Pumpkin Pie

This is a bit more complicated than the recipe on the can of pumpkin but the flavors of the pumpkin and spices really come out. Ingredients: 1 partially baked 9″ pie crust 2 cups (16 oz) plain canned pumpkin 1 cup dark brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground ginger 2...

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Finding Our Purpose!

  The last couple of weeks I have been struggling with remembering the Sovereignty of God. Thus speaks the ego of one who loves to be “in control.”  One Sunday I came across much comfort in the book of Colossians. I began to realize that life is truly all...

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Prayer for Personal Peace

Let me be at peace within myself. Let me accept that I am profoundly loved and never need to be afraid. Let me be aware of the source of being that is common to us all and to all living creatures. Let me be filled with the presence of...

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Experiencing Scotland

In late January of this year, I embarked on my biggest journey yet: studying abroad for a semester in Scotland. After months and months of planning, filling out paperwork, and making sure every little detail was taken care of, I was more than ready to hop on a plane...

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The Beauty of the Earth

As I reflect upon the earth, I think of all the amazing photographs from space. What spectacular sights the astronauts have seen. From John Glenn first orbiting the earth; Neil Armstrong, landing on the moon with the famous quote, “One small step for man, One giant leap for mankind.” and Scott...

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Blessings for Pets (and other Creatures)

“O Supreme Spirit of Creation, from Your sacred breath came forth birds and beasts, fish and fowl, creatures of such variety and beauty that we are continuously amazed at Your divine imagination. These children of Yours have been blessed by You, their Creator, with simplicity, beauty and a cosmic...

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Ethical Dreams for the Family!

A More Personal Side to Estate Planning Estate planning is a topic that conjures thoughts of spacious estates, jewelry, taxes and other financial matters. Yet, estate planning is really about our loved ones and providing for them in the event of our death or disability. When viewed in that...

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Salt Water Taffy

Salt Water Taffy is something that I always identify with summer and the beach. My dad’s family lives around the Philadelphia area so we would go to Ocean City, New Jersey for a week in the summer. The boardwalk has stores selling salt water taffy about every ten feet....

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Blessings for Pets (and other Creatures)

“O Supreme Spirit of Creation, from Your sacred breath came forth birds and beasts, fish and fowl, creatures of such variety and beauty that we are continuously amazed at Your divine imagination. These children of Yours have been blessed by You, their Creator, with simplicity, beauty and a cosmic...

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Strawberry-Orange Shortcake Tart

Amazingly easy and a great summer treat! Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups flour 1/4 cup plain yellow cornmeal 2 tablespoons sugar 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces 1 large egg, lightly beaten 2/3 cup buttermilk 1 tablespoon orange marmalade 16 ounces fresh...

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Family, Friends, Fireworks, Flags

“Celebrate God all day, every day.”  Philippians 4:4 (The Message) July 4th is one of my very favorite holidays.  I like everything about the day…decorating with red/white/blue, having a picnic with family and friends, fireworks, flags fluttering in the summer breeze, parades, and celebrating the birthday of this wonderful...

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White Barbeque Sauce

This is a great sauce that works with pork, chicken, sausage and burgers. It is also incredibly easy to make and will last a while in the fridge so you can have it all summer. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1 garlic clove, minced...

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Enduring love

June; the month for weddings. Time for the couple to express their enduring love to each other with family and friends sharing in this special day. In 1Corinthians 13:4-7,13:(Revised Standard Version) love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist...

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Egg Salad

Egg salad is a great summer lunch. You can throw it together in just a few minutes and the recipes are simple enough to adjust to the amount of people you need to feed so you do not have a lot left over. This is a great recipe for...

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Making a Memory

I was seated on the bride’s side of a large church sanctuary awaiting the beginning of a wedding.  Prelude music filled the air, and I scanned the scene making note of every exquisite detail in the decorations—all breathtakingly gorgeous.  The bride was an only child; her parents were not wealthy,...

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Banana Bread

This is a great recipe for a quick summer breakfast throughout the week. Just store it in a plastic bag with a twist tie. Ingredients: 2 cups All-purpose Flour 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional) 3...

