Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A life of Focus

I came across the following quote from Oliver Wendall Holmes today:

"I find the greatest thing in this world not so much where we stand, as in the direction we are moving. To reach the port of heaven, we must sometimes sail with the wind, and sometimes against it, but we sail, and not drift, nor live at anchor."

Heaven will be mine, totally by the grace and goodness of God through Jesus Christ. But I want more than just the some day; I want a life of value. When my life here on earth is finished I want to know that I made a difference.

A few years ago I spent some time thinking about what I wanted the focus of my life to be. My pondering brought me to the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT):

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

I want to live my life whole heartedly for God with Him in the driver's seat. I want my life to be consumed with loving God and loving people in ways that are real each and every day.

Basically I just try to be alert each day to opportunities. Lately I've also decided to periodically take some time out and away from the daily; time with God. Time to review my life and see if there are any things getting in the way of my loving God and people. Time to seek how God wants me to respond to any barriers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Today I decided to try making empanadas.

I've been wanting to make them for awhile. The ones I've had previously were stingy on the filling so I wanted to make my own.

I found and modified a recipe for the outer dough on Here's my modified recipe that I used:

Empanada Dough Recipe

• 6 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 cup cold water
• 3 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vinegar
• 8 tablespoons shortening (or 1 stick butter)

1. In a bowl, beat the water, egg, egg white and vinegar together. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
3. Cut the shortening into the flour mix with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center.
4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
6. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.

Tip: If you want to keep the dough longer than 24 hours, you can freeze it.
Servings: Makes approximately 25 six-inch empanadas.

Cook 1 1/2 lbs ground beef with finely diced onion and garlic and drain any grease.
1 can of corn drained
1 can of drained black olives, sliced.
3/4 cup Pico de gallo (I have a recipe for this under the Home Life label)
1 1/2 cup mixture of grated jack cheese and sharp cheddar cheese

Roll out dough and cut into 6 inch rounds. Put some filling into each round. Fold over and close ends together with a fork.

Bake in preheated 350 oven until golden brown.

These are delicious!

Friday, June 26, 2009

For the Love of Chocolate

Charlie Bucket:" I wouldn't give up my family for all the chocolate in the world."

Willie Wonka: "That's weird!"

Bible prayer

We were blessed recently to be able to build a family room onto our home. In that family room are several bookcases. Since John & I are, to use his phraseology, "two rivers coming together", we've got lots of stuff to organize - especially books. I was going through books today and found an awesome book entitled "Bible Prayers for all your needs" put out by Victory House Publishers.

This book is comprised of 5 basic needs - spiritual, family, personal, physical, financial. Under each need are various prayers that you can choose to pray aloud. Each of these prayers are directly from specific scriptures which are listed at the end of the prayer.

What an incredible resource!

It's so cool that I found it today because I've been trying lately to have my prayers be based on the word. It's God's timing always perfect?!

This book is definitely going into my nightstand to be available when needed.
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