December 16, 2017

You Have Been So Good

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

You have been so good
You have been so good to me
In my faithless hour
You’ve been my strength
You are my tower

From the enemy
You have been so good
So good to me

Your hand is always faithful
Your mercy never ends
And when I feel unable
Your grace is there again

You chose me with my weakness
And all my sins forgave
I’ve nothing to repay You
So all that I can say

Lenny Leblanc, singer/songwriter

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Today is a day when many folks recognize the importance of being thankful.  As Christians, we are to have a life full of expressing our gratitude and thanks to our heavenly Father.  I think that the words of this beautiful song sing out our praise and gratitude for God’s overwhelming goodness.

You have been so good
You’ve been my strength
You are my tower

You chose me with my weakness
Your hand is always faithful
Your mercy never ends
Your grace is there again

We are so very thankful for God’s constant goodness to us, His children.  Truly, can you think of anything else that can so change your heart’s attitude more than being thankful?  Websters 1828 Dictionary (one of my favorite references) defines thankful as ‘grateful; impressed with a sense of kindness received, and ready to acknowledge it.’  Hmmm, sounds vaguely familiar…similar to a praise the Psalmist wrote:

Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
Who can put into words and tell the mighty deeds of the Lord?
Or who can show forth all the praise [that is due Him]?
Psalms 106:1 and 2

I think  Mr. Webster’s definition clearly shows that thankfulness is both thought and action—you ‘sense’ being blessed AND you ‘acknowledge’ it.  Here’s a great example:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come before His presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God!
It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]!
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
and a thank offering and into His courts with praise!
Be thankful and say so to Him,
bless and affectionately praise His name!
For the Lord is good;
His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.
Psalm 100

The Psalmist was confessing—remembering—just a few things he was grateful for, AND voicing his gratitude  ‘for the Lord is good‘.   To remember is ‘…to bear in mind; to keep, consider, meditate.’ We can—we should—do the same!  We have oh-so-very-much to be thankful for, amen?  We have so very many memories of God’s abundant goodness to us, true?  We can sing…

I will thank Yahweh with all my heart;
I will declare all Your wonderful works.
Psalm 9:1

Listen to the some of the things that David remembers the Lord did for him and the beautiful way he voices his thankfulness here in Psalm 30:

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to You and You have healed me.
O Lord, You have brought my life up from Sheol (the place of the dead)
Sing to the Lord, O you saints of His,
and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
By Your favor, O Lord, You have established me as a strong mountain;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
I cried to You, O Lord, and to the Lord I made supplication.
Hear, O Lord, have mercy and be gracious to me!
O Lord, be my helper!
You have turned my mourning into dancing for me;
To the end that my tongue and my heart
and everything glorious within me
may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

We have oh-so-very-much to thank our great God for…so many ways in which He has been so good to us!  Today, of course, as you gather with friends and loved ones…but each day, every day tell Your Father how very grateful you are for His goodness, for His protection, for His healing, for His deliverance, for His provision, for His admonition, for His guidance, for His love, grace and mercy!  And give Him much thanks!

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His compassion and lovingkindness endure forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…
Psalms 107:1 and 2

Gingerbread Cupcakes

2014-11-30 20.38.40

For our family’s Thanksgiving Feast (as the grandchildren call it!), we always divvy up of the different dishes that make up our spread.  This year, Robert and I are hosting the Feast at our home, so mine is the turkey to prepare (I always use Alton Brown’s Brined Turkey recipe), along with gluten-free gravy and the stuffing (see my recipe I shared here a couple of weeks ago).   My daughter, Kassia and her mother-in-law Mary Ann are divvy-ing up the sides and salads!  And we each are making a dessert…these spicy-sweet Gingerbread Mini-Cupcakes are my contribution.  Oh, they are so darling!  And just the perfect mouthful (and I mean FULL).  <Of course you certainly could make these in a standard cupcake size, too!>

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

This is a quick recipe to pull together…and the mini-cupcakes only take 10-12 minutes to bake.  We will have ours with Spiced Whipped Cream (see the recipe  here).  But they are equally yummy with a cream cheese frosting or a simple buttercream frosting, too.  Enjoy!

