A SUMMER OF PSALMS

Someone asked me if this verse means that we are supposed to have our devotion time early in the morning.  Well, I’m not big on mornings, which explains my dependence on massive amounts of caffeine.  I don’t think the Lord minds if we do our devotions at night.  Often I enjoy devotions at night when I have the house to myself.  I like to have it quiet when I read and write.  During the morning hours it’s too hectic most of the time, and I’m often interrupted with other things.

I believe that “Early will I seek You” means that we acknowledge God and His Lordship in our lives first thing when we wake up.  That, of course, does not take the place of our alone time with God.  That’s also the time when we sit down with our Bibles and a cup of tea or coffee, and God speaks to our spirits.  It’s a time to study God’s Word and pray.

The thing is, we say Good Morning to God, right?  We pray when we get up in the morning, thankful that God woke us up and we were able to get out of bed.  From there our day progresses, but we still pray without ceasing in our minds.  God has our attention while we do whatever we are obligated to do in this life on earth.

This world is a dry and thirsty land.  We face all sorts of adversity from people who don’t understand Christians or their beliefs – and usually don’t want to.  Even our Vice President was labeled insane for praying.  I’m still praying that God will save Joy’s soul in a Damascus-like conversion (like the Apostle Paul), because if God got ahold of Joy, can you imagine what a force she’d be for the right?  It’d be quite a sight to see.  She’s such a strong-willed person.  It’d be so great!  Right now she’s gained the whole world but lost her soul.  I’m praying that she will gain Christ and win others for Him.

Since we live in a desert land on earth, God knows we need to spend some time alone with Him every day.  I don’t feel as strong or confident if I miss my time with the Lord, do you?  He wants us to study His Word and pray, but that is for our benefit, not His.  He’s just as strong whether we show up or not.  We are the ones who need that time with Him.  It’s a gift we give ourselves.  🙂

 

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24

Today i am thankful for coffee, that substance that makes me human, and able to deal with my day, which is drank in peace.  – Cathy Ann Nash

Does it seem odd to have a prayer of thanks for coffee?  Well, maybe…  but don’t we all thank the Lord for coffee every morning anyway?  I know I sure do!  Let’s be thankful today for coffee:a-prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.  – Honoré de Balzac, “The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee”

It’s not a coincidence that coffee is a part of mornings all over the world.  Don’t you think it’s just another way that God makes life easier for us?  That may seem like a simple explanation to you, but it’s really what I believe.  I don’t think God wants us to struggle to exist here.  I believe He provides things – some big and some small – meant to help us along.  It’d be a shame if we failed to thank Him for all of it, wouldn’t it?

Lucinda is thankful for coffee too.  Take a look at this cute poem:

three-cupsOkay, I’m not a prankster at all, but I did find this You Tube video of coffee pranks – and I laughed and laughed.  😀  Maybe there’s someone you’d like to pull a coffee prank on at Thanksgiving though.  I hear some families are really into pranks.  🙂

I wish for you a fun day of coffee pranks if that’s what you want.  I wish for your coffee to be strong enough, and your work day to be short.  I wish for you as much laughter as you can possibly stand this day.  Enjoy!  😉

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)On Memorial Day I looked in the mirror and noticed a lot more gray hairs than ever before.  So many thoughts ran through my mind, including the cost of a professional highlight or color job.  My hair has always had natural highlights and lowlights – the problem is that now those highlights are gray – and they’re starting to wash me out!

I’ve noticed some posts on facebook lately advertising the newest summer hair colors and styles – one of the popular colors is called COFFEE BLONDE.  Hmm…  I thought…  coffee!  It peaked my interest and I started searching the internet.  I found several articles and recipes for natural and chemical-free hair staining.  It’s like a natural henna – and I like the idea of no chemicals damaging my baby fine hair.HAIR STAINIt will probably last until my next shampoo – but the good news is, I’m not going to lose hair like I do when I use the permanent hair color from the box.  There’s no peroxide and no real danger involved.  The amount of instant coffee granules, brewed coffee and conditioner is so inexpensive.  I don’t know about you, but I never use my shampoo and conditioner at the same rate – I have tons of leftover conditioner!  It’s really a win/win.  I can afford to do this just before I wash my hair – not a big deal.

There’s only one side effect (if you can call it that)…  my hair smells like COFFEE.  LOL!!!

