Friday, February 26, 2010

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls

I tried this delicious vanilla pudding cinnamon roll recipe last week and it was a huge hit here and at a friend's home where we sent the second tray, since there were so many. Don't get me wrong, we could have eaten all 24 large rolls, but we didn't need to. Go over to and get the recipe so you can enjoy them, too. I liked that this recipe has prepared instant vanilla pudding in the dough. It makes an extremely moist roll. It is important not to overbake. My oldest son, Daniel ( a cinnamon roll lover!), says they are equivalent to cinnabon at the mall. That is a generous compliment from a picky young man. I would love to hear from you about any really good recipes you have to share.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need." - James 1:2-4. When a potter bakes a pot, he checks its solidity by pulling it out of the oven and thumping it. If it "sings" it's ready. If it "thuds," it's placed back in the oven. The character of a person is also checked by thumping. "It doesn't matter, really, how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord - then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to Himself..." - J. Hudson Taylor. How it must deeply wound God when we blame Him for our suffering and even turn away from Him. Yes, He allows it, for our good. Many times we unknowingly welcome it by choices we make, compromises, sin, and so on. As a parent I get a glimpse of how it might feel to God. When my child has to face appropriate consequences for a bad choice made that I might have even warned him about, I hurt with him. I want to remove the consequence. My immense love for the child stops me. Love doesn't give the child what he wants, Love gives him what he needs. God loves me so much he gives me what I need. He hurts with me and maybe even more. The consequences can help make me a better person. They can help me learn that I don't want to partake in that sin, again. There are so many degrees of suffering. It may have nothing to do with anything I've done. Who am I to question God? We have been warned that we have an enemy in this world who goes around like a lion looking for someone to devour. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan would be delighted for us to turn from the very one who can help us during our trials. This life is hard at times and I don't want anyone or anything to keep me from the one who leads me on paths that are right for the good of His name. Elisabeth Elliot once said something like this, "suffering is a gift entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus." He is counting on me. He knows I can do it. The least I can do is suffer a little bit for God after all He has done for me. Shame on me for complaining! My reward will be in heaven. There is so much more that can be said but I have children creating in the kitchen who beckon me. "I know God is on my side."- Psalm 56:9b NCV.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Maybe it's not look at what God has done to heal my situation, but look at how I can walk with joy ( or just walk!) in spite of what is going on in my life. This is a thought I scribbled on paper some months ago. Pain is a common thread in this journey of mine. I can honestly say I'm thankful for the pain. I'm not talking about surface pain that pricks the heart. I'm referring to a hurt that engulfs me like quicksand or knocks the breath out of me. A paralzying kind. Looking back over my life since when I can remember, it was when I hurt that I sought after God. If it were not for the valleys, I would not know Jesus so intimately. I would not trade my life for one of comfort if it meant I would not know God as a friend. Everyone has loss, disappointments, etc. Not everyone has Jesus to walk with them through it. This is a real tragedy. I shudder to think where I would be physically or mentally without the strength and support from Jesus. My prayer to God now is to not waste the pain. Don't allow Satan victory. Instead, God be glorified.
I have asked God many times why I have experienced so much pain. One day he answered through a gal I barely knew. Compassion. I would not have the compassion I have if it weren't for the pain experienced. That seems so obvious to me now. Thank you God for knowing what I need for the plan you have for my life, not what I think I need for the plans I have for my life.
I want you to know I have had numerous blessings in my life, also. I am immensely grateful to God for changing my heart and plans. I am thankful for a God who knows me better than I do and still loves me and calls me friend. He is never too busy to listen, care, help, love, forgive...I could go on. No matter what you are facing you don't have to walk it alone. He is no respector of persons. He doesn't have favorites. What He has done for me and so many others, He will do for you. Just ask. He says to cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you. The creator of the universe and of me and you really cares. Whatever burden you carry, cast it over to God. We were never meant to carry so much that we try to handle ourselves. It hinders us from enjoying the many blessings surrounding us daily. His mercies are new every morning. I will talk some more about this next time.