12.28.2011

God With Us, Still

 

"When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among others,

To make music in the heart."

– Dr. Howard Thurman

Oh how this writing stirred something within me this morning. "To find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among others, to make music in the heart." these are the truths from God's Word that God led me to, and through, this past Christmas season. To read this writing and see that Emmanuel, God With Us, doesn't end when Christmas is over, causes me to leap with joy and wonder at the marvelous workings of our loving Heavenly Father in each of our lives.

The gifts don't end; they grow, increase to be given again and again and again. His healing hands made to reach out through mine of flesh. His loving heart to be extended by me. Absolute truth spoken through these human lips exposing lies of the enemy and freeing the prisoners held by those lies. That peace comes when I enter the room. Then music singing in the heart. These are what a child of God is to do.

Other New Year's resolutions pale beside the divine calling that rings loud and clear within the believer's heart - "Take Me with you My child. Let Me reach out through you, speak through you, and touch through you." Jesus came to seek and save the lost. How can I do less than my Savior? As the new year approaches, may the one I'm still in be made better by Jesus in Me. May Emmanuel, God With Us, flow out from me to the world He has brought me to.

12.16.2011

Ever Wonder?

Ever wonder what ever became of the you you thought you once knew, or the children who lived in your home when so small, or the husband to whom you promised I do?
 
Don't be discouraged, please have no fear. Alone you are not. Don't we all. All of us wonder where we have gone and who took our loved ones so dear.
 
No need to fret or worry or doubt. One thing I know to be true. While you are so busy wondering where they all went, they're wondering the same about you. ~ ANONYMOUS

--
 

12.13.2011

Making Your Own...Onion Powder

 Last year, Not of This World, posted an article on making homemade french fried onions. This year, not only did she make more french fried onions, she also experimented with producing her own onion powder. The onion powder has been just as successful.

Here at Abundance, the flavor of the onion is enjoyed, but the texture isn't a fave. Biting into a semi-crunchy piece of onion, I'm shuddering as I think about it. The solution? onion powder! The process is very simple. Here's the scoop:
  1. Wash and peel onions
  2. Slice thin, a mandolin slicer works great for this. Wearing goggles is recommended for this.
  3. Place onion on trays of dehydrator.
  4. Place dehydrator on table outside! (Highly recommended - just take our word for this one)
  5. When onions have dried completely, place in blender and grind into powder.
  6. Pour powder into container of choice. Another use for those recycled jars:)
After several months of using the first batch and making another, we have learned a few things. First things first, homemade onion powder is stronger in potency than that from the store. Use less, much less. Because homemade onion powder is free of preservatives, it will clump. Scraping desired amount of powder off lightly with a utensil or shaking the container really hard loosens it up and has given us great results. Having healthy, preservative and chemical free onion powder with superior flavor to cook with more than makes up for such a minor inconvenience. The final thing we have discovered is that just as there is a difference in flavor between varieties of fresh onions, onion powder made from different varieties also contains a distinct difference in flavor.

Oh yes, please dehydrate using an actual dehydrator, for safety purposes. Once an onion has been cut, it immediately begins to absorb germs and bacteria. Leaving cut onions out in an open area to dry is not considered healthy or safe. Because of this, onions left out in a bowl or on a plate work well as air purifiers during cold and flu season. Beware as they can turn really ucky looking.

Finally, unless you want your entire house, person, clothing, belongings to smell of onion for days and days, don't forget to place the dehyrdator in a location OUTSIDE of the house!!! Also, if it is outside near the back door, DON'T open the window on the door. Odor of onion will blow through the house in a very NON refreshing wave. Laughing out loud as I remember.

12.12.2011

Making Your Own...Worcestershire & Cream Soup Mix

Is it every busy around here! Holiday time is one of my favorite. Not only do I get to celebrate Jesus, but there is also an excuse to cook, bake, and give gifts more. Many special recipes use worchestershire sauce or cream of something soup. Both of these ingredients tend to be rather costly. When I found recipes for make your own versions I had to share. Neither of these recipes are original to Abundance. They were discovered and are still on our "to try" list. If anyone tries them, please leave us a comment sharing your experience and/or opinion.



Worcestershire Sauce

2 centimeters (1 inch) fresh Ginger, bruised
2 cloves Garlic, bruised, (not even necessary to peel, just toss them in)
6 teaspoon whole Cloves
4-3/4 cups Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Salt
2 cups black Treacle ( Brer Rabbit molasses)
Optional: I, also, use 2 Tablespoons of the oil off a tin of Anchovies for flavor, but it’s not necessary, will taste just as good without.

METHOD: Place all ingredients in a large saucepan; stir to combine.
Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand overnight.
Next day; strain into bottles and seal tight. Store.***

***Can be used straight away, but does improve with age.

by Shirley Rampton.

 
*************************************************************************************************

Lots of recipes call for “cream of…” type canned soups. This could be cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken, cream of potato etc.

Instead of continually buying the cans, why not make this frugal cream of anything soup mix and use it anytime a recipe calls for the soup. It’s quick and easy to put together and quite a bit cheaper than buying canned soup. It also takes up less room and lasts for up to a year.

Cream of Anything Soup Mix

4 c. powdered milk
1 1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. instant chicken bouillon granules *
4 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp basil – crushed dried
1 tsp. pepper

* For a vegetarian version of this soup, use vegetable broth bullion instead.

Measure all ingredients and pour them into a container with an airtight seal. I like to use a tupperware type container, but a larger freezer bag will work as well. Be sure to label your container.

To Use The Mix:Combine 1/3 cup of the mix with 1 cup of water and heat it over medium low heat in a small saucepan until it starts to thicken. This is the equivalent of one can of soup.

 Keep this white sauce mix on hand for easy Macaroni and Cheese!

White Sauce Mix
2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter, margarine or shortening

In a large bowl mix well dry milk, flour and salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Store in an airtight container. If using butter, store in the refrigerator. If using margarine or shortening, will keep on the shelf in dry weather for up to 6 months.

White Sauce
In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup White Sauce Mix, 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir over low heat until smooth and hot. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Cheese Sauce
Add 3/4 cup shredded cheese after White Sauce thickens.

Curry Sauce
Add 1 teaspoon curry powder to thickened White Sauce.

Alfredo Sauce Make White Sauce from White Sauce Mix. To every 1/2 cup White Sauce add 2 to 4 cloves garlic, pressed, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and 1 cup light cream. To cooked and drained hot pasta, add Alfredo Sauce ingredients, one by one, mixing and tossing well after each addition. Serve immediately.

Mac and Cheese
Combine 1/2 cup White Sauce Mix, 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese and 1 cup milk. Pour over hot, drained, elbow macaroni. Toss well.

*Please note that Abundance blog has NOT taste tested all of these variations. Honestly, we haven't taste tested any of them. All are still on our "to try" list. Please feel free to leave comments sharing your experience with either of the recipes.

 

12.08.2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!


A Mother’s Rewards
and Abundance send out warmest prayers and loving thanks to all of our faithful readers everywhere. Our prayer for each and every one during this Christmas season ~ and all the year through ~ is that Emmanuel, God with us, will become more real and personal than ever before.


In Christ’s Love, Blessed Mama & family

11.28.2011

Comment Turned Post

This comment was posted to an article from last year. While reading through past comments, I noticed it and thought this man should write more! Christmas time seemed an ideal time to reshare these wise words.Thank You for sharing this comment. (You know who you are.) Wouldn't the rest of you enjoy hearing more thoughts from this commenter? If you would, feel free to leave a comment letting it be known.


