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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Wedding Families and Traditions

May, June, July and August are the prime months for weddings and one of the things that sometimes gets lost nowadays is the comfort and love of both families coming together to form one family. The wedding celebration should bring in both the bride and the groom as well...

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Earth’s Sweet Music

“Welcome sweet Springtime, we greet thee in song.  Murmurs of gladness, fall on the ear…”   Michael Watson, composer, 1884/lyricist unknown While driving to work yesterday, I was smitten with all the gorgeous Springtime colors that surrounded me:  tulips, candy tuft, creeping phlox, dogwoods, azaleas….oh my, brilliant color everywhere!  With...

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Lemon Trifle

This is one of the best “fancy” dessert for spring and summer. Making the curd in the microwave also makes it incredibly easy. Any lefover curd can be used to spruce up waffles or biscuits. Lemon Curd Ingredients: 6 lemons (zest and 1 cup juice) 1/2 cup butter, softened...

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Jelly Bean Prayer

Jelly Bean Prayer: Poet unknown Red is for the Blood He gave, Green is for the Grass He made, Yellow is for the Sun so bright, Orange is for the Edge of night, Black is for the Sins we made, White is for the Grace He gives, Purple is...

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On The Steps: Campus Energy

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”—Laura Ingalls Wilder On my campus, you know it’s springtime when you hear singing from all corners of the quad. Each April, Murray hosts its annual “All Campus Sing” event, where organizations from all over campus create a...

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Easter Egg-cellence

“Lord, let the grace of your blessing come upon these eggs, that they be healthful food for your faithful who eat them in thanksgiving for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.”  The Roman Ritual, Part XI, Blessings and Other...

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April Energy: Easter

“WHEN I LOVE YOU, MY GOD, I WANT TO EMBRACE IT ALL, FOR I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY SENSES IN THE CREATIONS OF YOUR LOVE. IN ALL THE THINGS THAT ENCOUNTER ME, YOU ARE WAITING FOR ME. FOR A LONG TIME I LOOKED FOR YOU WITHIN MYSELF AND...

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The Fabric of Sisterhood

A few weeks ago, I decided to do something I never thought I’d do in college: I joined a sorority. After being at home for a month with my own family, I was hit pretty hard with the patented “second semester homesickness.”  I felt that I was really missing...

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Strawberry Lemonade Muffins

I love the flavors of the muffins, the lemon and strawberrys play off of each other very well. Be sure that your self-rising flour is fresh so the muffins have the right fluffy-ness. Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour 1 cup sugar 8oz of sour cream 1/2 cup butter,...

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Family Hands

Proverbs 22: 6 – Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from you. (NIV) “A Tribute To Hands” Author: Kay Mills Big hands, little hands, hands that fit just right. Warm hands, graceful hands, hands that squeeze too...

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Lessons in Loving Family

Lessons in Loving Family Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother…” (NET) Recently, I have experienced something new and heartbreaking that has taught me much about loving family. Our family has had to move our mother into an assisted living community. While it is the best thing for...

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March Magic! Fabric, Faith, and Family

This month is about  March Magic– “Fabric, Faith, and Family.” How do we “think new ideas” about our family, our faith (or changes which need to happen in our heart) and about fabric, not only clothing: what we put on, but the textures and textiles that we use in...

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Oh Me of Little Faith

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  John 20:29  (NIV) Trying to define the word faith is about as difficult as trying to define the word love….or hope.  The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 that “faith is being sure of what we hope for...

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Birthday Wishes

“The first fall of snow is not only an event, but it is a magical event.  You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found?”   J. B....

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Paying It Forward

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you….”  Matthew 7:12 (NIV) I gave up making New Year’s resolutions about 10 years ago.  Prior to that decision I struggled every New Year’s Day with what I proclaimed I would or would not do in...

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Knitting into the New Year

Handmade gifts are my favorite part of the holiday season. I’ve always taken a liking to crafting gifts for others—partly because I’m terrible at picking out gifts, but also because I like giving people more personalized gifts. Knitted gifts are probably my favorite handmade gift during the holidays. That...

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