2014-11-29 22.51.34

Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes

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

directions:

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

 ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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

♥  coleen

My Story

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

If I told you my story,
You would hear hope, that wouldn’t let go
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Love that never gave up
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak, then let it be
of the grace that is Greater than all my sin
of when justice was served, and where mercy wins!
of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him

If I told you my story,
you would hear victory over the enemy
and if I told you my story,
you would hear freedom that was won for me
and if I told you my story,
you would hear Life Overcome the grave

This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior, all the day long
this is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior, all the day long

for the grace that is Greater, than all my sin
of where justice was served, and where mercy wins!
of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
o to tell you my story,
is to tell of the grace that is Greater, than all my sin
of where justice was served, and mercy wins!

of the kindness of Jesus, that draws me in
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him
oh to tell you my story, is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Big Daddy Weave
written by Jason Ingram and Mike Weaver

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

This is the time of year when we, as a nation, take time to focus on what we are thankful for.  We have—this beautiful land in which we live, our freedom to vote, our freedom to worship, our families, our friends, our jobs, and so much more.  We should be full of thanksgiving to our Lord, because He is the Provider of all good things.

And God will generously provide all you need.
Then you will always have everything you need
and plenty left over to share with others…
For God is the One who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat.
In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources
and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
2 Corinthians 9:8-10

The greatest gift that we should be thankful for is our salvation.  We have salvation when we don’t have freedom.  We have salvation when we don’t have family or friends.  We have salvation when we are out of work and have no income.  We have salvation even when we are in a Third World country.  Our salvation is not dependent on any of these things.

But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food.
Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.
For God the Father has given Me the seal of His approval.
John 6:27

You see, it’s really Jesus’ story for which I am most thankful.  Our salvation is dependent on Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross for us, each of us…not just a select few.  His provision to save us gives us grace, love, hope, life.  It gives us victory over the enemy, and freedom.  Out of His kindness, out of His story comes my story.  I have no story to tell if it were not for Jesus being willing to do His Father’s will and come to earth to live and die and be raised again to new life.

God saved you by His grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9

For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

I can and want to praise my Savior “all the day long.”

  • He gave His love, which never gives up.
  • He provides hope, which won’t let go.
  • He gave His life, so I could have mine.

Oh, the kindness of the Lord compels me to tell/sing of His grace and mercy, which always wins!

In His kindness, God called you to share
in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:10

What are you thankful for during this Thanksgiving season?  Is your list long?  What’s at the top of that list? I’m praying that your salvation is number one.  I’m praying that your story is not based on the things you are thankful for, but on the One you are thankful to.  Tell me your story; I’d love to hear you tell me about Jesus.

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

With great thanksgiving, Lord, we come to You.  We come with our hearts bursting with the love and joy we have for You, knowing that all good things come from You.  Thank You for all of Your blessings.  We also come to thank You for our salvation.  Thank You, Jesus, for obeying Your Father’s will, so that we can experience new life with You.  The details of our individual stories may look different, but the truth of our stories is that it is Your story.  We are privileged to share Your Good News with others.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to praise You all the day long so that others will hear Your story and come to You.  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

Worry versus Thankfulness

seekingHimthanksgivinggraphic

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Philippians 4:6 NLT

Do not be anxious or worried about anything,
but in everything [every circumstance and situation]
by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.
Amplified Version

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

God does expect us to care about our lives (and about the lives of others).  But when that caring becomes filled with anxiety and fear, it is counterproductive and wrong.  Life presents us with many things to worry about—family, friends, relationships, jobs, finances…and on and on.  There’s no end to this list if we let ourselves go there.  However, God’s Word tells us to do something very different about all those things.  He tells us not to worry, not to be anxious about anything. That’s a tall order, but it is possible.  How?  God says, “Pray.”