"I've had a thought in my mind all week, and this blog sparked it again. I don't know if it is just for me or others but it is simply this. At what point do we start to enjoy the life we have?Is it when the kids are grown? When we attain a certain financial goal? When spring arrives ?A myriad of different points in an uncertain future ? The moment is now,in 45 minutes, in an hour ,later tonight that is a future time.Enjoy right here right now. Be thankful,rejoice in life right now!

In sports and as a firefighter we trained in the present how we were going to respond in the future.How can we enjoy life later if we don't enjoy it now? Train yourself to enjoy life now, then you will be in the habit for the future when that time comes that you set as when you were going to relax and enjoy life.

Take a look around, anybody can be uptight,stressed and not enjoying life. Aspire to break from the crowd and really enjoy life!I challenge everybody to practice a random act of kindness this week. on Celebrate Jesus by Enjoying Each Day"

11.27.2011

Couldn't Be More Perfect

Here I am reading through my emails when all of a sudden, I'm reading about coming to Christ. Whoa! These words couldn't have spoken any closer to my heart! Let's continue our earlier conversations by reading this word from
Tiffany Ann Lewis of Dancing with the Flame of the Lord ministries.
 
 

November 27, 2011
 
Tiffany Ann Lewis:

Come... It's Imperative!
 
From the desk of Steve Shultz:
Are you carrying any heavy burdens? Well, we know what we are to do with those... It's been an intense season full of warfare, indeed. BUT give those burdens away to the ONE who took them for you as Tiffany Ann Lewis shares here.
Please remember us in your giving this year. We are a FOR-PROFIT organization, therefore, your contribution will NOT be tax-deductible. What you are doing is  helping us take the prophetic word around the world.  Simply go to: https://www.elijahlist.com/donations/donation.php and make a quick and easy donation today.
 
Blessings,
Steve Shultz, Founder and Publisher
The Elijah List & Breaking Christian News
http://www.elijahlist.com
 
 
 
Tiffany Ann Lewis:
 
Come... It's Imperative!
 
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 KJV
 
Hidden, yet revealed, within this Scripture  there is a powerful revelation and an eternal invitation from the Lord Yeshua/Jesus. It has little to do with the submission of the servant, but rather reveals the heart of worship. Let's take a look at these incredible words from our Master and learn from Him.
 
In the Lord's invitation, "Come unto Me...," there is an intensity that is lost in the translation. The Greek word for "come" is deute (Strong's #1205) and it's in an imperative mood which is like a command in that it is absolutely necessary. Much like when a parent tells a child that it's imperative they don't touch the pretty glowing orange circle on the stove. That's the intensity the Lord is speaking to us with in this passage of Scripture. His intensity hinges on desperation – the kind of desperation that would drive the King of glory to a cross.
 
Using the imagery of an ox, our Lord and Master says, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me." A yoke is an emblem of oppression, and labor. It is a wooden bar or frame that joins two animals like oxen together so that they can pull a wagon or plow as their master leads. Here, Jesus is using it figuratively of the restrictions that a teacher or rabbi would place on His followers through the Mosaic Law.
 
Today we can rejoice that the requirements of the law were wiped out and nailed to the Cross and that we are redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Yet, we can also rejoice because a yoke also speaks of any burden, any weight, not just that of the law.
 
I don't know about you, but I am in a severe season right now and have a list of burdens that I am praying about 24/7. We have this eternal invitation to come unto Jesus and cast our cares upon Him. He cares for us and wants to strengthen us so that we are able to endure the crisis and emerge victorious.
 
This is one of the reasons why it is imperative that we not only take His yoke upon ourselves but that we learn from Him, too. The Hebrew word for learn is lamed, which is made up of the letters: lamed, mem, dalet. I am using the Hebrew word instead of the Greek one because every Hebrew letter has a pictograph. Therefore, we can look at the ancient pictographs and see a spiritual picture of the word. Looking at God's letters of light, we see that to learn (lamed) from Jesus is to be guided/prodded by the Shepherd's cattle prod (lamed) – through the chaos/mayhem (mem) of life – to a door (dalet), a porthole if you will, to the destination that He is leading and guiding us to.
Meek and Lowly in Heart
 
Let's walk through the door that Christ has led us to in this particular passage and learn about our Master's meekness.  He was meek and lowly in heart, tapeinos te kardia.  The heart speaks of the center of our being.  It speaks of our physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual being.  Our heart holds our thoughts, passions, desires, affections, and even our purposes tenderly at its core.  Thus at the core of who Jesus is, He is meek and lowly.
Notice, we have two expressions here: meek and lowly. Together they reveal that Jesus was completely dependent and completely devoted to His Father. I believe this gave His weak human flesh supernatural strength throughout His life and led Him all the way to the Cross. Let me explain.
 
We are in full fall splendor here in upstate New York. The trees are sporting their glorious colors. My garden is still in bloom with the mums smiling at guests as they come to the house. So picture perfect has this fall been that even my roses are still in bloom. However,  we got a surprise snow storm and I woke up recently to creation bowing under the weight of the snow.
 
Bowing down in worship under the weight of God's glory.
What a beautiful word picture of what it means to be "lowly at heart." The Greek word for "lowly" used here is tapeinos (Strong's #5011). Tapeinos represents that which is low (lowly) and humble. It literally means not rising far from the ground. Interestingly, the worshiper of God is also seen as bowing down in Psalm 95:6, "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker."
 
Beloved, in terms of nature, the trees and flowers had no choice but to bow down under the weight of the snow. Spiritually speaking, we have a choice. God's glory, which in Hebrew is kavod, is described as a type of spiritual heaviness or weightiness. Scripture reveals that we have beheld the glory, the splendor, the majesty of God in the face of His Son, Jesus Christ (see John 1:14). I don't know about you, but the reality that He would willingly go to the Cross and suffer shame and pain just for me is a wonderful weight of love, like a yoke, that when it is upon me I simply cannot stand.
 
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that my critical circumstances suddenly disappear. Instead, as I consider the width, length, depth and height of His love, my perspective changes and I am filled with hope and wonder. A supernatural trust that defies my reality fills my heart. Now with tears rolling down my face, I fall to my knees and am able to worship the King of glory, bowing down every day in every situation.
 
Yoked by Trust in God, Not by Circumstances
Jesus' invitation calls us to be meek as well as lowly at heart. The Greek word here for "meek" is praos (Strong's #4235). Praos means what you would expect: gentle, mild, meek. However, there is a little more to be discovered in this word. It is a form of the word praus (Strong's #4239) and defines meekness toward God as a quality of spirit in which we accept God's dealings with us as good, even if the circumstance itself is bad. This trust in God is similar to the revelation found in Romans 8:28. Because of this inner strength, the Believer is able to accept God's will without disputing or resisting, thus... they can experience Divine rest for their soul.
 
We see this meekness in our Master Jesus Christ, our sacrifice. Similar to the ox that He is teaching about in our key Scripture, as a symbol of sacrifice and strength, Jesus was full of power yet He submitted His will to the control of His Father because of trust, and in so doing became our sacrifice.
 
Our Master's meekness was His greatest strength. Often we think that meekness is weakness. However, as we just learned, the Biblical concept of meekness is trust in God. Jesus trusted His Father even in His darkest hour. This trust in His innermost being gave Him the strength to bow down and say, "Not My will but Thy will be done."
 