It’s just one more frugal thing to try just for fun.  If you want  a dramatic red/burgundy, you can use beet juice.  A cinnamon tea also leaves a bit of brownish/red tint (and the scent would be good too).  Of course for years blondes used mayonnaise or lemon juice in addition to their regular shampoo and conditioner to make their hair shine.

If you are daring and want a more dramatic change, how about sugar-free KOOL-AID???  Yeah – and it’s pretty simple.  The results will show up more on dry hair than on wet hair – and the lighter your hair is, the more dramatic the color will be.  Here’s what you need:

3-6 packages of SUGAR-FREE KOOL-AID (depending on the length of your hair) in a large glass bowl.  Please make sure it’s sugar-free because you do NOT want sticky hair.

Mix with a little conditioner (about 1/4 cup or so) and some hot water.  Stir until you have a paste-like consistency – don’t add too much water or it will be too runny.

I’d wear gloves because it will definitely stain your skin.  If you do get some on your skin, it can be easily removed – no worries.

If you want all of your hair colored, dunk your head in the bowl and massage paste into scalp and on hair.  Or for streaks, put it only where you want it.

Put long pieces of plastic wrap around your head.  Then put a plastic bag over that and secure with a chip clip or tie in a knot on top.

Sleep in it – yeah, I know – just do it.

The next morning, remove the bag and plastic wrap.  Hop in the shower and rinse your hair.  DO NOT SHAMPOO!  If you shampoo, it will wash all the Kool-Aid out.

There are tons of alternatives to harsh chemicals that can potentially BLIND you if it gets in your eyes!  Nothing that harsh should go on anyone’s scalp – or their hair.  Even henna has ingredients that are too harsh in my opinion.

It’s fun to try new colors and it doesn’t take long to go from drab to dazzling!  What will you do today?  Start June with something different.  🙂

CAFFEINE AWARENESS MONTH

STAGES OF WAKING UPDo you depend on your morning jolt of caffeine to make you easier to live with?  I do.  Some of my friends say that they are not “old enough” to drink coffee – these are friends who are about 20 years my senior.  :-/  Other friends are quick to tell me they don’t like coffee – but they get their shot from a soda – Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Coke – whatever.  A few of my friends and some in my group on facebook say they need a spot of hot tea.  I doubt that the first cup in the morning is decaf – just guessing.

Most of us need a kick of caffeine in one form or the other.COFFEE HELPSI think this month should be called CAFFEINE APPRECIATION MONTH – but what do I know?  We’re aware of it – I’m especially aware when I don’t get my caffeine boost!  Ugh…  I may as well plan for a migraine if for some reason I don’t get a cup of coffee by noon.  The struggle is real.

Well meaning strangers have tried to talk me into weaning myself off of caffeine.  Have you ever seen my fangs?  Oh…  you didn’t know I have them?  Keep talking like that – and you will see them.  Change the subject – change it now.

I don’t drink.  I don’t smoke.  I don’t eat tons of sugar or fat.  Caffeine is the only vice I have…  do not try to yank that out from under me.  Seriously.STIR ONE ANOTHER UP

It’s a delicate balancing act…  too little caffeine and I’m headed for migraine city.  Too much caffeine and it can have a rebound effect and I could still end up with a migraine.  There are so many triggers though – caffeine is just one on a long list of foods and beverages.  Alcohol, by the way, is on the list, along with chocolate (which is also filled with caffeine), strong cheeses like longhorn cheddar can trigger them.  Processed meats are a no-no.  I pick pepperoni off my pizza.  Nitrates are filled with sodium and that’s another trigger.  I can manage my caffeine intake by drinking just one cup of coffee in the morning and one diet pop in the evening.A TRIBUTE TO COFFEE

Lucinda likes coffee too!  Isn’t that a cute poem?  I’ve never poetized about coffee…  hmm.  I really should write a poem about it someday.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)LET GOD DO THE POURINGIt’s unusual for me to ask for a cup of coffee to go from a restaurant.  The other day I just could not get enough coffee!  I love Village Inn because they make fantastic coffee and you don’t just pay for a cup of coffee – they give you a whole pot for yourself!  I drank several cups and it was just so good – I emptied the pot!  Then I wanted more…

I anticipated a similarly smooth taste from the to go cup – but was surprised and disappointed when I took a sip – my to go coffee was bitter – as though it was the bottom of the pot or had set on the burner too long.  Ugh!  Has that ever happened to you?  

