Wait! Don’t Jump

When God closes a door, don’t jump out a window!

C4BFA3DD-C1DA-44F0-AA61-4C3EF437B8A1

Choose to wait for God, rather than move on you own.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Advertisements

Rising Sun

Due to the frigid morning temps, I’ve missed drinking coffee on front porch as the sun rises. Check out this view though!!

FBC15614-5FB1-4249-82BA-228DD8F68BE5

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. Psalm 113:3

 

 

Saturday Show and Tell – Sourdough

It’s been quite awhile since I last posted a show & tell, therefore that’s how I’ll start this new year!

One of my very favorite things to do in the kitchen is bread baking. Many years ago, I discovered crusty, tangy sourdough bread tickles my taste-buds. That’s right! In fact, just thinking about a warm loaf fresh from the oven has me salivating! Seriously, I do not exaggerate!

My sourdough starter is several years old, and I started it with no store bought yeast. Did you know there is natural occurring yeast in the air around us? I’m no scientist so I really don’t understand how it all works, but to grow a sourdough starter one only needs water, flour, air, and patience.

There seems to be a rising number of people swearing off gluten whether they have a sensitivity to gluten or not. That would never go over well with my husband/wheat farmer/lover of bread. However, I’ve read many reports that bread made with long fermentation is much easier to digest. Why? During a long fermentation, the proteins begin to break down making it much easier to digest. I cannot tell you from personal experience how much difference this really makes since I don’t have any sensitivity to gluten. I will also caution that most store bought sourdough bread has most likely not had a long fermentation.

1BF87206-E8B2-452F-8840-D8D5D4D98B93

To begin my bread making, I retrieve my starter from the refrigerator, feed it, and let it sit on the counter several hours until it gets bubbly. When it has expanded to almost fill my jar, it’s time to make the dough.

When my dough is mixed, then I put in a large covered bowl or jar for the long fermentation. I like to let it sit and do it’s thing over night. These beauties greeted me in the morning!

4EE9576D-598B-47C6-8566-7F50540E9344

It’s time to dump out the dough and make the loaves. I made two different breads. The round loaves are oat and molasses, and the formed loaves are cinnamon spiral.

The loaves need scored to allow a weak area for steam to release during baking otherwise the loaf may crack. As you can see, I used two different scoring techniques.

After scoring, the loaves are covered and allowed to rise until almost double in size. Then it is time to bake.

Sourdough baking is not a fast task. Time and patience makes the best loaves. This is all too similar to one’s maturity. It is through practice and experience, trial and error, faith and devotion that enables one to grow.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

 

 

Hint of Light

98C071FB-FE84-403E-92D3-C5C2F6F789AF

At first glance what do you see?

A bare, dark, all alone, ugly tree?

Look again, do you see that hint of light on the horizon? It is just enough light to make the tree pop, giving definition to each gnarly naked branch.

What’s going on in your life right now? Is it filled with joy and excitement for Christmas, or are you under a cloud of dread and gloom? Maybe you are in the midst of a trial that is weighing you down in darkness. Do you feel all alone? I’m told these are very common for many people around the holidays.

Do you think you can let a little bit of light in?

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Jesus wants to shine light on and through you. Call out to Him! He will light your path and lead you through this time of darkness.

 

Hypocrite

According to Mark 7, in response to criticism from some Pharisees, Jesus replies:

“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” Mark 7:6-8

As Christmas approaches, ask yourself, “Am I holding man-made traditions higher than celebrating fulfilled prophesy, the birth of Jesus? Am I truly honoring Jesus through this advent season, OR is my heart and attitude actually far from God overwhelmed with crazy busyness/stress due to traditions?”

62BD58C2-28BC-4266-AD0C-5AAD8F5B4C17

Remember, it’s not  christMAS; it’s CHRISTmas.

Father God, forgive us. We are just like the Pharisees. We tend to proclaim Christmas as a celebration of your birth, yet we push you to the background focusing on our man-made traditions and fanfare. May we have softened hearts to honor you throughout this advent celebration. To God Be the Glory! Amen

Give Thanks

Whew! What a busy season the past several months have been!

Several years ago, I realized I was taking many of God’s blessings for granted. Quite honestly, I often was not even noticing the numerous ways He was blessing. Noticing and recounting these gifts of grace and joy are not merely for my benefit, but really for God.  You see, God wants us to delight in Him. He wants us to praise Him. He wants us to fully seek Him. By intentionally looking for His blessings and becoming more aware of His everyday presence, I am overcome with humble gratitude and drawn near to God.

God blesses in unexpected ways, and I don’t want to be so wrapped up in busyness that I miss His handiwork! These gifts that bring joy come in all shapes and sizes, some obvious and others minute.

First and foremost, I am grateful for His salvation. I am unworthy of this eternal gift of His grace.

I will praise you forever, O God,
    for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
    in the presence of your faithful people.
Psalm 52:9 NLT

The sweet aroma and colorful blossoms of honeysuckle were a pleasant surprise; I don’t recall honeysuckle ever blooming mid November at my home on the range. This was a beautiful bright spot in the mostly brown landscape accompanied by gray skies, a blessing from the Lord.

IMG_0780

Encouragement from a longtime friend, an unexpected email asking “How are you?”, songbird choir filling the air with joyful melody, a smile across the room from My Love, answered prayer, a call from a son just to chat, end of wheat planting and harvest, health and strength to help others, the opportunity to live in a country with hard fought freedoms, flexible schedule to give and serve others, beautiful sunsets, starlit sky, a sweet hug, and the list could go on and on because God lavishly blesses with His goodness to each and everyone of us. Take time to notice and give Him praise and thanks.

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
 Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
Psalm 105:1-4 NLT

Weedy Mess

My garden has been a weedy mess! The soaker hoses are strung out, but they have not had to be used much. Weeds have flourished, and vegetables have needed pampering because in the past month my garden has endured heavy frost, a blizzard, hail, wind, and rain.

IMG_5819

Yesterday and today, I finally had some time to eradicate those pesky weeds. Between animal chores and running errands for my Farmer, I pulled weeds, installed tomato cages, mulched around plants, planted remaining vegetable seeds, and swept the carpet paths.  Whew!!

IMG_5825

What a transformation! The early potatoes are blooming and second planting of peas are almost ready to pick. It’s much more enjoyable to pick and dig without weeds. Also, the tomato plants survived the frost and blizzard, and they are blooming on strong stalks.

What’s the past month been like for you? Have you weathered some storms of life? Are you growing stronger, or have you let your guard down allowing weeds to take over? It is time to tackle those weeds! The following is part of David’s prayer of repentance found in Psalm 51, and I pray these verses often.

Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you. (NLT)