April 25, 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.

Our Hearts Still Burn

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Faded hope and grim despair on the day of the murdered king
Foolish minds and unbelief could not grasp what the prophets sing:

Did not Jesus have to suffer, enter glory through agony
When the King unpacked his Word their hearts leapt and their eyes could see

Everything the Scriptures say in the Prophets, the Law, the Psalms
Touching Jesus, called the Christ, is fulfilled in this gospel song

The Messiah had to suffer had to rise on the first Lord’s Day
We proclaim to every land true forgiveness in Jesus’ name

We were deaf but now we hear Scripture’s voice both in type and word
Unbelief that had us chained has become in our eyes absurd

Did our hearts not burn within us as He spoke with us on the way
And our hearts still burn with fire as His Word speaks to us today

~  Words and Music by Matt Boswell and D. A. Carson  ~
~ Sung by Jeremy Casella ~

*  ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~  *

Luke 24:13-33
And behold, that very day two of [the disciples] were going to a village called Emmaus, [which is] about seven miles from Jerusalem.
And they were talking with each other about all these things that had occurred.
And while they were conversing and discussing together, Jesus Himself caught up with them and was already accompanying them.
But their eyes were held, so that they did not recognize Him.
And He said to them, What is this discussion that you are exchanging between yourselves as you walk along? And they stood still, looking sad and downcast.
Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, Do you alone dwell as a stranger in Jerusalem and not know the things that have occurred there in these days?
And He said to them, What [kind of] things? And they said to Him, About Jesus of Nazareth, Who was a Prophet mighty in work and word before God and all the people—
And how our chief priests and rulers gave Him up to be sentenced to death, and crucified Him.
But we were hoping that it was He Who would redeem and set Israel free. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things occurred.
And moreover, some women of our company astounded us and [drove us out of our senses. They were at the tomb early [in the morning]
But did not find His body; and they returned saying that they had [even] seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive!
So some of those [who were] with us went to the tomb and they found it just as the women had said, but Him they did not see.
And [Jesus] said to them, O foolish ones [sluggish in mind, dull of perception] and slow of heart to believe (adhere to and trust in and rely on) everything that the prophets have spoken!
Was it not necessary and [essentially fitting that the Christ (the Messiah) should suffer all these things before entering into His glory (His majesty and splendor)?
Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the Prophets, He went on explaining and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself.
Then they drew near the village to which they were going, and He acted as if He would go further.
But they urged and insisted, saying to Him, Remain with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. So He went in to stay with them.
And it occurred that as He reclined at table with them, He took [a loaf of] bread and praised [God] and gave thanks and asked a blessing, and then broke it and was giving it to them
When their eyes were [instantly] opened and they [clearly] recognized Him, and He vanished (departed invisibly).
And they said to one another, Were not our hearts greatly moved and burning within us while He was talking with us on the road and as He opened and explained to us [the sense of] the Scriptures?
And rising up that very hour, they went back to Jerusalem….

What a glorious account!  Can you even imagine???  Try…put yourself in the sandals of Cleopas and his friend as they trudged along saddened to their very core.

Three days earlier Jesus had been crucified by death on the Cross before the entire city.  And His disciples had clearly been expecting that He would be alive (not that they understood HOW that would happen!).  But after the women came back from the now empty tomb…and Jesus’ body was missing…and told them a “tale” about angels…and Jesus being alive…well, it was just TOO much!  Perhaps these two disciples just needed a break from all the emotion and drama and weariness and desperate sadness, and set out for this short journey.

Obviously all that had transpired was pressing on their minds and hearts…it was the center of their conversation as they meandered along.  Then, the very One Whom they spoke of was suddenly walking alongside them.  (Note that they recognize Him as the Lord…their eyes were “held.”)  And Jesus (so kind! Is our Lord not the most compassionate?!?) spoke with them, drawing them out…and finally, our Lord begins to explain “…and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself….” as He continued walking along them.  All the while, teaching and reminding and explaining and expounding to them about Himself…to no avail…UNTIL He was sharing a meal with them, and had taken the bread, broken it, and was giving it to them.  Then their ‘eyes were instantly opened and they clearly recognized Him’...they got it!  The next words they spoke always thrill and amaze my heart: “Were not our hearts greatly moved and burning within us while He was talking with us on the road and as He opened and explained to us the Scriptures?”

