Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Red, White, and Blue-berry

Here's a yummy Blueberry treat just perfect for your 4th of July get-together!

Creamy Lemon-Blueberry Dessert
Compliments of Kraft Foods

prep time 15 min
total time 5 hr 15 min
makes 24 servings

What You Need
40 NILLA Wafers, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
4 eggs
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen blueberries, thawed, drained and divided
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Make It
HEAT oven to 325°F.
MIX wafer crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 min.
BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and flour in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Stir in dry pudding mix until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup berries.
BAKE 1 hour or until almost set. (Center will still be jiggly.) Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top cheesecake with COOL WHIP and remaining berries just before serving.

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Healthy Living
Save 60 calories, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat per serving by preparing with Reduced Fat NILLA Wafers, PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream, JELL-O Lemon Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding and COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping.

Special Extra
Top dessert with white chocolate curls. Melt 1 square BAKER'S White Chocolate as directed on package. Spread into very thin layer on baking sheet. Refrigerate 10 min. or until chocolate is firm, but still pliable. To make curls, push a metal spatula firmly under chocolate to make curls. (If chocolate is too firm, let stand a few minutes at room temperature; refrigerate again if it becomes too soft.) Use toothpick to carefully place chocolate curls on waxed paper-covered tray. Refrigerate 15 min. or until firm. Use toothpick to arrange curls on dessert just before serving.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Closer than a brother

“I think I’ve been dumped”
“What makes you think that?”
“well, it’s a lot of things...”
“Like what?”
“Well, she hasn’t called me in 3 days and when I call her, she doesn’t have much to say. She has not sent me one text message in, like ages. I waited to see if she would send me an e-mail, comment on my Facebook...ANY_THING...and for a few days now, I got nuthin. She won’t even respond to my posts.”
“Maybe she’s just busy. Isn’t she going to summer school?”
“Yeah, I thought so too BUT she put pictures of her and some other friends on Facebook. She went with them to the lake last weekend. They didn’t even ask me to go. Didn’t even mention it. But then she put pictures on Facebook like it’s all good and stuff. Now she’s all of a sudden got nuthin to say to me. I guess she found someone she likes better than she likes me.”

Such was the beginning of a very long conversation with my sweet niece. She’s still a baby (even though she certainly thinks she is grown) and this is her first real taste of rejection. Sadly, this will not be the last time she feels left out, nor will it be the last time she feels the crushing blow of rejection. Jr. High and High School are full of lonely times. Many a teen has lamented over feeling left out and alone. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could leave those feelings behind when we graduate High School? OH! If only that were the case!

Life is full of rejection. I see it all around me.

I have a friend whose husband sat down with her a few weeks ago and said “I don’t want to be married to you any more”. Now she has moved out of the house that was their home and is feeling the full weight of rejection from the one who promised “til death do us part”.

I have another friend whose husband had an affair several years ago. They tried to work through his infidelity and make the marriage last. She just caught him stepping out on her again. This time he does not want to work things out. “I never loved you like I love her” are the words that haunt her as she lays in her half empty bed.

I had lunch with a 20 something friend a week or so ago. She lamented that she feels left out and alone because all of her friends are now married. She said that her friends do not invite her to do things with them anymore because they think she will feel out of place being the only single person in the group. "But this just makes me feel lonely cause I'm at home all by myself when I could be with them."

There are hundreds of other scenarios that leave a person feeling rejected, lonely, and otherwise left out. We've all been there. You don't get the invite to lunch with your co-workers, a group suddenly falls silent when you approach, you find out on Monday that "everyone" got together to watch the game over the weekend...or, like my little niece, there is suddenly an unusual silence on your cell, e-mail, and Facebook. Sometimes you just know when you've been "dumped".

