored in the freezer, ready to be brought out for a special meal.

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

1 box of ice cream sandwiches
1 jar (12 ounces) caramel ice cream topping
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 Symphony candy bar with almonds and toffee (4.25 ounces), chopped

Arrange the ice cream sandwiches in an ungreased 13x9 inch dish, cutting some of the sandwiches in half lengthwise to fill in the spaces in the dish. Spread with caramel topping and then the whipped topping. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle with chopped candy bar. Cover and freeze for at least 45 minutes. Cut into squares.

Yield:  15-18 servings

(Click here to print the recipe that I adapted mine from at the Taste of Home website.)

Linking up with:
Tasty Tuesday
Trick or Treat Tuesday
Hearts 4 Home
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday
Feasting in Fellowship
Friday Flair

Monday, August 13, 2012

Our Place of Rest

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High 
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty."
 (Psalm 91:1)

In the midst of a very busy few weeks, our first weeks back after our three months of Sabbatical/Time Off - I am reminded. To look for my strength in the only secure place. 

"This I declare about the Lord: 
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; 
He is my God, and I trust Him."  
(Psalm 91:2)

Thanking God for His gifts of love this past week ...

life with my dear husband
all the memories we hold close from our three months of rest
being of one heart and mind

staff meetings
sharing of dreams and desires for another school year
more schools opening up to Cru (Student Venture) this fall

help with updating volunteer lists, and a new format for our meeting notes
a new name for our ministry blog
Robin at headquarters in Florida, so helpful

new recipes
food in the freezer
fresh veggies and fruit

two grandkids here for night
opportunity to help their parents have a weekend getaway
DeSoto Wildlife Refuge, a pizza picnic, a Tractor Show in our town

two more grandkids here
their happy play in the yard with trucks in the dirt
the joy that they bring to us, and to their parents

some quiet hours on Sunday
just what I needed after a very full week
our place of refuge and safety, always

"You who sit down in the High God's presence,
spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
Say this: 'God, You're my refuge.
I trust in You and I'm safe.'"
(Psalm 91:1-2 MSG)

(Photo above taken on beautiful Cape Cod on our recent trip through the New England states.)

(Continuing counting 1000 Gifts in 2012 #622-645)

Linking up with:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Smiles & Laughter

It's always such fun to scrapbook pages of family and grandkids! I was able to finish a few more pages this past week - of events from the last part of June. These photos bring back memories, and bring a smile!

Credits: Page Template: GISSketch48; Paper: Kcroninbarrow-beautiful you, KSC_Beautiful Spring, ShabbyPrincess_SM_Vanilla Paper. Word Art: KSC_Beautiful Spring.

Linking up with:
In the Studio
Friday Favorite Things
I'm Lovin' It
Inspire Me Monday
One Project at a Time

Thursday, August 9, 2012

In Search

"Understanding will never bring you Peace.
 That's why I have instructed you to trust in Me, 
not in your understanding." 
(Jesus Calling)

Always desiring to have understanding and a sense of "control" over whatever situation I am in - I sometimes (often?) look for it in the wrong places. Trying to figure things out in my own mind, striving to bring some type of closure in my understanding. And often, the result of my own efforts brings more turmoil - unrest, instead of the peace I am looking for.

But when we come to Our Maker first of all, asking for His help and insight - instead of trying to figure things out on our own - we find what we are looking for. He may bring someone alongside us with a listening ear, and as we spill out our questions and our need, we will gain understanding, and peace. Such was the case earlier this week, as my very patient husband listened to me ramble on and one about a confusing situation, and his listening and insight resulted in new direction. Peace. An answer to my questions that I was asking God for help in.

And even when we have no one nearby to lend a listening ear and to offer insight, we discover that we always have our very own personal counselor nearby, closer than any other. Dwelling within. Always ready to give insight and wisdom. For in ceasing our struggles and our own efforts to understand a situation or a need, and simply asking for His help, and quieting ourselves long enough to hear His answer ... He gives us understanding. 

I am continually learning to bring my needs to Him first, and to trust Him for the answers.

"Now may the Lord of peace Himself 
give you His peace 
at all times and in every situation ..." 
(II Thess. 3:16a)

Thanking Him for His direction as I came to Him yesterday with a need, talking only with Him. And receiving understanding, and peace.