When I received this poem from Lucinda, my first thought was, “Oh, how I wish God had poured the coffee into my to go cup!”  I’m so sure the coffee He pours for us is a perfect brew every time – and is surely never bitter!

While other bloggers are asking the tired old question, “Have you given up on your New Year’s Resolution???”  I’m going to ask, “Have you continued to thank God for all of your many blessings this year?”  We tend to pick up the thankfulness around Thanksgiving and drop it somewhere between Christmas and the New Year.  It’s sad, because God doesn’t stop blessing us after the new year begins, does He?

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.  – Psalm 34:8

I’m not fussing at you, this is just a reminder to continue thanking God for His good gifts.  The boundless supply of grace, mercy and love He brings into our lives – His own brand of peace that is not understood by those who do not know Him.  Let’s not take these daily gifts for granted – ever.

God loves you so much.  He shows us his matchless love every day in many ways.  How does He love us?  Let us count the ways!  Let Him pour your coffee or tea today – I know it will be the best tasting beverage you’ll drink all day!  🙂

 

NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER LOVER’S DAY

TL 1-24 NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER LOVER'S DAY

1-24 DADDY AND PEANUT BUTTER

This is one of my favorite holidays, NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER LOVER’S DAY!!!  Did you know it takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter?  In our house, we have the peanut butter with no hydrogenated oils, which means there is no trans fat.  There is still a need to watch the serving size because they all use palm oil, but it’s more healthy if it is not hydrogenated.  Also, if the label says Peanut Butter Spread, it’s not the same as Peanut Butter.  Read labels carefully.  

How do you eat peanut butter?  I like to mix 2 Tbs. of peanut butter with 2 Tbs. of sugar-free honey and use it to dip apple slices.  There was a time I bought caramel dip for apple slices, but there is a ton of sugar in it and I needed to come up with a more healthy alternative.

LF PEANUT BUTTER SF CHOCOLATE SYRUP APPLE DIP

I like to use recipes for cookies that have no flour of gluten in them.  I found this one for peanut butter cookies.

http://youtu.be/XqPOdhc0E74

As usual, I substitute the white sugar with Splenda.  If you use a peanut butter with no hydrogenated oil, that makes this a perfectly healthy cookie!

 No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut. – Channing Pollock

Sometimes there is nothing better than an old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich!  I heard a nutritionist say that there is nothing as balanced as that.  There is protein, carbohydrates and a little sugar to keep your blood sugar from bottoming out.  Since I have a problem with high blood sugar, I choose to have a sugar-free jelly.  Smucker’s sugar-free apricot spread is my favorite.  I also use a 9-grain bread instead of white bread because it doesn’t cause my blood sugar to spike.

OK – I just viewed this and it grossed me out.  I like peanut butter, and I like coffee (you KNOW I do) – but…  peanut butter coffee???  Oh yeah – no, that’s never happening!

http://youtu.be/RfhOSXOeF7M

I really don’t venture out and experiment with peanut butter like that.  Um…  no.  Besides, I’m not sure you can trust someone who says he has a glass of coffee instead of a cup.  Jus’ sayin’…

Peanut Butter with no hydrogenated oils is a healthy source of protein, but remember a serving size is only 1 Tablespoon – so it packs a nutritional punch!  It’s probably a bad idea to sit in front of the TV and mindlessly eat it straight from the jar.  I don’t know how anyone could do that anyway – I mean, wouldn’t it get stuck to the roof of your mouth?  :-/

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

This day’s goal does not seem that difficult – to smile and say MERRY CHRISTMAS to someone.

Maybe it’s because I’m old, but I used to hear MERRY CHRISTMAS more often when I was a kid.  Nobody thought of getting offended or being politically correct back then.  We didn’t give a hang what the government thought of what we said – or who we said it to.  I’m the first to admit we hung with like-minded people.  Our friends and neighbors were Christians and went to church – so saying MERRY CHRISTMAS didn’t seem like such a big whoop to us – it’s just what we did. 

As I got older, I became friends with people of many faiths through my workplace.  I’m still not a terribly diverse individual, but I am aware that not everyone is just like me – and I’ll add – whew – that’s a good thing.  Here’s the deal – I see every person on the planet as a soul that my Jesus died on the cross to save, whether they accept that fact is immaterial.  It’s a fact that Christ died for all.  I hope that the words MERRY CHRISTMAS do not offend anyone, but it’s what I celebrate.  To me, it’s the only reason to celebrate.

