Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Shining Pathway

A Request

by Rev. Lawrence Keister

Little flower, tell me, please,
How you grow with perfect ease;
How you fit your petals 'round,
How you find them in the ground.

Where you get the fine perfume,
Breathing forth from favored bloom;
How you know the bee will sip
Nectar from your honeyed lip.

Tell me now and I'll remember
Till the end of next November,
How you grow and whence you came,
For you always are the same.

In your silent beauty there
You have told exactly where
You obtain your sweet appeal,
Now you make me know and feel.

You and I have equal right,
To the sun's inspiring light;
We are both from God's own hand,--
Now I see and understand.

From The Shining Pathway

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Changes in the Kitchen

Last month I posted some pictures of my Easter plates and curtains and I said I'd try to remember to post pictures throughout the year as I change them.

So today I took some pictures of the new, springy kitchen scheme. I'm a little disappointed in the colors in the photos, especially in the curtains, because they aren't "true" but you can at least get an idea. . .

Maybe it's because it is a very all-day-gloomy-rainy day here. You know what they say--April showers bring May flowers! Well, this April is certainly taking that old saying seriously and making sure that it goes out with it's responsibilities taken care of!

God's Minute

April 3o

O, Sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvelous things; His right hand, and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory.--Psalm 98:1

OUR kind Heavenly Father, it would be presumption for us to thus address Thee were it not for the cross upon which the Prince of Life opened the way. In His dear Name we come, confessing our sins, which are too numerous for us to mention, and too grievous for us to understand; and seeking Thy gracious forgiveness and Thy Spirit's power in our full restoration to Thy rich favor.

As we attempt in our weakness to lift our eyes to the celestianl sources of righteousness, may Thy merciful providences protect our vision from the influence of the flesh, the allurements of the world, and the illusions of the wicked one.

In all our thoughts, words, plans, impulses, and associations let Thy gracious Spirit have control, that when the day is ended, the memories that would otherwise bring remorse and bitter regret, may be sanctifited by a calm and holy peace.

Sanctify the world with Thy truth. Lead all human genius with Thy light. Center and keep the affections of men upon Jesus Christ, our Saviour, that the strength of nations may be set in alignment with the issues of His Kingdom, to Whom we gladly ascribe glory, majesty, and power, for evermore.


William E. Crouser, D.D.,
San Jose', California

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

"But Mom. . ."

". . .it's raining outside! I had to dry off somehow!!"

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Bonar on God's Sovereignty

"If I admit that God's Will regulates the great movements of the universe I must admit that it equally regulates the small. It must do this, for the great depend upon the small. The minutest movement of my will is regulated by the will of God. And in this I rejoice. Woe is me if it be not so. If I shrink from so unlimited control and guidance, it is plain that I dislike the idea of being wholly at the disposal of God. I am wishing to be in part at my own disposal. I am ambitious of regulating the lesser movements of my will, while I give up the greater to His control. And thus it comes out that I wish to be a god to myself. I do not like the thought of God having all the disposal of my destiny. If He gets His will, I am afraid that I shall not get mine. It comes out, moreover, that the God about whose love I was so fond of speaking, is a God to whom I cannot trust myself implicitly for eternity. Yes, this is the real truth. Man's dislike at God's sovereignty arises from his suspicion of God's heart. And yet the men in our day, who deny this absolute sovereignty, are the very men who profess to rejoice in the love of God, - who speak of that love as if there were nothing else in God but love. The more I understand of the character of God, as revealed in Scripture, the more shall I see that He must be sovereign, and the more shall I rejoice from my inmost heart that He is so."

From God's Will and Man's Will
--Horatius Bonar

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God's Minute

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.--1 Corinthians 16:13

O GOD, our Father, enable us to stand fast on the Faith that Thou art Eternal Goodness, and that we, to be well pleasing to Thee, must also be good. May wavering, perplexed, anxious souls become strong in Thee so that they shall not be shaken by doubt, nor dismayed by fear. Let such as enjoy confidence be safeguarded by Thy Wisdom, and such as suffer bereavement be comforted by Thy grace. May we not only stand fast in this Faith, but follow it withersoever it leads us: being made by Thee not only steadfast and unmoveable, but also abundant and overflowing in the work of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Correct, enlarge and enlighten what trust we have that we may labor as those who know that Thou crownest the toil. Give us peace with Thee, and with ourselves and with our fellowmen; even the peace of Him Who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His Life as a Ransom for many. Grant that our lives may reflect His tranquility; that our hearts be animated by His holy love. And these blessings we ask in the name of Thy Son, our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.