Why does rejection hurt so much? As adults, we know that we are all different and that we have different personalities, likes, and dislikes. As adults, we know that some people have more in common and get along better than others. Unfortunately, we also know that not every person who says "I do" believes in "til death do us part". If, as adults, we KNOW that not everyone will accept us, then why are we so hurt by rejection?

I think it is because to be rejected is to be deemed unworthy. To be rejected is to be flawed. To be rejected is to be labeled "not quite good enough". To be rejected is to be tossed aside for something better.

Thankfully, Christ is "closer than a brother". Praise God that I "cannot be plucked from His hand". I find great comfort and peace in Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you are feeling rejected, lonely, or otherwise left out, I hope that you will find the place where you belong for all of eternity in the arms of Christ. He will not leave you nor forsake you. He will lift you up, dust you off, and fill your heart with peace, love, joy, and contentment that no other relationship can deliver.

Do you know the sting of rejection?

Has rejection cast a shadow on your heart and robbed you of joy, peace, and contentment?

If so, reach out to the Savior, he is ever faithful.

Father God,
Thank you so much for promising to always be with me. Thank you for promising to fill my heart and my soul as no person in my life can. Help me Lord to always remember that You are for me and that through YOU, I am holy, perfect, and completely acceptable before God. Help me to remember that I am yours and that nothing can seperate me from you and your love.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Daily Bread

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
Most of us are familiar with these words spoken from Jesus' lips as he taught the disciples to pray. Last night in Ladies Bible Study, we talked about how important it is to have DAILY Bible study. This portion of The Lord's Prayer crossed my mind today as I read my Bible.
I eat several times a day and my body lets me know when it needs nourishment. God designed it that way. Likewise, my soul lets me know when it needs nourishment because my Heavenly Father also put hunger pains in place to let me know when to feed my soul.
There are several general feelings that let me know that my soul is hungry. Perhaps you have felt them too.
  • Jealousy- I feel slighted that someone has something I don't
  • Lust- I see things that I want and that the want of those things is what I think about most.
  • Pride- I believe that I deserve more than I have, or that I deserve what someone else has more than they do.
  • Greed- I want more and more stuff

Notice a pattern? An underlying theme? Want. When my soul is hungry, I want. The hungrier my soul gets, the more I want. Nothing will satisfy a hungry soul except God and the best way to know more of God is to spend time studying His word.

What does soul hunger feel like to you?

What do you feed that hunger? Do you feed it with the Bread of life or with worldly things that can never satisfy?

Father God,
Help me to be aware of the first signs of hunger in my soul. You have promised that You are the bread of life and that in you I will never hunger or thirst again. Help me Lord to remain in you so that I do not find myself "wanting".

2010 Ladies Summer Bible Study

Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 4-A Personal Study of the Scriptures

We are in our 4th week of this Bible Study. This week, Dr Stanley helps us see where the Bible fits into what he has taught us thus far.

A person must know God’s word if he/she is to develop the mind of Christ, move into obedience to God’s commandments, and become more conformed to Christ. While it is possible to learn what the Bible says by listening to others tell us what they have read or by reading books about the Bible, there is no replacement for opening God’s word and reading the Bible for oneself. This is an investment of your time and energy that promises to pay a huge return. The Bible is our tangible connection to our creator. It contains all of the promises that our Heavenly Father has made to us and gives us instruction on how to live. It tells the story of God’s love for us, His children.

Your study of God’s word must be:
· Personal – ask “How does this apply to me”
· Daily – we feed our bodies at least once a day and (hopefully) bathe once a day...our souls need to be fed and cleansed daily as well
· Understandable – get a Bible translation that you can easily understand
· Prayerful – always ask God to clear your mind and your heart before starting your Bible study and then ask Him to help you understand what you read

The more you read your Bible, the greater will be your understanding of God’s commandments and goals for your life. You will see more clearly how the Lord wants you to live. Specifically, you are going to gain a new or deeper understanding about the call of God on your life in these 4 areas:

· A Godly Life – the more you read your Bible, the more you are going to come face to face with real, practical changes God wants you to make in the way you think, act, and speak. Ephesians 4:25-29 and 31-32

· Eternal Purpose- the more you read your Bible, the more you will gain an eternal perspective and grow in your understanding that only those things linked to Christ truly last. Ephesians 5:17

· A Role in God’s Plan- The more you read your Bible, the more you are going to gain a vision for God’s greater purposes and plans for mankind. Matthew 28:19-20
· Victory over Satan- The more you read your Bible, the more you learn how to have victory over sin and over the enemy of our souls. Matthew 4:1-11

Resources for Bible Study… Offers several different plans including plans based on Bible knowledge (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) Offers a chronological reading plan as well as a historical reading plan offers 13 different reading plans.

You can Google something like “printable Bible reading plans” or “Bible study plans” or “Read the Bible in a year” and come up with MANY options! offers many translations, passage look up, topic look up, and commentaries

Father God,

Create in me a hunger and a thirst for Your word. Forgive me for the times that I have put off reading my Bible for things that feel more pressing or that I feel are more entertaining. Lord, I do want to know You more deeply and more intimately and I know that one way to do this is by studying scripture. Help me Lord to make this a priority so that my soul is well nourished and scrubbed clean each day. Reveal Yourself to me Lord and help me to understand what I read so that I can apply it to my life. Use Your word to mold me into the person You created me to be and, as I seek Your will for my life, let others see more and more of You in me.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tips for Healthy Weight Loss

1. Lighten the Foods You Already Love
One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese. And when you garnish low-fat crackers or low-fat ice cream with your favorite toppers, who notices the missing calories? WTW recommends shopping for light sour cream, mayonnaise, and salad dressings; less-sugar preserves; and unsweetened frozen fruit.And lighten up by switching to water, and less of diet soda, Love low-cal drinks? Try slowly weaning off of them. AVOID ASPARTAME AND PHYNALALINE.

2. Share and Share Alike
With the massive meals served at so many American restaurants, it's easy to go Dutch -- with the dinner plate. "When you go out, share a meal” "When people come in together they're more apt to encourage one another." They are more likely to stick with it. I will be your support buddy. Sign up for text, emails, and join Walk the Walk Group on Facebook. Email:

3. Forget About Working Out
If the word "exercise" inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. The trick to enjoying a workout is to "never call it working out".

4. Add, Don't Subtract
Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them. Go for healthy goodies like fresh fruit and garden-crisp veggies. And be sure to select things you love, like deep-red cherries or crunchy snow peas. Then slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch, your breakfast
cereal, and your afternoon snack; add the veggies into stews and sauces, and as a complement to lean meals. Focus on these delicious additions and you just may find yourself subtracting a junk food standby simply because you're enjoying your new, healthier favorites. Adding color to your diet is a great way to get in antioxidants that fight fat cells.

5. Go Walk-About
Healthier meals, the support of a partner, and walking w
ere all key factors in weight loss.
· Do your own grocery shopping go around the entire grocery store parameter twice before you put anything in your buggy, advance up, zig zag through to spice it up, main point is to just move.
· Trade your power mower for a push version.
· Park your car at the back of the lot.
· Sweep the drive instead of using a leaf-blower.
· Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels.
· Take the stairs every chance you get.
· Enjoy a post-dinner stroll, join a walking club (Walk the Walk meets Saturdays at 7am) and any other times 1:1 basis.

6. Tune In, Tone Up
As part of its Go Red for Women campaign, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends toning up while you tune in to your favorite TV shows. There are lots of ways to do this, "dance to the music" when you tune in to programs "like American Idol or your favorite music show," or "your cardio
boxing while watching The Apprentice." Slip in a little strength training by lifting sodas instead of drinking them. "Use those cans or bottles as hand weights for bicep curls," Or do triceps dips from the edge of the couch. It doesn't matter exactly what you do, so long as you're up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes, says the AHA. But who knows? If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor. Or just walk in place in front of the TV when shows are on. Break during commercials on mute to avoid food commercials and reflect on how good you are going feel.