This trust manifested itself in meekness, which became the strength through which He could endure the Cross. This is a yoke I need to take on today and every day just to get out of bed and face the day that lies ahead. I need to be burdened, yoked by my trust in God, not my circumstances! That burden is easy, that burden is light. Would you agree? Do you need this for yourself today? The question we are faced with though is... how do we get it?  How can we create within ourselves a heart that trusts God unwaveringly through the good and the bad? We can confess we trust Him, but how do we get that confession deep down in our hearts where it really matters?  Ephesians 5:18 gives us a clue.
 
"Be Filled with the Spirit"
"...be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18b). To be "filled" is also in the present tense with an imperative mood. That means we can be filled over and over and over again by the Holy Spirit. Actually, not only can we be filled, it is imperative that we are filled.
 
To be filled means: to be made full, to be made complete, to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally. Romans 5:5 teaches us that the Holy Spirit poured the love of God into our hearts. He speaks the Word to us reminding us of God's faithfulness. He will cause love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and even self-control to grow deep in the fibers of our being. Beloved, this is something we cannot afford physically or spiritually to miss out on. Everything we need is right here. The Holy Spirit will fill us with what we need, for His grace is sufficient to meet every need.
 
The invitation is eternal. Our meek Master continues to call out to those who are heavy laden saying, "Come unto Me." When we are burdened with a heavy heart, weary from a heavy load that life has given us and everything seems unfair, we can take on the yoke of Christ. Bowing down under the weight of His glory, being filled over and over again with His Spirit, we will find rest for our souls. Amen and Amen.
 
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
 
Tiffany Ann Lewis
Dancing with the Flame of the Lord Ministries
Email: tiffanyann@tiffanyannlewis.com

 Tiffany Ann Lewis' Itinerary:
Note:  Events are subject to change at the ministry's discretion. We suggest you always check first with the event contact listed here and/or directly visit their website for latest updates on each event.
December 10, 2011 (9:30am)
  Girls of Grace
  The Bridge Christian Church
  2739 Hamburg Street
  Schenectady, NY 12303

--
 

A Thankful Little Girl Now Grown

The season for giving thanks has me meandering the back roads of my life. While always thankful, I have been spending a lot of time being thankful on a much deeper level than in seasons past. I hope and pray that this habit not only continues but goes deeper still.

As I mosey along on these mental back road journeys, warm patches of memories dot the path like dapples of sunshine shining through the trees. Often they hit with an unexpected intensity that surprises me. It is as if they have been waiting, longing to burst free from the prison of my memory, to be shared.

I almost feel as if I should begin with “Once upon a time…” so I willJ Once upon a time, there was a little girl. This little girl had a beautiful, young aunt, and this beautiful, young aunt had a tall, dark, and handsome boyfriend. This tall, dark, and handsome young man would come home from college with the aunt for family visits. Oh how the little girl loved these visits! She loved her aunt dearly, but the little girl secretly anticipated the coming of the tall, dark boyfriend most.

However, it wasn’t the young man’s looks that the little girl admired. It was his words. The young man affirmed the little girl with his words. It was he who had declared that her middle name of Jean wasn’t Jean but June Bug. From then on, she was so and so June Bug. And it was he who would seem excited to hear her show off her newest skill, reading. A young man, fresh out of college, care about his girlfriend’s niece reading? But he did, or at least faked it really well. The little girl believed it pleased him; so for his approval she pressed on. A first grader spell “encyclopedia or gymnasium”? With her future uncle’s help the little girl did. She couldn’t wait for the next holiday to show him!

The years went on, the shy little girl grew up not knowing how to express her thanks. How does someone say thank you for being called June Bug without seeming weird and silly? How does someone afraid to talk, to say the wrong thing, say anything? They don’t, and the years go by, silently.

Many years have gone silently by. The little girl is a woman grown with little girls of her own. Some of her own little girls are now almost grown too. They, like their mother, love the rare treat a visit with the uncle provides. How the entire family adores him! His affirming, sometimes loud, attention warms their hearts. What an amazing gift this man has for noticing and loving children, for breaking through shy reserve and living open and full! How the grown little girl, her husband, and children thank God for an aunt’s boyfriend turned uncle. Only God could have given such a gift of love!

Memories, rich and full wash over like a flood as I journey through thankfulness. How is it I have kept them prisoner so long? They are begging to be released, to be shared, shouted loud. An official day titled Thanksgiving is now yesterday, but thankfulness is a journey happening still. Thank you God, for the uncle who made me a June Bug. Please show him Your love and bless Him real big, for me.

11.26.2011

Right Where We Left Off

Continuing yesterday’s thoughts…

Lies abound concerning God, who He is, His treatment of mankind, how to get to Him, on the list goes. No matter how many religious opinions and theories there are, the truth is still the truth. There is only ONE way to get to the Father and that is through His Son Jesus Christ. The Bible is unquestionably clear on this point. Perhaps there are other matters of doctrine and belief that are up for discussion, but this issue is NOT debatable. God is QUITE clear. Jesus Himself said that no man comes to the Father except through Him. Salvation is through Christ and Christ alone.

In a few weeks, it will be Christmas. Christmas is when believers celebrate the birth of Jesus, God with us, coming to earth. It's when God's loving plan of redemption manifested in the flesh. As with most other topics in Christianity, debates concerning Jesus, His arrival, and every other part of His life abound. Frankly, there isn't enough time or space in this one blog post to go into all of the various points of view. With such limited space and time, we will use the only 100% accurate source, the Bible. The Bible clearly tells everything. It's all in there, spelled out for any and every one to read for themselves. Whether or not a person does so is his/her free choice. I've read it, and I believe it, every word. I made my choice. No one made it for me.

There have been opportunities for me to doubt, to wonder, to question, and I have. I have been angry, hurt, confused, bewildered, and desperate. Never has God failed me. Never has He hurt me. Never has He ever sent anything harmful to me. Never. These things came about through poor or ignorant choices made by myself or others around me. Often they were simply the result of living in a sinful world. Hey, when mud’s flying, even clean people get dirty. God had nothing to do with any of it. Well, nothing except the saving, healing, and delivering me part.

I am forty years old, I have been learning of God for most, if not all, of those 40 years. At approx. nine years of age, I made a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ. I made my choice. In the 31 years that have followed this decision to become a follower of Jesus, I have learned many, many things about God, about who He is and who He is not. I have chosen to do and say many, many things that I regret. Choosing to believe in and follow Christ is NOT one of those things. NEVER have I EVER regretted this decision. It is the singularly BEST choice I have EVER made. It has not been the easiest decision, but it is decidedly the best. My prayer this Christmas season is that each and every person who reads this article has read the Bible, studied it, and made their choice.

Not only have I read the Word of God, the Bible. I have also experienced unexplainable, supernatural healing, provision, and deliverance from God. Among our family pictures are snapshots of cupboards, cabinets, and freezers filled to overflowing with food. At the time, our bank account was lower than low. No money with full cupboards? How does that happen? God impressing other people to bless us. That’s how. A mother of 15 children bringing groceries to a small family of four children. That doesn’t make worldly sense; it was God’s doing. Sales , super, great, amazing, crazy ridiculous prices on exactly the items needed for Christmas gifts, God arranged that too. No one else could have known. We hadn’t told ANYONE. Only God knew what we needed; only He could have provided so perfectly. Clothing, the absolute, most perfect Christmas tree, fruit, broccoli, a sofa, larger dining table, beds, specific desires as well as needs found their way into our lives. Time after time, year after year, every need has been met - completely.