S. Parkes Cadman, D.D., S.T.D.

Brooklyn, New York

If you follow the link associated with Rev. Parkes' name, you will see that he apparently came down on the "wrong" side of the anti-smoking lobby of the late 1920's.

Here's the quote from his letter:
I do not share your views about the viciousness of the habit of smoking. I think it is by pushing these things too hard and being so anxious to clean the outside of the cup that we often neglect the inside.
The Correspondance which follows is very interesting. I have to agree with Rev. Parke in this: if our focus is too much upon the physical, we can give the impression that holiness is a matter of "cleaning up our acts", as as he put it, "cleaning up the outside of the cup."

Jesus had something to say about that:

What Defiles a Person

14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

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Friday, April 28, 2006

The instigator

Here's the big tease, the instigator, the ornery squirrel who loves to tease Eve. He likes to lay on that big branch and swish his tail, taunting poor Eve.

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Movie Quiz

An introduction

I added two new links in my sidebar: Reading the Great Protestant Books and Books I have read or want to read.

Both blogs belong to a friend of mine, Johnnie. I met Johnnie at the Highway Discussion board, where I am a moderator. We share a passion for books, especially the writings of the Puritans and the Reformers. We are both Civil War buffs, something I learned while perusing his blogs.

Johnnie served our nation in Iraq. He's back in the States now. I got such a kick out of knowing that when he was over there in the Middle East, he was ordering books written by Puritans.

So, here's an invitation to go visit his blogs and thank him for his service!

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Spring "houseguest"

I went outside just now to take a picture of the trees that flank our front porch. They are in bud and are threatening to burst into bloom at any second:

As I stepped in to take a close up, a Mama Robin came sweeping out of the tree, chattering and scolding. I looked closer in the crook of the branches and discovered a nest. I snapped a quick picture before retreating to safety on the front porch.

From there I had a "bird's eye" view of the nest: (don't you love the sunbeam illuminating the nest?)

No eggs yet, but Mama Bird has already gone into "protection mode."

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God's Minute

April 28

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.--1 Thessalonians 5:16-23

CREATE in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. Cast us not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from us. We commend to Thy loving protection all those for whom we long to pray (especially those we now name in our hearts before Thee * * *). Give to them all their hearts's desire, we pray Thee, in as far as Thou seest it best, for Jesus' sake. Bring each of us, O Father, to the close of this day in peace and honor. For all those who love us so much better than we deserve, we thank Thee. For their sakes, help us to sanctify ourselves this day. And do Thou, O Lord, grant that we may abide steadfast in this purpose, and by Thy continual aid be fully master of all the desires and emotions of our hearts. For Jesus' sake.


Rev. John Edgar Park
West Newton, Massachusetts

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

God's Minute

April 27

Let the people praise Thee, O God.--Psalm 67:3

BLESSED GOD, this day uphold us by Thy gracious omnipotent Hand. Give to us whatever measure of blessing seems best inThy sight, and if disappointment or difficulty of any kind awaits us, help us to brace ourselves and play the part of a man, and cause us not to forget that our sorest trials are ofttimes blessings in disguise. So may we always give thanks, being persuaded that if we love Thee, all things work together for our good.

Give us at all times holy ideals, O God, and may our daily endeavor be commesurate with them. That which is dark within us, doThou illumine by Thy Holy Spirit, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Maay we be truly penitent for our sins, and may we be strengthened with might in the inner man to do Thy blessed will. Let not this day's low descending sun be unprivileged to shine upon some small deed of kindness done, or some spoken word of Christian love. May those with whom we walk and commune along life's way take knowledge that we have been with Jesus Christ, and may this day's life and every other day which in Thy goodness Thou art yet to vouchsafe unto us, make us increasingly fit for the endless and the perfect day through which we are to live in Thy presence.

For Christ's Sake. Amen

William E. Beiderwolf, D.D.,
Chicago, Illinois

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A garden view

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.

--Robert Frost

A big Thank YOU!

Ok, all you Internet Explorer viewers. . .notice anything different? Yea! My code is fixed!

Just in case you're impressed that I was able to work out the kinks on my own, I need to tell you about my friend, Eija.

She very graciously took it upon herself to figure out what was wrong with my code and sent me the fixed code via email. The first time I tried her fix, nothing changed (I think it was because I copied it straight from the email) but I tried it again this morning by copying it into Note Pad first and then pasting it into my template. Voila'!

