Sunday, January 22, 2012

Because I'm Unworthy and Bad. That's Why.

At our church before we partake in the Lord's Supper we have a bit of time for quiet reflection of our lives.
I love this time - time to just be quiet and think.
Time to think about my week, my life, my heart.

Time to ask myself,
Do I love God as I should?
Have I lived a life that pleased God this week?
Am I at peace with my fellow man?
Is my heart where it should be?

On some days {like today} I think regretfully over the week.

Sin stains it ugly.

Guilt plagues my heart.

I think of failures to be kind when I should have.
Words - self-centered ones - that I spoke hastily.

Pride wrapping it's tentacles around my heart for months, and I never saw it...
'Til this week when a lady asked me, "But why? Why do you want to do that?"
Welll... And then I caught a glimpse that made me recoil in horror. Why did I want to do that?
Was there any reason other than to impress people?

And other failures.
Ugly sighs rising up in my heart, even though my Sovereign God was, as usual, on His Throne, ruling all things well in the world.

I stared at my fingers and thought of how unworthy I was.

I felt like a guilty child, wanting to slink away... away from the holiness of this moment ~
a remembrance of a spotless Lamb, of the Christ who always did His Father's will.

And then I remembered. This communion, this remembrance is because I'm bad.

This Holy Sacrifice was made because I AM a sinner, and not even just was a sinner. I am. Still.

Jesus, pleading before His Father on my behalf, not because I've been pleasing this week, but because I've fallen short of glorifying God with my life. That's why I need Him.

As a sinner, I reach forth my hands to take the dry bread, to sip the grape juice....

I do this because I'm not good and I need Jesus. Desperately. Every day.

I do this because GOD is good, and holy and just and perfect.

I do this because He invites me to leave my sin and guilt and start again in the Spirit.

To love, to rejoice, to give thanks, to live to His Glory.

I bow my head, and I partake ~ humbled.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eeyore Perspective

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"And freezing."

"However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carrot Muffins That You Can't Tell Are Gluten-Free!

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tins for 24 muffins.

½ cup oil (I used coconut)

1 ¼ cups fructose, sugar or other sweetner

5 large eggs

1 1/3 cups plain yogurt

4 teaspoons vanilla

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 cups flour (I used ¾ cup lentil flour, ½ cup millet/rice combination, and ¾ cup fine cornmeal)

2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder

4 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons xantham gum

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 large carrots, grated (a generous cup)

¾ cup chopped walnuts

Mix the oil with the fructose/sugar. Add the eggs and beat well ‘til thick and smooth. Add the yogurt, vanilla, and vinegar – beat til smooth. Stir the dry ingredients together separately and add to the wet til well combined, but no additional stirring. Fold in the carrots and walnuts. Let sit for a minute or two (the batter will become puffy and rise in the bowl), then immediately fill greased muffin pans 2/3 – ¾ full. Bake at 350 for 20 min or until the top springs back lightly when touched. We made these muffins today, and truly, no one would ever know that they are gluten free! J

Monday, January 2, 2012

Gluten-Free, Mostly Sugar-Free Crispy Rice Treats

Gluten-free recipes that can also be made with alternative sweeteners are at a premium around our house. This yummy cookie is a cross between granola bars and crispy rice treats. It is easy to make, and packed with three kinds of fruit, nut butter, and a few kinds of seeds, and very forgiving if you don't have all of that on hand. If you have peanut allergies, you can substitute almond butter for the peanut butter. It's true, rice crispy cereal is lightly sweetened, but it seems like the amount of sugar is low enough that it doesn't cause any great harm to my brother who normally does not tolerate sugar well. (He seems to do fine with honey, fructose in moderation, and fruit.)

Gluten-Free Crispy Rice Treats with Fruit and Nuts
Makes about 20 2-inch squares

6 1/2 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup dried blueberries (I didn't have blueberries, so I increased the raisins and dried cherries)
1/2 cup dried raisins or dried zante currants
1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried sour cherries
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (I used a generous 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and some chopped walnuts)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup molasses (I used 1/4 c honey, 1/4 c. agave nectar instead of molasses and honey)
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Spray or lightly oil a 9-inch x 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, mix rice cereal, dried fruit, and nuts together. Set aside.

Place peanut butter, molasses, honey, and butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir until butter has melted. Pour over cereal mixture, and stir to coat. Press mixture into prepared pan. Freeze for 30 minutes. Cut into 20 small squares. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

These bars were quite a hit around our house, and I just used what I had around. I expected the bars to be fine sitting out on the counter, but was surprised that they get soft enough to kind of crumble apart at room temperature. They really should be kept in the refrigerator. :)