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Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Thousand Word Project - Tiny Feet

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Simple Raisin Tarts

I first published this recipe here in March of 2012. These are really easy to make and I hope someone enjoys them! :-) There is no added sugar, but they are very sweet because of the raisins.

These raisin tarts are one of my dad’s favorite “cookies.” My Gramma Hoover used to make them for him as a special favor. Since she is no longer here to do this, I have done it for him a few times (not nearly enough). I made a batch for his birthday this past February (2012). :-)

These are super easy to make. So much so that we have no recipe. We just make them. One thing that you will need is a tart pan or a Madeleine pan, however, it is possible that a muffin/cupcake pan might work if you only press the dough into the lower part of the cups. I used a Madeleine type pan for these since our tart pans had to be discarded a few years ago. (My Madeleine pan makes round shells.)

Simple Raisin Tarts

Make up a single or double pie crust recipe of your choice. (I made these with a whole wheat – all purpose flour mixture I think.) Cut into small pieces and press into the tart pan.

Bake till just slightly browned around the edges. Do not over bake (especially if you use whole wheat flour). Allow to cool slightly in the pans and then remove gently to a rack to cool.

In a sauce pan place a generous portion of raisins – 1 1/2 to 2 cups. Barely cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer till quite soft, adding water as necessary to prevent burning. You may like to add a bit of cinnamon, or at the end you may add some orange flavoring.

When the shells and filling are both cool, spoon the filling into the shells. They are ready to serve!

NOTE: If you end up with too much raisin filling, use it as a spread on graham crackers or toast. If you don’t have enough for your number of shells, simply fill the extras with a little jam or jelly.  We never used a recipe, we just “winged it” with the extra or lack thereof. :-)

By the way, if you don’t want raisin tarts, just make the shells and fill them with jam or jelly to start with. Delicious! :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Thoughts from the Past –– Stranger Voices

(History repeats itself – here is a stylized photo of my brother calling his small son. :-) I was trying to take their photo when the little guy started running in the wrong direction.)

Feb. 1, 2010

Stranger Voices

I remembered something the other day that made me think. It was a parable I saw in action years ago.

When my youngest brother, Dan, was about 5 or 6 years old we had some friends come and stay with us for a while. This other family had two kids. The father's method of raising his kids was quite different from my dad's in some ways. Some I would say were not bad, just different. However, this family had a bad habit of being late for things - quite late. Now I know a lot of families struggle with this at times, we certainly did, but in this case it was pretty predictable, and as this story will show, it was probably with good reason.

Some or all of us were going away on the particular day in question. My brother, then "Danny," was having some trouble getting ready on time. I have this distinct memory of him struggling down the stairs. My dad may have already hollered at him once to come - probably he had. Now somehow the fathers from both families had ended up standing at the bottom of the stairs at the same time - probably calling their respective sons, and at this point Danny started down. I don't remember if he was trying to get his shoes on or a jacket or what, but as he fiddled around making his way down my dad called out, "Hurry up!" At the same time, or slightly afterward, the other father called out, "Take your time. Take your time." Two totally different commands and two totally different perspectives. It was so striking that it stuck in my mind.

My brother wisely chose to listen to his own father. He knew what would happen if he didn't!

This makes me think, though, about the voices that call to us. So often when we are struggling along in life, striving to do the right thing, voices call out to us. So many of them are voices that should be "strange" to us.

John 10: 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

The most difficult part is that the "stranger voices" are almost always saying something that is more appealing than the voice of our Shepherd, of our God and Father. They are telling us things that are more comfortable to the flesh or that will distract us into wasteful pursuits. For example, it would have been much more comfortable for my brother to "take his time" than to "hurry up."

Sometimes they are calling us away to extra effort that is wasteful or unnecessary. Sometimes it is a call to spin our wheels in useless things that keep us from following the Shepherd and obeying our heavenly Father. How similar is the experience for all of us, and how important it is to ignore the strange voices and obey only the Father's voice!

These voices call to us from so many directions that sometimes it can be confusing. As with the case of my brother, sometimes the voice that should be strange to us comes from a friend and fellow Christian - someone we respect, even. Sometimes the voices come from people who are highly admired and acclaimed among our fellow believers - the "experts." Sometimes it is our own deceitful heart (Jer. 17:9) that is desiring us to do that which is not of God.

How do we tell the difference? The same way my young brother did at that time - the stranger's message contradicted the message of his father so it must be ignored! So simple, and yet how we do struggle with discerning it sometimes!

A simple question to ask ourselves is, "What does the Bible, God's word to us, say?" Another might be, "How will this glorify God?"

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

Proverbs 23:19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

Ultimately we have to choose which voice we will listen to. Sometimes God's voice is loud and clear as it was to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6). Other times it is a still, small voice as it was for Elijah (1 Kings 19:12-13). But, the point is, it is our job to listen and to discern what God is saying to us, and to "tune out" the strange voices that are calling something else.

There are so many examples in scripture of people either ignoring or listening to stranger voices that I could write a considerable amount on it, but that is not my objective at the moment. I simply want us all, myself included and maybe especially, to think on this "sermon" that I saw and heard so long ago.

1Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

First published here April 2012.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Evening Song - What A Lovely Name

Philippians 2:8-11 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sew Happy Friday - Disappearing Pinwheel Tutorial

Here's another fun quilt tutorial from Jenny Doan at The Missiouri Star Quilt Co. You could use this pattern to make a very scrappy quilt with leftover 10" squares.

Enjoy! :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Tennessee Memories - Glass and Crystal

Revelation 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Short Thoughts On Marriage

Colossians 3:18-19 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 

Here is a collection of short thoughts about marriage at The Home Maker's Corner. I hope that they will be a blessing and help to you and also make you think.

