April 27, 2015

About coleen hayden

Coleen Hayden – Director of Women's Ministry - Prayer Ministry Leader - Blog Contributor
Coleen and her husband Robert have been married for 19 years and currently live in the Capital District area of New York State. They have one beautiful daughter, Kassia, who is married to Matt, and 4 delightful grandchildren Elijah, Kaylie Joy, Levi, and Rebekah. She enjoys sewing, cooking, and playing the piano.

Greater – 1 John 4:4

SeekingHimLogo

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them;
because greater is He who is in you
than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

Bring your tired
Bring your shame
Bring your guilt
Bring your pain
Don’t you know that’s not your name
You will always be much more to Me

Everyday I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world
In the world
In the world
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world

Bring your doubts
Bring your fears
Bring your hurt
Bring your tears
There’ll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed

Every time I fall
There’ll be those who will call me
A mistake
Well, that’s ok

There’ll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn’t matter
‘Cause the Cross already won the war
He’s greater
He’s greater
I am learning to run freely
Understanding just how He sees me
And it makes me love Him more and more
He’s greater
He’s greater

MercyMe
Writer(s): Bart Millard, Mike Scheuchzer, Nathan Cochran,
Robby Shaffer, Barry Graul, David Garcia, Ben Glover

I Can Just Be Me

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer.  It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body.  Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed.
However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’!  We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past.  We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause, a hug,
and the rest they so deserve.  God bless you, ladies!

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I’ve been doing all that I can
To hold it all together, piece by piece
I’ve been feeling like a failure
Trying to be braver
Than I could ever be
…It’s just not me

So be my Healer, be my Comfort
Be my Peace
‘Cause I can be broken
I can be needy, Lord, I need You now
To be, be my God
…So I can just be me

I’ve been living like an orphan
Trying to belong here
But it’s just not my home
I’ve been holding on so tightly
To all the things that I think
That satisfy my soul
…But I’m letting go

So be my Father, my mighty Warrior
Be my King
‘Cause I can be scattered, frail and shattered
Lord, I need You now
To be, be my God
…So I can just be me

‘Cause I was lost
In this dark world
‘Til I was finally found in You
So now I’m needy, desperately pleading
Oh Lord, be all to me

So be my Savior, be my Lifeline
Won’t You be my everything?
‘Cause I’m so tired
Of trying to be someone
I was never meant to be

Be my God, please be my God
Be my God so I can just be me
So I can just be me
…I can just be me

Laura Story
written with Jason Ingram

* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

Can’t you just imagine leafing through your Bible and coming upon words like these…they are so similar to one of David’s songs, don’t you think?  This song sings just like one (no, like MANY) of the psalms.  Perhaps these words are very similar to a song in your own heart?  I’ll tell you…they are close to my own, at times.

Oh, but at times I can whine…and complain!  Despite the great measure of grace and blessing that my God has poured into my life, at times I seem to forget.  I can become overwhelmed with the situations and circumstances.  And then  attempt to wrestle with these ugly things rather than resting and relying on my God.

Silly me!  I try to take things into my own <incapable> hands instead of seeking the only One Who IS capable—my Lord, Jesus the Christ, the One to Whom all “all authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given…” (Matthew 28:18).

I (and you also, my friends!) we are not alone in struggling with matters such as this!  We’ve already recognized that David called out to God in his struggles. But we also have the examples and godly encouragement of other men throughout the pages of the Bible.  The Apostle Paul and his disciple, Timothy, are two who I thought of immediately!  Paul wrote in his letters to encourage the believers in the first century Church <and us, too!!!> to rely on all that Christ had made available.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses,
insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 ESV

In Paul’s letters to Timothy, as he taught him regarding leadership, Paul faithfully reminded Timothy that God is the One Who is to be trusted and relied upon.  For example, He said:

That is why I am suffering as I am.
Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know Whom I have believed,
and am convinced that He is able to guard
what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
2 Timothy 1:12 NIV

All throughout the Scriptures, God’s people are instructed over and over and over again of the simplicity of the commands He has for us.

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you
but to do justly,
and to love kindness and mercy,
and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

We need to remember.  And to trust and obey.  It is SO much simpler to do things God’s way!  And then ‘I can just be me!’   Amen?

 * ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

Oh, how we praise You, dear Lord!  What joy we have in our hearts knowing that You ARE our Healer, Comfort, Peace… our Father, Mighty Warrior, King… our Savior, Lifeline… truly our everything!  How gracious, kind, and compassionate You are towards our human nature which, at times, is weak and needy and tired!  Thank You for how patient and longsuffering You are with us…never leaving us nor forsaking us even when we are whiny and complaining.  Thank You for Your grace and mercy, Your lovingkindness, Your forgiveness, Your love!  Thank You for always being there when turn our little hearts around and acknowledge that You have not changed…and never will.  Thank You for forming and making us—to ‘just be me!’  We love and adore You, Faithful Father!  And pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Grace Flows Down

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer.  It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body.  Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed.
However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’!  We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past.  We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause,
a hug, and the rest they so deserve.  God bless you, ladies!

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
Amazing love
Now flowing down
From hands and feet
That were nailed to the tree
As grace flows down and covers me

It covers me, it covers me
It covers me, and it covers me

It covers me….

Grace flows down it covers me
All of my sin, all of my sin, it covers all of my sin
It covers my heart, it covers my heart
Thank You, Jesus…Thank You, Jesus…sweet Jesus

Christie Nockels
Songwriters: Louie Giglio, David Bell, Rod Padgett

*  ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~  *

Y’know, I think that grace and love must be intertwined in the heart of God…what do you think?  It seems to me that, whenever we see the grace of our Father being poured out, His love is evident also.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

God had a plan…He made a way…for the redemption of all mankind.  Nothing but the grace (and, oh yes, the mercy!) of God manifested through the sacrifice of Jesus could have ever been enough to give us eternal, everlasting life.   Throughout the ages, God’s love and grace kept His plan from being destroyed.

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done
but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus
before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed
through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death
and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
2 Timothy 1:9-10

The apostle Paul was a man who purposed to magnify and speak well of the grace and mercy which he had received. Paul was humbly and completely aware that ‘grace flowed down and covered’ him!

…and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost,
Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example
to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:14-16

In all of Paul’s encouragement and admonition through each of the Epistles, he wrote over and over again to the first century believers of the greatness of God’s grace. Paul seemed always to endeavor to help the people (and us, too!) to remain aware and thankful for God’s love and grace!

According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children
by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;
Ephesians 1:4-7

But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy
the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses,
He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ;
[He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life
with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved
(delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together
[giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere
[by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come
the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace
(His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved
(delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith.
And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing,
it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
Ephesians 2:4-8 AMP

Take a moment, would you, and just read that out loud to yourself…or go here and listen to it in a few different versions.

You and I have been so overwhelmingly covered by God’s free grace!  Each of us, I am sure, has story after story to relate of the love and grace that God has shown to us.  Would you share with us one time when God’s grace (and love) flowed down upon you?  Please tell us below in the comments; we will all be so encouraged!

May I finish here today, speaking a blessing (written in the book of 2nd John)  over each of you!

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father
and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
verse 3

Seafood Soup

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer. It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body. Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed.
However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’! We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past. We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause,
a hug, 
and the rest they so deserve. God bless you, ladies!

I am sure you have heard me mention once or twice (or a dozen times!) how very much Robert loves his soup!  And homemade soup is often on our menu…summer, winter, spring or fall!  This is a great soup to prepare even when you don’t have some of your own wonderful stock on hand.  It is a really flavorful soup that doesn’t need to rely on homemade stock.

This soup also lends itself to substitutions.  Choose varieties of fish (maybe even some mussels or small clams!) that your family enjoys.  And the choices of vegetables can be switched up, too.  If I had had a head of cauliflower, it definitely would have joined the pot!  I did steam a couple of handfuls of fresh green beans that I found in the veggie drawer…they were a nice addition!  (I would love to hear what you decide to add to your rendition of this soup; please leave a message in the comments section, ok?)  Enjoy!

