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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A Few of My Favorite Things

…I will answer their prayers and take care of them.  Like an evergreen tree I will shelter them.  I am the source of all their blessings.   Hosea 14:8b   (GNB) Good News Bible Real, live, natural decorations are one of my favorite things during the Christmas season.  I mean, what...

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The Love Gift

“They shall call His name Emmanuel…God with us.”  Matthew 1:23  KJV             You could feel the awe and wonder, you could sense it in the air—- the love gift in the manger was for mankind everywhere. And as that place received Him in the...

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Simply Sharing!

Simply Sharing means to find it the “empty spaces” in ourselves and remember that if we just fill them up with whatever brings us the greatest joy and focus on gratitude, then we can hopefully  discover “abundance” which we can share with others. In the spirit of abundance rather...

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Even Stronger: Long-Distance Friendships

My best friend and I don’t have a cookie-cutter friendship story; we didn’t meet in elementary school or spend our years growing up together. In fact, thinking about it now, we’ve only really known each other for a little over two years. In those two years, though, we’ve become...

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Family Thanksgiving Blessings

How often have we seen this famous Norman Rockwell painting and thought of our own Thanksgiving family traditions? Time to share family stories, noticing how much the grandchildren have grown, bringing a favorite Thanksgiving dish, cooking all day and hoping the food will not be burned or too dry, and giving thanks...

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The Season of Waiting

Tis the Season…to be overloaded, overwhelmed, and stressed out. Don’t get me wrong I do get a subtle thrill from tacky Christmas sweater parties, Christmas music blaring from speakers all around me, and all the holiday glitz and glamor that floods our lives this time of year. However, this...

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Pumpkin Cookies

These are incredibly easy to make and go great with coffee or tea. Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1 cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1...

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Angels in Charge

“For He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.”  Psalm 91:11  KJV Let’s imagine that you and I are engaged in a word association game, and I say “November.”  What would be your response?  Most likely, you would say “Thanksgiving” since that...

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Spicy Pumpkin Soup

This is an easy soup to make and a great soup for fall! Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups chicken broth 15 oz pumpkin puree 1/2 onion, chopped 1 clove minced garlic 1 tsp cajun seasoning 1/2 cup heavy cream Directions: Sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil...

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Angel Food

  I have been preparing food for people who need “Food Angels” ( are ill) or those whose life journey has ended and their family needs food. I discovered that I need the process of stirring and smelling and baking and to nurture those whose hearts are sore. It...

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Turkey-Cranberry Panini

This is a great sandwich for the fall season and super easy to make. If you don’t have a panini press, don’t worry. Ingredients: A good sturdy bread like sourdough or rye Sliced roasted turkey Cranberry sauce Blue Cheese Arugula Olive oil Directions: If using a panini press, warm...

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“Dorm-Made” Treats

One definite thing about college is that cooking is pretty challenging when you’re limited to a microwave, a coffee maker, and a mini-fridge. Many Pinterest boards boast solutions to this problem: microwaveable “cakes-in-a-mug,” microwaveable omelets, homemade granola bars. My roommate and I, however, found out very quickly that we...

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Carrot Pumpkin Cake

This is a great fall cake! It is also fairly small so there isn’t too much left over and the cream cheese icing is optional, you can just dust it with powdered sugar. 1/2 cups All-purpose flour 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4...

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The Joy of Music

Psalm 100: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. (King James) Bach gave us God’s word; Mozart gave us God’s laughter; Beethoven gave us God’s fire; God gave us music that we might pray without...

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Training Our Children With Creches

One of our family’s favorite places to visit is the beach, and we visit multiple times per year. On a recent trip to the beach, I noticed something that reminded me of family and the various family combinations. While walking along the seashore and looking into the ocean, there...

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Pumpkin Bread

This bread is so good it works as a morning bread like banana bread or even as a dessert. Ingredients: 1/2 cup canola oil 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup pure pumpkin...

