Thursday, October 29, 2015

Orange peel analogy

"The whole armor of God will keep the divine light of Jesus Christ inside and the darkness of evil outside."

Bernard P. Brockbank

"We voluntarily came from the presence of God the Father to this mortal probation with agency, knowing we would have 'opposition in all things'. Our objective is to take upon us the whole armor of God and withstand 'the fiery darts of the wicked' with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, to endure to the end, and to be worthy to stand and live in the presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, for all eternity...... to achieve eternal life."  
 Robert D. Hales

Armor of God object lesson is to show what happens if we remove our armor, even piece by piece.  You'll need:    2 oranges  large clear glass bowl, or a  truffle bowl or 2 clear pitcher  water

Armor of God object lesson is to show what happens if we remove our armor, even piece by piece. By the time you remove all of the armor, the orange will completely sink.  It is not able to "stand" at all.the oranges FLOAT because they have their ARMOR on

What happens when you peel the oranges?

Without their ARMOR on, they sink! We can compare these oranges to us and how important it is to put on our full armor everyday.

Scripture: Ephesians 6: 11-17

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

FHE Lesson - putting on the whole armor of God. I like this idea - I think I would have the kids draw the armor on the orange or write the words on it as we go through the scriptures. maybe they could each have their own.

Buttermilk Syrup


¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup of sugar
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla


1. In a medium sauce pan, combine butter, sugar, and buttermilk and bring to a boil. Once it's at a complete boil,
let it boil for 1 minute. Take off heat and whisk in baking soda and vanilla. It will foam up during the boiling, and
especially when other ingredients are added. Serve with your favorite pancakes or waffles. Best served warm.

Recipe by Six Sisters' Stuff

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It is hard to fly...

There will come a time when you'll have to decide whether or not something or someone is holding you back. Let your intuition/vibes/gut/inner voice guide you. ♥

Everyone would like to have stronger faith. By themselves, the scriptures may not strengthen your faith, but being faithful to what they teach, does. In other words, faith cannot be separated from faithfulness. John Bytheway

"The Lord loves you too much to let your life be easy. If your life were easy you wouldn't grow, you wouldn't learn, you wouldn't become strong and courageous and experienced. If everything happened exactly the way you wanted, you'd never know what you were made of."  John Bytheway

HaPpY HaLLoWeen

Rolling pumpkin charlie brown gif halloween halloween pictures halloween images halloween ideas

HaPpY HaLloWeEn

TriCk Or TrEaT


Rhubarb Custard Bars


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter


2 cups sugar
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 eggs, beaten
5 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained


2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped


1. In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, for filling, combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until custard is set. Cool.
3. For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Rhubarb Custard Bars

Monday, October 26, 2015

All the days of our life, if we desire it...

Those who will receive the Lord Jesus Christ as the source of their salvation will always lie down in green pastures, no matter how barren and bleak the winter has been. 

And the waters of their refreshment will always be still waters, no matter how turbulent the storms of life. 

In walking His path of righteousness, our souls will be forever restored; and though that path may for us, as it did for Him, lead through the very valley of the shadow of death, yet we will fear no evil. 

The rod of His priesthood and the staff of His Spirit will always comfort us. 

And when we hunger and thirst in the effort, He will prepare a veritable feast before us, a table spread even in the presence of our enemies contemporary enemies which might include fear or family worries, sickness or personal sorrow of a hundred different kinds. 

In a crowning act of compassion at such a supper He anoints our head with oil and administers a blessing of strength to our soul. Our cup runneth over with His kindness, and our tears runneth over with joy. 

We weep to know that such goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life, and that we will, if we desire it, dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Jeffrey R. Holland

Portrait of Christ

Lions and tigers and bears oh my oh its just pumpkins

Jack-O-Lanterns along the path of tumbling leaves.

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium bananas
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/4 cup milk
4 cup powdered sugar


For the cake, grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add in egg, vanilla, and bananas (you can mash them first, but I toss them in and it does the work). Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat for a couple minutes until fully blended.
Pour batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pans for about 10 minutes. Flip onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, beat butter for two minutes. Add in nutella, powdered sugar and milk. Beat an additional 3-5 minutes. scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically.
To assemble the cake, lay one layer of cooled cake on a cake plate. Spoon frosting over middle layer generously. Top with second layer of cake. Spoon and spread frosting over cake to create a thin crumb layer. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Using a spatula, continue frosting the cake with the remaining frosting. If desired, reserve some frosting and place in a pastry bag with tip to decorate. 

