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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cool Summer Dinner

Garden Salad

Mixed greens, washed
Fresh cucumbers, washed, peeled, sliced
Tommy Toe or Grape Tomatoes (or sliced tomatoes)
Grated carrots
Sliced fresh celery
Shredded cheddar cheese
Raisins or Cranraisins
Hard boiled egg (optional)
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Tomato Soup

1 can Campbells condensed tomato soup
1 can beef broth
Fresh grated horseradish

Add the tomato soup to a saucepan, add the beef broth instead of water. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat. Add horseradish, stir and serve with crackers. Can be served with a dollop of sour cream on top and or chipped cilantro.

Ice Cream with Chocolate Bananas

Vanilla ice cream (sugar free and/or fat free are options)
Sliced bananas
Chocolate sauce (sugar free is an option)
Granola on top

Summer Cool Dinner


4 or 5 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 serrano pepper, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemon cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 ripe but slightly firm avocado, peeled and diced
4 cups light beef stock or chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons medium-acid red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsely
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
kosher salt and black pepper in a mill
1/2 cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the stock, lemon juice and vinegar and stir very briefly. Stir in the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill the soup for at least one hour before serving. Remove from the refrigerator, stir, let rest for 15 minutes and then pour the olive oil over the soup and serve.

You can freeze just about any fresh herb by chopping it and putting it in ice cube trays. Fill with water to cover and freeze. Store herb cubes in labeled ziploc bags. Even easier...just wash the leaves and remove them from the stem. Then place loosely in a bag and freeze. When they are frozen, you can pack them down tighter, and, when you remove some from the freezer, they will crumble just like dried... A bunch of dill frozen loosely in a bag with the stalk intact. Just snipping off what you need for each meal and putting it directly into the food.


Red & Green Gazpacho

3 cups chopped red and/or partially green tomatoes (3 large)
½ cup chopped tomatillo (2 medium)
1 (16 oz) can tomato juice (2 cups)
½ cup chopped cucumber
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
1 clove minced garlic
¼ tsp bottled green pepper sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
¼ cup finely shipped cilantro
6 oz peeled, cooked medium shrimp (12-15)
Sour Cream

In a bowl combine tomatoes, tomatillos, tomato juice, cucumber, jalapeno pepper, green onions, garlic, pepper sauce, oil, lime juice and cilantro. Cover; chill at least 1 hour. To serve, reserve six shrimp. Coarsely chop remaining shrimp. Stir chopped shrimp into gazpacho. Spoon gazpacho into chilled bowls. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, one whole shrimp, and a green onion curl. Serves 6 as and aside.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens, August 2002, Pg 202

Cheese Toast

Toast your bread in toaster, place a piece of cheese on top and broil quickly in oven.

Minty Watermelon Sorbet

3 lb Watermelon, peeled, deseeded and cubed
4 fl.oz. Maple Syrup
2 fl.oz. freshly squeezed Lime Juice
2 tbsp of finely chopped Fresh Mint

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
2. Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn freeze for 20 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Alternatively, turn the mixture into a rigid freezer-proof container and freeze, removing from the freezer every 20 minutes or so and beating well with a wooden spoon to break up any ice particles.

Summer Cool Dinner

Tuna Fish Sandwiches

1 Large can of Star Kist tuna packed in spring water
Minced onions
Minced celery (or celery seed)
Sweet relish

Drain the tuna and put in a bowl. Add the next 3 ingredients to taste, stir in enough mayonnaise to make it moist and spread. Serve on bread, toast, hot dog buns, crackers or just on lettuce.

Sliced Tomatoes

Just slice some tomatoes and sprinkle salt and pepper on them.

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

2 Good sized cucumbers, washed, peeled, sliced
1 Onion peeled and sliced
Salt & Pepper

Place cucumbers and onions in a bowl. Pour half cold water and half white vinegar. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and serve.

Cold Dessert

1 (16 oz.) Pkg. cottage cheese
1 Pkg. Jello (4 servings) (any flavor)
1 Pkg. Cool Whip (at least 9 oz., preferably more)

Mix Jello according to package instructions, add cottage cheese and Cool Whip and stir together. Refrigerate.

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Summertime Dinner

Grated Carrot Salad

1 1/2 cups clean, peeled, grated fresh carrots
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Toss the grated carrots in the rice wine vinegar and sugar mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Marinate 15-30 mins before serving.