Mediterranean Fish Soup

2014-09-14 20.36.05

ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced small
2 stalks celery, cut into narrow slices
5 or 6 medium-sized baby bella mushrooms, chopped medium
1 cup chopped leeks use ONLY white part (approx. 2 leeks)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (I use jarred)
1 cup dry white wine (or additional stock)
1 (28 ounce) can chunky crushed tomatoes
1 quart good chicken (or vegetable) stock
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ chunks
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
few grinds of freshly ground pepper (or lemon pepper!)
1 (6 ounce) salmon fillet (no skin), cut into bite-sized chunks
1 (4 ounce) tilapia fillet (or another mild-tasting white fish), cut into bite-sized chunks
6 ounces raw medium-sized shrimp, peeled and cleaned
½ lemon

directions:

  • in a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat
  • add onions, mushrooms, celery, and leeks; saute for 7-8 minutes ‘til mushrooms just begin to brown
  • stir in the chopped garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute
  • add in the wine, stock, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  • remove lid, add in the butternut and seasonings; stir well. simmer for additional 10 minutes
  • slide in the salmon and tilapia pieces; continue to simmer for 8-9 minutes.
    add in the shrimp and simmer for 5 more minutes
  • reduce heat to very low and carefully taste for additional seasoning; add if needed
  • serve with rice or small pasta  (a little squeeze of fresh lemon is perfect!)

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

God loves you!  ♥  (Don’t ever forget that!)

♥  coleen

Psalms 19:7-11

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer.  It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body.  Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed. 

However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’!  We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past.  We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause,
a hug,
 and the rest they so deserve.  God bless you, ladies!

SeekingHimLogo

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
Psalms 19:7-11

Young Disciple Youth Bible Camp Choir
written by Ed Gungor

 

Child Forgiven

 Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer.  It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body.  Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed. 

However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’!  We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past.  We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause, a hug,
and the rest they so deserve.  God bless you, ladies!

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv
I thought I had my bases covered

My destiny was in control
But I could see I’d never reach perfection
The day I hit a slick spot in the road

After that I thought my life was over
But Jesus had a different point of view
All I did was confess, and Jesus did the rest
Thank God I’ve been released and made brand new

You’re looking at a child forgiven
You’re looking at a soul set free
You’re looking at a pardoned prisoner who’s walking now in liberty
I’m standing here because of wondrous grace
My sins are in the deepest sea
He washed me clean somehow
So what you’re seeing now
Is a happy, happy child set free

Now what you see is not a perfect person
What you see is not a faultless soul
What you see is someone who was broken
Until the hand of Jesus made me whole

What you see is not a finished product
What you see might sometimes miss the mark
But I know my Father’s eyes see only His sweet prize
The perfect holy children that we are

The Gaither Vocal Band
Songwriters: Suzanne Jennings and Bill Gaither

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Hey, before we go any further, would you do one thing, please?  Would you go look in the mirror….  Now, see there?!  There is a “child forgiven, a happy happy child set free”…you!

But for the grace of God, we would still be prisoners and slaves to sin. But for His wondrous and amazing grace, we would be without hope.  But,

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace….
Romans 3:22-24

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:13 and 14

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.
Ephesians 1:4

One of the joy-filled lines of this song is “But I know my Father’s eyes see only His sweet prize—the perfect holy children that we are…”.  Now I know we aren’t completely and totally perfectly perfect yet…but remember Jesus told His disciples (and us!) to “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

The apostle Paul, who is such a wonderful example to us of how to live righteously, wrote of his own struggle with this Truth:

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on
so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude;
and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;
however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
Philippians 3:12-16

It is so very important to remember the Truth of who you are in Christ.  Here are just a few aspects of this reality that, by God’s grace, He has made us to be.

  • I am forgiven; Jesus paid my debt

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,
God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us
and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the Cross.
Colossians 2:13 and 14

  • I am His child

Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name,
He gave the right to become children of God.
John 1:12

  • I belong to Him

Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him]
and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist],
because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

  • I am chosen, holy

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people belonging to God,
that you may declare the praises of Him
who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9

  • I cannot be separated from His love

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39

  • I have been given strength to do all which God calls me to do

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me
[I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him
Who infuses inner strength into me…].
Philippians 4:13

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

…Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come…
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead,
and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us
and released us from our sins by His blood—
Revelations 1:4 and 5

Complete In Thee

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer.  It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body.  Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed.
However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’!  We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past.  We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause, a hug,
and the rest they so deserve.  
God bless you, ladies!

