PuMpKiNs

With a sure-to-kill hard freeze, it was time to cook up the pumpkins I’ve had setting outside for Autumn decor. Before I get into that, here’s a picture of the monogrammed pumpkins I grew for my grandsons.

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Back to cooking pumpkins…

After I have my pumpkin cooked and mashed it is ready to use in a multitude of recipes – pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin custard, pumpkin pop tarts, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin french toast, and the list can go on and on. Today, I’m prepping for Thanksgiving. I am usually asked to bring dinner rolls to our family gathering, so I made pumpkin dinner rolls. Now before you turn up your nose, let me tell you that there is no pumpkin flavor. However, the rolls are a delightful golden color. The pumpkin also adds nutritional benefits to the rolls, and can replace half of the fat called for in your recipe. These rolls are moist, light, airy, and most delish when eaten warm with a bit of fresh butter. I admit; I could hardly wait for one to cool enough to sample!

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I also made pumpkin cinnamon rolls to serve for Thanksgiving Day breakfast.

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These freeze well, so I’ll thaw at room temperature Wednesday night. In the morning, I will warm them in the oven while I whip up some cream cheese frosting. It will be a quick and easy breakfast before we hit the road to join friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner.

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For your enjoyment, here is the Pumpkin Dinner Roll recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
2 Tablespoons softened butter
2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons Instant yeast
5-7 cups all-purpose flour

In large mixing bowl combine salt, whole wheat flour, and yeast.
Heat honey, water, milk, butter until very warm.
Pour over dry ingredients and mix.
Add pumpkin and mix.
Add all purpose flour 1 cup at a time until dough can be handled.
Knead on floured board 10 minutes adding flour as needed.
Place dough in greased bowl and cover. Let rest 10 minutes.
Prepare/grease pans or baking sheets.
Form dough into balls and place in pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size (about 30 minutes).
Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Serve warm. Makes approximately 4 doz.

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

 

Sunbeam

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Seeing these sunbeams radiating through the old barn wall, brought to mind a song I’ve not heard nor sung for many years. When I was a little girl, I remember my mom singing it to me.

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
To shine for him each day;
In every way try to please him,
At home, at school, at play.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
I’ll be a sunbeam for him.
Next time I’m with my grands, I may need to catch sunbeams with them, and then sing the sunbeam song.

Not My Plan

I was all prepared to spend a long evening on the tractor, but God had other plans. These clouds passed over the field with darker ones building and following close behind dumping buckets of rain.

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I only remember using windshield wipers a couple times in the tractor, so it took some looking for the right switch. At first the wipers and sprinkles made mud on the glass, but soon the rain had it washed. By the time I made it to the field’s edge and pickup, it was an all out downpour! Obviously my evening plans were changed!

On my way home, I was thinking of how often my plans are not God’s plans. This rain not only changed plans for this evening, but for tomorrow as well.

Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord

God wants us to seek and call upon Him (vs 6). Do I daily seek God and His direction, or am I too caught up in making my own plans and to-do list?

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

As a farmer during planting season, the next verse in Isaiah 55 speaks volumes to me. Many variables are out of my control when it comes to getting a good harvest, but God IS in control.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater…”

When I give up control and truly seek God, His purpose will be evident in my life.
“…my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:11-12

Joy, peace, and bursting forth with song, that’s the life I want to live! God’s plan, not mine!

 

Refuge

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This guy is taking refuge from the rain in the skirt of my porch curtain.

When the rains come in your life, where do you take refuge?

But let all who take refuge in you [God] rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. Psalm:5:11

Victory in Jesus

Windows were open wide with a cool gentle breeze coming through. Coyotes were howling beyond the pasture fence as I drifted to sleep. I stirred when it began to rain, but was soon lulled back to slumber. Later, a death cry shriek jolted me awake! I recognized that squawk, and I knew instantly  I had one less guinea. I, however, did NOT expect nor need to see this out my kitchen door first thing this morning!!

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This is part of nature, but I’m ready for my dog to learn to share her barnyard! 

It seems there have been too many deaths in my corner of the country during the past several months. Deaths that have left a couple families with children to grow up without their dads; husbands and wives no longer have their soulmate; grandmas,  grandpas, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, friends have died leaving only memories and a noticeable void in community and family. I cannot begin to imagine the depths of grief my friends are facing.