Crockpot Pot Roast

1 envelope of Italian Dressing mix (.7 oz)
3-3 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck shoulder or bottom round rump roast
2 large onions, peeled and cut in wedges
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 red bell peppers, washed, seeded, membranes removed and cut into strips
1/2 cup beef broth
2 zuchinis, washed and cut into pieces
2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed in 2 Tbsp water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pat the roast thoroughly with the Italian Dressing mix. Place onions and garlic on the bottom of the crockpot. Put the roast on top. Add bell peppers and broth. Cover and cook. On High means less time, but on Low it means less heat. Add zuchini and cook another 30 minutes. Remove the meat and vegetables. Strain the liquid into a smaller pot. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir in over heat. This thickens it. Cut the roast beef in slices and pour the gravy over it and the vegetables as you serve.

Icy Fruit Cups With Lemonade

4 - medium (2 cups) ripe plums, pitted, sliced 1/4-inch
3 - medium (2 cups) ripe peaches, pitted, sliced 1/4-inch
3 - small (1 cup) ripe apricots, pitted, sliced 1/8-inch
1 - cup seedless green grapes
1 - can (6-ounce) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 - cups lime-flavored mineral water

In a large bowl, you want to combine plums, peaches, apricots, and grapes. Toss lightly and divide fruit mixture among 6 cups. In a pitcher, you will stir together lemonade and mineral water. Pour over fruit in cups, cover, and freeze 8 hours or overnight.

In the Cool

This dog is in the cool! How do you stay cool? We live in South Carolina. Our climate is made up of 2 months of cold and 10 months of warm-too hot. In the summer it's HOT! We have high humidity which makes it feel somewhat like a steam bath in July and August. Southerners keep cool any way they can. Back in the days before air conditioning there were several things they did to keep cool.
  • High ceilings (because heat rises)
  • Transoms over doors (these are like windows over door that open so you can get air movement and yet still retain privacy)
  • High windows that remained open, some of these windows were so large they could be used like doors.
  • Porches, especially on the sunny sides of the house (which led to wraparound porches on some houses) to keep the sun out of the windows.
  • Fans. In the days before electricity the wealthy relied on servant's children to fan for air movement and to keep flies away (open windows and no screens led to flies and mosquitos in the house). After electricity there were electric fans.
  • Cold and refreshing drinks. You've heard of iced tea, lemonade, mint juleps, etc? When you had ice, you used it in drinks to help keep your body temperature down.
  • Lighter meals.
  • Taking the afternoon off. It's the hottest time of day and you took a rest period at that time of day. After the afternoon rest, your day picked back up and you didn't eat supper until 8:00pm.
  • Conserving energy during the hottest times of the day. Moving slower. If you had to work during the hot afternoon, then you worked slower to conserve your energy or you would get heat exhaustion.
  • The use of fabrics like cotton to wick moisture away from the body. Another reason why cotton was king in the South.
  • Fans. Any public gathering such as a church service, funerals, concerts, they handed out paper fans, some with advertisements on them.
  • Trips to the mountains in the summer. For everyone who could, they headed to the high ground for the hottest months. This is why summer homes, boardinghouses and resorts in the mountains were popular. Air conditioning made the beaches a popular summer vacation spot in our day, but before then, it was the mountains.
At my age, keeping cool is necessary. I rarely get cold any more, but I often get too hot, flushed. I started having hot flashes about 10 yrs ago. My hormone pills just suddenly quit working and I was having 2-3 hot flashes an hour around the clock. I've never read of any woman having that many but I did! We worked around and around until we got it somewhat under control. But I still stayed hot all the time...not just flashes. We have to keep our air conditioning on 69 to keep me cool enough to function. This is better than the last couple of years when I had to keep it on 67-68 to keep me cool. At night I have to have a fan blowing on me because of night sweats. I would go to someone else's house and literally have to go outside to cool down because they kept their temp at 72. I told my brother-in-law I wanted him to make me a chair for his house...with a seat made from a box fan! Sometime this summer it seemed God flipped the switch and I'm not so hot all the time. I get hot like normal people in 90 weather but NOT sweltering in 70 degree weather! I'm so thankful that I've finally reached the end of that. I'm so thankful for air conditioning, for hormone pills, that God finally flipped my switch back to normal, for electric fans. How in the world women stood menopause before air conditioning I don't know!