A delicious Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting Recipe ~ Sweet, moist banana cake with a nutty, creamy frosting... Doesn't get much better than this!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The love of a Father....The Love of a Son

There was a skinny young boy who loved football with all his heart. Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of the boys, he got absolutely nowhere. At all the games this hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever played. This teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. Even though the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering.
He never missed a game. This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high school. But his father continued to encourage him but also made it very clear that he did not have to play football if he didn't want to. But the young man loved football and decided to hang in there. He was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he'd get to play when he became a senior. All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game,
but remained a bench-warmer all four years.
His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him. When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a "walk-in." Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his heart and soul into every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed.
The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement and was sent season tickets for all the college games. This persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he never got to play in a game. It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big playoff game, the coach met him with a telegram. The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent.
Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, "My father died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today?"
The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son.
And don't even plan to come back to the game on Saturday."
Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his gear. As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon.
"Coach, please let me play. I've just got to play today," said the young man.
The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in this close playoff game. But the young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in. "All right," he said. "You can go in."
Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked, and tackled like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose.
His team mates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you never heard.
Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that this young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Kid, I can't believe it.
You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?"
He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my Dad died, but did you know that he was blind?" The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile,
"Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play,
and I wanted to show him I could do it!

Author Unknown

Thursday, October 22, 2015

That He might save all things

And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Numbers 21: 8-9
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:14-15
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Isaiah 45:22

“…On a hill called Calvary, while helpless followers looked on, His wounded body was nailed to a cross. Mercilessly He was mocked and cursed and derided. And yet He cried out, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ The agonizing hours passed as His life ebbed. From His parched lips came the words, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.’ As the serenity and solace of a merciful death freed Him from the sorrows of mortality, He returned to the presence of His Father. At the last moment, the Master could have turned back. But He did not. He passed beneath all things that He might save all things.”
Thomas S. Monson

 “The Lord said, ‘Look unto me in every thought’. Looking unto the
Lord in every thought is the only possible way we can be the manner of men
and women we ought to be.”
Ezra Taft Benson

“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.’ Doubt, fear, and worry indicate we have taken all of life’s burdens and anxieties on ourselves. When plagued by thoughts that you are inadequate, confidently say, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ Then as you ‘cheerfully do all things that lie in your power,’ you can rest assured that the Lord will do the remainder and things will work out all right.”
Anthony D. Perkins

“Enter not into the path of the wicked. . . . Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”  The wisdom of Solomon in this passage is to be discovered in the word avoid. Solomon had discovered, as all wise people do, one of life’s most helpful guiding principles: It is easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist temptation.
Avoiding temptation should be our first line of defense. However, we live in a world in which the wheat is growing together with the tares and in which it is impossible to completely avoid temptation. But it would be wise to minimize it to the extent possible.
When we are faced with temptation, we should resist it with an avoidance mentality. “Get thee behind me” was the Savior’s example of resisting with an avoidance mentality. “He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them.” When we are faced with temptation, it would be wise to follow the Savior’s example by dismissing Satan without any further argument or discussion immediately and swiftly.
“Jesus Christ . . . knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted.”
Lynn G. Robbins

“Lucifer . . . will use his logic to confuse and his rationalizations to destroy. He will shade meanings, open doors an inch at a time, and lead from purest white through all the shades of gray to the darkest black.”  The key is to not leave the door cracked open. Satan cannot open the door from the outside.
Spencer W. Kimball

“temptation is not a gate that can be opened by force of arms; it opens only inward,
as moved by the arm within, for each man is the gatekeeper of his soul.”
Neal A. Maxwell

It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by His atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality…This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.