(Ok, you can put your own sandals back on.)  This—dullness of heart and mind, failure to hold the Word in our hearts, inability to put the truth of the Scriptures together—is our quandary, at times, too.  But we DO also have those times when our hearts are ‘greatly moved’ and are ‘burning within us,’ don’t we?  And so we should praise and thank the Lord for those times…and ask for more!  This Jesus, who strolled along the road to Emmaus with Cleopas and his friend, also walks and talks with us…me and you!  In fact, He now lives within us; He is always available to us; He is interceding for us at the Father’s right hand!

My prayer for all of us is that we would seek our Lord, asking His wisdom, seeking His truth, receiving discernment and guidance and knowledge…and that we would voice our thankful praise saying, “Were not our hearts greatly moved and burning within us while He was talking with us….”

Ambrosia Salad – Remix

2014-04-20 09.54.41

Our extended family gets together (as many as can make the trip, that is!) each year at my Dad and step-mom’s to celebrate Easter together. There are a few things that are constants: the egg hunt including the gold glitter egg with the $5 bill inside, the Polish kielbasa and Easter cheese “ citic “platter, and the array of side dishes to accompany the ham my Dad bakes. This year’s buffet lineup included: Kassia’s gluten-free mac and cheese, Betsy’s coleslaw, Kelly’s apple&spinach salad, Brigit’s layered salad, scalloped potatoes, my broccoli craisin salad, a pickle&olive plate, applesauce, gluten free brioche, croissants, and ambrosia salad. It looked colorful and was so very delicious…made with love!

So, when it fell to me to prepare the ambrosia salad, I decided to do a remix and make it in my p.o.v.—healthy but oh-so-yummy! Here’s how:

  • no canned fruit
  • no Cool-whip
  • no maraschino cherries

This recipe is full of fresh fruit.  Each time you prepare this dish, you could include a different combination of fruit ingredients!  This fruit salad doesn’t need much sugar added to the whipped cream component because of all the yummy sweetness of the fresh fruit.
Adjust the quantity of the ingredients based on the number of servings you are aiming for!  We had 30 hungry eaters (not including the babies) so I went BIG on the amounts.  Also, ‘some’ people don’t enjoy the shredded coconut component of this salad (crazy, right?)…so I’ve included it as an optional ingredient.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:2014-04-20 09.44.01
Whipped Cream:
1/2 quart heavy cream
2 teaspoons almond (or vanilla) extract
4 tablespoons powdered sugar

Fruit Salad:
1 pineapple
1 cantaloupe (or other melon)
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries (or raspberries)
1 pound strawberries
3 or 4 apples (I used Granny Smith)
5 or 6 clementines
3-4 bananas
2 pounds grapes
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup broken pecan (or walnuts)
1 cup Greek yogurt, I used vanilla
whipped cream (recipe above)
1 cup + / – shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:

  • Once the cream is whipped and sweetened, fold in the yogurt, blending together very well. Keep in the refrigerator ‘til ready to use.
  • Prepare the fruit…wash and dry the berries and grapes; peel and core the pineapple; wash, core the apples; peel and section the tangerines; peel and scoop out the seeds in the melon.
  • Cut and chop the prepared fruit remembering to keep all pieces bite-size! I always use a melon baller for any melon; the rounded shapes are so much more fun and interesting!  Prep the bananas last, sprinkling w/a little lemon juice or pineapple juice, to prevent browning.
  • Place into a very large mixing bowl (or just use your largest stockpot).
  • Scatter the mini-marshmallows and the nuts across the top.
  • Pour the whipped cream mixture over top and fold together, gently but thoroughly. Done!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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

♥  coleen

I Can Only Imagine

SeekingHimLogo

We have now entered the season of Lent.  For many Christians, Lent is taken as a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter where God miraculously redeemed mankind by resurrecting His Son from the dead. It is also a time to consider what Jesus said and did; and how we should be living in light of His Words.  ✞ ♥

During this season, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have chosen to focus our devotionals on Jesus’ instructions and admonition communicated in Matthew chapter 5—the Beatitudes.  Jesus said, “Blessed are…” and He went on to give instruction as to how to be “blessed.”  To be ‘blessed’ is to ‘be happy, or to be envied.’   Truly for the Christian, we ARE blessed—oh, how very blessed we are!  Those who observe our lives should clearly be able to tell that we ARE blessed—and that we KNOW it! ✞ ♥

Please consider Jesus’ instructions along with us.  We pray that our words will encourage you and spur you on to be prepare your hearts for the joyous celebration of His Resurrection!  ✞ ♥

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Matthew 5:8 

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
Psalms 24:3-4

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
Hebrews 12:14

As Tonya shared with us earlier this week:

These three verses help to define what a pure heart should look like: single-minded, loyal, peaceful.  These are all traits that are attainable, and they are traits we can display.  God never gives us impossible tasks.  He never asks more of us than He knows we can give.  And He KNOWS we can give Him a pure heart.    One day we will see His face, one day the act of possessing a pure heart will have rewards beyond measure.

