Archives for July 2016

5 certain truths in a world of uncertainty

We woke up this morning to yet another senseless tragedy in our country. It seems like I can’t get through a day without reading about some dreadful story or another. It feels as though society is getting worse, our future dimmer, and our world more uncertain. On days like today, when our world’s insecurity seems even more overwhelming, here are five truths I try to remember:

1. Nothing surprises God. Nothing. Nothing happens without His permission or outside of His plan. We can rest in knowing that God is Sovereign and that He has a plan for this world and for our lives. The Bible makes it clear: this world will bring trouble but true and lasting peace will triumph in the end when He returns or calls us home to heaven.

 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” – Psalm 61:2

2. Fear and worry accomplish nothing. I could worry all day long about this country and our future. It comes so naturally. What will it be like for my baby to grow up in a world like this? What’s going to happen if evil becomes more and more prevalent in society? What will become of our country after the next election? Will our freedoms be taken away? There’s so much to fear and so much to worry about. And yet, I accomplish nothing by focusing on those unanswerable questions. So instead, turn your thoughts away from those things and turn them toward what is true, right, pure, and lovely.

 “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Matthew 6:27

3. Love has a God-given definition. It is, without a doubt, our job as Christians to love others. But we have to remember that love is defined by God and not by you, me, or anyone else. In a world shouting “love” and “tolerance”, we need to speak and live out the true definition of love and tolerance. It doesn’t mean agreeing with everyone. It does mean treating those who disagree with us with kindness. It doesn’t mean that we don’t speak the truth just in case it offends someone. It does mean that we speak the truth in love.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;    does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truthbears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

4. You never know what the next day will bring. It seems as though tragedy is everywhere. And unfortunately, none of us get a guarantee that it won’t affect us or those close to us. So enjoy today. Don’t say the unkind comment that’s on the tip of your tongue. Let the dishes sit in the sink for another hour and play an extra game with your kids. Snuggle your baby for a few more minutes. Complement and encourage. Talk to your husband for ten more minutes tonight instead of turning on the TV. Be with your family. Book the vacation. And for goodness sake, put your phone down.

5. Be prepared to stand and to speak. We know the good news amongst all of the bad news. Be ready and willing to share the gospel with those who don’t. And be prepared to stand for the truth as it’s going to become that much harder. Know God’s Word…read it, study it, memorize it. Otherwise, how will you even know what truth to stand for?

I certainly struggle in both remembering and applying these things in my own life, but they definitely provide a little hope and purpose during these confusing times. I pray they do the same for you!

 

 

mini strawberry & blueberry pies

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Happy 4th of July!

Oh, how I love the 4th of July. The best colors, food, weather, and an excuse to hang out with family & friends. I love trying a new red, white, and blue themed dessert every year. So many choices! Luckily, there’s lots of fruit this time of year that fit the color scheme. I decided to try out some mini blueberry and strawberry pies because 1) who doesn’t love something miniature? You can try one of each without feeling guilty! 2) blueberries & strawberries are in season and are pretty much my favorite 3) I wanted to try to create something new 4) pie is the perfect summertime treat.

You start with some pie crust (the recipe follows although it would be perfectly acceptable to get some pre made dough if you’re trying to save some time) and cut out circles using a round cookie cutter or drinking glass. Fit them into muffin tins and fill with delicious blueberry and strawberry filling! I topped mine with a stabilized whipped cream. It’s like a homemade version of cool whip. Ice cream would be equally delicious!

Sorry there’s so few pictures, I underestimated the time it would take to make these while also trying to entertain a baby who decided he’d boycott his naps for the day. Don’t forget to follow my blog via e-mail if you want to see more recipes, fun ideas, and my ramblings!

Printable Version Here

MINI STRAWBERRY & BLUEBERRY PIES

Makes 24 mini pies

PIE CRUST 

3 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup cold butter (cut into cubes)

10 tablespoons ice water

Combine all the dry ingredients and mix with a fork or pastry cutter while adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is formed. I just combine all the ingredients in my blender and mix until a ball forms. Either way!

Coat two muffin tins with cooking spray. Roll out the dough and use a circle cookie cutter or drinking glass to create circles. Fit your circles into the muffin tins and make sure the dough goes at least halfway up the sides. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Once you’ve created 24 little pie crusts, throw the muffin tins in the fridge.

BLUEBERRY PIE FILLING

3 cups fresh blueberries

1 tbsp. lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 + 1/8 cup flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle blueberries with lemon juice and set aside. Combine the next 4 ingredients- sugar through cinnamon. Combine dry ingredients with blueberries until well incorporated. Add vanilla. Divide the blueberry mixture into 12 of your mini pie crusts. Cut butter into small squares and dot each pie with a few butter pieces.

Place your mini blueberry pies and the remaining pan of empty pie crusts in the oven. Bake the empty crusts for 15 minutes and the blueberry pies for 25 minutes or until bubbly. The blueberry pie filling will leak out the sides but don’t worry! Just pop the pies out of the tin a few minutes after they’re finished cooking or they’ll get stuck.

STRAWBERRY PIE FILLING

1/2 cup mashed strawberries

6 tbsp. water

6 tbsp. sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup sliced strawberries

Combine mashed strawberries and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain juice from strawberries and add enough water to make 1/2 cup. Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in the empty saucepan and then stir in the strawberry juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until thick. Set aside to cool slightly.

Remove your remaining 12 pie crusts from the muffin tin. Layer sliced strawberries in the bottom of your baked pie crusts. You can fill them nearly all the way to the top. Pour strawberry mixture over the sliced strawberries until full. Cool in fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.

STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1 pint (1 cup) heavy cream

Combine first three ingredients until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in cream cheese mixture. Beat the mixture again until thick and creamy.

I used a cupcake decorating tool to create a swirl of whipped cream on top of my pies. Go ahead and just spoon a dollop on top or serve it on the side so people can have as little or as much as they want. (I can just hear my husband saying “Would you like a side of pie with your whipped cream?” But it’s just that good!)

That’s it! If you try the recipe, please let me know what you think.

Happy 4th!

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