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A month for giving

There is no doubt that Fall is here. And with this special season, comes cool weather, cozy sweaters, hot pumpkin lattes, and of course, the beautiful scenery. There is something soul-moving about looking out the window and seeing a sea of brown, yellow and red canvas the trees. Watching...

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Pumpkin Pie Bars

These are a great way to start off the fall season! Ingredients: 1 refrigerated sugar dough, chilled 2 eggs 15 oz (1 can) pure pumpkin 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 3/4 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground cloves Preheat oven to 350, prepare a 13×9...

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We are Family

“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is.  Blessed are you who run to him.”   Psalms 34:8   The Message My editor at FaithShapes emailed the October/November website theme to me:  “Friends, Family, and Food”, and I immediately thought, “How true for my family.”  You...

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A Change in Me: Starting College

“So when do you leave for college?” was a question I heard more times than I could count a few weeks ago. As I answered this question—over and over and over—I realized I was trying to mentally prepare myself for the biggest change in my life so far. As...

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Banana Spice Bars

These are super easy to make and have a great spicy kick to them to get the fall season started. Ingredients: 1 small ripe banana, mashed (about 1/3 of a cup) 1/4 cup shortening 1 egg 1 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon...

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Fall: A Season of Change

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1New International Version (NIV)   September brings many changes in our household.  We celebrate five birthdays, some of us return to work, and all of us enjoy watching the lush green leaves turn to...

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CONFIDENCE IN CHANGE

“….I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Joshua 1:5 KJV I am one of those folks who doesn’t embrace “change” very easily…just ask my co-workers.  My supervisor learned many years ago to slowly ease changes in my direction rather than giving me the full force effect all at once. ...

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Choosing Our Stories

I had a very strange dream early this morning. The good news is that I was uncomfortable with it and knew that reflecting upon it would bring about some revelations that I was not sure that I liked. I could share the dream but then I decided that the...

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Faithful friends

John 15:12-13 (NIV): “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this.” Recently, I had foot surgery. When the surgeon told me I would have to be off of my foot for six weeks, keep the foot elevated, no weight...

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Sweet Southern Watermelon!

6 STEPS FOR YOUR OWN FESTIVE FRUIT : Start with a clean piece of fruit. Make a sketch on a paper. Tape the sketch to the fruit. Use a paring knife to cut the outline of design. Follow through and cut all the way out. Remove the meat of...

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Faith Travels: Just South of the Mainland

Just South of the Mainland God has provided me with many opportunities to travel both near and far. He even has allowed me to work with several mission groups.   However, it was my recent trip “just south of the mainland” that afforded an experience I hope to never forget....

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Faith Travels: Reflections On My Journey

Over the last six months, I’ve seen 24 countries, packed and unpacked my bag over 70 times, and come in contact with people and places that have left me speechless, humbled, and inspired. And now I’m home. Throughout my trip, I feared that my re-entry into “normal” American life would...

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Faith Travels: Beyond the Bible Belt

When Suzanne Berman began her world travels, she was unprepared for the reaction her appearance would cause in places like South Africa and India. In places like Johannesburg, she found her skin “color made a target.” Even though she was staying in the suburbs, she was advised to...

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Love Learning; Learn Loving

“…let the wise listen and add to their learning.”  Proverbs 1:5 (NIV) I am a “reader” — I love to read books, newspapers, and magazines (my college degree is in Library Science, if that tells you anything).  I prefer to read biographical books….and if it is also historical, that...

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Silent Night

In December, 2007, I traveled with the Knoxville Choral Society to Israel on a “Prepare the Way” concert tour. We were able to see so many Biblical sites related to Jesus’ life. When you visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, you enter through a small door into the church.  Then...

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Ginger Apple Pie

Ingredients: 9 inch Pie Shell for covered pies 2 pounds Granny Smith apples 2 pounds McIntosh apples 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1 1/2 tablespoon juice and zest from 1 lemon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 3 tablespoon...

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