That’s My King

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

My King was born King.
The Bible says He’s a seven way King.
He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King.
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that’s my King.

Well, well, He’s enduringly strong.
He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast.
He’s immortally graceful.
He’s imperially powerful.
He’s impartially merciful.
That’s my King.

Well I wonder if you know Him.  Do you know Him?
Don’t try to mislead me.  Do you know my King?

David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.
My King is the only One whom there are no means of measure that can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.

He’s God’s Son.
He’s the sinner’s Savior.
He’s the centerpiece of civilization.
He stands alone in Himself.
He’s honest.
He’s unique.
He’s unparalleled.
He’s unprecedented.
He’s supreme.
He’s pre-eminent.

Well, He’s the loftiest idea in literature.
He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the supreme problem in high criticism.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of proved theology.
He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion.
That’s my King!  That’s my King!

He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He’s God and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.

Well, my King is a King of knowledge.
He’s the Wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the Doorway of deliverance.
He’s the Pathway of peace.
He’s the Roadway of righteousness.
He’s the Highway of holiness.
He’s the Gateway of glory.
He’s the Master of the mighty.
He’s the Captain of the conquerors.
He’s the Head of the heroes.
He’s the Leader of the legislatures.
He’s the Overseer of the overcomers.
He’s the Governor of governors.
He’s the Prince of princes.
He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords.

That’s my King!

His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Well. I wish I could describe Him to you…
but He’s indescribable. He’s indescribable.

Yes. He’s incomprehensible.
He’s invincible.
He’s irresistible.
I’ve come to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him,
let alone a man explain Him.
You can’t get Him out of your mind.
You can’t get Him off of your hands.
You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.

Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him,
but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree.
Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
That’s my King!

He always has been and He always will be.
I’m talking about He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor.
There was nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him.
You can’t impeach Him and He’s not going to resign.
That’s my King!

Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory.
Well, all the power belongs to my King.
The glory is all His.
Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory,
forever and ever and ever.
How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever.
And when you get through with all of the evers, then, Amen.

Dr. S. M. Lockridge

*  ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~  *

That’s my King!  Throughout the Scriptures…not only in many Old Testament prophecies but from His conception to His death…Jesus is spoken of as the King.

When the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was going to conceive and bear a son, Jesus, he told her of Jesus’ Kingship.
Luke 1:32-33

When the Magi came to Herod, they were looking for the newborn King of the Jews.
Matthew 2:1-2

When Jesus made his final entry into Jerusalem, the crowds hailed Him as a King.
John 12:12-15

When Jesus was arrested, it was for saying <supposedly> that He was a king.
Luke 23:1-2

When Pilate confronted Jesus, he asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
John 18:33-39

When Pilate was dealing with the crowd, he asked “What shall I do with the Man you call the King of the Jews?”
Mark 15:9-14

When the soldiers were torturing Him, they mocked Him as a king.
Mark 15:16-20

When Pilate had a sign fastened to the Cross reading: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
John 19:19-22

And when He returns to the earth, He will come in power and glory!

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him,
then He will sit on His glorious throne.
Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate people
one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
And He will place the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 25:31-34

That’s my King!  Is He yours, too?  I deeply yearn and endeavor to live in submission and obedience to my King so that I can be gathered with His sheep and inherit life in His Kingdom.  You, too?

Deviled Eggs

2014-04-13 19.03.55

Okay, before we go any further…if you want to make deviled eggs for your Easter celebration meal…go to the store TODAY and buy your eggs.  Seriously, really fresh eggs are v-e-r-y difficult to peel!  Been there…done that!  Anyone else?  And also, may I suggest you purchase the very best (i.e., the most nutritious, healthiest) egg your money can buy.  Yes, they may be a bit more expensive but SO worth it!