Divine grace is needed by every soul…. because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” It is truly the grace of Jesus Christ that makes salvation possible.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugars, vegetable oil and eggs.
  4. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.
  5. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray. Place into oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating just until incorporated. Add vanilla and cinnamon until well combined. Increase speed to medium high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, approximately 1-2 minutes. Then frost cupcake.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Perfect for Fall!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

May He Make US Holy as He is Holy

Be wise with what the Lord gives you. It is a trust. 

God is feeling after us to see if we will prove faithful, and if we have the integrity and sensitivity to honor sacred things we will receive even more....
The importance of having a sense of the sacred is simply this—if one does not appreciate holy things, he will lose them. Absent a feeling of reverence, he will grow increasingly casual in attitude and lax in conduct. He will drift from the moorings that his covenants with God could provide. His feeling of accountability to God will diminish and then be forgotten. Thereafter, he will care only about his own comfort and satisfying his uncontrolled appetites. Finally, he will come to despise sacred things, even God, and then he will despise himself. . .
On the other hand, with a sense of the sacred, one grows in understanding and truth. The Holy Spirit becomes his frequent and then constant companion. More and more he will stand in holy places and be entrusted with holy things. Just the opposite of cynicism and despair, his end is eternal life. . .
It is my prayer that a sense of the sacred will distill upon your soul as the dews from heaven. May it draw you close to Jesus Christ, who died, who was resurrected, who lives, who is your Redeemer. May He make you holy as He is holy, that you may sit down in His kingdom "to go no more out". 
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
D. Todd Christofferson

Apple Cider Spice Cake


7 gala apples, unpeeled
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ¼ cup brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided use
½ cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Sour Cream Drizzle (recipe below)
2-3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional garnish)


-Preheat the oven to 350°, and mist a bundt pan, or similar style cake pan, with cooking spray.

-Begin by grating the unpeeled gala apples using a box grater, and add them into a bowl; prepare two more small bowls, and take a handful of the grated apples, and squeeze as much of the juice out of them into one of the other bowls as possible; place the squeezed-out apples into the other bowl; repeat the process until all the grated apples have been squeezed of their juice, and set them aside for a moment.

-Strain the squeezed-out juice, and reserve it. (You should have roughly ¾ of a cup of juice.)

-In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon, and whisk to aerate and blend; set aside for a moment.

-To a large bowl, add the 1 ¼ cups brown sugar, the granulated sugar, the eggs and the vanilla, and with a hand mixer, beat those ingredients on low for about 2 minutes until fluffy; next, add in the melted butter, and continue to mix for another 30 seconds or so, until incorporated.

-To the sugar/egg/butter mixture, add about 1/3 of the flour mixture, and carefully mix that until incorporated; add another 1/3, and mix to incorporate, then the final 1/3 and again mix to incorporate well.

-Finally, add the grated apples into the batter along with about 6 tablespoons (¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons) of the reserved apple juice squeezed from the grated apples, and fold those in with a spatula until well blended.

-Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean; allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack, and poke a few holes with the wooden skewer into the top of it.

-While the cake is still warm, combine the remainder of the reserved apple juice (roughly ½ cup) with the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a small sauce pan, and allow it to very gently simmer for a few minutes until glossy and reduced by almost half; pour this juice reduction over the cake very slowly, allowing it to absorb into the cake, but don't worry if it doesn't completely absorb—it will continue to do so as the cake cools; allow the cake to cool completely before glazing decoratively with the Sour Cream Drizzle, and garnishing with chopped walnuts, if desired.

Sour Cream Drizzle ingredients:

4 ½ tablespoons sour cream
1 ½ cups powdered sugar

-In a small bowl, carefully combine the sour cream and the powdered sugar with a whisk until smooth; keep in fridge until ready to glaze your cake.
Apple Cider Spice Cake

Friday, October 16, 2015

. . . but what we share

"…We so easily forget that we came into life with nothing. Whatever we get soon seems our natural right, not a gift. And we forget the giver. Then our gaze shifts from what we have been given to what we don't have yet."   
Henry B Eyring

"The Savior, though always the giver, was seldom the receiver of gratitude."  
Gordon T. Watts