Isn't that cool? I think that's one of the things I most enjoy about blogging--meeting wonderful people from all over the world. Eija is from Finland and she has two blogs, Scenes from God's World and her personal blog, The Invisible.

I wrote about her blog here. Eija is an amateur photographer with "just an ordinary digital camera", but her photos are spectacular and I think she is an amazing photographer. You must go and see her gorgeous photos with Bible references.

If you've never visited her blogs, why don't you visit her today? Tell her I said, "hi" and Thanks!!

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Works for Me Wednesday II

I had my "Works for Me Wednesday" all planned out, but Shannon has beat me to the punch, so I'm going to drop back and punt. Great minds run in the same track and all that. . .

This is such a little thing but with two big dogs, it really saves my carpets.

I keep a box of unscented baby-wipes on my front porch to wipe the mud from our dogs' feet before I let them into the house. They don't like it, but they're used to it now. Ivy will lift her feet in sequence, one by one. Her ears and tail stay down until I get to the last foot and tell her, "last one!" The ears go up, the tail goes up and she's good to go.

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God's Minute

If thou seek Him, He will be found of Thee.--1 Corinthians 28:9

O THOU Who art Infinite Wisdom, we, Thy short-sighted children, desire Thy guidance throughout this day.

We know not what of joy or sorrow it may hold for us, but we believe Thy grace to be sufficient for its needs, and so we pray that we may appreciate and appropriate that grace so freely given. If sorrow be our lot, let that grace comfort us and make us strong to bear it. If joy be ours, let that grace keep us in humbleness and dependence upon Thee.

In the midst of the uncertainties among which we must make our way, hold us by the hand and keep us in Thy paths. Help us to put down that desire we so frequently find taking possession of us, to make explorations here and there, beyond the boundaries Thou has marked off, and to be content to follow Thee in paths that are safe.

We are depending upon Thee. Thou hast never failed us in the past, and we trust Thee for this day. We do not know the way, but it is plain to Thee. Guide us safely, through Him who has loved us and given Himself for us.


J. Stewart French, D.D.,
Bristol, Tennessee

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tuesday Treasures

I know, I know. . .our Tuesday Treasures are not supposed to be our loved ones, but hang with me, Ok? This is special.

This week's Tuesday Treasure is my soon-to-be-in-less-than-a-month-almost daughter-in-law, Beth.

John and Beth met and started dating in college. It was a crazy time in our life because our family was divided at the time. Because my husband had taken a job in Illinois and our middle son, Jake, was a senior in high school, Tom was living in our new house and the boys and I were living in a little one bedroom apartment until Jake graduated. The first time we met Beth, it was in that little apartment. I wonder what she thought! We were living like college kids--only with the bare necessities. I knew that if we were going to get to know this young lady, we had to spend time with her because, come June!, we would be moving two states away, so we planned to spend as much time as we could with John and Beth together before the final move.

But that was not to be. Just as their relationship was beginning to develop, the unthinkable happened. It was so unthinkable, I hardly know how to put it into words without making this post into a book. So I'll try to tell this story the way it happened, and you'll have to understand that there was so much more than any of us have really had the ability to process even today.

John and Beth had plans for the evening. In fact, it was three years ago today. Beth lived on campus and John lived off campus with Grandpa and Grandma Shenberger. She picked John up in her car and they took off for campus and whatever it was that they had planned for that night. Shortly after midnight, Beth was driving John home from their date. All of a sudden they heard a very loud sound. John's first thought was that something was dramatically wrong with the car's engine. The situation was very confused, but he quickly realized that something more had happened. Beth exclaimed, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe!" Providentially, they were just a house or two away from Beth's parents' home, so John took the wheel and navigated the car into her parents' driveway. He pulled the car all the way to the end of the driveway because by this time (just seconds) he began to become aware that someone was shooting at the car.

Folks, this is a sleepy little college town in Ohio, and in a residential neighborhood, no less. Things like this just didn't happen in Ashland, Ohio! But it happened.

John checked on Beth and found that she was bleeding. I forget all the details of how he woke her parents and got her into the house, but the police and an ambulance were called and Beth was taken to the local hospital by ambulance with a gunshot wound to her back.

I learned of this sometime after 2 o'clock in the morning when John called at the apartment. "Mom, there's been an incident. I'm going to Cleveland. Beth has been shot and she's being transported to the hospital. I'm going up now. I'm not sure what's going on. I don't know how badly she's hurt. Mom, just pray." You can imagine my confusion. Beth? Shot?!? What? How can this be?