Linking up with:
WIP Wednesday
Thought Provoking Thursday
Playdates with God
Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


"O God, You are my God;
I earnestly search for You.
My soul thirsts for You;
my whole body longs for You
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.

I have seen You in Your sanctuary
and gazed upon Your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise You!

I will praise You as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to You in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise You with songs of joy."

(Psalm 63:1-5)

Thank You, loving Lord - our source of life, the quencher of our thirst, all we long for.

(Thankful for some rain here last night - the first since June - and thankful for His daily quenching of our thirst. Photo above taken last month while on beautiful Campobello Island, New Brunswick.)

Linking up with:
Word-filled Wednesday
Life in Bloom
Faith Filled Friday
The Sunday Community

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

This is a favorite veggie salad of mine, and one that I make each season of the year. I made it again recently, and always like the crunchy taste of the vegetables, as well as the creamy dressing.

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

1 bunch broccoli, separated into florets
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
8 bacon strips, fried and crumbled
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar

In a large salad bowl, combine broccoli, cauliflower, bacon, onion, tomatoes, and eggs; set aside. In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar; mix until smooth. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and toss.

Yield:  6-8 servings.

Click here to print this recipe (called Favorite Broccoli Salad) from the Taste of Home website.

Linking up with:

Hearts 4 Home
Feasting in Fellowship

Monday, August 6, 2012


"I speak to you continually; 
through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, Scripture. 
There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you.  ... 
When you set out to find Me in a day, 
you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence."
 (Jesus Calling)

"The heavens are Yours, and the earth is Yours; 
everything in the world is Yours - 
You created it all." 
(Psalm 89:11)

We found Him everyday, everywhere, during our three-month Sabbatical/Time Off - and now, into the new month of August, I continue to watch for His gifts, everyday, everywhere ...

a morning together with a daughter, grandson, and granddaughter
a three year-old grandson's laughter and excitement climbing on John Deere tractors
sweet smiles from four month-old granddaughter

heart-to-heart discussions with my dear husband
the gift of three months off
Your help as we transitioned back on August 1st

delicious food at Cheddar's
a special meal out on our last evening of Sabbatical
Your presence as we step into this next season

gathering for a Staff Meeting our first day back
all that You did through them during the summer
the gift they gave us of covering everything in our absence

the joy of serving with Cru
picking up our re-sized rings, awarded to us for 20 years on staff

another staff meeting at Barnes & Noble coffee shop
Orange Mango Smoothies
purchase of Jeff Goins' Wrecked in time for $158 free gifts

worshipping with friends Sunday morning
fresh produce
two-mile walk through our town with my husband

(Continuing on with counting 1000 Gifts in 2012 #601-621)

Linking up with:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Time with Family

Back from our two-week trip the first half of July - and the next few weeks it was time to catch up with family! The second half of July was filled with wonderful family connections. And now, this past week - some time to digital scrapbook all these happy faces ...

Also a treat to go to an extended family gathering, and then the next day to have 10 of our family over for a meal. Wonderful summer days ...

Top page credits: Frame - Scrap Girls MRE_WindowPane; Background Paper - Scrap Girls BMU_Paper_Naturally Neutral; Other paper and embellishments - Scrap Girls JRE_Reflections of the Heart.

Bottom page credits: Page Template - ScrapbookGraphics Pocket Pages I; Background Paper - Scrap Girls JRE_Reflections of the Heart.

friday favorite things | finding joy

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Something New

"Draw near to Me with a thankful heart, 
aware that your cup is overflowing with blessings ... 
You will never be in control of your life circumstances, 
but you can relax and trust in My control." 
(Jesus Calling)

"For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
(Isaiah 43:19)

"Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, 
seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth ... 
Be on the lookout for all I have prepared for you."
(Jesus Calling)

Thanking God for the sweet blessings of a three-month Sabbatical/Time Off with my dear husband (celebrating 40 years of ministry) - and looking forward with trust and anticipation as we step into this next chapter of our lives. Finding it hard to leave this place of rest and refreshment - yet thankful for His promises, watching for all that lies ahead.

(Photo above taken along the roadway while driving along the beautiful Maine coastline during our recent trip.)