September 18, 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.

Call It Grace


hi there!  i would love to encourage you to listen to the entire length of the video attached below.  the first few minutes are a wonderful sharing by Chad Mattson of Unspoken about the impact God’s grace has made in his life.  if perhaps you don’t have the time right now, click ahead to 6:45 where the song begins.  <3

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

It’s the light that pierces through you
To the darkest hidden place
It knows your deepest secrets
But it never looks away
It’s the gentle hand that pulls you
From the judgement of the crowd
When you stand before them guilty
And you got no way out

Some may call it foolish and impossible
But for every heart it rescues, it’s a miracle
It’s nothing less than scandalous
This Love that took our place
Just call it what it is, call it grace
Call it grace

It’s the breath that’s breathing new life
Into what we thought was dead
It’s the Favor that takes orphans
Placing crowns upon their heads
It’s the Hope for our tomorrow
The Rock on which we stand
It’s a strong and mighty fortress
Even hell can’t stand against

Amazing, unshaking
This is grace, this is grace
Unchanging, unfailing
This is grace, this is grace

Written and Performed by
Unspoken, Chad Mattson, Mike Gomez, Jon Lowry, and Ariel Munoz

* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

I just love the attributes attached to grace that the guys of Unspoken sing about—amazing…unshaking…unchanging…unfailing—don’t you?  Grace IS each of these things because the Giver of grace, our Sovereign Almighty God, IS all of those things.

The following are a few passages from the New Testament that are so encouraging and humbling as they remind us of the grace God has shown to us!  Each of them speaks clearly of the  ‘amazing, unshaking (steadfast, unwavering), unchanging, unfailing’ nature of our great God.

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the Promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
Hebrews 6:17-19

So too at the present time there is a remnant, selected (chosen) by grace (by God’s unmerited favor and graciousness).
But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].
For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]
Romans 11:5-6, 29 AMP

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 2:4-9

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, has given grace upon grace upon grace to His people throughout the ages.  He always has been and always will be a grace-giving God!  Truly our eternal future is totally dependent on the truth and fact that He IS  ‘amazing, unshaking (steadfast, unwavering), unchanging, unfailing’

There is a famous quote attributed to a 16th century believer, John Bradford. Whether Bradford truly is the one who spoke this phrase into infamy or not, I believe we all have voiced a similar thought many times!

“There but for the grace of God go I!”

Perhaps the world considers this a fatalistic way of thinking…but the Apostle Paul believed just the same thing.  Paul clearly recognized the value and magnitude of the grace that was given to him!  Writing to the Corinthian church regarding Jesus’ appearances after His Resurrection, he said:

He <Jesus>appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles,
and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain;
but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
1 Corinthians 15:8-10

And we too, who are recipients of MUCH of God’s amazing, unshakable, unchanging, unfailing grace, know this is a foundational truth of our lives.  ‘But for the grace of God’ each of our lives would look much different!  (I hear your ‘Amen!’)  Grace cannot be earned…so just call it what it is—Call It Grace!

May I pray the final benediction given in the Scriptures over each of you…
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen.
Revelation 22:21

Mediterranean Fish Soup

It has been quite ch-ch-chilly here in the NorthEast over the past few days.  And I have been just waiting to bake!  But yesterday my husband asked, ‘So, is it time to make soup again?’  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 has not been on our menu over the summer months, for sure!  Being it is just the onset of soup season, I had not made a vat of stock since the Spring so I thought long and hard about a really flavorful soup that wouldn’t need to rely on homemade stock.  This Mediterranean Fish Soup is the result.  He thoroughly enjoyed it…with the only thing missing being a loaf of homemade bread.  (“Maybe tomorrow!”, I said.)

This soup is fairly forgiving.  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

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 medium
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
½ lemon

in a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat
add onions, mushrooms, 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 5 minutes
slide in the salmon and tilapia; 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

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)


Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Psalms 103:1-5

The sun comes up; it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
10,000 reasons for my heart to find
Bless the Lord, oh my soul

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
10,000 years and then forever more
Bless the Lord

Songwriters: Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin / Performed by The Rend Collective

Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)


Today I felt led to share this poignant song by Alan Jackson. It is so hard to believe that it has been 13 years since the horrific attack on the Twin Towers and the almost 3,000 who died on 9/11/01. Mr. Jackson’s song brings us back to what will always be the greatest thing we can do—love.

(Please be aware that the video includes many photos of the tragedy that happened at the Twin Towers.)

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in L.A.
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don’t know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red, white, and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to Heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you’re a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that Bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you’re watching
And turn on “I Love Lucy” reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Singer / Songwriter: Alan Jackson
 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *  
Such a beautiful song which ends with the Truth of God’s Word—‘and the greatest is love.’