To make a very long story short, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. A couple of local guys were out joyriding with an AK-47 Chinese Assault rifle, shooting up mailboxes and parked cars. There were many witnesses and they were quickly apprehended. The police had already been called and were in route when Beth was shot, so things happened very quickly. Thankfully, they got help very quickly.

Beth was in critical condition and had several emergency surgeries. Her recovery was long and painful. She still lives with the effects of her injuries.

There was a trial and the perpetrators are serving jail time. The horror of it all is beginning to fade a bit, but only because Beth has recovered. And on days like this, it all comes back.

Fast forward now. . .

Picture taken at a bridal shower this past weekend. That's John with the ironing board.

Three years later, Beth and John are enjoying all the excitement and fun of all the things that go into getting married. Beth graduates next weekend and they'll be living up here--not five minutes from our home.

Our "getting to know each other" time was cut short. I thought that time was gone forever and that we'd always be playing "catch up." We never dreamed that they would be moving so near to us! I am so looking forward to getting to know this beautiful young girl better, to share in her life, to be her mother-in-law, to love her like my mother-in-law loves me.

And I am learning that she is not only John's treasure, she is ours as well.

And Beth, if you are reading this, we love you!

Images of Eve

Squirrel Patrol

She sees one

She wants it

She tells us where it is.

If I had categories this one would be filed under "It happens every day"

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God's Minute

April 25

Thou art my God, and I will praise Thee.--Psalm 118:28

OUR FATHER! We thank Thee for the tenderness enwrapped in the very name by which Thou art known to us. If Thou art a Father, then we are little children. Grant to us this day the filial heart, and help us ever to trust all Thy good ways with us. We do not even know our wants, and sometimes we ask for stones, mistaking them for bread. Help us henceforth, we pray Thee, to trust ourselves to Thee, O Lord! to Thy wise counsel and Thy Father's heart, and to accept with gladness whatever Thou dost give, because we are sure that Thy gifts are always best. Keep our souls, we pray Thee, in the peaceful faith that all things work together for our good.

Let our words be true this day, we pray, and let our deeds be upright. Give to us a heart for all conditions of men, and soften our spirits with the sympathies of Jesus. And if, in the secret recesses of our souls, there yet lurk some remnants of our hated sin, let the tides of forgiveness descend upon us from the heights of Thy holiness, and lo! we shall be clean! All this we know is according to Thy will, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And to Thee shall be the glory forever and ever.


A.H. Chipman Morse, D.D.,
Denver, Colorado

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Monday, April 24, 2006

A Quote for Kate from Kathy

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. ~P.J. O'Rourke

Today's reading: Bible, Les Mis, and that little bit of green peeking above the corner of Les Mis is The Christian Life by Sinclair Ferguson.

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God's Minute

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.--Psalm 37:7

HOLY FATHER, we thank Thee for the gift of life, the gift of reason, the gift of love. We are little, but Thou art great; yet it is great to be but little for Thee.

With single span Thou measurest the heavens Thou hast made, but Thine whole arm Thou takest to bear one lamb. We are confident of Thy love; grant us faith, forgiveness, and Thy Spirit of power, that our assurance may be based on Thee.

Give us this day a sound mind in a sound body, health, knowledge and wisdom grant us, self control, and a right attitude to Thee, to all men, and to all things good. Help us to know that the majestic deed is the deed of service. May we do kind, brave, beautiful things not to be seen, but to be serviceable. May we not be seeking to do great things but to do simple things greatly. Help us know our Saviour-friend, Who bears the other end of the yoke, and makes the burden light. Let us find our happiness in our service. Comfort us in believing that angels of sorrow always hearl the wounds they make. Give us noble aspirations, and pure satisfactions. In Thy wisdom and power, help us.


Prof. M. Coover, D.D.,
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

God's Minute


Casting all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you.--1 Peter 5:7

OUR FATHER, we know not what a day may bring forth, but our help is in Thee. We thank Thee for Thy promised watchfulness. And so we pray for a faith that will send us forth trusting ourselves to Him Who neither slumbers nor sleeps.

Keep us, we pray Thee, true to our responsibilities as followers of Thy Son, Jesus Christ. As we, day by day, succeed in making a living, may we not fail in making a life. We would learn of Him Who intermingled Heaven's glory with earth's common toil. Our tasks are too often made heavy through our forgetfulness of Thee.