I urge, then, first of all,
that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for all people.
1 Timothy 2:1

These Scriptures in Philippians and 1 Timothy tell us to pray about everything-–every circumstance, every situation, every person in our life.  We are to tell God about everything we need (and even the things we perceive we need.)  Why? Because He cares about you (each of us.)

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—
whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.
Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
Matthew 6:25

When we pray, our focus is more on God and His mercy, grace, and provision. The more we pray, the more our mind is filled with Him.  It leaves less room for worry.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Isaiah 26:3

How often do you start your prayers with “Thank You, God….”?  I know I do pretty often.  In spite of my needs at the moment, I have so much to thank God for that I can’t pray without saying, “Thank You.”  He gave me the gift of salvation many, many years ago.  God has protected my family and me over the years.  He has seen me through many trials, and supplied for my needs.  Because of His faithfulness in the past, I can trust Him to care for me now and in the future.  Even as I write this, I am compelled to stop and say “Thank You, Lord!”

During this Thanksgiving season, make it a point to “thank Him for all He has done,” (Philippians 4:6) for all He is doing, and for all that He will be doing in your life.  Then make it a way of life to thank Him daily.  When caring starts to turn into worry…stop and pray with thanksgiving…reminding yourself how much He has done for you, and how much He cares for you.  Prayer, petition, and thanksgiving will bring you closer to God and farther away from anxiety and worry.  That’s what we all want, right?

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Dear Lord God, as humans we are presented with things to worry about almost daily.  But You said, “Don’t!”  Instead of worrying, You said, “Pray!” And pray “…about everything!”  Lord, we need our hearts and our minds open to Your Holy Spirit to help us to pray without worry, and to pray with thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for, and when we take time to be thankful our trust level goes up, and worry is pushed back.  That’s what we want, Lord.  Thank You for caring for us even beyond our comprehension.  May we grow in our trust that You will see us through the hard times.  You have done and are doing so much for us, thank You, thank You!  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Veggies

Yummmm…stuffing!  Call me crazy but, if I had to choose just ONE carb-y dish for Thanksgiving dinner, it wouldn’t be pie, or rolls, or potatoes.  It would be stuffing!

This recipe fits well within our healthy but oh-so-yummy POV since it is made with chicken sausage (low in fat) and is loaded with lots of veggies.  Feel free to make this to your family’s preferences:  change up the sausage (spicy is great!), substitute different veggies, season with other varieties of herbs.  This can be made with your favorite cornbread: whether gluten-free or traditional, from scratch or a boxed mix, or even a bag of cubes you purchase.  I would love to hear how you switched it up to please your loved ones!  Enjoy!

2015-11-15 18.25.34

Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Veggies

ingredients:

1 batch of your favorite cornbread (I used a GF mix)

coconut or olive oil
1 onion, cut into a small dice
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 fennel bulb, chopped into small pieces
sea salt, freshly ground pepper
1# uncooked sausage, (I used chicken sausage)
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon each dried thyme, rosemary, sage
1 large apple, cubed
1 cup dried cranberries
3 to 4 cups chicken broth/stock

directions :

  • first thing you need to do is make a batch of cornbread.  you can make this a day or two before.  after removing from baking pan, cool thoroughly, wrap loosely, and store in a cool, dry place.
  • when ready to prepare the stuffing, cut up the cornbread into small-ish cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet. bake at 250-275 for 30 minutes or so ‘til the cubes are getting crispy and drying out. pour into a very large bowl and set aside
  • heat the oil in a large saute pan, over medium heat, warm the oil
    then add the onions and celery and fennel; season well with s&p and cook until the vegetables start to become soft
  • push to the edges of the pan and add the sausage into the middle; cook ‘til the sausage begins to brown
  • add in the garlic, herbs, and apples; stir all together for a minute or so; remove from heat
  • increase oven temp to 375
  • into the bowl holding the cornbread, add the cranberries along with the cooked sausage/veggie mixture and stir together
  • pour 2 cups of the chicken broth evenly over the whole bowl; knead together with your hands (adding additional broth ‘til the bread is very moist but not mushy)
  • taste to check for seasoning, adding additional s&p if needed
    transfer to a large ovenproof dish/casserole and cover with foil
  • bake the stuffing until it is hot all the way through about 30 minutes.
  • if your family likes some crispy bits, too, remove foil and increase oven temp to 425; bake for additional 10 minutes

