September 2, 2014

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.

Peach-Raspberry Crumble

If you can get your hands on some late-season peaches…you really should try this recipe (or your version of it)! And I strongly suggest serving it to your loved ones warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…doesn’t have to be a huge scoop even! This is one of those sweet treats that is warm and cold, crunchy and mushy, sweet and not-so-sweet. I, myself am not a huge dessert eater. But this? …just delicious! Perfect for the last weekend of August.

This dish fits well into our healthy but oh-so-yummy POV since there is little added sugar, has a good amount of whole grains and nuts, full of fresh fruits, AND…a little bowl is very satisfying! Now it does have a fair amount of butter in it (about 1 tablespoon per average portion)…but I haven’t figured out how to reduce it without changing the quality of the crumbly goodness. I prepared this recipe using gluten free flour and coconut sugar…but this would come out just as well using traditional all-purpose flour and white/brown sugar; it is up to you. Enjoy (I hope you can find some gorgeous peaches!)!

Peach – Raspberry Crumble

2014-08-31 21.59.43

1+1/2 pounds ripe (yet firm) peaches
12 ounce package red raspberries
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 tablespoons ginger jam (or peach, apricot)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh, if possible)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground, if possible)

6 tablespoons cold UNsalted butter
3/4 cup gluten-free oats
3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour blend
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (**only if using gluten-free flour)
3-4 tablespoons sliced almonds


  • cut the cold butter into a small dice; return to refrigerator ‘til ready to use
  • preheat oven to 375
  • butter a 1+1/2 quart ceramic or glass baking dish
  • pit and slice the peaches (for a softer texture, cut a bit smaller)
  • put fruit into a large bowl, and add next 5 ingredients; stir gently together; set aside to get the juices flowing
  • in a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the butter, and almonds
  • then add the cold butter to the flour-y mixture; toss to coat the butter w/flour. then use your fingertips to ‘cut’ the butter and flour mixture together ‘til the mixture is crumbly and looks like coarse meal
  • stir in the almonds
  • now pour the fruit and juice into the prepared baking dish
  • scatter the oat-flour crumbly mixture over the top of the fruit
  • place the baking dish onto a sheet pan (just in case the juiciness bubble over the sides!)
  • place in oven and bake for 35-45 minutes ‘til juices begin to bubble around the edges and the crumbs are beginning to brown (should they start to brown too early, just lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top)
  • remove from oven, and let set for 5 minutes (just enough time to grab some bowls, spoons, AND the ice cream)

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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

♥  coleen

Shout To The Lord


Sing for joy to God our strength;
Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.

Psalm 81:1

My Jesus, my Savior
Lord, there is none like You
All of my days I want to praise
the wonders of your mighty love 

My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath…all that I am
Never cease to worship You

Shout to the Lord
All the earth, let us sing
Power and majesty praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the work of Your hand
Forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in you….

Songwriter: Darlene Zschech/ Performed by American Idol Top 8, Season 7

A Living Prayer


In this world I walk alone
With no place to call my home
But there’s one who holds my hand
Through rugged roads, through barren lands

The way is dark, the road is steep
But He’s become my eyes to see
The strength to climb, my griefs to bear
The Savior lives inside me there

In Your love I find release
A haven from my unbelief
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God, to Thee

In these trials of life I find
Another voice inside my mind
He comforts me and bids me live
Inside the love the Father gives

Take my life and let me be a living prayer, my God, to Thee

Performed by Alison Krauss and Union Station; written by Ron Block

  *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This beautiful bluegrass ballad is an affirmation, a declaration, a commitment. It is the heart-cry of the songwriter to his God. I love that he wrote, ‘take my life and let me be a living prayer…’ He recognized that, even though he had so much in his heart he wanted to commit to God Almighty, he still needed God’s involvement. He knew he needed God.

The writers of the Psalms often communicated very similar thoughts.

Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to You do I pray.
O Lord, in the morning You hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for You and watch.
But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy,
And spread your protection over them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.
For You bless the righteous, O Lord; You cover him with favor as with a shield.
Psalms 25:1-3, 11 and 12 ESV

Listen to my words, O Lord, give heed to my sighing and groaning.
Hear the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to You do I pray.
In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].
Psalms 5:1-3 AMP

And as such it is with us, too. We cry out to our heavenly Father with our own words of commitment and declaration. Voicing the affirmation of our faith in Him…our trust and belief that He is Faithful…our acknowledgment of our great need for our El Shaddai.

Take my life and let me be a living prayer, my God, to Thee!