May we so hunger and thirst after righteousness as to enter into the full assurance of Thy protection and help, and thus when other voices entice us, saying, "All these things will I give Thee if Thou wilt fall down and worhip me," may we find our refuge in Thee, and hear Thee say, "The Lord shall preserve Thee from all evil: He shall preserve Thy soul."

May our hearts be freed from fret and care this day, and may the peace of God which passeth all understanding be ours from this time forth, and even forevermore.


Rev. F.A. Robinson, B.A.,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

That's Life

"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after."

J.R.R. Tolkien

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God's Minute


My lips shall utter praise.--Psalm 199:171

OUR Heavenly Father, help us to be thankful for our home with all its blessings and privileges. Give each of us eyes to see, and grace and strength for the duties and privileges that are ours. Help us to be home-lovers and home-makers. Grant that we may bless every home-coming within the radius of our influence.

Give us the eye of pity and the hand of help for all whose needs have claim upon us. Save us from "the snare of the fowler" and from pestilence, that we may in purity and strength serve Thee.

Bless our church--Thy Church--O, our God, and him who ministers to us in spiritual things, and Thy servants the world over. May our religion be real and satisfying to us, and appetizing to others. Let our love to Thee be voiced in our efforts, gifts, and prayers, in behalf of a lost world.

Help us to live in constant readiness for whatever Thy providence hath in store for us, and to say ever in word, thought and deed, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven."


Rev. M.P. Hunt
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Friday, April 21, 2006

God's Minute


One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek after.--Psalm 27:4

WE need Thee, O loving God. We are lonesome, discontented, helpless, defeated, without Thee. How shall we know ourselves aright unless Thou teach us? How shall we love goodness and strive after holiness, and know the deep joys of the soul unless Thy Spirit abide in us? How shall we be able to meet Thy just expectations unless we companion with the Most High God? How shall we bear our burdens and overcome our temptations, or be unselfish in service, or turn away from our sins, or grow into the beauty and majesty of the character of Christ, unless Thou take possession of us?

Thankful we are, then, that Thou dost not withhold Thyself from any eager, hungry, obedient heart. Teach us how to open our natures to Thee. Help us to be obedient to Thy will, joyous in our allegience, cooperative in all of Thy plans.

Disturb us when we go astray; discipline us when we are wilful; hearten us when we go astray; hearten us when discouraged; strengthen us when perplexed.

Throug all the experiences of our lives, fashion us into the likeness of our exalted Christ, so that we may be Thy true sons and daughters.


Philip L. Frick, Ph.D.
Buffalo, New York

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Thursday, April 20, 2006


I changed my template so that it wouldn't be all goofy in Internet Explorer and guess what--(those of you who use Internet Explorer already know ) Now I have a new template and my side bar is STILL located under the main portion of the blog in Internet Explorer! Aarrrgggg!

Can anyone help me? Michele--you're pretty tech-y. Any ideas about how I can fix this?

Oh, and any opinions about the new look anyone?

Which would you choose?

Found this at Postscript Posthaste: The Armchair Library

My reading chair

Now doesn't this look more comfortable? Four books tucked between the table and the chair and a bookbag with my Bible, my favorite mechanical pencils, and highlighters on the other side.

Biscuits--Southern Style

Faith asked for my biscuit recipe, so here goes!

The recipe I use for my buttermilk biscuits is from White Lily Flour.

If you follow the link, you'll notice that it says to bake at 5000 degrees F. Yes, that is a typo. It should be 500 degrees, but if your oven is like mine, you might need to watch the first batch to make sure they don't burn. I have to do mine at 475.

I got hooked on White Lily Self-Rising flour when I lived in Kentucky. I couldn't make a decent biscuit to save my life before I lived in the South, but down there you really do need to know how to make a really good biscuit. (Folks do talk, y'all.)

When I moved back up North, I couldn't find White Lily Self-Rising flour. I tried several other self-rising flours but they just aren't the same. But--good news for those of you who live up North. You can find it at Williams and Sonoma or you can order it online.

Here's my very favorite most wonderful White Lily biscuit recipe (given to me by a friend who actually took the time to teach this Yankee how to do it.)

Cream Biscuits

2 cups White Lily Self-Rising flour, sifted.
1 cup heavy cream (only use heavy cream--this is the only fat in the recipe and they are tough with just whipping cream--voice of experience talking)

Sift flour and add cream. Mix with fork until dough comes just comes together. Overmixing will make a tough biscuit and you don't want tough biscuits. Scrape the dough onto a floured cloth. (dough will be very soft) Fold floured cloth over the dough and gently pat it down with the flat of your hands until it is about 1/2 thick. Do not roll out with a rolling pin!