“Only God” could be our family’s theme song. The unexplainable goes far beyond material provisions. It is with thankful awe I can testify that not one of our six children has ever had a broken bone, the number of actual trips to the doctor is well under 20 - not including prenatal or well-baby care, and that ailments considered common in young children, such as ear infection, have only been experienced by one of our six children. Yes, the common cold and stomach upsets do visit our home occasionally, but not regularly. When we take quality vitamin/mineral supplements, it is very rare for us to be sick at all. I give God the praise and thanks for bringing the truth concerning vitamins and minerals into our home as well. This information on alternative medical and preventative care has brought many blessings of health to us.

The blessings are too numerous to count. It isn’t anything that we have earned. It is the mercy and grace of a loving, Heavenly Father. It’s according to His mercy He saved us. All of these testimonies are part of the salvation covenant Jesus bought and paid for. Jesus’ death on the cross is about SO much more than avoiding hell and going to heaven. God provided for our every need, every single one. This year, right now, during Christmas would be the perfect time to find a Bible, grab some paper, a pen, and start reading to find out who God is - for real. The truth is right there in the Bible waiting to be found. It isn’t hiding. All we have to do is read and learn for ourselves. God the Holy Spirit teaches all who come to learn. After over 31 years of reading this book, I still learn something new every time. Every time I read, I learn another part of God and who He is, every time. The more I learn, the more I realize how much more I have yet to discover. Getting to know Him, Emmanuel, God with me, is a lifelong pursuit which I have chosen to commit to. Not because of what He has done, but because of who He is.

11.25.2011

It's Time To Shift



While reading a word today, a portion of the word reached out and jumped out at me. These words said exactly what I would have said had I been able to verbalize what God the Holy Spirit has been teaching me lately. Not only do these words confirm what God has been speaking to my heart, they are powerful. They contain keys to unlock doors through which we will enter into this next, new season in following Christ.
 
If I were a preacher, I would preach this. If I were an evangelist, I would stand before the crowds and passionately entreat them to listen and hear the Word of the Lord. But I'm neither of those things. I am me; a daughter, wife, mother, who delights in hearing the voice of God. Not every word do I publically share, but this one, this one is key. Please don't just read these words; hear them. Hear them with the ear of your spirit, and receive them. I know I've said it already, but somehow these words are key. The entire word can be found in the archives at the Elijah List website. If you haven't already, please consider signing up to freely receive the daily words from prophetic men and women of God through the Elijah List. They are available free of charge.
 
Here is an incerpt from a recent word:
 
"God is calling us to make a shift – a shift in our thinking; a shift in our intercession; a shift in our prophetic declarations; a shift in our expectation. We are in a season of amnesty. "Amnesty" means pardon for offenses against a government. It doesn't mean acquittal because of innocence. It means, across-the-board forgiveness, pardon, erasure of all judgment and penalty against the offending party. This is good news for us personally, and it is good news for the world.
 
Often, we hold ourselves, and then we hold others around us, in a prison of guilt for legitimate offenses against each other, and ultimately the government of God. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). But it is God's glory to wipe out our offense by the power of His shed Blood. And it is our glory to extend this amnesty to the world around us. We need to make a shift, and let the reality of the Cross and the work Christ did there shape our prayers."
Can you hear it? Can you hear the voice of God calling us to make this shift in our thinking? This shift from holding others in a "prison of guilt for legitimate offenses against each other, and ultimately the government of God." ? The Blood of Christ has provided a better way, a way of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Oh that we, as His followers, would likewise extend mercy, grace, forgiveness, amnesty as God through Christ, by the power of His Blood, has done.
 
God is more, so MUCH more than He is given credit for being. Around the world people, created by Him, are angry at Him. They blame, slander, and accuse the One who has given them life. When troubles and hard times come, immediately God is brought to question. Without knowing Him or His ways, people everywhere assume that He is at fault. That whatever evil came, it came because of Him. Yet, even in the face of insult, false accusation, and invalid reasoning, He still loves. How can He do this? How can God spend year after year after year listening to foolish, limited people lash out at Him for evils He has not sent? He is love. Love sees, love knows, love understands that men are but dust.
 
Sickness, misery, death, these things are the result of sin. Not God. Sin. Sin opens the door and paves the way for every bit of evil mankind has ever or will ever experience. Pain and sickness are the result of man's free will, mankind's own, personal decisions; they are the result of sin. And relying upon limited, finite understanding, mankind blames God. 
 
But God, sent Jesus. Jesus, the Redeemer. Emmanuel, God with us, came to earth in the form of a man, dwelt among us, died the death of a criminal, bought our salvation, returned from the dead, lived among us again, then returned to Heaven awaiting the moment when He might return, gather His people to Himself, and bring them Home to the Father.
 
Salvation? Salvation from what? Salvation from death, sickness, pain, disease, sorrow, everything that man's choice allowed. Adam, the first man, made a decision to disobey God's instructions. God didn't give the instruction to not eat of the tree because He was trying to cheat or deprive Adam and Eve. It was an instruction of protection and love. An instruction just like loving parents give their own children when they instruct them not to touch a hot object or something that would bring them harm. I don't allow my children to play in the street, even though they might very much want to. Am I cruel, oppressive? Not hardly. Does anyone accuse me of being mean to my children, or unfair, when I don't allow them to handle sharp kitchen utensils? Never. Why? Because every loving parent knows how ridiculous and foolish it would be to allow small children to do whatever they want. If mankind can understand the need for children to be told no, why can't they understand an all-knowing God's need to instruct His creation? The creation that He loves?
 
Somehow, in spite of miracles, loving intervention, message after message, mankind still refuses to consider, even briefly, that sickness, disease, and pain are not God's fault. He didn't send them. Mankind via Adam allowed them in when he chose to give in to his wife's pleading instead of following God's instructions. To this day, even though millions of people have chosen to believe the truth and follow God's way, the only way to life, countless others continue choosing death. They then continue blaming God when the result of their choices come to pass.
 
I could go on and on sharing examples, analogies, and passionate pleas concerning the truth of God and who He truly is. But when all is said and done, it really boils down to this one thing: God loves man; He is good. He gave mankind a freewill to make a choice: life or death, the blessing or the curse. Mankind chooses, then lives the consequences of that choice. God still loves man; He is still good. Either we choose to believe the truth about God and who He is, or we choose to believe the lie so many have chosen to live throughout the ages.
 
It is my prayer that as we enter the Christmas season of Emmanuel, God With Us, we will come to know truth concerning God and who He really, truly is. We'll end with a quote I read recently.
 

Sometimes I would like to ask God, why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, when He could do something about it… but I'm afraid He might ask me the same question.

-Anonymous
 
 

Grandma's Tree


Here is a letter from a dear friend. She sent in the letter last year and for some unknown reason it didn't post when scheduled. My sincerest apologies, Kim. Kim shares lovely, heartfelt memories that are begging to be shared. 