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥ 

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

♥  coleen

Thank You, Lord

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I come before You today
And there’s just one thing that I want to say
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

For all You’ve given to me
For all the blessings I cannot see
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

With a grateful heart
With a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I will bless Your name
Thank You, Lord
I just wanna thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord
I just wanna thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

For all You’ve done in my life
You took my darkness and gave me Your light
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

You took my sin and my shame
You took my sickness and healed all my pain
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

Yes we thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord
Yes we thank You, oh we thank You

Don Moen
Songwriters Patrick Henderson and Louis E Brown III

*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *

The Bible tells us to “give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.” In the Kings James Version, this specific command is given at least six times: 1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 106:1, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 118:1 and 29, and Psalm 136:1.  Of course, there are many other references to giving thanks to the Lord throughout His Word.  Many of them give thanks to Him for something or someone.  I like the focus of this verse because it is all about our Lord.  In fact, these six verses speak solely of His goodness and His mercy.

As this song mentions, we have so much to thank God for:

  • blessings we can’t see
  • taking us out of darkness and giving us His light
  • taking our sin, shame, sickness, and pain
  • for all He’s done in our lives

And for all those things we give God our thanksgiving. But today, mostly I just want to come to Him and give Him thanks and praise. He is worthy. He is our God, who is good and full of mercy and grace. Over and over, “I just wanna thank You, Lord.”

Thus will I bless Thee while I live:
I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
Psalm 63:4

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.
Psalm 134:2

Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense;
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2

In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. 1 Timothy 2:8 NLT

During this season of Thanksgiving, when we are reminded to take time to be thankful for all that God has blessed us with, I don’t want to forget to simply be thankful for God, Himself.  (What about you?)  With a grateful heart, with a song of praise, I want to “Bless the Lord, O, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).  Please join me with outstretched arms, with hands and hearts lifted to our Lord, and give Him thanks. He is worthy.

All glory to Him who alone is God,
our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All glory, majesty, power, and authority are His before all time,
and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Jude 1:25

And then I heard every creature in heaven
and on earth and under the earth and in the sea.
They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the One sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
Revelation 5:13

*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *

Dear Lord, we can easily come to You with a long list of things and people that we are thankful for; You have blessed us with so much.  But first and foremost, Lord, we come to give You thanks for being You.  You are God above all gods, Lord above all lords.  You deserve all praise and worship. There is no one like You.  You are love, You are mercy, You are grace, and so much more.  Thank You, Lord!  In Jesus’ Precious and Holy Name we give our praise and thanksgiving.  Amen, It Is So!

Gingerbread Cupcakes

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

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

2014-11-30 20.38.40

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

2014-11-27 13.11.15

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

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

2014-11-29 22.51.34

Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes

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

directions:

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

 ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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

♥  coleen

Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes

2014-11-30 20.38.40

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

2014-11-27 13.11.15

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

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

2014-11-29 22.51.34

Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes

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

directions:

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

 ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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

♥  coleen

Count Your Blessings

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When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
*Alternate text

Written by Johnson Oatman, Jr ~ Music by Edwin O. Excell ~ Sung by Ann Williamson

  *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Written over a hundred years ago (1897), this hymn is still sung today and is still reminding us that we have much to be thankful for.

Be thankful in all circumstances,
For this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

When I sing the first verse, I think of the disciples out on the stormy sea.  Actually, there are two accounts I want to share.

