Jumat, 29 Juni 2012


Vintage Glove

Friday Food Finds

Photo by Iain Bagwell


Build a better burger with these delicious ideas for succulent patties, 
fresh toppings, sauces, and more.




All the goodness of a loaded baked potato mixed together in salad form. I love this dish! I make it every few months and my family "oohs" and "ahhs" over it every time.

Photo: Rick Poon

I have a friend who worked at a luxurious hotel who showed me how to make
their specialty drink.

The Vital Sign of Joy

"Joy is the net of love by which  you can catch souls." 
-Mother Teresa

The Vital Sign of Joy
By Bayless Conley

In yesterday's devotional, I challenged you to consider whether God needs to do a work in your life to revive you spiritually.  Perhaps you feel it, but you just don't know what it is.      
Over the next few days, I want to point you to the vital signs that may indicate the need for spiritual revival in your life.  The first one we find in Psalm 85.  It is lack of joy.   Look at the language in verse 6,
Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?

When a person is sullen and depressed spiritually, cheerless and despondent, it is a sure sign that they need revival.

You might say, "Well, you know, if my circumstances would just change, then I would rejoice."  No.  Joy is not dependent upon your circumstances.  In fact, let me give you a great example.

2 Corinthians 8:1-2 states,
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:  that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.

Notice this language.  The Macedonians were not in a little trial.  They were in a "great trial of affliction."  They were experiencing deep poverty, tremendous lack in their life, and yet they had abundant joy.

What was their secret?  Living in the grace of God.

More than anything else, joy is dependent upon understanding the grace of God, knowing that God's grace is at work even in your affliction.  

If you are joyless today, ask the Spirit of God to fill your heart.  If you do, there will be a joy regardless of what you are facing.

Joyful, Joyful We Adore This Flash Mob:

The people of Sabadell, Spain are treated to some awesome classical
 music in this entertaining flash mob created by Banco Sabadell to celebrate 
their 130th anniversary. This musical performance of Ode To Joy features over 100 people in the Vallès Symphony Orchestra and the choirs of Lieder and Friends of l’Opera and
 the Choral Belles Arts.

Kamis, 28 Juni 2012

Cozy Breakfast Nooks

1 of 20

Large or small, breakfast nooks are a perfect way to make the most of extra space in or near your kitchen.

Get inspired by the cheerful elegance of this Southern Living breakfast nook. We'll show you how to steal the look.

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With banquettes, breakfast nooks, and islands, these stylish eat-in kitchens provide the perfect spots for quick snacks and on-the-go dinners. See how these spaces incorporate both style and function for amazing results.

Rabu, 27 Juni 2012

dog in

love the background on this

Joyful, Joyful We Adore This...

"Joy is not in things; it is in us."
-Richard Wagner

"Joy is the net of love by which  you can catch souls." 
-Mother Teresa

"True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything."
-Paul Pearsall

"Learning to live in the present moment is 
part of the path of joy."
-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Joyful, Joyful We Adore This Flash Mob:

The people of Sabadell, Spain are treated to some awesome classical
 music in this entertaining flash mob created by Banco Sabadell to celebrate 
their 130th anniversary. This musical performance of Ode To Joy features over 100 people in the Vallès Symphony Orchestra and the choirs of Lieder and Friends of l’Opera and
 the Choral Belles Arts.

Selasa, 26 Juni 2012

Summer Party Recipes For A Crowd

Taste of Home: Summer Entertaining

Outdoor entertaining this summer? We have summer party recipes, potluck recipes and appetizer recipes, plus more summer entertaining tips and ideas.

BHG: Our Favorite 4th of July Recipes

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These irresistible drinks, side dishes, entrees, and desserts take the guesswork out of creating a dazzling Fourth of July buffet. Try a few for yourself or organize a patriotic potluck!

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The Motive of Faith + Remaining Vertical With God

The Motive of Faith
By Bayless Conley

When speaking of faith, it is critical to talk about the motive of our faith.  James 4:2-3 tells us what a wrong motive is,

You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

God is very concerned about the "why" behind our prayers of faith.  He is very interested in the state of our hearts. And I think it is good to check our motives from time to time.

Why do we want what we want? Is it ego driven? Am I asking for it because I want to impress someone?  Are my motives right?

Now, you don't have to overdo it.  You can overanalyze things to the point that you become spiritually frozen and don't do anything.  I think if you will get honest and lay your heart out before God, He will very quickly put the spotlight on the things that should not be there.