But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

There is no doubt that we have been given the standard to love throughout the entire New Testament.  From Jesus’ words to His disciples, to Paul and Timothy’s encouragement to the believers of the 1st Century Church, to the standard that John, the beloved Apostle, laid out in the epistles he wrote…all point directly to the greatest thing we have to do.  LOVE.

Jesus said quite a bit to His disciples about love. Listen…

“Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and most important command.
The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:36-39

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:
just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34 and 35

“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Matthew 5:43-45

Shortly before Jesus’ trial and persecution and His death, the disciples were asking Him about His return. Amongst other warnings, He admonished them about the great importance of love.

“But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.
Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.
But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”
Matthew 24:8-14

All of Jesus’ disciples died before He was sent by His Father to return to the earth and gather the faithful.  So these words must be taken seriously by those of us who still remain. We don’t know WHEN He is coming…but we DO know that He IS coming! And so these warnings should be heeded to.

The attacks of those who hate God against the Christians in the world have definitely increased.  Our military continues to fight heated battles in Afghanistan (and also in other regions of the world).  Christians in many countries are arrested, tortured, and some killed for their faith in God and Jesus Christ.  Even here within the borders of our own country, hatred increases it seems every day.  We must not be counted among those whose ‘love will grow cold.’  There is great hope, too!  Remember, Jesus said, ‘…MOST people’s love will grow cold.’ (Not ALL people’s.)  Love will survive and can even thrive where we (you and me!) choose to love and not hate. It will be hard…it IS hard! It will seem to be an up-hill battle, and it IS.  But we have the Holy Spirit within us to lead and guide and help us!  May God give us grace every day to choose love.

Even in the days of the 1st Century Church, Paul and Timothy and John encouraged the believers to choose love.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.
2 Timothy 3:1-5

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:7-12

But our living love, practicing love, showing love is now of utmost importance, more important than having any of the other virtues or gifts, because love is the greatest (hey, I didn’t say it!).  Oh, yes, we must have faith and hope…and live our lives with those virtues.  But, since ‘the greatest is love’ we must remember…

patient and kind
does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited
does not act improperly
is not selfish, is not provoked
keeps no record of wrongs
finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth
bears all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things
never ends

There are so very many ways for us to show love to those around us.  To some, it is easy and natural…but to others it takes effort and work (sometimes it seems we need supernatural help!).  But we can.  And we can grow in our ability to love others.  Paul wrote,

I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.
Philippians 1:9

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Oven Baked Encrusted Tilapia

Last week, Crystal shared her heart and encouraged us to find ways to prepare A Simple Healthy Meal at Home for our families.  She posted a wonderful recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken in that blog.  (Click the link to see her recipe.)  And she inspired me with an idea for something similar—Oven Baked Encrusted Tilapia.

Now while we all might enjoy a fried piece of fish or chicken…it isn’t very good for us!  Browsing through a few recipes online, I found that baking the fish or chicken versus frying it on the stovetop (or in the deep fryer!) will save, on average, 9-11 grams of fat per serving.  So, the choice is pretty simple, I’m thinking!  And this fits in perfectly with our healthy but oh-so-yummy POV!  You also could substitute a different white fish…cod, orange roughy, or even flounder.  Just remember the thinner the fillet, the shorter the baking time!  The fillets I prepared were actually called ‘loins’ and were about 1+1/2 – 2 inches thick; they took the whole 30 minutes.

This recipe would work out just fine with traditional wheat flour but since we have made the choice to eat gluten-free, I prepared it with almond flour. (You also could use a lesser amount of coconut flour.)  Coating the fish with these non-grain flours also ups the protein, too!  Also both Crystal and I used cooking spray…I have been using this coconut oil spray for quite some time now. I love how well it works!

Oven Baked Encrusted Tilapia

2014-09-03 19.18.14

1# tilapia fillets
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup finely shredded cheese (Parmesan, Asiago)
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
coconut oil cooking spray


  • preheat oven to 375
  • line a baking sheet w/parchment (not waxed) paper
  • in a medium-sized bowl, beat egg and water together, then stir in the mustard
  • on a large plate, mix together flour, cornmeal and seasonings
  • run each fillet individually through the egg wash and then lightly coat w/seasoned coating mixture; give a little shake and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet
  • give each fillet a 2-3 second spray with cooking spray
  • bake for 15-30 minutes total (depending on the thickness of the fillets), flipping over halfway through and giving another quick mist with the cooking spray
  • bake ‘til lightly browned and easily flakes with a fork
  • sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and a couple of turns of freshly ground pepper
  • serve with a lemon wedge

2014-09-03 19.13.01

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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


I Will Not Be Shaken


Lord, I seek refuge in You;
let me never be disgraced.
Save me by Your righteousness.
Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mountain fortress to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
You lead and guide me
because of Your name.
You will free me from the net
that is secretly set for me,
for You are my refuge.
Into Your hand I entrust my spirit;
You redeem me, Lord, God of truth.
Psalms 31:1-5

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Singer / Songwriter: Jadon Lavik


Can He, Could He, Would He, Did He….