Cut with a floured 2 " biscuit cutter--do not twist! Just cut down and pull straight up. Biscuits will not rise as high if you twist the cutter. Cut them as close together as possible and only re-form the dough and re-cut once.

Bake at 500 degrees until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Now here's where the fun comes in. Like always, I am not satisfied with the usual recipe. I have to experiment.

Here are a couple of ways you can make these Cream Biscuits into Sweet Cream Biscuits:

To the flour and cream add 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teedle of vanilla. (I add it to the cream first. I'm guessing about a 1/2 tsp. or a little less)

Bake as above then top:

with royal icing and a dusting of cinnamon or

with royal icing made with orange juice and sprinkled with orange zest.

I make them every Christmas morning. Here's a picture from last Christmas.

God's Minute

He hath set His love upon me.--Psalm 91:14

THOU God of our fathers--our Father which art in Heaven, Thou art good to all, and Thy tender mercies are over all Thy works. We thank Thee for the night and for the day; for quietness and rest and sleep, for life and light and love. We confess that we sin against Thee even in our lying down and rising up. We shield ourselves in Thy Fatherhood, and believe that for Christ's sake Thou dost forgive our sins. We commit ourselves to Thy covenant keeping for this day. Give Thine angels charge over us, and keep each one of us from harm. Guide us with Thine eye. Preserve our going out and our coming in. Keep us in health and safety in body and soul. Help us to live together in peace and love. Give us rule over our own spirits, that we hear and do Thy holy will. May our Elder Brother walk with us all the way, and by His presence help and comfort us.

Bless our friends and neighbors, and all who we love, especially those who may be sick or in any trouble. Comfort and speedily relieve them. Be with the great mulitutde that go out this morning to toil and weariness, and give them good cheer and rest, and the salvation that is of Thee. For Christ's sake.


Wallace Radcliffe, D.D., LL.D.,
Washington, D.C.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Five Guilty Pleasures

My friend, Hannah, threatened to start a "Five Guilty Pleasures" meme. I didn't wait to be tagged. You don't need to wait to be tagged either. . .

1. Six roses for $2.99 at Aldi's every Friday. (Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are when the fresh flowers are delivered at my store.)

2. Spending $7-$10 for some little something when I go antiquing.

3. A bottle of 10 year old Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port for sipping after supper with my husband, once or twice a year.

4. A bazillion annuals to plant in my window boxes every year.

5. My homemade, very wonderful fettuccini Alfredo, heavy cream and all. . .

Fettuccini Alfredo

1 box fettuccini (I like Barilla fettuccini rigate—it has little ridges on the noodles that really hold the sauce.)
Cook the noodles 6 minutes, drain but do not rinse; the noodles will be added into the cream sauce to finish the remaining 2 minutes.


Melt a half stick of unsalted butter in large saute’ pan. Heat over medium heat until butter stops foaming and then add 2-3 cloves of freshly minced garlic (more or less to taste—we like lots). Reduce heat and “sweat” the garlic—do not brown. (browned garlic is bitter—you just want to coax the flavors out of the garlic and make it tender). Add 1 ½ c. cream (that is a guess; I just sort of pour it in, but I think it is close). Heat gently—milk products can quickly over heat and boil over, so you have to stand by. When you see little bubbles forming around the edge of the pan, add about a cup of shredded parmesan cheese and about ¼ c. grated parmesan. Stir until incorporated. If it seems too thin, add more shredded cheese, a little at a time. (Keep heat on medium low). Squeeze a half lemon into sauce—one good squeeze. Whisk quickly into sauce. (If the sauce is too hot, it may curdle with the addition of the juice, so keep the heat down and whisk quickly). Stir noodles into sauce and simmer for the remaining 2 minutes (the starch from the noodles will thicken the sauce slightly—that’s why you don’t want to rinse them).

Measurements are approximate.

Plate with a sprinkle of fresh, chopped parsley and a sprinkle of grated parmesan. Some restaurants sprinkle with nutmeg, but I don’t care for nutmeg so I leave that off.

If I am serving it with chicken, I will often add about a tsp. of lemon zest right before plating. It makes the sauce a little lighter and fresher tasting, but with pork I only add the lemon juice.

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Library Duty

"A little library, growing every year, is an honorable part of a man's history. It is a man's duty to have books."

--Henry Ward Beecher

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Help wanted

You know the old saying, "What you don't know can't hurt you." Well, I'm not so sure about that right now.