There are so many “why” questions that keep running through my head that I will probably never have the answers until eternity. I do not know why God did not grant healing to the loved ones that so many prayed fervently believing God would work a miracle. However, my faith in God does not waver because I do not have enough faith to believe there is no God. I am also comforted knowing most of these friends lived their lives in a way that left no doubt they loved God wholeheartedly, placed their faith in Jesus Christ, and are spending eternity in the presence of God.

If you died today, where would you spend eternity?

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3:22-26 NLT

 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16 NLT

Do you believe?

When our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NLT

There is victory in Jesus!

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Unhurried

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Early morning I headed to the garden to pick green beans and cut lettuce as coffee dripped filling the pot. With those tasks complete, coffee cup full and Bible in hand I headed to the porch. It was a beautiful morning as the sun tried to rise above low lying clouds on the eastern horizon. The sun seemed to take its time before it burst forth bright and warm. Not only did I enjoy this slow progression, I also allowed myself some much needed unhurried time with God.

As I read my Bible, I began to ponder the vast difference between “knowledge OF God” and “relationship WITH God.” The Bible reminds us that even Satan knows who God is. (James 2:19)  I can have knowledge of God, and in my own strength try to do what is right. I can also go to church, sing on the music team or in the choir, read my Bible and pray. However, if I am doing all this for show, self gratification, or to check it off my to do list, I am doing them for the wrong reason. God invites us to have a relationship with him.

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. James 4:8

Do I check God off my to do list; is my loyalty divided, or is God my heart’s obsession? Other things and relationships are no substitution for my personal time with God in prayer, reading His word, in worship, and listening for his guidance, wisdom, and instruction.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

Do you have a relationship WITH God, or do you simply know about Him? Take some unhurried time to pray and read the Bible. As you draw near to Him, He will come close to you.

Too Many Glitches

I can’t think of a much better way to begin my day than some time with God and then coffee and breakfast outside with my hubby. This morning dawned a beautiful, calm morning with pleasant temperatures so that’s exactly what happened.

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Now, just because the day has a great beginning, it is no indication that the entire day will follow suit.

For a few years, my washing machine has had issues with the cold water. For some reason, the cold water just dribbles in. However, the hot water runs great. With the wash setting at “warm”, the water is actually hot which has resulted in too many outfits shrunk. The other day Mr. Plumber replaced the cold water pipe from the main line to the washer hook-up. I don’t usually get excited about doing laundry, but this morning was different. I was eager to see how quickly I could run a load through with a better cold water supply. I left the laundry room door open so I could hear the washer while I began my office work. I was pleasantly surprised how quick the washer filled and began agitating. I was in the process of categorizing an invoice when suddenly I heard water forcefully splashing in the laundry room. I raced to see what was going on. The washer was emptying the dirty water onto the floor! Mr. Plumber apparently forgot to put the drain hose back in the drain. UGH!! My stacked washer/dryer combo full of work jeans and half full of water was too heavy for me to pull it away from the wall to clean up the water mess. Fortunately, Hubby was still at the shop, and graciously moved it for me. Mopping the laundry room floor, and deep cleaning behind the washer was not on my agenda for today, but I can now say my spring cleaning has officially begun!

With the laundry room scrubbed, I finally returned to my office tasks. Bill paying and preparing invoices should not have taken as long as it did today. Let me just say that when a deposit does not get entered, the books do not balance.

When my office duties were complete, I was finally able to work outside. As I was walking through the yard, my dog ahead of me suddenly stopped and began to raise a ruckus. I cautiously approached, but couldn’t see what she was fussing about. Swiftly she flung something in the air, then pounced at it, barked, grabbed it in her mouth, and slapped it to the ground. It was just a garter, but there’s one less snake to startle me.

Towards evening I went for a walk/jog. My dog was having a hayday, scaring up rabbits and giving them a good chase. My heart rate quickened as I high stepped over this critter!

image Yes, those are little button rattles on his tail!

Today had more glitches than I fancy. However, I am thankful for …a washing machine, clean scrubbed floor, helpful Hubby, balanced accounts, God’s provision,  protective dog, God’s protection, humor, and oh so much more.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19