I think this is wonderful how you are using your blog for Christmas. Thanksgiving to me just sets our hearts up for Christmas. I am almost all decorated, waiting on the tree(that is the guys family fun to go cut it down), then I will be complete.
I lost my Grandma on Monday, it has been harder than I thought to deal with this. I was not ready for her leaving us. Christmas was such a special time with her. She is the one we grew up next to and hung out with all the time. Grandma was our "fun mom". At Christmas she would get out her big JC Penneys catalog, a big tablet and say write down your list, starting with 1 as your most wanted. So off we went, spending the next 2-3 days getting our lists finalized. This went on till we graduated high school. As a young kid that is all I thought Christmas was, I really didn't understand it was about Jesus. So you can imagine how much we looked forward to Christmas every year. Grandma spoiled us and got us at least our top 4-5 things on that list, which really was everything we wanted. Little did I know that mom and grandma had an agreement. Mom/dad always got us clothes or things that was needed, but Grandma was the one that got us the toys. My other grandparents (that lived in Gering, but now NP) used to just get us a little trinket. Christmas was a huge deal to Grandma. It we her time of the year to really spoil us. Growing up in a big family she had very little, so she wanted to spoil us because she could:) There are tons things to say about Grandma, but Christmas was the best. She would laugh at us changing our lists around, pouring over the book, fighting over whos turn it was to look. she even got 2 so we wouldn't fight. We would try to wrangle out of our chores cause we just wanted to stay in the house, eat cookies and make our list. She would have to come back in and say put the catalog away and get out here. Sometimes even threaten to not get the toys. She would store all the stuff in her back bedroom after she bought things. She instilled in us at a very early age that if we went back into the bed room to peek, the toys would go back. The look in her eye told us that she meant business, so we never ever peeked! To this day I am very good at not peeking because of her. Christmas was the one holiday that Grandma decorated for. She would put up this awful, nasty, old (at least 30yrs) plastic tree on her buffet in the corner. It was an ugly tree, but by the time she got done with it, it was cute. There were some very weird lights that came on it. So with your reminder of Christmas trees, I will have to go look for it when I get down there tomarrow. Maybe I will even set it up as a reminder of her. She will be so missed this year.
I hope I might have access to a computer to still look at your blog, but I have not/will not be participating due to this family thing. love your blog don't get frustrated if us silly people don't participate, keep blogging we are doing it in our mind if not on paper to you. love ya! kim

11.08.2011

Simplifying One Layer at a Time

Hey There! I'm over here today browsing for last year's post on gift baskets. I couldn't find it at our sister blog, Abundance so I came over here to look. My sis-in-love told me she loved my ideas from last year so I had to check them out and remind myself:) Maybe I'll get some ideas - again. I'm still looking for that crazy post. Guess this is why so many bloggers use labels. Now I know.

So many of us need beautification in our lives. Not only our bodies but our homes, and outdoor spaces as well. Beauty around us calls to that which God has divinely placed in us and draws it out. One of the least expensive and easiest ways to bring beauty to our surroundings is through a process known as simplification.

Simplying our lives is a process similar to peeling an onion. It happens one layer at a time. Upon beginning, we often discover that there are varying layers of "clutter" in our lives. The deeper we allow our lives to be pentrated by simplification, the deeper true living becomes. Bit by bit treasures of real value shine through. Often, these riches are hiding in the most unexpected places.

We at A Mother's Rewards and  Abundance began simplifying many years ago, long before A Mother's Rewards, Living Large on Less or Abundance were formed. It is an ongoing decision that has somehow morphed into an active lifestyle. After over two years of sharing and caring here on the blog, another layer of our onion is being peeled away. A Mother's Rewards and Abundance blogs will no longer be posted to. The blogs will remain open, and all previously posted articles will remain accessible. However, as far as we currently know, no new postings will be published.

Our sincerest and most heartfelt appreciation goes out to each and every reader. We can't thank you enough for all of the kindness and support you have bestowed upon us. It has been an honor to blog; an honor we don't take lightly. That people would spend precious moments of their days visiting us here at first A Mother's Rewards, then Living Large on Less and later Abundance, has been a precious gift to us; one we don't take for granted. Thank You, dear friends. You have given us of your time, and we offer our thanks to you. As these, our final words come to you, know that you are being squeezed tight in a hug of loving thanks. It has been so much fun visiting with you. Now, we take our leave. " 'Til We Meet Again" Blessed Mama and Not of This World

11.07.2011

At The Feet of Jesus

Whew! Up for only an hour and already the wearying of daily challenges has begun. Just a note to parents of children under 11, if you think the noise of small children is tiring, you should have teenagers. Make that self-assured teens who tend to think they are responsible to line others out and whoa! what a day it has been already this morning.

What is a parent to do in times like this? Go to her daddy, her Heavenly Abba Father and bring her children with her. We are all real people doing real life, hopefully together. Each of us are in need of spending time at the feet of our sweet and precious Lord Jesus. We have an Almighty God who is worthy of our praise and adoration, and only He knows the answer to the challenges each day contains. He is the answer.

While we here are gathering together to focus on the Father, what about you? Has it seemed like a lifetime already this morning? Have the past few years seemed like an eternity of trouble and heartbreak? Please join us, right where you are, at the feet of the Loving, Heavenly Father who loves and cares for each one us. He loves us so.



--
 

11.05.2011

And The Winner Is...Answers Too

We've been hanging out playing some trivia this week. The commenter with the most correct answers wins a gift basket filled with handcrafted goodies, and the winner is(drumroll please)... Tim! Congratulations, Tim. I will be getting your gift basket to you as soon as possible. Of course we both know that means as soon as I am in town when the post office is open. I also want to send a special thank you out to my mom as she is the only commenter who even attempted to answer all of the questions. Also, Emily, please leave comments everytime you stop in. I love reading them. Who does get to decide what numbers are what, anyway? OK, I'll confess. The reason I loved your comments so much is because I too guessed gazillion. Great minds and all that.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment, and to those who stopped by to visit. It is much more fun when everyone joins in. Also, please don't be shy; feel free to leave a comment. Every comment increases the fun. Now, here are the answers everyone has been waiting for:

1. More money is printed for Monopoly than for the U.S. treasury.
2. One Thousand is the the first number using the letter "a".
3. Coca-Cola was originally green.
4. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birth place.
5. The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work is Alaska.
6. 28 percent of Africa is wilderness.
7. 38 percent of North America is wilderness.
8. The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven is $16,400.
9. The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour is 61,000.
10. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
11. The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer.
12. San Francisco cable car is the only mobile national monument.
13. Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers were all invented by women.
14. The only food that doesn't spoil is honey.

Did any of the answers surprise you? Some of them did me too. More than anything, I hope everyone had fun. We all need a little change of pace once in a while to keep us from getting stale.

Now that our week of trivia is over, I don't know what we will be doing here at A Mother's Rewards. This is the first time in a long time that there aren't any posts pre-scheduled for the next week. There are some thoughts roaming around inside of me that might just end up on here sometime though. Beware.

 So, until our next get together, enjoy the greatest resource on earth, each other. The weeks preceding Thanksgiving are also a marvelous opportunity to refocus our thoughts and attitudes towards thankfulness. Together let's get out of ourselves and bless somebody. Come on! It'll be fun! Even more than the trivia questions. Love to you all, Blessed Mama.

11.04.2011

The Rest of the Questions

Let me just begin by sharing a bit about myself, I like variety. I don't mind doing the same things over and over sometimes, but others...that being said, we're giving the rest of the questions all at once - today! Thank you for remembering to send your answers in as a comment and also for including either your name or a chosen username so that we can keep track of correct answers. The commenter with the most correct answers will soon be receiving a gift basket of handcrafted and homemade goodies. Ready for the questions? Here they are #4-15:

4. Half of all Americans live within 50  miles of what?
5. The state with the highest percentage of people to walk to work?
6. The percentage of Africa that is wilderness?
7. The percentage of North America that is wilderness?
8. The cost of raising a medium-sized dog to the age of eleven?
9. The average number of people airborne over the U.S. at any given hour?
10. Intelligent people have more what in their hair?
11. The first novel ever written on a typewriter?
12. The only mobile national monument?
13. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers have in common?
14. What is the most popular boat name?
15. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?