Short Thoughts On Marriage

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Evening Song - Holy, Holy, Holy

Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Homemade Hairspray - Link

Here is short tutorial for making your own homemade hairspray. I have not tried it yet, but I think it is very interesting and something worth considering. For those who have allergies to fragrances and perfumes and certain ingredients in things like hairspray, this is a possibly alternative. My friend Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose shared this great idea. :-)

Citrus Hairspray

By the way, I use clear aloe vera gel instead of hair gel. Mine still has some questionable ingredients, but it is much better than the usual ingredients in many hair products. It provides a gentle hold but, for me, it is sufficient for most days just to keep my hair a little neater.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Come unto Me, Ye Weary

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Come unto Me, Ye Weary

"Come unto me, ye weary, and I will give you rest."
O blessed voice of Jesus which comes to hearts oppressed!
It tells of benediction, of pardon, grace, and peace,
Of joy that hath no ending, of love which cannot cease.

"Come unto me, dear children, and I will give you light."
O loving voice of Jesus which comes to cheer the night!
Our hearts were filled with sadness, and we had lost our way;
But morning brings us gladness, and songs the break of day.

"Come unto me, ye fainting, and I will give you life."
O peaceful voice of Jesus which comes to end our strife!
The foe is stern and eager, the fight is fierce and long;
But Thou hast made us mighty, and stronger than the strong.

"And whomsoever cometh, I will not cast him out."
O patient love of Jesus which drives away our doubt;
Which calls us, very sinners, unworthy though we be
Of love so free and boundless, to come, dear Lord to Thee!

William Dix

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 

John 7:37-38 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Evening Song - Wonderful, Merciful Savior

Psalm 107:8-9 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. 

Psalm 117:1-2 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Friday, January 11, 2019

FREE Scripture Graphic - Snowy Cottage Scene, Isaiah 32:17

Here is another vintage graphic that I edited. I got the original graphic somewhere online. I made some changes and added the verse. You can save the image from here, but it will not be very high quality.  You can get it in higher quality if you go over and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.)

If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own computer and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you.

[Note: It's OK to link the graphic from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media.] :-)


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Short Thoughts - One Stick At A Time

African woman carrying load of sticks.

Here is a short quote that really spoke to me. How often we hold onto things that we were not meant to carry! As we continue through this year let us remember to not carry more than the Lord would give us each day.

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

“I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the course of the year to a great bundle of sticks, far too large for us to lift. But God does not require us to carry the whole at once. He mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry today, and then another, which we are to carry tomorrow, and so on. This we might easily manage, if we would only take the burden appointed for us each day; but we choose to increase our troubles by carrying yesterday's stick over again today, and adding tomorrow's burden to our load, before we are required to bear it."
- John Newton


This poem goes well with this thought:

The Heaviest Cross - by Annie Johnson Flint

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 

Original photo by my grandfather, Glenn Hoover.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Evening Song - One Hour of Hymns on Piano

Here is an hour of restful piano hymns for you to enjoy. :-) (Please remember I don't have control over commercials, ads, or the videos displayed at the end.)

Friday, January 4, 2019

Loaded Chips and Cheese

You can make chips and cheese into a fully balanced meal! This is one of the great things about it – that and melted cheese. What cheese lover can resist that? :-)  (Note of our foreign friends – the kind of chips used for this are corn tortilla chips, just in case you don’t know that.)

To make the loaded chips and cheese pictured above I fully cooked some chicken breast strips and seasoned them with Mexican type seasoning (garlic, onion, red pepper, cumin, oregano) and salt.

Then, after spreading the corn chips on a baking sheet, I added the chicken, sliced black olives and grated cheese.  I added some more spices to make the entire batch more flavorful. I baked it in the oven (350F-375F)  just till the cheese melted and then sprinkled it with fresh, diced tomatoes before serving it. Supper in one pan! :-)

Pinto or black beans from a can or precooked (rinsed and well drained) could be used here in place of the chicken meat, or added to it to “stretch” it. You could also use cooked, drained ground beef.

Other toppings you could use to make a complete meal of it:

- mozzarella; pepperoni; fully cooked, crumbled sausage (drained and patted dry with paper towel); mushrooms; olives and other pizza toppings (use the sauce for dip if you want it, or sprinkle basil, garlic and oregano on top of the cheese before baking).

- good melting cheese of your choice, thin sliced steak (fully cooked); chopped, canned artichoke hearts (well drained and patted dry); and sautéed garlic cloves (drained). Add fresh chopped tomatoes after removing it from the oven. Season with herbs of your choice – maybe fresh, chopped basil? Mmmm.

- fully cooked, drained ground beef (drain on paper towel); garbanzo beans; pitted kalamata olives; lightly sautéed garlic; crumbled feta cheese.  (You could use mozzarella with this as well.)  Top this with fresh, shredded lettuce, chopped cucumber, and/or tomatoes.  You could also spray the top lightly with olive oil before to add flavor.

- cheddar cheese; cooked, drained ground beef; and finely chopped dill pickles. Add chopped, diced tomatoes; shredded lettuce; and diced onion or chopped green onions after it is finished baking. "Sprinkle" ketchup and mustard over it. (This is for a cheese burger type taste.) :-)


Obviously all the cheese needs to be grated, or in the case of feta crumbled, before use.

You could use leftover meat for this such as shredded chicken, turkey, beef, or pork.

Anything you want fresh needs to be added after removing from the oven.

I have not tried all these toppings. I’m just thinking these through as I write. Be adventuresome and think up some of your own that sound good to you. Just remember not to use anything very wet or oily or the chips may get soggy.

Also, using safe cheese and other ingredients, this recipe can be made gluten free.

First published here 1/2011. Edited.