Here are some tips on keeping cool:

  • Don't use your oven. This heats up a kitchen. Try to make cold meals or quick cook meals. Salads, sandwiches, cold soups, cold cuts, take outs.
  • Cold drinks. Always have a water pitcher in your refrigerator (a lot of refrigerators have ice and cool water on the doors), juices, tea, lemonade, Koolaid, Gatorade. You have to stay hydrated in the heat and having cold drinks ready in the refrigerator encourages us to go grab one.
  • During the winter months you can plan ahead and use your freezer. Make some meals and put them in the freezer so, when the weather gets too hot, you've got things already to make quick meals. Take them out to thaw,
  • Cook outside. Grill a lot (and grill some things for the freezer so you can enjoy that grilled taste even in the winter). Use a deep fryer or griddle or George Foreman grill outside. This keeps your house cool. Remember to do this in the evening when it's not so hot outside.
  • Use ceiling fans to keep air flowing.
  • If possible, take a nap in the afternoon when it's the hottest. My Dad has practised this all his life. Whenever he could he took a nap after lunch. If he couldn't do that, he took one as soon as he got home. Just 15-30 mins of quiet, rest and relaxation. Whenever you lay down and rest, it conserves your energy, your body doesn't have to work as much and this saves on body heat. Your body literally slows down and cools down. The hot afternoon is NOT the time to jog, or practise other outdoor sports! I wish schools would learn this. It would be better to have practise time at 6pm rather than 3pm.
  • Take cool showers or baths. This saves on hot water costs but it cools your body down. This is especially effective if you realize you are too hot, sweating, blood pressure rising. A cool shower or bath will bring your body temperature back down.
  • Keep a small cooler of ice with a washcloth and some water when you have to be outside doing yard work. This gives you a cool rag for your head and some cold water to bring your body temperature back down.
  • Plant some trees. Careful planting can give you good shade in the summer and sun during the cold of winter. We're in a house that was planned well. We have shade in the summer but the winter sun can warm us.
  • My house has a patio, a deck, a porch and a screened in porch. So I have an outside area for nearly every temperature except the worst heat and the worst cold. We have swings, comfortable chairs and tables, some umbrellas so we can enjoy relaxing outdoors unless it's really hot or cold.
  • Do slow stretches for exercising, such as yoga. Or take water aerobics or swimming. These are hot weather exercises that don't raise your body heat. If you have to do more intense exercising then do it in the early morning or the late evening. Be sure and wear reflective clothing and BE SAFE! But jogging in the heat is ridiculous. Go to a school track around 7pm and jog. Much more comfortable.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Tongues of Fire, Part I

Symbol of the United Methodist Church

John Wesley (1703-1791), along with his brother, Charles, and others, started the Methodist movement. He was an Anglican minister and theologian. In college he and his brother helped form the "Holy Club of Oxford" and they were called Methodists because of their methodical habits, their methodical study and devotion. That term stuck. Although there were many pentecostal type revivals that occurred, they were not as sweeping in movement. The Welseys were part of the first widely successful evangelical movement in the United Kingdom. His greatest theological achievement was his promotion of what he termed "Christian perfection," or holiness of heart and life. Wesley insisted that in this life, the Christian could come to a state where the love of God, or perfect love, reigned supreme in one's heart. In 1739 Wesley followed George Whitefield to Bristol, where a revival broke out among the miners of Kingswood. The revival continued under Wesley's direct leadership for over fifty years. The teachings of Wesley also served as a basis for the Holiness Movement, from which Pentecostalism, parts of the Charismatic Movement, and the Christian and Missionary Alliance are offshoots. Many Pentecostal denominations are descended from Methodism. According to Wikipedia, Charles Fox Parham, a minister of Methodist background in Topeka, Kansas, formulated the doctrine that tongues was the "Bible evidence" of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Wesley's call to personal and social holiness continues to challenge Christians today. The flames of their symbol represent the Holy Spirit's work in the world as shown in Acts 2:4.

We know when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, a dove descended...
Matthew 3:1-17 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

But why do flames also represent the Holy Spirit?

Act 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Hebrews 12:29, For our God is a consuming fire.