I Exalt Thee


For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods
For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted high above all gods

I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord
I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord

please take the time to enter into a time of worship with your God!

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Does it not thrill your heart to sing this simple song…glorifying and exalting the Lord God?!!?  I just love that the LORD, our God IS exalted…and that is one reason why we exalt Him.  He IS exalted—high above the cherubim, high above the peoples, high above the earth—we simply voice our confession and belief of this Truth!

The Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble [with reverential fear]! He sits [enthroned] above the cherubim, let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion, and He is high above all the peoples.
Let them confess and praise Your great name, awesome and reverence inspiring! It is holy, and holy is He!
The strength of the king who loves righteousness and equity You establish in uprightness; You execute justice and righteousness in Jacob (Israel).
Extol (exalt) the Lord our God and worship at His footstool! Holy is He!
Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel was among those who called upon His name; they called upon the Lord, and He answered them.
He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept His testimonies and the statutes that He gave them.
You answered them, O Lord our God; You were a forgiving God to them, although avenging their evildoing and wicked practices.
Extol (exalt) the Lord our God and worship at His holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy!

Psalm 99


: to raise (someone or something) to a higher level

: to praise (someone or something) highly

: to present (something) in a way that is very favorable


And here are some synonyms for the word exalt; perhaps these are part of your vocabulary?

praise, acclaim, applaud, pay tribute to, bless, worship, magnify (archaic), glorify, reverence, laud, extol, pay homage to, idolize, apotheosize, set on a pedestal

This—praising, extolling, blessing, worshipping, magnifying—is exactly what Moses led the Israelites to do when they stood on the far shore of the Red Sea.  I can only imagine that their feet were still sandy and mucky from that trek across the ocean floor!  Their hearts must have been utterly amazed and their mouths filled with praises for God’s miraculous saving of their lives from what should have been utter demise at the hands of their captors.  Listen to Moses’ words…

The Lord is my Strength and my Song, and He has become my Salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
Exodus 15:1

Even more than using our words and praises to exalt Almighty God, our actions prove what our hearts and minds hold. What does it look like to ‘exalt’ God in our daily lives? Here are a few I thought of:

  • to exalt God is to put Him above all else in your life
  • to exalt God is to surrender yourself to Him
  • to exalt God is to recognize that He is over all, above all
  • to exalt God is to praise His mighty works

What are some other ways you can add to this list? (I would love it if you would  leave your answers in the comments section below!)

O Lord, You are my God;
I will exalt You, I will praise Your name,
for You have done wonderful things,
even purposes planned of old [and fulfilled] in faithfulness and truth.
Isaiah 25:1 (and the rest of the chapter, too!)

And we know that for all eternity we will have the privilege and the blessing to exalt and praise our great God along with the saints and the angels, all the living creatures and the elders…all those gathered around His throne…forever and ever!

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
Revelation 5:11-13

For now, we can rehearse our eternal ambition and bow our hearts, our bodies, our whole selves before the throne of God singing loudly or quietly within ourselves but always acknowledging Him and exalting Him Who is worthy to be praised!

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:3

Mango-Pineapple Guacamole with Tajin

I think that many of you will agree with me that one of the best things about faceBook is the opportunity to meet women who love God, who desire to seek Him and serve Him…and to become friendly with them.  Yes?  My heart has been encouraged and admonished and helped by my fB friends!  I am so very thankful to God for this good use of technology!

And I love the virtual conversations I’ve had with these friends about oh, well, everything, practically! they’ve run the gamut from spiritual matters—prayer, the meaning of a particular passage of Scripture, doctrinal questions to relationship (aka, marriage) problems to ‘foodie’ talk to political discussions to grandchildren boasting to…y’know, EVERYTHING.

so recently, one friend from California was ‘sharing’ how much she was enjoying a new spice she had gotten at the grocery store.  LOTS of comments were made about the awesomeness of this product!  So I chimed in saying how it didn’t appear to be available in our area, and that I was going to check it out on (doesn’t everyone buy groceries from amazon?)…and THEN one of my Texas girlfriend’s messaged to say she was sending me some!  Woo-Hoo!  How sweet and kind is THAT?!?  Just sayin’!  Needless to say…not too long afterward…the mailman left an awkwardly-shaped package along with the day’s mail.  For the life of me, I could not figure out WHAT it was…’til I turned it over and read the return address!  Then I knew exactly what it was…’love in the mail’ for sure!