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Complete in Thee, no work of mine
Could take, dear Lord, the place of Thine
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me
And I shall stand complete in Thee

Yea, justified, oh blessed thought
And sanctified salvation wrought
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me
And glorified, I too, shall be

Complete in Thee, each want supplied
And no good thing to me denied
Since Thou my portion, Lord will be
I ask no more, complete in Thee

Complete in Thee, no more shall sin
Thy grace has conquered reign within
Thy blood shall bid the tempter flee
And I shall stand, complete in Thee

Dear Savior, when, before Thy bar
All tribes and tongues assembled are
Among the chosen I shall be
At Thy right hand, complete in Thee

Benjamin Everson
written by Aaron R. Wolfe and James M. Gray/Ben Nyce

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Complete!  Could that really be true?!?  Oh YES, it is!  For years I struggled, truly suffered, being tempted by the enemy of our souls to doubt the truth and veracity of this fact: I, Coleen Ann Brigit Hayden, AM complete in Him!  I am!  (And you, my friend, you are complete in Him, too!) ‘How do you know that?’ you ask?  The Bible tells me so!

For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body,
and you are complete through your union with Christ.
Colossians 2:9 and 10

The word complete communicates that the thing which is completed has no lack or deficiency.  So if we are complete through our union or relationship with Christ then there is no lack or deficiency in all that comes through that relationship.  It is enough.  We are fully, perfectly, completely equipped.  ‘With what?’ you ask?  Well, here are a few things that became when we had our spiritual new birth.  Among other things, we are:

  • Chosen - 1 Peter 1:2
  • Forgiven -  Colossians 2:13
  • Free – Galatians 5:1
  • Justified – 1 Corinthians 6:11
  • Redeemed - Ephesians 1:7
  • Righteous – Romans 5:9
  • Sanctified – 1 Corinthians 1:30
  • Sealed – Ephesians 1:13

It is ONLY through our relationship or union with Jesus that we are complete—there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can do by ourselves that will make us complete.  Remember who and what we were

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

and then

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:1-8

Doesn’t that just melt your heart AND revive your heart all at the same time!?!  Read through those verses again, and pick out your very favorite phrase and praise our Great I AM through it!  (I would LOVE to hear which phrase hits your heart the most…and why!)

  • God being rich in mercy
  • By grace you have been saved through faith
  • Because of the great love with which He loved us
  • Might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness towards us
  • It is the gift of God

This—His love, His grace, His mercy, His gift, His riches—is what gives us the opportunity for a relationship or union with Jesus!  How GREAT is our God!

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world
to be holy and blameless in His sight.
In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ,
in accordance with His pleasure and will—
to the praise of His glorious grace,
which He has freely given us in the One He loves.
Ephesians 1:4-6

Hold this truth in your mind and never doubt that you are completely, completelycompletely  COMPLETE through your union with Jesus—He is your Lord!

  *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Let’s Pray:

…that Christ may dwell in <our> hearts through faith, as <we> are being rooted and grounded in love.  I pray that <we> may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that <we> may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.

(paraphrased from Ephesians, chapter 3)

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer. It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body. Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed.
However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’! We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past. We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause, a hug,
and the rest they so deserve. God bless you, ladies!

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For our family’s Thanksgiving Feast (as the grandchildren call it!), we always divvy up all of the different dishes that make up our spread.  This year I was happy to prepare a side dish (Quinoa Veggie Salad w/ Orange Vinaigrette), the beverages (one <adult> choice of which was Apple Cider Sangria), and a dessert…these spicy-sweet Gingerbread Mini-Cupcakes. Oh, they were so darling! And just the perfect mouthful (and I mean FULL).  <Of course you certainly could make these in a standard cupcake size, too!>

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For those of you who are just beginning to follow the path of gluten-free baking, try this recipe.  When I first made these cupcakes, I used a ‘gf all-purpose flour blend.’ You can pick up a box in the gluten-free section of almost any grocery store. However, if you have a pantry filled with jars of different gluten-free flours, I used 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup hazelnut flour).  Note that these cupcakes are dairy-free if you prepare them with coconut oil…and of course no whipped cream!

This is a quick recipe to pull together…and only takes 10-12 minutes to bake. We enjoyed ours with Spiced Whipped Cream (see the recipe from last week’s blogpost here).  But they would be equally yummy with a cream cheese frosting or a simple buttercream frosting, too.  Enjoy!