7. Eating Out
It's so tempting to grab a restaurant meal for lunch. But if the maƮtre d' knows your name, you may be packing on more pounds than you realize. Realize just how many calories are coming from those high-caliber -- and high-fat -- lunches out. "Just just say no," and if you can't say no to every business lunch, try saying yes to wiser choices, like grilled chicken, roasted summer vegetables, or an appetizer as an entree. Tell the waiter you are on a diet and to not bring bread or chips and salsa to the table upfront. Tell him or her their tip depends on them holding you accountable.

8. Size Matters
Eating less without feeling denied is as close as your dinnerware. "A lot of eating is psychological," While a small portion served on a large plate can leave you craving more, a smaller plate gives the visual cue that you already have more. Basically "you're tricking yourself into being satisfied with less," "You simply won't put as much food on a smaller plate." And don't forget smaller bowls, cups, and spoons. Try savoring a bowl of ice cream with a baby
spoon. Not only does the pleasure last longer, but your body has time to register the food you've eaten.

9. Get Involved
When your weight loss efforts lead to boredom or too much self-focus, get occupied with something else. "When I'm not busy, I eat more than I need” Answer: take a break from the magazines and TV shows that so often showcase tempting treats, and get occupied with things that have nothing to do with food. For some, that might mean becoming involved with local politics, discovering crafts
(hint hint) on Tuesday nights, or enjoying painting. Or maybe you want to help a child with a science project, repaint the bedroom, organize a hike, or take a class, paint your fingernails or toes. Give yourself a facial. Call a buddy. Meet regularly at Church. Come to Walk the Walk to meet with God. The key: have a life outside of weight loss.

10. Lose It Today, Keep It Off Tomorrow
Finally, be patient. While cultivating that virtue isn't exactly painless, it may help to know that keeping weight off can be easier than taking it off. That's the result reported by The National Weight Control Registry. In a study of 784 people who had all lost and kept off at least 30 pounds, nearly half -- 42% -- reported that maintaining their weight loss was easier than the loss itself.
So if you crave the results reported by these successful "losers" -- improved self-confidence, a boost in mood, and better health -- cultivate patience. You may find your way to sweet (and nearly painless) weight loss success. Track your progress so when you know when you are creeping up the scales and DO SOMETHING about that! Be proactive.

By you becoming healthy, you will be an example for others as well as others in your family. You may be the inspiration behind them choosing to get healthy. Don’t you want this for your loved ones? God loves you so much that He gave His son Jesus for you. He loves us that much! I know we love our families, so don’t we love them enough to be positive role models and help them to develop good eating habits?

~ Courtesy of Danyelle Carroll

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Psalm 91:14 says, "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name."

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team

Monday, June 7, 2010

To: You From: God

"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware." - I Corinthians 12:1

The Lord wants us to clearly know that He has given every believer spiritual gifts. It's as if He doesn't want to leave us any room to say, "I really would serve You if I could, but I just don't have anything to offer." By the power of the Holy Spirit within us, He has given each one of us unique gifts that enable us to build up the Church and glorify Him.

So what are these gifts?

I Corinthians 12, lists quite a few - administration, giving, helping, teaching, evangelism, and mercy. God gives us each individually a different combination of these spiritual gifts. As we grow in Him, the gifts we have will develop and mature.

God has a plan. His is not willing that any should perish but that all would enjoy a life in Him. God has gifted you with everything you need to serve Him—so trust others will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Do it wholeheartedly. Give Him the glory for all He is doing in and through you!


O Lord, the Giver of Gifts, thank you for the gifts you have given me. Help me to recognize my unique gifts so that I can use them wholeheartedly in your service. Amen.

~ Courtesy of Julie Clinton