There they are! Have you clicked the comment button and started answering yet? Thank you for joining in the fun. A Mother's Rewards was ready for something a little different. Basically, we were looking for an excuse to host a giveaway when these questions presented themselves and thought, why not? Hosting a trivia game via blogging wasn't quite the same as hanging out in our pjs and munching popcorn together, but hey, it was still fun. Thanks for coming over! We had a great time! Don't forget to come again! Love to you all.

Oh yes, if you sent in comments with the answers, remember to include a mailing address. We will need one to send the gift basket to. Thank you!

11.03.2011

Luvin' The Trivia - Question #3

Hope everyone else likes trivia as much as we do! We're ready for question #3 as we just hang out havin' fun for a couple of weeks. Don't forget about the gift basket for who answers correctly the most. Just a reminder that answers can be left in a comment, not email. Answers received via email will not be counted.

Here's question #3:
3. Coca-Cola was originally what color?

11.02.2011

Hanging Out - Question #2

We're still hanging out throwing some trivia around. It's not too late to join in the fun. There's a free gift basket for the one with the most correct answers. Please include your name or a chosen username with your answers. We want to give credit where credit is due. On to question #2:

2. If you would spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"?

Answer can be left in comment, not email, to be entered in giveaway.

11.01.2011

Just For Fun

Alright, we're going to do something a bit different here at A Mother's Rewards. We're going to take off our shoes, change into comfy clothes, and lounge out for a few days. For the next several days, there will be at least one, maybe two, questions posted. Everyone who knows the answer to the day's questions will leave a comment sharing the answer. Please include your name or a chosen username with each answer as A Mother's Rewards will be keeping track of the correct answers and sending a gift basket to the one with the most correct answers. Remember, only answers shared in a comment will count. If answers are sent via email, they will NOT be counted; only those left in the comments will receive credit. The comment button is at the bottom of each post. Ready to hang out and have some fun? Here's the first question:

1. For what is more money printed for than the U.S. Treasury?

Remember: Leave answer in comment (not email) to receive credit towards giveaway. 

10.28.2011

I Wonder...

I wonder...do people ever become just people, all the same? All a mess of talent and mistakes tangled up together in the same package? Is there ever a time when pretty people and the unlovely cease to be pretty or unlovely and become what they truly are, just people? Every one beautiful and unlovely in varying ways.

Why the divisions? Why the separate groupings? Will we ever get to be all together, sharing one heart and desire each in our own unique way? Yes, I can be slow, steady, practical while the child is dramatic, loud, and extravagant but together, we are perfect. When do we get to join together, without the separating according to interest, temperment, and talent? Why divide the old and young? Together we are stronger; we have more. Together we have wisdom, maturity, freshness, and vitality.

If I, a mere human, am weary of the division, how much more is He, the one who made us to be wholly together in Christ? Since girlhood I have longed for a day of together, a time when the many became one. When it no longer matters who is fat or who is thin. Who laughs, is fun, or seriously hides within.

The laughing long to be seen seriously while the quiet wish they could be heard. We are all uniquely the same. Each of us desires, craves, hurts, feels, and needs. Everyone has something hidden inside, something they wish they were brave enough to say or do. Why can't we see that? Why are we all so focused on ourselves that we miss the greater reality? The fact that will someday slap each of us in the face, people.

It's all about people. Not the clothes, the car, the house, or the job, but people. Not just the people we are comfortable with either, all people. The good, the bad, the ugly, the stinky, the nasty, the sweet, the vile, the righteous, the wicked, the good, the rich, the poor, the saint, the sinner, the lovely, the kind, the true, the liar. People, just people, real people doing real life together.

10.27.2011

Facts & Stats

Our family home schools. We do mention it every so often; however, up to this point, we haven’t ever written an actual post exclusively about homeschooling. Truthfully, we still haven’t written a post; someone else has. While reading the following article by Dr. Brian Ray, I felt impressed to share it here on the blog.

While education is a free choice each family makes for themselves, learning about the ways and practices of others is always fun. Learning of others also helps us gain perspective and insight. It is for this reason we are publishing today’s post. This article by Dr. Ray is not intended to persuade or convict anyone. It is simply an informative article that provides some interesting facts about homeschooling and homeschoolers in general.

Click here to read.

10.25.2011

All In


I was asked a question recently by my brother. He leads a group of men on Saturday mornings and had presented a lesson on being “all in”. The question he posed had me choosing three people from the Bible who I felt were “all in” for God and why. All in. The topic might not have jumped off the screen and into my brain with such rapid force except I had just finished reading an article about ripping the roof off in faith. When more than one source talks about the same topic, it usually gets my attention. My brother’s email said it so well that, with his permission, I’m sharing it here:

“So I ask myself, "Am I all in?" Am I willing to undergo the ridicule of friends and family to do something that makes no sense to our teeny weeny brains? Am I willing to enforce tough love to get a job done and cleanse the temple? Am I willing to let go of my family and obey God no matter what? Just thinking about it makes me extremely emotional. But I know my Redeemer lives, and I can do all things through Him. He doesn't ask if we can or want to do it, he simply says do it. What am I going to do? OBEY!!! Why? Because I DO love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind.”

TIM SCHMID

Now I pose a question, are you all in? Am I? I pray each one of us is all in for Jesus, that we are willing to rip the roof off to get to Him just like the group of friends in the Bible were willing to do to get their sick friend to His healing touch. If we can but touch Him…dear friends, let’s be all, 100% in.

10.24.2011

Tea, Lemon Curd, & Bonus Recipes

Following a tea party last Saturday, a number of requests were made for both the brewing of the hot tea and the lemon curd. Both brewing tea and making lemon curd are very, very easy. Lemon curd would make a thoughtful gift. Pair small jars of the lemon curd, packages of scones, brown sugar shortbread, and tea together to create a delightful, gourmet gift basket. It is much more economical, tastier, and healthier to make these items yourself, especially if keeping an eye on sales for ingredients.

The uses for these recipes are honestly too many to list. Not only that, each item keeps very well. This enables them to be made now, before the holiday rush. Honestly, does it get any better than that? Easy, economical, and able to be made ahead? I see those smiles peeking out. Lemon curd need not be delegated just for tea time. It also makes a delicious filling for mini-tarts and would snuggle up perfectly with cream cheese inside of a pastry.

We're also including another easy to make bonus recipe for Mock Devonshire Cream. While we most often pair this treat with lemon curd on scones, secretly, we favor it with strawberry preserves. Please don't get allow your feelings to be hurt, delicious, yummy lemon curd. Personally, a toasted bagel spread with Mock Devonshire Cream and strawberry preserves is so good that I would seriouisly consider choosing it for my birthday meal. Really, I would. I've even endulged in a hot cup of coffee instead of tea when devouring eating this treat.