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Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes

ingredients:
1+1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour blend **
1+1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
4T butter, room temperature (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water

directions:

  • set out the butter (or coconut oil) and egg to come to room temperature
  • fill muffin/cupcake tins with liners (mini = 30; regular = 12)
  • preheat oven to 350
  • mix flour(s) and spices together in a small bowl
  • with mixer, cream together butter (or coconut oil) and sugar
  • add egg, then molasses; beating ‘til nice and creamy
  • microwave the water in a measuring cup ‘til boiling; remove and <carefully> stir in the baking soda; set aside
  • add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl, and blend for about 1 minute ‘til it all comes together
  • continue to blend while pouring in the water; beat for an additional minute or so (batter will seem thin but it very quickly thickens up)
  • fill lined cupcake tins about 3/4 full with batter
  • bake minis for 10-12 minutes (regular for 20 minutes), or ‘til firm to the touch and slightly browned
  • take pan from oven and immediately remove cupcakes to a cooling rack
  • once completely cool, frost as desired

 ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

God loves you!  ♥  (Don’t ever forget that!)

♥  coleen

God Always Keeps His Promise

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer.  It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body.  Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed.
However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’!  We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past.  We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause, a hug,
and the rest they so deserve.  
God bless you, ladies!

SeekingHimLogo

Remember Your word to Your servant,
for You have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
Psalms 119:49-50

Throughout the Scriptures, there are many, many records of God fulfilling His promise to His people.  Whether it be to an individual, or a group of people, or all mankind—God always keeps His promise.  I am so thankful to have these stories recorded in the Scriptures because they encourage and comfort us.  At any time, we can sit down with a bible and open up to one of numerous accounts.  One that I am always reminded of when thinking of God’s promises fulfilled is the record of Abraham and Isaac climbing Mount Moriah…remember? (Click here to read the entire record.)

As he walked toward Moriah with Isaac, Abraham must have felt conflicted…and heartbroken beyond words….  Can you imagine?  How could God ask him to sacrifice this miracle child He had blessed him and Sarai with!  No doubt, he did not understand all that God was doing.  He didn’t know he was illustrating for God’s people for all time what faith and trust looked like.

Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did
when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions
were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God,
and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend” (James 2:21–23).

He didn’t know this provision for the sacrifice would foreshadow the sacrifice of God’s only Son —a Son who would not be spared because He was the provided Lamb.

The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said,
Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29

He only knew that God had promised and that He surely knew what He was doing. He stood on his faith and belief that God could be trusted to keep His promise—even if it appeared like the promise was going to die. And God proved himself faithful to Abraham.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead,
from which he also received him back as a type.
Hebrews 11:17, 19

Jehovah – Jireh, our faithful Father, proves Himself faithful to us constantly. Even if it doesn’t look like it right now, God will bring His promise to pass. We have hope through His Word. Trust Him.

What particular promise has God has made to which you can confess,

“Remember Your word to Your servant,
for You have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.”

Every Promise Of Your Word

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer. It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body. Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed.
However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’! We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past. We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause, a hug, and the rest they so deserve. God bless you, ladies!

 

SeekingHimLogo

Remember Your promise to me;
    it is my only hope.
Your promise revives me….
Psalm 119:49 and 50

Stuart Townend
written along with Keith Getty

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

From the breaking of the dawn to the setting of the sun
I will stand on every promise of Your Word
Words of power strong to save that will never pass away
I will stand on every promise of Your word

For Your covenant is sure
And on this I am secure
I can stand on ev’ry promise of Your word

When I stumble and I sin condemnation pressing in
I will stand on ev’ry promise of Your word
You are faithful to forgive that in freedom I might live
So I stand on ev’ry promise of Your Word

Guilt to innocence restored
You remember sins no more
So I’ll stand on ev’ry promise of Your word

When I’m faced with anguished choice, I will listen for Your voice
And I’ll stand on every promise of Your word

Through this dark and troubled land
You will guide me with Your hand
As I stand on ev’ry promise of Your word

And You’ve promised to complete
Ev’ry work begun in me
So I’ll stand on ev’ry promise of Your word

Hope that lifts me from despair, love that casts out ev’ry fear
As I stand on every promise of Your word

Not forsaken not alone for the Comforter has come
And I stand on ev’ry promise of Your word
Grace sufficient,grace for me
Grace for all who will believe
We will stand on ev’ry promise of Your word