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Showing posts from February, 2011

Hot Cocoa Mix: Winter's not over yet!

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February is almost over, and March is roaring in with it's promise of a lamb-like end. But winter's not over yet. While the evenings are still turning chilly, it's not too late to curl up with a book and a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Here is a recipe for homemade hot chocolate mix that I have toyed with this winter, perfecting it to my family's taste.

Ingredients:
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. powdered nondairy creamer
3 c. powdered milk
1 c. white sugar (I use 1 c. Splenda)
1 3.4 oz. box instant chocolate pudding (I use sugar-free)
1/2 t. salt

Directions:
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until combined. Store in airtight container.

Tip: Use vanilla or butterscotch pudding for flavored hot chocolate!

This recipe was updated 11-15-2013 to reflect some improvements I've made. 

Safe People: Growing in Discernment

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A couple weeks ago, the women in my family started going through Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. So far, I have been both encouraged and challenged. Encouraged -- since I am learning that discerning safe from unsafe people is possible. Challenged -- because I want to be growing into a safer person myself.

The goal of the Safe People is to help people pick better relationships:
It deals with the problem of character discernment, a skill that many of us lack. And yet the ability to determine good character in people is one of God's most vital ingredients for our personal and spiritual growth. (11) Who are safe people? The authors describe them this way:
Safe people are individuals who draw us closer to being the people God intended us to be. Though not perfect, they are "good enough" in their own character that the net effect of their presence in our lives is positive. T…

Surprised by Hope: N.T. Wright recalls the Kingdom

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Tonight I turned the final pages of N.T. Wright's Surprised by Hope, in which Wright examines the center of the Christian hope -- the resurrection.  The journey through the text was stimulating and perplexing, exhilarating and humbling. Wright's message was challenging at times, as was his strikingly British prose. His argument, though, was incredibly smooth.

What does it mean that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead? Where is Jesus now? What happens when Christians die? Wright answers these questions and many others, drawing from scripture, Jewish history and the first century context of the New Testament. To my mind, crowded as it has been with Medieval Dantean imagery, Enlightenment charged Platonic philosophy, and Romantic sentimentality, Wright's answers were indeed surprising. And yet, as passage after passage of seemingly ambiguous scripture suddenly made sense, I found myself wanting to dance with joy -- or was the feeling hope?

In Surprised by Hope, Wright remin…

Love Speaks

Help Cries my mind and my heart as my feet pull me down The path of pretend I don’t want to go anymore
Stop I beg my feet No love is at the end Only speechless quiet
Fly But where? Cries my heart as my mind searches the stark forgotten unknown All the words say that this way is not and I know it is not
Reality Is what it has and hasn’t ever been Hasn’t it? It is but isn’t and I’m not sure It never was
Safe It is and has always has been That motive hiding behind peace and prayer has led me here so many times before and leads me now

Stay Another Word whispers Turn aside to what is and rest and embrace
Hope I feel it vanishing, slipping as I remember how I gave truth and got pain, sorrow, hate – loss
Wait I cry Come back and take my hand and wrap my trembling fingers in your strong ones I sob admitting all is blank and vague and without category and full of fear and Though I’ve tried I always come back to this well-worn  path of smiles and fear and silence
I am lost again -- show me the Way
Listen Love speaks
I repe…

Super Bowl Snack: Whole Grain Chex Party Mix

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It's Super Bowl Sunday -- and what goes better with the Super Bowl than Chex Party Mix? Here is the recipe for a "healthier" version I cooked up this afternoon.

Ingredients:
8 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup woven wheat crackers (like Triscuits)
1 cup whole grain cheese crackers
1 cup pretzels (this is the only real "cheat" carb-wise)
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions:  Combine first 5 ingredients in a baking dish. Melt butter. Add sauce and seasonings. Toss into dry ingredients. Bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees, tossing every 15 minutes. Cool. Enjoy!
You can view the original Chex Party Mix recipe here.