Creating atmospheres of beauty and delight doesn't require excessive time, talent, or money. A heart that is willing to try something new and hands that busy themselves following the heart's leading are able to work the wonders of their Heavenly Father everywhere they go. Taking a few ingredients and blending them together into delicious treats for the tastebuds are but one way to create such treasures of blessing. A Mother's Rewards and Abundance blogs pray that these recipes assist in sharing the beautiful, extravagant love of God with others and that they provide an excuse for the busy to cease from the bustling, exhale the stress, and breathe deeply of the Father's loving grace.

BREWING TEA
This recipe is for one average-sized tea pot or thermal caraffe.
  • 2 tea bags (tea of your choice)
  • hot water (just to boiling point) enough to fill teapot/caraffe
Place tea bags into pot/caraffe(could use quart-sized canning jar). Pour hot water into vessel - fill. Place lid (could use plate) on top of pot/caraffe. Allow to sit 3-5 minutes. 5 minutes for black tea. 3 for herbal, white, or green teas. This is the brewing. After brewing time is complete, remove the bags. Tea bags can be composted. If sugar/cream is desired, Place sugar/cream(can use 2% milk  - some say full cream will curdle. I haven't ever experienced this personally, but know that some have) in cup, fill with tea, stir carefully, and enjoy! Should any hot tea be left over, remaining tea can be stored in refrigerator for iced tea later on.
Recipe can be adapted for larger and/or smaller amounts. Concentrate for 1 gallon of iced tea can also be made by using four tea bags instead of two. When making iced tea concentrate and sweet tea is desired, place sugar to taste in jar before adding hot water. Also, a pinch of baking soda added to iced tea concentrate along with hot water improves the flavor of the iced tea. Store concentrate in refrigerator. To use, add 1 gallon cold water to concentrate and serve over ice.

LEMON CURD
  • 3 large lemons
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 8 T. unsalted butter (salted will work if that is what you have on hand)
Put the juice of the 3 lemons, eggs, sugar, unsalted butter in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into very heavy saucepan or the top of a double boiler. Cook over low heat for approx. 10 minutes or until thickens. (This was at least 20 minutes - if not longer - for me) Stir the mixture with a wire whisk if it appears lumpy. Chill. It will become thicker as it cools.

MOCK DEVONSHIRE CREAM
  • 1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 T. confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/2 C. sour cream
Blend ingredients together until smooth. Store in refrigerator.

BROWN SUGAR SHORTBREAD COOKIES
  • 1 c. butter, softened (NO SUBSTITUTES - MUST BE REAL BUTTER)
  • 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Gradually stir in flour. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 3 minutes. Pat into a 1/3 inch thick rectangle measuring 11 in. x 8 in. Cut into 2 x 1 inch strips. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick with a fork. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes or until bottom begins to brown. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen.

Christmas Is Coming...

“Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat. Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat…” I don’t know if the goose is getting fat or not, but Christmas is indeed coming. Now is the time to start working on gifts and home d├ęcor projects. Find yourself in need of ideas? Without sacrificing time with family and/or friends, allot some extra time to spend online visiting magazine websites. These are literally storehouses of information, ideas, tips, tricks, even organizational help.

Here are a few to try: Country Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Midwest Living, and Martha Stewart Living. For scrap booking and card ideas, try visiting the websites of scrap booking and/or paper crafting magazines. Scrapbooking Etc. not only has free sketches for scrapbook pages, but it also has free printables and downloads for paper piecings and other ideas, tutorials too. Hobby Farm Home, Mother Earth News, and Grit websites each feature articles, recipes, and craft ideas galore.

No doubt the websites of many other periodicals also offer downloads, articles, and free printables in a variety of interests and topics. A short time spent perusing a few websites may provide the best ideas and/or gifts you’ve ever found. There is an abundance of talented, creative, and generous people who have shared the treasure of their talents and/or ideas with the entire world online.

Utilizing the free use of computers provided by most libraries, these free online resources provide a wealth of ideas. Just a little note: Hobby Farm Homes has some really yummy looking recipes for homemade doughnuts this month. The weather is getting a chill too it, and doughnuts are so yummy with hot cider on a crisp fall night. I’m just saying…

10.19.2011

Building A Better World


Build A Better You
~ author unknown ~

"Your task is to build a better world,"
Said God, and I questioned, "How?"
"This world is such a vast place and, oh,
So complicated now."

"And I am so small and useless,
There is nothing I can do."
But God in all great wisdom said,
"You just build a better You"

--

 

Wanna Swap?

For fun, affordable celebrations consider Swaps. Cookie swaps, book swaps, fabric swaps, scrapbook supply swaps, game swaps, video/dvd swaps, practically anything can be swapped. Swaps are easy to host along with being economical and best of all, fun. What are you into? Chances are you already know several others who share your interest. Turn that interest into a swap.

Do you make cards? Grow herbs? Hit the garage sales and flea markets? Gather a specified number of items together, invite others to do the same, get together and SWAP! Refreshments need not be fancy or complicated. This is all about begin together and enjoying each other's company aka savoring each other. (Do we sound like a worn out record yet?) Swaps are also a great opportunity to get something new without money. They might even provide Christmas gifts to give. Bloggers might even be able to swap articles. Ready? Let's SWAP!

10.18.2011

Ask and You Shall Receive

Usually, we at Abundance would welcome the opportunity to share fall recipes that would tempt your tastebuds and take very little time. This year, however, we're handling things a bit differently. This year, instead of giving readers an actual recipe, we're sharing an idea, an idea for obtaining not only a recipe but possibly a new friend. At the very least, an already existing relationship may be strengthened.

Autumn produce is abundant right now. For those who long to avail themselves of the bounty but don't have time for complicated recipes and canning, butters are for you. Apple butter, pear butter, pumpkin butter are all welcome additions to breads and bagels. Toasted whole grain bread spread with pear butter and served with a cup of hot tea may very well be the perfect breakfast; it works well for afternoon tea break too.

Not only are these butters tasty, they can be quick and easy as well. Great! How do I get the recipe? Are you wondering where the great big idea is? Ask. Ask for the recipe. Think of those you know. Consider those you don't. Ask your mother, your grandmother, aunt, neighbor, sister, worker at the home extension office, whoever sold you the produce, just ask. Even if noone you know has a recipe, I bet they know someone who does.

If ever there was a time when people needed other people, it is now. It's time to go beyond the virtual societies we have built and rebuild the ancient walls of community. Full, rich resources abound all around each of us in the form of other people. Every person is a genius in something. Let's actively seek out and harvest the greatest resource of all time, each other. 

10.17.2011

Savoring

Ahhhh, the first official fire of the season is seeping warmth through the house, a small cat has been put back outside after his soft-hearted owners snuck him into their bedroom, and the quiet hum of early afternoon settles itself around the shoulders like a warm shawl.

We've shared quite a few money-saving tips here at Abundance blog. Today's tip may be our very most favorite: savor each other. That's it. Nothing more. Savoring each other may involve sacrificing time, personal interests, and effort. It will not, however, require the spending of financial resources. So many articles on saving money have been shared both online and in print that the topic has almost lost its appeal. Abundance doesn't endorse the stick your head in the sand and ignore reality method. However devoting most of our time to lack is equally as futile. Neither method works. Both are unsuccessful.

As the holiday season speeds this way, it is our hope and prayer that our time won't be spent looking at what is missing or worrying over what could come. We are praying that abundant wealth will be accumulated in the form of memories, memories created by noticing and being thankful for what is rather than what isn't. Momentos of the heart gathered when savoring each other not only take up less space in our homes, they enlarge our hearts to hold even more love and treasures. Interestingly enough, it doesn't take long before love's richness begins to overflow and spill out onto everyone we meet.
Could anything be more perfect for the holidays or any other day?

