October 24, 2012

Just Pray.


A verse has been swimming in my head lately, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."  Philippians 4:6. 

My life is full of busyness lately, but I'm so thankful for it! God is so good, and I'm very blessed. However, busyness makes me feel overwhelmed sometimes, so this verse has become a favorite of mine lately. Whenever I start to feel stressed, I remind myself to just pray about it. To let go, and let God take care of it. He cares about every little detail in your life. Don't let the busyness of the upcoming holidays, school, work, and just every day tasks take away your joy. Take time to just live. Give God all your worries and be thankful.
I hope this verse can bring you comfort when you feel stressed too. Have a lovely Wednesday!

P.S. I have some great recipes coming soon, but unfortunately my camera is currently broken. I will be posting the recipes with the pictures when it is fixed!

September 16, 2012

The Devil's at Your Door

I had the honor to write for TrueNorth's recap of the sermon the past two Sundays! I haven't gotten the chance to post the one I wrote from last Sunday, so I'm going to post both recaps this week. We started our new series, Satan Hates You on September 9. This has been such a powerful series so far as we've learned about the spiritual warfare around us.
Here is the recap I wrote for the message on September 9.

We started out the new series, Satan Hates You learning about Satan and his schemes. Spiritual Warfare is real and is a powerful thing that affects our lives. Satan doesn’t like you and he wants to steal your joy, your happiness, and purpose in life. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 

Read: Isaiah 14:12-14
Satan was originally an angel named Lucifer. God cast him out of heaven because he wanted to become God. He wanted power and he wanted to be the highest. Satan was the first demonstration of selfishness as we see in the verse he continuously used the word “I”.
What does Satan desire to do?
Read: 2 Corinthians 4:4 
Satan seeks to blind the mind of unbelievers. He blocks their minds to discourage them and to keep them from trusting and believing in God. His goal is keep them from God and the salvation he extends to each of us.
Read: Matthew 13:19
Satan steals God’s word from us. Have you heard a good message and then the next day you completely forgot it? Satan is trying to keep us from using the ultimate tool God has given us, the Bible. He wants to snatch God’s word from our hearts.
Read: 2 Timothy 2:26
Satan sets traps to ensnare us. He preys on our weaknesses to make us fall short. He wants to make us feel like we aren’t good enough. He wants us to forget the salvation God has given us. Through Christ we are made perfect in the power of His grace.
Read: 1 Thessalonians 2:18
Satan fights to stop us. Have you ever noticed how something bad or unexpectant often happens after you’ve made the changes God desires?  Satan wants us to fail, so he is going to try to stop us whenever he gets the chance.
Steve finished the message with two truths to remember. 
1. We are not ALONE in the battle. (2 Kings 6: 15-16)
God is with us and for us in whatever we face in life. There is no reason to fear because God has given us peace.
2. We don’t fight for victory, we fight from victory! (Colossians 2:13-15)
Jesus has already won the war when he died on the cross for our sins. We can walk every single day forgiven and free from Satan’s strain. How awesome that Our God has already won the battle for us!
Watch messages online at www.truenorthchurch.com.

September 4, 2012

The Summer Ends with a Surprise.

Hey there! Anyone still reading the blog? I'm not gone, I promise. I've been sitting down to write this post for a long time now, I just haven't been able to find words. It's hard to put into words how incredible this summer has been or how life-changing the next 1 1/2 years will be. I'm so excited to see what God has planned for our life. Did you noticed I said our? Well it's official. Michael and I are getting married. He proposed on my birthday while we were on vacation at the beach with my family. Let me give a quick glimpse into how it happened.
In the evening of my birthday we took a walk on the beach after the dinner celebration. He had convinced me he didn't feel good and needed some air. We walked for a while and talked about different things about the family, what we wanted in life, etc. On the way back, right about sunset, he told me to look at the tiki torches someone had set up on the beach. I thought nothing of it at first, until I saw my mom and then his dad taking pictures from a far. Then it hit me, and I realized what was going on. I gasped and said, "Oh my gosh, this is for me isn't it?" Then I started to became giddy. Once we got closer I could see everything he set up. He strung fishing line from five tiki torches with pictures of us throughout our whole relationship hung with clothes lines. It was so sweet and creative. We just stood there hugging for a minute before he even proposed. Then he got down on his knee, said some very sweet words, then asked me to marry him, to which I replied YES! It was surreal and an out of body experience for me. I was so stunned and shocked I just couldn't believe what happened that I didn't even cry. I previously thought I would bawl when he proposed. The best part was that my family got to be there to see it happen. I started crying once my parents came up hugging and crying and Austin even had tears in his eyes! Michael's parents were able to be there too! I was so excited I couldn't even eat my ice cream at Sonic afterwards. It was the best birthday I've ever had.
Right after I said Yes!
 So much happiness fills my heart right now. Not only do I get to marry this amazing, sweet, and caring man of God, but also for the opportunities God is providing for us. Particularly in the kids ministry at TrueNorth. We are so excited about what the future holds. The transition to moving home has been a blessing for us in so many ways. It's so nice being around family all the time. It was an eventful summer  as I became engaged, received a new job, and now we start school at a new university. Now that I'm getting back in a regular schedule, I should be updating the blog much more often. (Especially with lots of wedding ideas!) I hope you all had a great summer! Come back soon.