For any of you who are NOT familiar with Tajin seasoning…it has 3 ingredients: chiles, lime, salt.  Really…not kidding.  AND, (shhh!) it is NOT too spicy!  Really…not kidding.  Tajin’s claim to fame (from what my fB friends tell me) is as a condiment on fruit—mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, etc.  So I thought that I would make a mango-pineapple guacamole.  This was delicious over some grilled salmon.  Enjoy!  (And thank you to my sweet and spicy friend, Melanie!  xo)

Mango Pineapple Guacamole (with Tajin)

2014-08-23 20.02.21

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, cubed
1 large mango, peeled, pitted, cubed
1/2 large lime
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1/2 small red onion, very finely diced
sea salt, freshly ground pepper (I use lemon pepper mixture)
Tajin 1 tablespoon (or MORE)


  • using a large mixing bowl, put 1/2 of the avocado into the bowl and mash slightly
  • then add the rest of the avocado, the mango, the pineapple, the onion
  • squeeze the juice from the lime and the pineapple juice over all; gently stir together
  • add the seasonings and again stir; taste and add more seasoning if you like

2014-08-23 20.17.03

Pssst!  I also sprinkled the Tajin over top the salmon before it went onto the grill!

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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

♥  coleen

Made Me Glad


Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory
Because of Your loving kindness, because of Your truth.
Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?”
But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them.
O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their Help and their Shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; He is their Help and their Shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their Help and their Shield.
Psalms 115:1-11

I will bless the Lord forever
And I will trust Him at all times

He has delivered me from all fear
And He has set my feet upon a rock

I will not be moved, and I’ll say of the Lord
You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion
Deliverer, my Shelter, Strong Tower
My very present Help in time of need

Whom have I in heaven but You
There’s none I desire beside You
You have made me glad, and I’ll say of the Lord

You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion
Deliverer, my Shelter, Strong Tower
My very present Help in time of need

Songwriter: Miriam Joy Webster / Performed by Hillsong

Trust In God


O Israel, trust the Lord!
He is your Helper and your Shield.
O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the Lord!
He is your Helper and your Shield.
All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!
He is your Helper and your Shield.
Psalms 115:9-11


lean on…rely on…depend on; believe in…have confidence in; or commit to someone or something.

We trust in the Lord, Jehovah, because He is our Help and our Shield.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “God helps them that help themselves”?  We know this is so NOT true.  God helps them that trust in Him as their Help and their Shield and their Strength.  God helps those whose hearts rejoice in Him and who wait upon Him for their deliverance.  If a person decides to help themselves and “do it on their own”…they will find themselves truly on their own. Trust God and He will be your Help and Shield.

Our inner selves wait [earnestly] for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield.
For in Him does our heart rejoice, because we have trusted in His holy name.
Psalm 33:20 and 21

The Lord is my Strength and Shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
Psalm 28:7

David rejoiced and sang this song proclaiming his trust in God Who protected and helped and shielded him from his enemies and the hand of Saul:

He said,
“The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer,
my God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge,
my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation,
my Stronghold and my Refuge,
my Savior; You save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies….”
2 Samuel 22:3 and 4

“All you who fear the Lord (that’s us!), trust the Lord! He is your Helper and your Shield.”
May this be our constant confession…in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lay It Down


I’ve been lookin’ till my eyes are tired of lookin’
Listenin’ till my ears are numb from listenin’
Prayin’ till my knees are sore from kneelin’ on the bedroom floor
I know that you know that my heart is achin’
I’m running out of tears and my will is breakin’
I don’t think that I can carry the burden of it anymore
All of my hopes and my dreams and my best-laid plans
Are slowly slippin’ through my folded hands

So I’m gonna lay it down
I’m gonna learn to trust You now
What else can I do
‘Cause everything I am depends on You
And if the sun don’t come back up
I know Your love will be enough
I’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go,
I’m gonna lay it down

I’ve been walkin’ through this world like I’m barely livin’
Buried in the doubt of this hole I’ve been diggin’
But You’re pullin’ me out
I’m finally breathin’ in the open air
This room may be dark but I’m finally seein’
There’s a new ray of hope, and now I’m believin’
That the past is past, and the future’s beginning to look brighter now
Oh, cause all of my hopes and my dreams and my best-laid plans
Are safe and secure when I place them in Your hands 

Singer / Songwriter – Jaci Velasquez
* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ * 

Each of us has burdens and cares and concerns…some days it seems they are more than we can bear.  To think you can walk through this life without them is to deny the Truth.  However, they are not ours to carry and bear on our own. Throughout the Scriptures, we are told that the Lord will bear them for us.

Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation! Selah
Psalm 68:19

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me,
because I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

The burdens, the concerns, the cares of this life can turn into worries, doubts, fears if we do not bring them to our Father letting Him take care of them. We are to humbly recognize our great need for our Great God, and all that He has promised to do for us, because He cares for us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God
so that at the proper time He may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6 and 7

Let’s listen to Jesus’ admonition and promises in Matthew chapter 6:

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?
For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
But seek first of all His kingdom and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given you besides.
So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

Jesus’ words are full of action for us to take…but not the action of taking care of ourselves. Rather, our Lord and Master tells us to–

  • stop being perpetually uneasy
  • look at (and consider) the birds of the air
  • consider the lilies of the field
  • do not worry and be anxious
  • seek (first of all) His kingdom
  • <again> do not worry or be anxious

These are not always easy to do…but they are what we are to do in obedience. The choice, moment by moment, is ours (yours and mine)—will we stop… look…consider…not worry or be anxious…but seek His kingdom OR will we worry, doubt, have anxiety and fear.

* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

I am praying for you that TODAY you will choose to trust and say, “I’m gonna let it be, I’m gonna let it go, I’m gonna lay it down…in Jesus’ powerful name, amen.” (Will you pray that for me, too?  I’d be so appreciative!)


Arugula, Peach, Quinoa Salad

Recently a friend told me about this delicious ‘rice’ salad that she and her family were enjoying that she purchased at her favorite grocery store from the fresh salad bar. Well, as it turns out it wasn’t rice (when I questioned her thoroughly) but red quinoa!  Oh, I do love quinoa…so I was quite interested!  Here is my variation on this salad.  You can surely make this ‘your own’ by varying the fresh veggies added, what type of fruit you put in (berries would also be lovely!), the kind of vinaigrette you use (perhaps use your family’s favorite bottled vinaigrette!), and what variety of nuts you sprinkle across the top!  I would love to hear how you changed it up; leave a comment below!

Quinoa <kEEn-wah> is a grain but it is the seed that we eat! (Good news for those who eat low-carb, right?)  And it is jam-packed full of protein.  Have you and your family enjoyed quinoa before?  To find quinoa in your grocery store, check the natural food section, or the rice/pasta aisle.  Usually when I prepare a pot of quinoa, I make extra to use for another meal. Our favorite is ‘red’ quinoa although it also comes in white (or golden), and black variations. Check out these nutritional facts.  This light salad fits well into our ‘healthy but oh-so-yummy’ POV since it has a great vegetable protein base, and lots of fresh veggies and fruit!  Serve it alongside something yummy from the grill—chicken, shrimp, or salmon, for example.  Oh, and if you DO grill…throw the peaches on the grill for 5 minutes or so, too!  Enjoy!

Quinoa, Peach and Arugula Salad

2014-08-17 19.34.04

1 cup red quinoa
1+3/4 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup mango (or orange) juice
1 tablespoon honey, agave or maple syrup (optional)
2-3 splashes of white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I use jarred)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 cups arugula
2 ripe peaches (or mango), chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 cup cucumber, small dice
handful of sugar snap peas (defrosted from frozen OR fresh)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup nuts (pistachios, pignoli, chopped almonds)
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


  • prepare quinoa: bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; add the quinoa, bring back to boil, stir, cover, and then reduce heat to very low and simmer until the water is absorbed (10-15 minutes).  remove from the heat, keep covered, and let sit for 5 minutes.  fluff up with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool2014-08-17 18.59.45 HDR
  • make vinaigrette:  whisk together the juice, garlic, sweetener (if using), balsamic, and s&p; slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk away ‘til thoroughly emulsified. (this can be done in your food processor or using an immersion blender)
  • assemble:  add the veggies, arugula and herbs to the quinoa already in the large mixing bowl, ; toss together
  • pour 3/4 of the vinaigrette evenly over the mixed salad; season well with additional s&p to taste
  • top with sliced peaches, nuts, and cheese

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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

♥  coleen

Praise Him


Praise the Lord!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord, O my soul!

While I live will I praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have any being.

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help.

When his breath leaves him, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts, plans, and purposes perish.

Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is he who has the God of  Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God,

Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, Who keeps truth and is faithful forever,

Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets free the prisoners,

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the [uncompromisingly] righteous.

The Lord protects and preserves the strangers and temporary residents, He upholds the fatherless and the widow and sets them upright, but the way of the wicked He makes crooked.

 The Lord shall reign forever, even Your God, O Zion, from generation to generation. Praise the Lord!  Hallelujah!

Psalm 146