Can He (can He save me), could He (could He love me)
Would He (would He take me), did He (did He really)
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did
Can He (can He save me), could He (could He love me)
Would He (would He take me), did He (did He really)
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did

From the moment I heard about the Lord and His Word
Well, it seemed to be too good to be true
Major questions and doubts I tried to figure it out
But the best that I could do
Was to wander around in the love that I found
Until my questions started answering themselves, singing
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did.

You can say you don’t know it’s necessarily so
Like somebody said it once in a song
You can think what you choose, but, let me tell you the news
The Lord has loved you all along
So if you’re asking again will the doubts never end,
Simply trust Him and you’ll see for yourself, singing
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did
Can He, could He, would He, yes, He can, He could, He would, and He did

Songwriters: Dwight Liles, John Chisum / Performed by The Vocal Union
*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  * 
Cute song, yes?  But really these {Can He save me?  Could He love me? Would He take me?  Did He really?} are deep, vital questions!  And we each need to know—that we know—that we know the answers!  Oh, we might be able to say we do…but…are we convinced in our hearts?  The Scriptures give us the Truth to hold onto and treasure in our hearts for those times we may falter.

Can He save me?  Yes, He can…and He did!

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3

For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8 and 9

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven
that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

Could He love me?  Yes, He could…and He does!

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world
that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son,
so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
John 3:16 AMP

But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
Romans 5:8

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10

Would He take me?  Yes, He would…and He’ll never leave you!

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
Psalms 103:8-14

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height,
nor depth, nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38 and 39

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive
and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons,
But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God,
treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly,
is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed by Him.
Acts 10:34 and 35

Did He really (do ALL that)?  Yes, He did…and much, much more…and none of that will ever change!

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Can He?   Could He?   Would He?  YES, He can!  He could…He would…and He did!

Oh. Yes. He. Did. (Don’t ever forget that!)   ♥

I Bless Your Name


In prisoners chains, with bleeding stripes
Paul and Silas prayed that night
And in their pain, began to sing
Their chains were loosed and they were free

I bless Your name, I bless Your name
I give You honor, give You praise
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
I bless Your name, I bless Your name

Some midnight hour, if you should find
You’re in a prison, in your mind
Sing out in praise—defy the chains
And they will fall in Jesus’ name

You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
You are the Life, the Truth, the Way
I bless Your name, I bless Your name

Songwriter – Elizabeth Goodine / Performed by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This song tells of the Apostle Paul and his brother in Christ, Silas, imprisoned in the city of Philippi.  They had been wrongly accused, held without a proper hearing, beaten and flogged, and then tossed into the innermost prison cell where they were held in stocks and chains.

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. Acts 16:25 and 26

Is that not one of the most incredible accounts of deliverance in the Bible?!!?  But wait…that’s not really quite true…the Scriptures are filled with record after record after record telling of God’s provision in miraculous, awesome, ‘but for the grace of God’ ways! Such as,

  • Moses and the children of Israel being delivered out of the hand of their Egyptian oppressors
  • Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego stepping out with not even the scent of smoke on their garments after being in the fiery furnace
  • Daniel climbing out of the lion’s den with not a scratch on him
  • Joshua and the Israelites circling Jericho for six days and then on the seventh day, repeating their journey 7 times in a row…and then shouting…and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down
  • Jonah surviving three days of being in the great fish’s belly
  • Mary finding herself, a yet-to-be-married virgin, pregnant
  • the Resurrection from the dead, after three days, of our Lord Jesus Christ
  • And, of course, there are many, many, many more!

Which are some of the wondrous works of God that cause your heart to sing out in praise as you remember God’s great hand of blessing?  (Please share them with us in the comment section below!)  May I encourage you to read through these records and remind yourself how amazing, awesome, and wonderful our God is—and bless His Name!

He is ELOHIM —the God of power and might.

He is JEHOVAH-JIREH — the Lord Who will provide.

He is EL-ROI — the Strong One Who sees.

He is EL-SHADDAI — God Almighty.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your Name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
Psalms 145:1-3, 21

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