July 27, 2012

Moist and Light Pound Cake

My sweet grandparents are in town this week! Every time Nana and Papa visit, you can guarantee they will bring a pound cake for Michael. It's his all-time favorite dessert! Nana makes him one or two each time we see them. It's moist, fluffy, and everything you want in a pound cake. I like it best with my creamy hot fudge sauce and ice cream! Try it out next time you want a light, delicious dessert. This recipe will delight even the pickiest dessert fan.

Jean's Sour Cream Pound Cake
Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of plain flour
  • 8 oz of sour cream
  • 6 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsps of vanilla
First, cream the butter and add the sugar slowly. Mix until blended. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Add baking soda to the sour cream. Next, add sour cream mixture and flour to the batter, beginning and ending with flour. Lastly, add vanilla and stir all the ingredients together. Pour into a bundt or tube cake pan that is greased and floured. Bake the cake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Enjoy! Have a great weekend friends! 


July 13, 2012

Music Makes the World Go Round.

Well, at least it makes my world go round. I've had a love and passion for music since I was young. As a toddler, I put on shows singing, acting, and dancing for my family. I made my brother, Austin, dress up and act out all the Disney movies with me. The home videos of our performances are hilarious. I've gotten different opportunities to sing on stage at different times in my life. Each one was fantastic.
Since I met Michael, who is a musician and a music freak, music has had an even bigger impact on my life. Luckily, I love talking and sharing about it just as much as he does. However, I still don't have the knowledge or understanding of every guitar, amp, pedal, cables, strings, picks etc. like Michael. I'm not quite there yet, but hopefully I will understand everything he talks about one day. For now, I love listening to him talk about it because he's so passionate about all that he says. Seriously, music makes him happy, which makes me happy! :)
Music is also one of my favorite ways to worship. Some of my most powerful moments with God have come through music. I feel like I can speak and show my emotions to my Savior so well through the power of music. This Sunday night at TrueNorth we are having a Facedown service. Our Facedown services are so amazing because they're all about worshiping God through music and communion. I look forward to every single one we have. This Sunday is going to be no exception. I want to encourage you to come. It's going to be incredible.
I don't know how music has touched your life. It might affect yours even more than mine. All I know is that without it, my life would feel empty in some ways. It rejuvenates my soul.  I have songs I listen to when I'm sad, happy, feeling silly, or thankful. There is something beautiful about music that can bring people together. It can also bring us closer to God. That's why I believe it makes the world go round.
"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!" Psalm 95:1


June 27, 2012

3 Ingredients to an Irresistible Dessert.

This recipe is one of my favorite desserts because it combines three amazing "sweets" all together. It was another great find on Pinterest. It has chocolate chip cookie dough on bottom, Oreo cookies in the middle, and brownie mix drizzled on top. Add some ice cream and you have a perfect treat!  If you're a chocoholic and enjoy rich desserts like me, you are going to love it! :)
I simplified this recipe to save time. I used pre-made cookie dough and brownie mix. It was still awesome even though I didn't make my own ingredients. Give this dessert a try sometime soon, it's easy prep and all you do is pop it in the oven. 
 Chocolate Chip & Oreo Cookie Brownies
Ingredients:

  • Package of cookie dough
  • 20 Oreo Cookies
  • family size Brownie Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1/4 cup of water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish, then press the chocolate chip cookie dough evenly across the bottom. Next, place the Oreo cookies on top. Combine the brownie mix with the eggs, oil, and water.   Lastly, spread the mix evenly on top of the Oreos and cookie dough until every part of the dish is covered. Bake for about 45 minutes. 

 Recipe adapted from Kevin and Amanda

Hope you enjoy! Try not to eat the whole pan! :)

June 21, 2012

What I've been doing this Summer...

Since I came home for the Summer, things have been crazy! I started a job that I work everyday. I've also enjoyed getting to serve in many different areas at TrueNorth. I wanted to post a few pictures to let you know what I've been up to. Take a look at the pictures, please excuse some of the low quality ones, they were taken with my phone.
 At the beginning of the summer, I went camping with Michael's family. We fished and cooked everything we caught.
 The picture below depicts a low country boil night at my house. We've had it 4 times already this summer! It's one of my favorite meals!
 My brother Christian had a birthday. Michael and I took him to ChickfilA to celebrate. Later that night we had dinner and a cookie cake with the rest of the family!
 We love spending time at the pool. Especially when it's over 90 degrees!
 Did I mention Michael loves to fish? :)

 For Father's Day my dad said all he wanted was to play a wiffle ball game with the whole family. We had a ton of fun! I know my dad enjoyed it! 
 We also went to a Braves vs. Cardinals game. Everyone in family is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan. I however, am a Braves fan, like Michael. It's a fun rivalry. 
 I loved all the pictures of us in our different shirts! :) 
 I seriously have the best family in the entire world. The picture below depicts how much fun we have together. 
 My youngest brother, Cameron, had a birthday two days ago. We went to dinner at Chili's and to play putt-putt! 
 It's been a great start to the summer with lots of activities. What fun things have you done? Come back soon friends! :)

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