You know, the Bible tells us that if we are ashamed of Christ, God will be ashamed of us…  so – don’t be afraid to say MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Doing it with a smile is a good idea.  Yes, yes – I know it will take a great deal of preparation.  Drink your morning coffee and suck on a candy cane – it’ll be alright.   Just remember, your faith in God trumps anything the government says.  Don’t be scared to be what you are, or of offending others with what you believe.  Are they scared of offending you???  Um…  no – guessing they are not.  So, smile and SHINE!  We’re not being intolerant of other faiths, we’re just expressing our own – just as they do.  🙂

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Click image to enlarge

 

INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY

TL 9-29 INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY

Today is NOT the day to run out of coffee because it’s INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY!!!  Coffee traces its biological heritage to plants known as Coffea.  Coffee plants are cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India and Africa.

OUT OF COFFEE

shared with permission
shared with permission

The two most common types of coffee are arabica and robusta, which has a more bitter taste.

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Bill has his free coffee???  Where’s yours???

Once ripe, coffee beans are picked, processed and dried.  Unroasted green coffee beans are one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.  The beans are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor before being ground and brewed to create coffee.

Click image to enlarge

I lost my mother eleven years ago yesterday.  Isn’t God good to us through our friends?  Lucinda reminded me of today’s special holiday and it lightened my countenance immediately!  If ever there was a coffee lover, it is me!  Some of the best memories I have of my mother were made over a cup of coffee.  We used to go to the Kings-X restaurant on the north end of Wichita nearly every Saturday to reconnect over a breakfast of biscuits & gravy and a lot of good hot coffee.  We solved all the world’s problems with that winning combination!

These days I enjoy coffee in the morning while reading devotionals.  Do you ever wake up in the morning and think about coffee – and feel the need to get out of bed just so you can get to it?  I do!

I wondered about the history of this amazing beverage, so I found a PBS documentary.  There are 3 parts, so grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up as you watch it – wink!  😉

https://youtu.be/TTDy-L0NKIg

https://youtu.be/g9sp8Vj2anI

https://youtu.be/gHHlIG5A8ak

HUG IN A MUG

My favorite cup of coffee comes from Chick-fil-A.  Why?  Because the folks there actually know the farmers who grow the plants around the world.

http://coffeewithastory.chick-fil-a.com/

Do you know of another fast-food restaurant that knows the names of their coffee farmers?  I don’t.  It’s one more personal touch that Chick-fil-A brings to the table – the breakfast table.  🙂

NATIONAL KREME FILLED DONUT DAY

TL 9-14 NATIONAL KREME FILLED DONUT DAY

I asked my group, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith:  What is your favorite flavor of Kreme filled donut? 

One person said whipped cream and everyone else said Boston cream!  Am I the only one who wonders what the difference is between Boston cream and Bavarian cream?

Also known as Crème Bavaroise or simply Bavarois, Bavarian cream is a dessert that is flavoured with liqueur and thickened with gelatine or isinglass. It is a classic dessert that is rumoured to have been invented by chef Marie-Antoine Carême. It is said to have been named thus in the name of a distinguished visiting Bavarian, such as a Wittelsbach in the 19th century.

Bavarian cream consists of heavy cream, gelatin, sugar, vanilla bean, whipped cream and eggs.  Boston cream donuts are a round, solid, yeast risen donut with chocolate frosting and a creamy vanilla flavored custard filling!  It’s like eating a mini Boston cream pie!

The Boston cream donut was designated the official donut of Massachusetts in 2003, after the Boston cream pie itself was chosen as the state dessert in 1996.

I know some of you want a healthier alternative to the traditional donut!  I found a link for you to look at.  Hey – I’m in that canoe too – so I understand where you’re comin’ from.

http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2014/02/boston-cream-donuts-gluten-free-paleo/

Now for the rest of society…  Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts both have amazing Boston Cream Donuts – I won’t lie. 

https://www.krispykreme.com/menu/doughnuts

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/bakery/donuts/donuts.html?DRP_FLAVOR=Boston%20Kreme%20Donut

We have a local mom & pop donut shop here in Wichita that makes very good cream donuts – and they seem to be bigger on crunch and smaller on sugar, which pleases my palette very much.  I don’t eat much sugar, so a little bit goes a long way!

https://youtu.be/q3GUNWz0J4M

Whether you decide to make the healthy version of cream filled donuts or snag one that is not so healthy, don’t forget the coffee to dunk it in!