You see, I'm a big fan of Firefox, especially since I've been blogging. It's great to be able to have several tabs open at the same time. I can type, create technorati tags, and research all at the same time. It makes blogging so much easier!

And because I'm so happy with Firefox, I just don't use Internet Explorer anymore. Recently, however, we had some work done on our computer and now for some reason when I click on a link,the new window opens in IE. I planned on changing that someday, but never got around to it.

Now, however, I'm glad I didn't, because I looked at my own blog today in IE and it looks like a mess! It's all very neat and tidy in Firefox, but in IE, the sidebar starts at the end of the main portion of the blog and it looks all choppy and messy.

So here's the thing. If you use IE and it looks the same way to you--all untidy and mis-formatted--will you leave a note in the comments and let me know? (I'm not sure I want to know if it's been like this for a very long time. . .) And if you have any idea about what I may have done to cause this mess and how to fix it, could you leave a note in the comments, too?

Of course if you use IE and it looks perfectly fine to you, I'll want to know that, too!


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For Carol

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.

You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.

Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.

And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

What Type of Writer Should You Be?

Sorry, Carol, I'm not destined to be a Songwriter. Surprised?
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Works for Me Wednesday

Shannon, at Rocks in My Dryer, has started a new column today: Works for Me Wednesday.

The idea is to share some little tricks and shortcuts that just make life easier.

A while back I blogged about buttermilk. Yes, buttermilk:

How many times have you needed just a half cup of buttermilk to make biscuits and then the rest of the pint has somehow been shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten?

Well, I have wasted more buttermilk in my life than I care to admit, but recently I got smarter.

I started freezing half cups of buttermilk in those cute little snack-sized zippy bags.

Freeze them flat on a half sheet pan and once frozen you can stack them up.

Then when you need a half a cup to make biscuits or say, 2 cups to make soda bread, just take it out and thaw.

UPDATE: I just remembered how hard it was to fill the little bags without making a mess. After many failed attempts, I came up with a system that works: Measure your 1/2 cup into a cup with a spout, pinch the zipper most of the way closed and THEN pour the milk into the bag. It's much easier to get the bag sealed without having most of it go all over the counter. I won't tell you how many times I spilled before I figured out a way to do it neatly!

I drink my coffee black, but I have friends and family who like half and half and those flavored creams. I do the same with leftovers and it's saved a bunch of CoffeeMate from going down the drain!

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God's Minute

Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our God, shall bless us. Gad shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.--Psaln 67:5-7

OUR FATHER in Heaven, we thank Thee for this day and all its opportunities. Help us to show our gratitude by the use we make of it. May Jesus Christ so richly dwell in our hearts that we shall be kept from sin. Wilt Thou rule and bless our home this day. We pray Thy blessing on friends and neighbors. May we so live before them that we may honor Thy Name. Bless, we pray, the poor and sick and suffering. May their need be to us a call to service.

We pray for Thy blessing on our church. May we strive to win men to Jesus Christ. We pray for town and state and country, that righteousness may prevail. We pray that the Gospel message may speedily go into all the world; that wars may cease; that sin and greed may no longer rule. To this end may we give as Thou hast blessed us. May the peace of God dwell in our hearts this day. We ask it all in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.


Roger Leavitt,
Cedar Falls, Iowa

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

James Orr?

You scored as James Orr. You are James Orr.
You are not afraid of Scholarship, but you know that scholarship
is not necessarily objective.

James Orr


John Knox


Thomas Boston


Thomas Chalmers


James Denney


Which Scottish Theologian are you?
created with

Since the link doesn't seem to be working, try this one. (Thanks for letting me know, Amy)

Found this quiz at Rebecca Writes. Don't have a clue who James Orr is, but you can bet I'll be off to Wikipedia to find out ASAP!

UPDATE: You can find three articles by James Orr at this link, numbers 11, 12, and 13.

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Godward Thoughts

So, yesterday I had my morning all planned. I was going to post my God's Minute prayer, make my usual morning rounds at my blogline subscriptions. then turn my chair away from the computer so that I could spend the rest of the morning working at a new piece of calligraphy at my drawing board. (the invitation to my son and future daughter-in-law's rehearsal dinner--I need to get them finished, printed, addressed and in the mail!!)

But my plans were waylaid because I followed a link at one of my favorite blogs, Godward Thoughts.