Our recipe today is for classic deviled eggs AND variations.  I think that once Spring has sprung, most gatherings where food is involved have a plate or two of deviled eggs on the table.  I know this is true for our family; how about yours? And I am sure that all of us have had ‘the world’s best’ deviled eggs…and probably some of the world’s worst, too.

In my quest to present to you the BEST, I took a peek at the way that Alton Brown (of the Food Network) does his hard-boiled eggs.  Mr. Brown is a food geek (don’t we love that about him?) and a scientist.  So, he is a valued source for me when I want to get down to the basics.  Want to know how Alton Brown prepares his hard-“boiled” eggs?  Check out this video.

Pretty cool, hmmm? (I know…punny! How can steamed eggs be cool?!?) His is a great method, and, by my experience, works perfectly each and every time. These eggs turn out with tender whites and beautifully yellow yolks…with not a bit of a tinge of that green edging that so many hard-boiled eggs have! Now here on the Monday installment of At Home w/ GCH, I try to present recipes to make healthy but-oh-so-yummy! foods. Today’s recipe fits within those parameters because we have reduced the amount of mayonnaise and lightened the mixture up with some plain Greek yogurt. The average deviled egg half, prepared traditionally, contains approximately 60-65 calories. Now that is not too bad if you are only putting one half on your plate…but, honestly, who eats just one half? Prepared using the following basic recipe (not the variations), each deviled egg half has approximately 30 calories. (So to me that means I can indulge and eat both halves!)

2014-04-13 20.22.31

Deviled Eggs (And Variations)

Ingredients:
8 perfectly steamed eggs (see video below)

3 tablespoons mayo (even better: use canola mayo)
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-2 teaspoons pickle juice (we like bread&butter pickles)
freshly ground lemon pepper, to taste
smoked paprika

Directions:

  • With a sharp knife, halve each of the eggs, removing the yolk; set aside.
  • Using a wire mesh strainer, push the egg yolks through the mesh one at a time. (Or, if you prefer, simply mash the yolks to the consistency you prefer)
  • Add the mayo, yogurt, and mustard to the yolks and combine. Slowly add the pickle juice ‘til very creamy
  • Add pepper to taste
  • Dust with smoked paprika

Decision time: either use this healthy but-oh-so-yummy version of the classic egg filling or try any or all of the varieties below!

  • To fill the egg white halves, you can either simply use a small spoon, or fill a sandwich bag with the mixture <don’t forget to squeeze out the air AND seal the bag!>, then snip just the tip off one corner, and swirl the yolk mixture into the indentation of each egg half.

Variations: (shown in the picture above)

To the yolk mixture, you can add any one of the following:

  • finely chopped avocado and a squeeze of lime juice, OR
  • a sprinkle of garam masala (or curry powder); top with a small mango chunk,

Or top with:

  • a bit of fresh dill, or snipped fresh chives
  • finely chopped apple and walnuts; then top w/ a bit of blue cheese
  • chopped Greek olives and a bit of feta cheese
  • finely chopped tomatoes and some crumbled bacon

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

♥  coleen

 

Beautiful, Terrible Cross

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

There is a beautiful terrible Cross
Where though You committed no sin
Savior, You suffered the most wicked fate
On the cruelest creation of men

Yet on that beautiful terrible Cross
You did what only You could
Turning that dark-inspired evil of hell
Into our soul’s greatest good

We see the love that You showed us
We see the life that You lost
We bow in wonder and praise You
For the beautiful terrible Cross

There on that beautiful terrible Cross
Though darkness was strong on that hill
You remained sovereign, Lord, still in control
As Your perfect plan was fulfilled

We see the love that You showed us
We see the life that You lost
We bow in wonder and praise You
For the beautiful terrible Cross

Oh, we gained the riches of Heaven
Jesus, You paid the horrible cost
We stand forgiven and praise You
For the beautiful terrible Cross

        ♥  ~   ✞   ~  ♥

In the Cross, in the Cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

 ~  Songwriters: Todd Smith, Chad Cates, Tony Wood  ~

Performed by Selah

Additional lyrics to ‘Near The Cross‘ by Fanny Crosby and William Doane

*  ~  ♥  ~   ✞   ~  ♥  ~  *

Despite the utter depravity, the evil, the darkness and destruction which was intended by the enemy of our soul’s on that dark, dark day…there truly never was nor ever will be any thing MORE perfectly and purely beautiful than the Cross on which the Christ accomplished God’s perfect plan. When the time came, Jesus willfully, intentionally, purposefully gave up His life. All because of love.