Matthew 8:23-27, tells the story of Jesus and His disciples in the boat when a fierce storm came up.  The water was swamping the boat, and the disciples were panicked! Jesus was calmly sleeping because the storm wasn’t bothering Him.  In the midst of the storm, Jesus was right there with them.  Instead of seeing Him as their example to stay calm and trust God to protect them, they cried out to Jesus for Him to use His faith to save them.  Thankfully He was there, He did intercede for them, and commanded the wind and the waves to be calm.  The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ power, and were counting it a blessing that He was with them.

In the next account (recorded in Matthew 14:22-33), Jesus sent the disciples out in the boat without Him.  Night came, and a storm developed.  The disciples were fighting the strong winds and heavy waves, but to no avail.  They hadn’t even thought to call out to God, evidenced by the fact that when Jesus came to them walking on the water, they didn’t even recognize Him.  But He came, because He loved them, and never had planned on leaving them helpless.  Peter even walked on the water—until he took his eyes off of Jesus.  When Jesus and Peter got back in the boat, the storm died and the waters calmed.  The disciples (maybe especially Peter!) were surprised and blessed that Jesus came to them and saved them.

In our lives there are times when we are ‘tempest-tossed,’ and we do become very ‘discouraged, thinking all is lost.’  As believers, we can count on Jesus to be there for us.  He’s in the boat with us.  He is our example of trust.  And even in the times when we are trying to carry our heavy cross alone, He’s walking on the water toward us.  He just wants us to call out…even to walk out to Him…and He will lift us up. What a blessing!

Proverbs 10:6, tells us that “The godly are showered with blessings.”  Do you count your land, your home, your money as blessings?  Yes, they are, but they are just to help us get by here on earth.  God has so much more for you/us. Do you count your salvation, the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, God’s love for you, your family’s love, your reward in Heaven, and other spiritual gifts as blessings?  Money can not buy any of those because they are priceless blessings from God.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is by His great mercy that we have been born again,
because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance
—an inheritance that is kept in Heaven for you, pure and undefiled,
beyond the reach of change and decay.
And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power
until you receive this salvation,
which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
1Peter 1:3-5

“So amid the conflict whether great or small, do not be discouraged, (remind yourself) God is over all. Count your many blessings.” It will lift you up, and it just may surprise you to see what the Lord has done!

  *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Dear Lord, in this season of Thanksgiving we come to You with our hearts bursting with thanksgiving.  We, as Your children, have so many blessings to count!  Truly, “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3).  All day and all night, in every season, we count our many blessings and our voices lift up praises to You, the Giver of all good gifts!  Praise the Lord!  It Is So!

Thankful To a Good God

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Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will
for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

“…Thankful in all circumstances“.  I think sometimes we get this mixed up with thankful for all circumstances.  This also corresponds with being content in all circumstances—not content for all circumstances.  We are going to go through some things in our lives that we should not be thankful for, but we can be thankful during the process. God does not want us to be thankful for cancer, but we can be thankful to Him while we have cancer.

God is a good God.  He will not bring anything into our lives that is not good.  God can do no wrong.  God does not make mistakes.  This being said…God is not the only being that brings things in and out of our lives.  Satan puts things in our lives.  Deception is something that Satan is very good at.  He was able to deceive Adam and Eve in the Garden, and to this day he still works to deceive mankind.  Not only this, but the consequences of our own actions brings unfavorable things into our lives.

What I’m saying is that the Bible clearly says,

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
Who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

The Bible also clearly says,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10

Very simply put: Good God — bad devil.

Thank God for ALL the good He has done in your life. You can thank God for bringing you through the bad in your life. You can thank God for turning a bad situation into a good situation. God can bring good out of bad. God can show you the error of your way(s) in bad situations and use His word to teach you the correct way…but God does not do bad. Do not thank God for the bad you have in your life, but be thankful to God during these times—because God is good.