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Healing Hearts with God’s Love

An Interview with Father Matthew Linn Matthew Linn works with his brother and sister-in-law, Dennis and Sheila, as a team to focus on spiritual, emotional, and physical wholeness. Matt, in partnership with Dennis and Sheila, has taught the process of healing in over 50 countries and in many universities...

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Honoring Veterans and Ministry

Veterans Leadership Ministry: Helping Veterans Re-establish Social Connections to Loved Ones Like many others I had a scar or two from Vietnam and the 4th ID. I did not know what some of that baggage was called until November 2014 in Sarasota, FL when I attended a Moral Injury...

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Quiche for Comfort!

Everyone’s Favorite Quiche”! 1 pie dish (or aluminum pie pan) Pie Crust (from Pillsbury’s “All-ready Pie Crust”Ô) 2 heaping tablespoons flour 1 pkg.(2 or 3 cups) Of  grated, mixed cheese (colby-jack, or 4-cheese Mexican Blend is great)   ¼ tsp. Salt dash of pepper 3 eggs or egg substitutes...

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Peaches and Cream Cookies

These are a great spring/summer cookies which use preserves so you do not have to wait for the peach crop to come in! Ingredients: 1 package vanilla cake mix (18.25 ounces) 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup peach preserves 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 egg Directions: Sift the cake...

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Spring Joy

Song of Solomon: 2:1   I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. I have always enjoyed singing rounds. The harmony is simple. However, there needs to be a close connection between the singers. One of my favorite childhood rounds is “White Choral Bells.” This is such a delicate flower with...

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Can You Relate?

The picture accompanying this article was made in front of our house next to our entry porch.  If I had taken a picture of this same area two months ago, you would have seen some well-established boxwoods and a holly bush.  But life happens…and replacing a field sewer line...

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Counting Our Blessings!

Bless the children–the bloom of health, The bloom of growth, The bloom of cheer, The bloom of innocence, Shine forth from thee. Bless the children–the grace of the deer, The grace of the wren, The grace of the swan, The grace of the lamb, Move thy limbs. Bless the...

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Peach Basil Ice Tea

This is a nice light tea with an adaptable recipe. It can be divided or multiplied, the amount of sugar can be adjusted depending on taste and the peach nectar can be played with. Ingredients: 2 family-size tea bags 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves 2/3 cup sugar 3...

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Water for Grace Church, Kenya

In 2010 we (at South Highland Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama) learned of the need of a better quality of drinking waterin and around the rural community of Inkukuon about 50 kilometers south of Nairobi Kenya. The bore hole (water well) at Presbyterian Church of East Africa Grace Church produced...

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“Blackberry Winter” Pie

Sometimes springtime will have a week or so of really cold weather or even snow which we name “Blackberry Winter.” Here in the South that does not happen often, but perhaps that is why the name sticks with us because it is such an unusual event. While Blackberries do...

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The Beauty of the Earth

As I reflect upon the earth, I think of all the amazing photographs from space. What spectacular sights the astronauts have seen. From John Glenn first orbiting the earth; Neil Armstrong, landing on the moon with the famous quote, “One small step for man, One giant leap for mankind.” and Scott...

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That Time of Year

Springtime is my favorite time of the year; I adore all the gorgeous flowers and the bright greens of the tree leaves.  But there are two words that I really don’t care to even have whispered in my presence in April:  “Spring Cleaning” — oops, I don’t think I...

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Key Lime Cookies

These cookies are super easy to make and a great spring or summer treat! Ingredients: 1 (16.5 oz) roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough Zest from 1 lime Lime Glaze Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. Break up the cookie dough in a large bowl,...

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The Wondrous Cross

In 2013, I traveled with the Knoxville Choral Society to Ireland. One thing that I really wanted to see were the Celtic High Crosses, a national symbol. The beauty of these crosses, either modern or traditional, were scattered throughout the lush green land of Ireland. In Drumcliff, County Sligo,...

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The Celtic Knot

March is upon us, and when I think of March I always think of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish and Celtic.  I am a collector of cross pendants, and several of my pendants feature Celtic knots.  However, none of my pendants seem to have the same celtic...

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Classic Irish Soda Bread

This is a quick bread that is amazingly easy to make. It works great with soups and stews as well as toast with a good jam. Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour; plus more for work surface 1 cup cake flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1...