"Every gift that is offered to us—especially a gift that comes from the heart—is an opportunity to build or strengthen a bond of love. When we are good and grateful receivers, we open a door to deepen our relationship with the giver of the gift. But when we fail to appreciate or even reject a gift, we not only hurt those who extend themselves to us, but in some way we harm ourselves as well."    Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Loving service anonymously given may be unknown to man—but the gift and the giver are known to God."  
Thomas S. Monson  

As we give, we find that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven! 
And in the end we learn it was no sacrifice at all.   
Spencer W. Kimball

"I cannot escape the interpretation that meekness implies a spirit of gratitude as opposed to an attitude of self-sufficiency, an acknowledgement of a greater power beyond one-self, a recognition of God, and an acceptance of his commandments. This is the beginning of wisdom. Walk with gratitude before him who is the giver of life and every good gift."  
Gordon B Hinckley

"There will be times when you struggle. There may be times when you feel detached—even isolated—from the Giver of every good gift. When you find yourself in such circumstances, I plead with you to remember... We were not placed on this earth to walk alone. We do not ever walk alone. You will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times, and you will realize that He was always there beside you."      
Thomas S. Monson

Not what we give, but what we share,
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me."
James Russell Lowell

.please help the persecuted christians.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Serves: 21 servings
6-2/3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup instant chocolate drink mix
1 package (5 ounces) cook-and-serve chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer (for a twist, try French Vanilla!)
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 cup boiling water
Marshmallows (optional)
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and store in an airtight container up to three months until ready to use.
To prepare:
Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in boiling water. Top with marshmallows, if desired, and serve.
winter animated GIF

He will lead you with love

He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face.
Thomas S. Monson

Sometimes we complain about the cross we bear, not realizing that its preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot. This is eye opening!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Appearances can be so deceiving

Be still . . . . . Trust in me. Be still . . . . . For I am God.
Be still . . . . . I am with you. Be still . . . . . I bring you peace.
Be still . . . . . Listen to my voice. Be still . . . . . Witness the miracle to unfold.
Be still . . . . . Be still . . . . . Be still.

"Appearances can be so deceiving, such a poor measure of a person. 
Admonished the Savior, 'Judge not according to the appearance.' " 
Thomas S. Monson

Where you see sadness, bring cheer.
Where you see discouragement, bring courage.
Where you see loss, bring support.

"I like the way a friend of mine sums up the power of gratitude. 'The grateful heart,' he says, 'sits at a continual feast.'"
Carolyn Wright

"The depth and the willingness with which we serve is a direct reflection of our gratitude."  
Gordon T. Watts

"Gratitude can turn trials into blessings. It takes effort to exercise gratitude and have an optimistic approach to life. Yet the Lord truly blesses us, and His tender mercies should not go unnoticed or unappreciated."
David L. Beck

"God grant that each of us here today may so live that all among us, and with us, may see, not us, but that which is divine and comes from God."   
Harold B. Lee 

Witches Brew

This recipe will cast a delicious smell 
over your whole house. 

1 apple
1 orange
1 lemon
2 T whole allspice
2 T whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks

Slice fruit into rings. Don't worry about peels, seed, cores, etc. Place all ingredients into a crock-pot. Fill with water. Simmer on low. Refill with water as needed.  Be careful not let the water get too low.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Live our prayers

"We must not only say our prayers; we must also live them".
 J. Devn Cornish 

"In the garden and not on the cross, Jesus saw each of us and not only bore our sins but also experienced our deepest feelings so he would know how to comfort and strengthen us." Merrill J. Bateman

The Savior's atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite--infinite in that it spans the eternities, intimate in that the Savior felt each person's pains, sufferings, and sicknesses. Consequently he knows how to carry our sorrows and relieve our burdens that we might be healed from within, be made whole persons, and receive everlasting joy in his kingdom.
Merrill J. Bateman

"Everyone of us can trust that someday, somehow, somewhere every good seed we have sown and every honest deed we have done, every faithful effort we have made and every virtuous thought we have had will bring its own reward and will be counted for our good in the great days of divine harvest. When your eyes are wet from crying, hold on. Those tears will soon be dried from your eyes." 
Jeffrey R. Holland 

Marci Coombs: Christmas Gift idea for Young Womens.