Our dog always stands at the back door and scratches on the glass like he really loves us and wants to come in and be with us.  But the moment you open the door he runs right by you into the kitchen looking for food. 

Why do you want the thing you want?  What is the purpose behind asking?  Is it for the glory of God?  Is it to help people?  Is there a pure motive there?

When your motive is right, God will not be long in answering.  But if your motive is not right, God won't answer until it gets right.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to 
Connect with God 

Remaining Vertical With God
TGIF Today God is First, Volume 1, by Os  Hillman

"When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly." 1 Peter 2:23

Have you ever been wrongfully accused? Oh, the need to defend and justify becomes 
so great. "What will people think if they believe these things are true?" we reason. Imagine what Jesus thought as they hurled insults and threats upon Him. The God of the universe had visited planet earth only to be slandered and accused of blasphemy.

Jesus could have done two things in response. He could have used His power to put the people in their place. He could have responded "horizontally." He could have fixed the problem right then. However, He chose to respond in a different way. He chose to "entrust Himself to Him who judges justly." It requires great faith to entrust ourselves to God in the midst of personal assault. However, if we can do this, we will discover a level of grace and wisdom that will be birthed from this experience that we never thought possible. We will discover a freedom in God we never knew before. Whenever we suffer for righteousness without seeking to protect our reputation and rights, we are placing our total faith in the one who can redeem us. This activates God's grace in our lives and enables us to experience God's presence like never before.

Ask God to give you the grace to stay vertical with Him. Avoid the temptation of responding horizontally each time some event comes into your life that you want to "fix." Entrust yourself to the one who judges justly. It may be a divine appointment for your growth to another level in grace.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Today's Prayer 

Lord, I'm reminded today of that old hymn "When We Walk with the Lord." It says "what You say, we will do, where You send we will go; never fear, only trust and obey." Help my condition, Lord, that I will not fear, but that will walk with You all the days of my life and have faith to always trust and obey, and leave the outcome to You. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Senin, 25 Juni 2012

When Tiki's attack

Ways To Beat The Heat

Baby, it's hot outside―and inside, too. Here, no-sweat ways to cool off.

Warm Weather Decorating 
Pottery Barn


 Summer Party Ideas for Creatively 
Filling Drink Dispensers 
Pottery Barn 

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With a Broken Heart

"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. 
The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many 
who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow 
and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” 
(Matthew 7:13-14)

With A Broken Heart
by Betty Robison

Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional

Our choices in life determine our future. When we make wrong choices and everything falls apart, many people blame God for letting their lives crash and burn, not recognizing they walked right into the trap of the enemy– sometimes blindly, sometimes with eyes wide open.

"‘O Israel,’ says the Lord, ‘if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more. Then when you swear by my name, saying, “As surely as the Lord lives,” you could do so with truth, justice, and righteousness. Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise my Name. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. O people of Judah and Jerusalem… Change your hearts before the Lord, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.’” (Jeremiah 4:1-4, NLT)

"My people are foolish and do not know me," says the Lord. "They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!" (Jeremiah 4:22)

"Lord, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent." (Jeremiah 5:3)

"But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose this today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)

As Americans and professing Christians, it's like we really don't believe we will suffer the consequences. “Oh, God wouldn't do that!” The fact is, God didn't. We did by making the wrong choices! The beautiful reality is that God is right there ready to pick us up if we will repent and "choose this day whom we will serve." God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We have done the moving away, we have done the changing, and we are the ones making the wrong choices.

As our loving Father, God asks us to choose Him, to plant our feet and stand firm for righteousness. When we walk away from Him, we will plunge into the fire of sin and despair. At the same time, we are headed down the wide road and continue to ask God to get us out of jams and troubles so we can continue in our sin.

I've been thinking about the narrow road and the wide road. When you first look at the two, it seems as though the wide road would be the good one to choose because it has more room. That is true, but why? Because more people choose sin. The narrow way is chosen by those who follow Jesus. You notice it says the “straight and narrow” road. I believe that implies we travel it when we have made the choice to go forward, never to look back or waver from side to side. If you are driving and you get distracted by something on the side of the road you will likely go off the road or into destruction because you took your eyes off the road. Just as we would warn our children, God is warning us to be alert and keep our eyes on Jesus! There is a remnant of God. I want to travel the narrow road with those who are committed to following Jesus, never looking to the right or left but looking unto Jesus who is the light of the world. He has promised He will never leave us beside the road or in a ditch if we will trust Him, choose Him, and follow Him.