Godward Thoughts is a blog written by Doug Eaton and it really lives up to its name. It is what I call a "substantive" blog. His posts are deep and rich and replete with theological substance and they never fail to evoke "Godward Thoughts," some of which have a way of sort of following me around for the rest of the day.

Yesterday he posted a link to a radio program he had participated in called the Easter Show. I listened. I didn't really know what I was getting myself in for! Suffice it to say that beyond prepping my pen and my workspace and ruling a few lines on my guide sheet, I got very little work done. Seems I can't letter and think deep theological thoughts at the same time!

Doug was the "resident pastor" and he did a fantastic job. The host was amazing; he was not afraid to ask hard questions and he was not satisfied with safe answers or half answers. It was a very mentally stimulating show. I didn't look at the clock, so I don't know for sure how long it ran, but it seems it must've been over an hour or an hour and a half.

Anyway, I wrote all that to say this: Go visit Doug at Godward Thoughts. Subscribe. You will be challenged to think deeply about the things of God. Do it today. He's got a really funny cartoon posted today that will make you laugh--and think.

Today's Tuesday Treasure

I got the idea for this week's Tuesday Treasures when I was baking pies for Easter on Saturday. I've been married almost 30 years (28 in November) and this Betty Crocker cookbook was given to me as a gift at one of my first wedding showers. I don't remember who gave it to me anymore, but I think it was either my mom or my Grandma Smith. I'll have to remember to ask my mom and see if she remembers. As you can see, I wore it out a long time ago!

The binding broke about 10 years ago, so I used a piece of canvas fabric and iron-on "wonder-under" to repair it in a pinch.

I noted the page numbers of some of our (at that time) most used recipes on the back.
[short bread, pizza dough, chop suey, calorie chart, (I guess I still had hope ten years ago!) and pie crust]

Since I was baking pies when I got this idea, I photographed the book opened to the "pie pages." As you can see, these pages bear the stain of the Ghosts of Pies Past. I am a messy cook and my cookbook bears witness to that fact.

The hand written recipe on the top of the left page is one of my favorites from my mother-in-law. It is an Amish recipe, Crumb Pie, and makes a good breakfast pie. (You don't eat pie for breakfast? Oh, you should! It's great with a cup of coffee) The great thing about this pie is that all the ingredients are always on hand.

Crumb Pie

1 c. flour
1/2 stick butter (I add a few more tablespoons of butter)
1 c. brown sugar, packed

Mix together until the consistency of coarse sand.

In the bottom of an unbaked pie crust, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and then pour 1/3 cup water over that. Pile in the crumb mixture (it will look dry!) and bake for 30-40 minutes @ 350 degrees. Serve warm.

The recipe on the right side of the page is for Kentucky Derby Pie. I got this recipe from a friend when I lived in Kentucky and she swore it was the real, "honest-to-goodness" recipe used at Churchill Downs. Another friend took one look at it and swore it wasn't the real recipe, because that was a secret and only a few people had it. (She was one of the chosen few who had the "real" recipe, of course, but she didn't share. I guess it's sort of like a secret society or something. . .) There is also some controversy about the appropriate-ness of using walnuts instead of pecans. . .well, you can do what you like but we like walnuts.

Anyway, this is a really good recipe whether it's authentic or not.

Kentucky Derby Pie

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (I use more--almost a whole cup)

Melt butter and mix in sugar well. Add eggs and stir until mixture is no longer grainy. Mix in flour and stir in well. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and walnuts.

Turn into an unbaked pie shell and bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Cut the pieces small, y'all--it's really rich. Like a toll house cookie in a pie crust. YUM.

This weekend I made pumpkin and rhubarb. My kids like my pumpkin pie best because I add extra spices and I cook it about 5 extra minutes, so it is a bit drier--just the way they like it. That's something you'd find in my Betty Crocker cookbook--my own "improvements" on Betty's recipes. Notes like "needs more garlic," "cook 5 minutes longer," "don't over mix," "this one's a dog" (yes, I really wrote that on a recipe to remind myself that even though the ingredients sound good, this one's a dog. The recipe shall remain nameless just in case it's one of your family's favorites!)

So here's my question for you, dear readers. Do you have a Betty Crocker Cookbook (any edition)? And does it look like mine? (27th printing, Golden Press, copyright 1969) Do you have a favorite Betty Crocker recipe?

Favorite Betty Crocker recipes:

Mine: Pie Crust, page 316

(You can see more Tuesday Treasures at Faithful Mommy.)

Here's a link to Rebecca's Betty Croker Cookbook. Looks a lot like mine.

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