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Celtic Winds: Spiritual Spring

In thinking about this topic it occurred to me that it might be easier to draw or paint this title than to write about it. I used to paint quite a lot before I took color and words to the web.  I can see lots of green (for Celtic...

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Cherry Chocolate Baby Cakes

These are a great mini dessert for Valentine’s Day! Ingredients: 1 package brownie mix 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup water 2 eggs 2/3 cup cherry preserves 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar 2 1/2 tablespoons milk 40 maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry, reserved juice Preheat oven to 350....

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A Healthy Heart

“…be ye holy; for I am holy.”  I Peter 1:16 (AKJV) The American Heart Association has designated February 5, 2016 as “National Wear Red Day” in an effort to raise awareness of heart health.  There will be no shortage this month of articles, commercials, websites, recipes, and numerous other...

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American Red Cross: Helping then and now

By Katie Turpen From a fire that destroys one family’s home to a typhoon that kills thousands one organization is the definition of the helping hand. The American Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters each year. They provide shelter, food, health and mental health services to those who...

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White Christmas

Everyone has their favorite Christmas movie. Mine happens to be “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Cloony, and Danny Kaye. I watch it every year. In Tennessee, we rarely have a white Christmas. However, when it does snow, it is magical. Seeing the snowflakes gently falling in quiet beauty is...

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Molasses-Spice Cookies

This time of year always makes me crave the smell of ginger and spices baking into a cookie. These cookies take the idea of gingerbread and simplify it down to the perfect pairing with a cup of warm tea or coffee. Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons...

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A Perfect Christmas

I have a magazine addiction; I may as well just go ahead and admit it right here and right now.  The addiction is worse around Thanksgiving and Christmas when all those specialty holiday editions appear on the racks.  I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about…they are NOT...

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Smells of the Season

When I was about 12, my mom decided that she wasn’t going to make any Christmas cookies because she didn’t have time. I fetl the need to rectify that because nothing says Christmas like fresh baked cookies. Now that I have nieces and a nephew I like making sugar...

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Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies

While these do not have peanut butter, they do have the peanut butter chips you find in the baking aisle. For those of us who don’t like raisins, this is a great way to still have and oatmeal cookie! Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar 1 cup butter,...

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Watermelon and Feta Pasta Salad

This is a simple and easy salad that works great as a side or solo for a light lunch. Ingredients: Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette 1 cup orzo pasta 3 cups seeded and diced watermelon 4 cups arugula 4 oz crumbled feta cheese Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette Stir together 1/2 cup lemon juice and...

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We’re Listening: Montreat 2015

It’s no secret that Montreat, North Carolina is one of my favorite places that I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. For the past six years, I’ve looked forward to that glorious week in July in which I’d travel with my youth group to visit our house in the...

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Celebrations That Comfort!

It has been my experience that sometimes the rhythm of the year itself can offer healing and consolation to our hearts. Take for instance the changing of the seasons. Or simply the landscape that nature affords us in the difference of night and day. The rhythm of the church...

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Armed and Ready

“Also take salvation as our helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies.”  Ephesians 6:17 (GOD’S WORD Translation) I sit unnerved as I write this — a gunman has opened fire on a Chattanooga, Tennessee military recruiting center and then moved on to another military...

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Red, White, and Blue

I AM OLD GLORY I Am Old Glory: For more than ten score years I have been the banner of hope and freedom for generation after generation of Americans. Born amid the first flames of America’s fight for freedom, I am the symbol of a country that has grown from...

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Comfort Me with Food!

“I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”  John 14:18 (KJV) Just about any magazine you pick up these days is likely to mention “comfort foods”–those foods that give you a feeling of well-being and link you to a person, place, or time that stands out...

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Comfort Care

Last night I  watched a second episode of “Proof” on the tv. The plot is about a heart surgeon whose son died from a terminal illness and although she is very focused on science/medicine and the way in which that discipline approaches life and death, the doctor is drawn...

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On the Town

After being shown around the great state of Kentucky for the past year, I only thought it would only be fair to share Alabama with my new friends. I quickly found out, however, that it can be really hard to show people one’s hometown in just one week. Of...

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