Fire represents God's purity and power. It represents the rapid spread of the Gospel on the Earth. Our pastor, Barry Shepps of Bethel Assembly of God, had an excellent sermon today on why speaking in tongues is part of our Assemblies of God beliefs. He presented it in such a way that I finally understood why speaking in tongues is a necessary evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Barry pointed out that language is verbal communication that enables us to communicate with others. Speaking in tongues is the language of the Holy Spirit and angels. In fact, the word "tongues" means languages (of men or of angels). The heavenly language is not taught to us by other men. It is supernaturally given by the Holy Spirit who enables us to speak in languages we have not learned (whether of men or of angels). The Holy Spirit enables us and then begins to teach us as we begin to practise it. It is a supernatural gift. Sometimes we may be enabled to speak in a language such as Spanish or German...but we were never taught Spanish or German, it was gifted to us by the Holy Spirit in order to reach someone who would understand it. But, mostly, pentecostals are referring to our heavenly language.

When we become believers our spirit is born within us and given eternal life in heaven. At that time the Holy Spirit comes to live within us and begins training and maturing our spirit. This is called sanctification and is a lifelong process. But there is a second experience called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which means our full submission to the Holy Spirit's move in our hearts. He is in control. He supernaturally gives us gifts of the Spirit in order to minister to others such as healing, prophesy, words of wisdom, teaching, preaching, etc. One of the gifts is our heavenly language. We ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we seek it, we wait for it with expectancy. In God's timing He pours it out. I wish I could explain this better but I've experienced it and know it to be real and one of the best experiences of my life. Once you are so totally filled with God it is something you never want to stop.

The evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. It is a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Because our tongues can be the most unruly member of our body, it shows that God is in control. Once we are filled with the Spirit, we don't have to "work ourselves up" in an emotional frenzy in order to speak in tongues. It comes naturally. It's just a part of who we are. I'm Southern and saying "ya'll" is natural to me. I can speak in tongues at any time without having to work myself up.
How do we know that someone is baptized in the Holy Spirit? By the evidence of speaking in tongues. Let's look at some scriptures.

Cornelius and his household were Gentiles in Caesarea. He was a devout man who feared God, gave alms generously to the poor, prayed to God always and received a vision from God.
Acts 10:44-47 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed (Messianic Jews)were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

How did Peter and the other believing Jews know that the Holy Spirit had been poured out on Cornelius and these Gentiles? By the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Acts 11:15-17 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

Acts 19:1-6 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

In Acts 2:4, God gave the physical evidence that He had filled the Apostles with the Holy Spirit. That evidence was speaking in tongues. In Acts, we see that the Apostles and Early Church leaders recognized speaking in tongues as the evidence. Believers had confirmation they had been filled with the Holy Spirit by this physical evidence. Others saw this evidence and knew it confirmed believers had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Read the story of Simon the Sorcerer who saw this experience and begged the Apostles to show him how to do this. Acts 8:12-25.

Pastor Barry says our tongue is the birthing agent to blessings and curses.

Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud; under his tongue are mischief and vanity.

Psalm 12:3-4 Jehovah shall cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks proud things, that has said, With our tongue we shall do much; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?

Psalm 35:28 And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness, of Your praise all the day long.

Psalm 139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Jehovah, You know it altogether.

Proverbs 6:2 you are snared with the words of your mouth, you are taken with the words of your mouth.

Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of a righteous one is a well of life; but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:31-32 The mouth of the just brings forth wisdom; but the perverse tongue shall be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is pleasing; but the mouth of the wicked what is contrary.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God."

James 1:26 If anyone thinks to be religious among you, yet does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is vain.

James 3:2-10 For in many things we all offend. If anyone does not offend in word, the same is a full-grown man, able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, so that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships being so great, and driven by fierce winds, yet they are turned about with a very small rudder, where the impulse of him steering desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. Behold how little a fire kindles how large a forest! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. So the tongue is set among our members, spotting all the body and inflaming the course of nature, and being inflamed by hell. For every kind of animals, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of sea-animals, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind. But no one can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. By this we bless God, even the Father. And by this we curse men, who have come into being according to the image of God. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

James 4:2-3 You desire, and do not have. You murder, and are jealous, and cannot obtain. You fight and war, yet you have not because you ask not. You ask and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it upon your lusts.

The Holy Spirit having control over our tongue is evidence of complete submission.

Tongues of Fire Part II

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