The Path

Elder Holland Releases New Book, 'To My Friends'

Chicken, Tomato, And Mozzarella Ravioli Salad


1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli, Buitoni® 
2 cups chopped cooked chicken 
1 (8-ounce) packaged fresh mozzarella ball, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped 
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3⁄4 cup Italian dressing


Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, and rinse well with cold water, tossing to cool.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, chicken, mozzarella, basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with dressing, and toss to coat. Serve immediately. 

brrrrrrr winters coming trick or treat


Halloween Chex Mix


4 oz white chocolate baking bars, coarsely chopped
2 cups Corn Chex or Rice Chex cereal
1 cup bite-size pretzel twists
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup candy corn
2 tablespoons orange and black candy sprinkles


In medium microwavable bowl, microwave chopped baking bars uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
Gently stir in cereal, pretzels and raisins until evenly coated. Stir in candy corn and sprinkles.
Spread on waxed paper or foil until cool and chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Break into chunks. Store loosely covered.

Halloween Chex® Mix (1/2 Recipe):

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pray for eyes to see, a heart like His, and arms that open a little wider

"Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin.
Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us."
Ezra Taft Benson

"The great debate across much of the world is about temporal day-to-day economic issues. Yet there is very little discussion about returning to Christlike principles focused on preparation to meet God and the condition of our spirits. We need to focus our lives and increase emphasis on spiritual matters."
Quentin L. Cook

"God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history. They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Savior's example and spend the days of their lives doing good."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"If we are faithful in keeping the commandments of God His promises will be fulfilled to the very letter. . . .
The trouble is, the adversary of men's souls blinds their minds.
He throws dust, so to speak, in their eyes, and they are blinded with the things of this world."
Heber J. Grant

by Emily Freeman
"Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"
Sometimes when I read the Bible, I like to substitute my name with the one that was written to provide a more personal read of the story–but not on this one.  I prefer for my sins to be spoken in whispers–if at all.
You remember the story.  On the road to Damascus.  I imagine it happening under the bright Judean sun.  No shadows to hide in and nowhere to run from the face to face interview.  A day of reckoning we will all be familiar with.  The light grew brighter than the sun and had the man's complete attention.  A one-on-one scene with an audience of angels.
In one sense, Saul (and soon to be Paul), is quite lucky.  Although the moment would have been terrifyingly awkward and full of shame, the Lord's midday intervention saved his life.  Judgment day was temporarily moved forward, and Saul was granted a second chance.  There might not be many things sweeter than second chances–a clean slate, a certified do-over.
With the distance of time and geography on our side, I cannot imagine there are many modern readers of the Bible who would not cheer with increased enthusiasm to let Saul try again.  The pages filled with mercy, grace, and forgiveness and marked and worn thinner than the rest of them in my book.  The champions for this cause are quite crowded.
Saul became great because he asked the right question.
"What wilt thou have me to do?"   Evidence of a heart that has changed course.
God's grace is not what is in question in this story.  That will always be a constant.  The questions lie in the nearby city–and you and I are citizens there.
Does enthusiasm grow hesitant when we find ourselves in the pages of the past? I heard a father once say–with good reason–"We all love the story of Saul…until he wants to marry your daughter." Perhaps it is human nature–the fleshy side-to question–even for faithful Ananias.
The instructions the Lord gave to Saul are to go see a ministering heart, a trusted and compassionate leader in a nearby city.  There he would be healed of blindness and tutored in the work of building the kingdom.
When the Lord gave Ananias his fair warning about his role to play, his nonchalance is powerfully instructive.  He spoke of Saul and instructed Ananias to heal him as if he were his own grandson.  There was no letting him down gently or stepping on eggshells with the request.  It was simple and straightforward.
Ananias cautiously questioned, reminding his omnipresent God the evil things that Saul had done to the saints.
"Go thy way," came the tender rebuke. "For he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings…"  He sees something more than what Ananias sees.  He knows something greater than the rest of us.
"And Ananias went his way…" And Saul–Saul unexpectedly redefines Christian discipleship.
I pray for eyes to see what He sees.  And a heart to feel more powerfully the potential God feels about individual souls.  Perhaps then, open arms will be my reflex, and God will trust those arms more.
Pray for eyes to see, a heart like His, and arms that open a little wider.