And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.
And at once the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn
in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and the rocks were split.
The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints
who had fallen asleep in death were raised [to life];
Matthew 26:50-52

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three,
because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.
And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.”
Luke 23:44-46

When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lemá sabachtháni?”
which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “Look, He’s calling for Elijah!”
Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, fixed it on a reed, offered Him a drink,
and said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take Him down!”
But Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed His last.
Then the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom.
Mark 15:33-38

Magnificent, incredible, beautiful acts of nature happened at the very moment of Jesus’ laying down His life and offering Himself as the perfect, spotless Lamb—

  • the sky became as dark as night for three hours
  • the massive (60 foot high and four inches thick) curtain in front of the Holy of Holies in the temple at Jerusalem tore in half from TOP to bottom
  • the tombs opened and many of the believers were raised to life
  • there was an earthquake

There was nothing…at all…beautiful about the Cross itself.  But there is no denying the beautiful awesomeness, the absolute perfection in the events surrounding Jesus’ death on the Cross.

To me, the love that Jesus proved by His sacrifice of Himself…is beautiful.  The redemption of all mankind and Jesus’ presenting us all back to God the Father…is beautiful.  And the mercy and grace that was poured out on each of us…is beautiful.  What can be more beautiful than having the Hope of spending eternity in the Presence of Almighty God and our Lord, Jesus the Christ?

In the words of another songwriter, I sing,

“Oh Lord You’re beautiful…
Your face is all I seek
For when Your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me!

Showing Mercy


SeekingHimLogo

We have now entered the season of Lent.  For many Christians, Lent is taken as a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter where God miraculously redeemed mankind by resurrecting His Son from the dead. It is also a time to consider what Jesus said and did; and how we should be living in light of His Words.  ✞ ♥

During this season, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have chosen to focus our devotionals on Jesus’ instructions and admonition communicated in Matthew chapter 5—the Beatitudes.  Jesus said, “Blessed are…” and He went on to give instruction as to how to be “blessed.”  To be ‘blessed’ is to ‘be happy, or to be envied.’   Truly for the Christian, we ARE blessed—oh, how very blessed we are!  Those who observe our lives should clearly be able to tell that we ARE blessed—and that we KNOW it! ✞ ♥

Please consider Jesus’ instructions along with us.  We pray that our words will encourage you and spur you on to be prepare your hearts for the joyous celebration of His Resurrection!  ✞ ♥

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 
Matthew 5:7 NIV

Two examples of showing mercy.  May they each encourage you greatly!  ♥

Our Merciful Lord

Blessed are the Merciful

Strawberry Muffins (GF)

2014-04-03 11.47.32

So, I don’t know about your area, but we have had strawberries in abundance here in upstate NY…and they have been beautiful and fragrant and delicious!  My granddaughter, Kaylie Joy, just LOVES strawberries!  I had made a batch of these muffins and when she tasted one, she asked if we could bake some together…how could i say ‘no’?!  We actually doubled the ingredients and it worked very well. And we baked them up as a dozen standard size muffins and 3 dozen mini-muffins.  In either size, they baked beautifully!

kayliemuffins
This recipe (adapted from a similar one over at the Spunky Coconut – one of my very favorite gluten free, refined sugar free blogger/bakers) fits well into our healthy but-oh-so-yummy point of view:

  • uses honey or agave nectar and liquid stevia rather than refined white sugar
  • are gluten free with protein-rich almond flour and a bit of brown rice flour replacing wheat flour

Strawberry Muffins (make approximately 14)

2014-04-04 14.56.51

Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1 cup fresh strawberries
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquified
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
6-8 drops vanilla liquid stevia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350
  • line muffin cups with paper liners
  • wash and dry strawberries; chop finely (not mushed, but small)
  • sift together the dry ingredients; set aside
  • pour liquified coconut oil, sweeteners, and extract into bowl
  • using electric mixer, beat for one minute, then add eggs one at a time
  • slowly add dry ingredients, beating just ’til thoroughly combined
  • by hand, gently fold in strawberries
  • scoop into muffin cups, filling almost to brim
  • bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes
  • remove from muffin pan onto cooling rack; allow to completely cool

 

Tip: Coconut oil needs to liquify in order to be blended into a batter. Depending on the time of year (summer..no problem; winter…a problem) you might need to warm it up. You could either scoop out the required amount of coconut oil and place it in a glass measuring cup on your stovetop as the oven preheats. Or it can be microwaved for approximately 30+ seconds (depending on the quantity you need) and then stirred. Either way add it into your mixing bowl and combine with other liquid ingredients prior to adding room temperature eggs.