"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
He replied, "Work hard to enter the narrow door to God's Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!' But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don't know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.'” (Luke 13:24-27)
“Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey your instructions.” (Psalm 119:136)

“If only my head were a pool of water and my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night for all my people who have been slaughtered.” (Jeremiah 9:1)

“With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.” (Romans 9:1-3)

As Christians, let’s join together in fervent prayer for our nation to turn back to God and for believers to become bold, faithful witnesses. I believe God is anxious to forgive us and heal our land.

Jumat, 22 Juni 2012

Passing the Test of Your Faith

Passing the Test of Your Faith
Bayless Conley

In yesterday's devotional, we saw how God desires for us to be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing; but the road to that is the testing of our faith.

The natural question is, "What does it take to succeed when the test comes?"  There are two cooperating forces which must be at work.  James 1:4-5 shows us what those two forces are,

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

The first force is patience.  James' point is, "Don't quit before the answer comes.  Let patience have full play, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

Hebrews 10:36, says it this way,

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.

You and I may actually have done the will of God, done what God wants us to do, but if we don't exercise endurance, we won't receive the promise.  That is the importance of patience.

The second cooperating force at work to pass the test of your faith is wisdom.  If you lack wisdom, if you can't see the forest for the trees in the midst of your trial, you can ask God and He will give it…liberally and without reproach.

God delights when you ask for wisdom.  And He won't belittle you or find fault with you for asking.
So if you find your faith on trial, if you are being sorely tested, ask God for wisdom and patiently endure.  Without these two forces, you will never know victory!

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God 

A Servant's Rewards
Dr. Charles Stanley

Hebrews 6:10

In His grace, God freely gives salvation to those who believe in Jesus. We cannot earn this gift, nor do we deserve it. Our Father does notice our good works, though. And He promises to reward us according to what we have done for Him.

True service occurs when we allow the Lord to work through us for His glory and honor. True ministry occurs when divine resources meet human need through loving channels.

Revelation 22:12 encourages us, "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done." Whether large or small, all service done in Jesus' name will be blessed. We must be careful, though, that our actions are for Christ's glory. If motives are self-serving, the only benefit we receive is the praise (if any) that we hear from people in this life. And we know that men's approval is not satisfying or lasting.

While some rewards will be given in heaven, other blessings can be experienced now. For example, we know great joy when we allow God to bless others through us. And there is deep satisfaction in realizing that we are pleasing Christ. In addition,there's a profound sense of fulfillment when we lead a person to Jesus and teach him how to walk by faith.

Serving others is both a great benefit and a responsibility for Christians. We should prayerfully consider our motives to make sure that our goal is to glorify Christ. Only then will we receive God's full blessings--rewards given not only in eternity but on earth as well.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Screen Door - Rich Mullins

Kamis, 21 Juni 2012

When A New Day Begins...

Dare to Be

When a new day begins, 
dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, 
dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice,
 dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, 
dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, 
dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, 
dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, 
dare to keep going.

When times are tough, 
dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, 
dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, 
dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, 
dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, 
dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, 
dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, 
dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, 
dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, 
Dare to be!” 

The doors we open and close each day decide
the lives we live. -Flora Whittemore

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one things of changing himself. -
Leo Tolstoy

Change is the Prelude To Growth


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. - Reinhold Niebuhr

Stop, Look, Listen To Your Heart

From The Heart of Dr. Rexella Van Impe

First, winter slips away...then spring comes and goes...and then summer is upon us.
I think sometimes we fail to appreciate this beautiful change of seasons. The wonder of God's creation becomes commonplace and we take it for granted. How long has it been since you really stopped and took time to look and listen to everything around you?

Several years ago, my husband, Jack, and I were on an airliner flying home from California. For weeks we'd been extremely busy working on our television programs and completing the TV studio and production center in our World Outreach Center. I'd planned to use the time on the plane to catch up on some of my reading.
My Father's world
After a while, I glanced out the window-and the beautiful panorama I saw nearly took my breath away. It happened to be an unusually clear day, and as I looked down, I could see the Grand Canyon. It was spectacular! I stopped what I was doing and just drank in the grandeur unfolding below me.
In a little while, the plane was soaring over the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Oh, what a magnificent sight! I started smiling-I even laughed out loud! I thought, My Father created all of this-and more! I'm only seeing one small part of one little planet in God's great cosmos. And my heart was thrilled.
It occurred to me that this was the first time in a long while-perhaps months-that I'd stopped and really looked at my Father's world. I was only sorry that I couldn't hear the glorious sounds of nature below me instead of the steady roar of the jet engines.