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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

♥  coleen

Remember

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

This is the Body that was torn for us
This is the Blood that was spilt
Points to the pain You endured for us
Points to the shame, the blame, the guilt

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, come…move our hearts to remember

This is the Lamb who was slain for us
So we, the Church, may enter in
So bittersweet when we think of You
The One who bore our curse, our sin

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, come…move our hearts to remember

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

Singer / Songwriter: Laura Story

 *  ~  *  ~   ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥    ~  *  ~  * 

Sometimes, we forget.  (And how could we forget?)  But we do.  (I don’t know how…but we do.)  We forget our Suffering Savior.  We forget His hurt and tortured and bruised Body.  We forget His spilled Blood.  And I think that our Lord knew we would forget; remember what He said to His beloved apostles as He shared His final meal with them?

Then He took a loaf [of bread], and when He had given thanks,
He broke [it] and gave it to them saying,
This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
Luke 22:19

Undoubtedly, those twelve men had no idea what Jesus was communicating to them. But within a few days, they knew.  Perhaps, they then were asking God to move their hearts to remember also.

Paul also caused the believers in Corinth to remember:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
1 Corinthians 11:24-26

There are many, oh-so-many, reasons for us to remember what Jesus accomplished through His death and sacrifice on the Cross. Here are just a few. “Lord,…move our hearts to remember!

He himself bore our sins in His body on the Cross,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness
1 Peter 2:24

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh,
God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,
which stood against us and condemned us;
He has taken it away, nailing it to the Cross.
And having disarmed the powers and authorities,
He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross.
Colossians 2:13-15

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us— for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”
Galatians 3:13

For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God
through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled,
shall we be saved by His life.
Romans 5:10-11

…Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold
from your futile way of life inherited from your fathers,
but with precious Blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the Blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18-19

…Having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt
that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the Cross.
Colossians 2:13-14

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21

And we must intentionally remember because

“…the message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly
to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition,
but to us who are being saved it is the manifestation of the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18 AMP

These next couple of weeks are an excellent time to determine to focus on Jesus’ sacrifice, and all that He went through (His betrayal, His trial, His torture, His crucifixion) leading up to His death and (oh! joy!) His Resurrection!  There are many things one can do to purposefully ‘remember’ Jesus’ accomplishments, such as…

  • Read through Matthew chapters 26 and 27; Mark chapters 14 and 15; Luke chapters 22 and 23; John chapters 17 through 19
  • Download an app (on your tablet or smartphone) of a daily devotional focusing on Jesus’ last days. One suggestion would be the YouVersion of the Bible.
  • Listen to hymns and other Christian songs which help you to recognize and remember what Jesus went through. And sing your praise! (Perhaps make a playlist.)
  • Ask a loved one (a family member or a friend) to be your accountability partner during this time.
  • Watch a movie depicting this time period of our Lord’s final days.
  • And finally, but most importantly, pray…asking God through the Holy Spirit to help you to remember.  It is a prayer I know He will answer.

As The Deer – Matthew 5:6

We have now entered the season of Lent.  For many Christians, Lent is taken as a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter where God miraculously redeemed mankind by resurrecting His Son from the dead. It is also a time to consider what Jesus said and did; and how we should be living in light of His Words.  ✞ ♥

During this season, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have chosen to focus our devotionals on Jesus’ instructions and admonition communicated in Matthew chapter 5—the Beatitudes.  Jesus said, “Blessed are…” and He went on to give instruction as to how to be “blessed.”  To be ‘blessed’ is to ‘be happy, or to be envied.’   Truly for the Christian, we ARE blessed—oh, how very blessed we are!  Those who observe our lives should clearly be able to tell that we ARE blessed—and that we KNOW it! ✞ ♥

Please consider Jesus’ instructions along with us.  We pray that our words will encourage you and spur you on to be prepare your hearts for the joyous celebration of His Resurrection!  ✞ ♥

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. 
Matthew 5:6