But that experience on the plane was a good reminder for me. Since then I've been making an effort to go outside and Stop! Look! and Listen! every day. And what a refreshing, rejuvenating, healing experience it is for me!
Wonders all around us
When Jack and I go for a walk or take a break out in our backyard, we make it a point to look and listen to the wonders around us. There are some rabbits that visit us, and some chipmunks that live in a hole under one of our large trees. They are so active-so happy and full of life. It's a Joy to watch them.

Sometimes it even seems to me that all of God's creation around me is rejoicing. Not long ago, I saw a mother robin building her nest. She was gathering tiny pieces of grass, twigs, and string and weaving them all together. She worked so diligently, chirping happily all the while. I found myself caught up in that beautiful creature's joy.

But recently I've detected something else, too. At times I can almost hear the voices of nature saying, "Release us from the pollution that is surrounding us right now. Restore us, Creator, come back to us!" The Apostle Paul declared,

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now (Romans 8:22).

It's heartbreaking to see what man is doing to the environment-our cities are filled with smog, litter, and trash. And even in the wilderness remaining, man's callous carelessness causes disasters like the terrible oil spill in Alaska.

God created nature perfect. It wants to be perfect again. He created a world where the animals, birds, and sea otters were safe. They want to be safe again.

Despite the best efforts of scientists and environmentalists to clean up pollution like the oil spill, the bulk of the restoration will have to be left to nature. And in time, nature will cleanse itself-perhaps nearly as pure and perfect as before.

In addition to what we're doing to our natural world, it seems to me there's a lot of pollution in our lives-the sights and sounds around us...the visual pollution of pornographic publications and TV programs, the commotion and clamor that fill our daily activities.

Surely we need to get away from all that and let our minds be washed and rejuvenated from Satan's assault on our senses. We need to focus our attention on the good things of God. It's time to tune in to "whatsoever things" are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (see Philippians 4:8).

Get closer to God's creation and it will direct you back to God.

There's something about getting out among the sights and sounds of nature that helps clear away our concerns and confusion and puts things back into perspective. No wonder God spoke through the psalmist and said, Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).

"Slow me down. Lord"
I can identify with the plaintive prayer of the poet who cried, "Slow me down, Lord, I'm goin' too fast!" How often we jam our lives so full of projects and duties that we grow weary and disheartened. We lose our enthusiasm and zest for living. Each day becomes an endurance contest, which we survive only to collapse in bed for a few hours, then get up to start the rat race all over again.

We may even be convinced that what we're doing is important-we can even be in the midst of serving God, doing His work. But if our good works cause us to lose personal contact with Him-if we don't take time, individually, to communicate with Him-we're missing it.

Has this ever happened to you?

Then it's time to STOP! Make time in your day to look and listen to God's handiwork around you. Take time to let God speak to you through the wonders of His creation. Don't forget that Jesus himself often took time to go away from the multitudes. He would walk out along the seashore or go up onto a mountain to pray and commune with God. And I'm just sure He took time to look and listen to what was around Him!
If Jesus needed to spend time alone in God's presence, how much more you and I need to do so. Yet, how easy it is to put off our Bible study and cut back on our prayer time until it becomes an empty ritual-or we lose daily contact with the Lord altogether. God has provided everything we need to fulfill and enrich our lives...and if we're not careful, we can rush right past it all every day.

Summer is vacation season for many people-perhaps you're planning some time away. Don't make the mistake of scheduling your vacation so full of travel and activities that you come back home needing to rest from your rest! Take time to relax-be still for a while. Stop! Look! Listen!...and let God recharge your batteries and rejuvenate your mind and spirit.

Hear and obey the words of our Lord in Mark 6:31: And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while.

But don't wait until your vacation to get started. Right now is a good time to re-open the lines of communication with God. Take time every day to enjoy the beautiful things the Lord has placed all around you. Read the Word. Talk to God. Listen for His voice.

I promise you-when you Stop! Look! and Listen! you will see God as you've never seen Him before. You will hear the voice of the precious Holy Spirit within you who speaks so tenderly and gives such strength! It will change your whole world and make your life a rich and glorious experience again.