Canning Info.

Here is the link to free canning information. It comes from Hillbilly Housewife and is absolutely free! Go ahead and spend some time visiting the website one of these days. Don't forget to leave a comment letting her know you have been there. It's called "showing the love". Also don't be surprised if you find recipes for mixes that would make the perfect gift for someone this holiday season.

Canning 101 Report - It's FREE!

10.11.2011

We Don't Know...We Just Don't Know

OK, here I am feeling as if I'm doing absolutely nothing for God, and WHAM! my eyes light upon this article
from New Lifen. This author is the only male blogger out of 700 women participating in the 31 Days series held every October. Please click on the link and read this. Truly, it shows how we never, ever know the depth and scope of what we are doing. Those small, seemingly insignificant, acts of obedience can be used greatly and those appearing great may end up being the smallest most insignificant.
 
Maybe I have been missing it, but I had never considered the fact that more than likely those people God used to write the Bible were unaware they were doing so. Paul was writing letters to encourage and correct. Did he know that one day those letters would be read and used by millions of believers? Was he aware that the words he penned to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ would become part of the Bible? Did any of the writers of the Bible know? Wow. How many acts of obedience do we label as small and insignificant that God intends to use in a big way, to affect many?
 
Dear God, forgive me for looking and thinking in my own understanding. May I learn to trust and relax in You. As the scripture says, whatever I do, whether in word of deed, I need to do it all to the glory of God - as unto You and not men. May I never again despise the small thing. You are so amazing God. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
--
 

10.07.2011

Distracted...By Jesus

“Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and the sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence and appointed course of the race that is set before us. Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfect]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1,2

Did you see that? It says “Looking away from all that will distract to Jesus…” God knew we would face distractions! Not only that, He gave us instructions for handling them: look away from. No matter how easy it is for me to be distracted, it is NOT forgone conclusion. I don’t have to get distracted. I can look away from what/whoever is distracting. Not just look away though. Look away to Jesus. Mmmmmmmm, how sweet the solution: look away to Jesus. Just have to say the words out loud again, “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfect].” “He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jesus didn’t merely endure. He despised and ignored the shame. Being hung on a cross was a shameful death; it was considered a curse, utter humiliation. Yet Jesus endured, despised, and even ignored this intense shame. “A servant is not greater than his/her master.” If Jesus did, then I too can, I must, through Him.

Most likely, the shame I face won’t be that of crucifixion. The shame that faces Christians in America today comes in many other forms. It is an unseen, easily missed enemy that sneakily seeps its way into the very fiber of life. Popular, mainstream media portrays a faulty image of what “Christian” and “born again” is to millions of unsuspecting, gullible people. Sad fact that it is, this incorrect image of the saints of God contains just enough reality to seem accurate. Not only that, the saints themselves frequently believe the world’s view and allow an ungodly world system to dictate their lifestyle. Rather than living and walking as overcoming children of God who have been set free by Christ, Christian believers, myself included, all too often find themselves trapped by the very system and bondage Christ set them free from.

On a regular, if not daily basis, I need to ask myself: Which Kingdom am I living in? Whose report will I believe? God has given me truth through Him, will I listen to the lies that satan is propagating through this world’s system? I need to stop, strip off, and throw aside every unnecessary weight and sin that would entangle me. I must look away from all that will distract to Jesus. Jesus, oh how sweet the name.

Another thought just came. If I am looking away from all that would to distract to Jesus, then I am being distracted from distractions by Him. That would make Jesus the ultimate distraction. Being distracted by Jesus. Now that’s a fun thought. Oh yeah, I’m liking the thought of being distracted by Jesus. Definitely gonna have to think on this some more. uh, hmm, yes ma’am. I’m thinking on this some more.
Hey There! It's Friday! Is your Friday fabulous, so far? Ours here at Abundance is windy, windy, windy. We are preparing a lunch of chili or tomato soup and cheese quesadillas. Some of us wanted tomato soup, some chili so we are going to have both.

Hillbilly Housewife is a website I would like to suggest visiting. A recent newsletter contained information on the savings of homemade convenience food. The savings on one product were significant. Instant oatmeal packages @ 25cents/pkg. when on sale compared to 2 cents/pkg. when made one's self. WOW! That is some savings! If one homemade product produces that much savings, how much would others? Hillbilly Housewife features recipes to get you started saving. Hillbilly Housewife provides recipes for more than just convenience foods. With grocery prices rising, a visit will be worth your while.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/curdsandwhey.htm/comment-page-1#comment-30018

10.06.2011

Living Love Out Loud

Living Love Out Loud

These words came to me as I sat listening. What does it mean to live Love out loud? Does Love have a sound? A look? A fragrance? What does Love sound like? More importantly, can it be heard in our home? coming from me?

I’m reading a series of devotions from Above Rubies by Nancy Campbell right now. The devotions teach about the good land of motherhood. As I read of how the Israelites viewed the promised land chosen for them as an inheritance from God Himself negatively, I find bits and pieces of my own view towards the Promiseland of motherhood looking and sounding an awful lot like that of the Israelites. Too often I fail to see as God sees. Opportunities sometimes seem like curses and rewards resemble punishment, or torture, more than the gifts from Heaven that they are.

Dear God, may the sound heard in our home be that of Love being lived out loud. Turn our hearts towards You that we may hear and see as You do. May rejoicing and praise be the noise of the house. In the name of Jesus I pray that we, Your children, will rise up and walk as Yours. That we will live as those who have been set free from the curse of sin. That we will go forth from our home sharing the all-surpassing Love of You to everyone we meet. May not even one person pass by without experiencing You through us, not even one Lord. You have called us to be soldiers of the Kingdom. You have given us everything we need for life and godliness. Through Christ, we lack no good thing. May we live You and Your truth out loud in every way every day. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

10.05.2011

Giggle, Grace, and Love

This is a quick, I’ve got to get this down before it flies out of my head. *smile* Giggle(5yo) has been learning to take care of what she has been blessed with. If we are thankful, we take care of our blessings. Ouch, there’s a message in that statement, isn’t there? Maybe we’ll talk about that one more later. Right now, there is something else to talk about.

OK, so Giggle is learning to keep her space neat and tidy. She had been clearly, calmly informed of the consequence if her things were found left in a heap on the closet floor. More than two days of gentle, yet plain spoken, reminders had been given to her; yet she still chose to leave the heap on the closet floor. Not only did she not put the items in the heap away, she continued to add more to the already large pile. It takes quite a bit of small items to make so large of a mess. Finally, after several days of reminding and encouraging her to do the right thing, Blessed Mama was left with no choice but to administer the foretold consequence. Giggle had to gather up everything from the floor of the closet and place it in a large bag and place it in her parents room. Maybe, these items will be returned. Maybe, they will bless another child. It all depends on Giggle. As it has been from the beginning, the choice is hers and hers alone. Will she bend her will and choose what is right or will she continue on as before? Blessed Mama can only pray.

After having placed some of her most precious possessions in a bag not knowing whether they would ever be hers again, Giggle chose an interesting course of action. Without being told to, Giggle preceded to clean the rest of the room she and her older sister share, all by herself. This mad and intense cleaning spree was done with a smile on her face, singing on her lips, and determination written all over her tiny body. Giggle was on a mission. She was going to single-handedly redeem her things from Blessed Mama’s room. Did Blessed Mama tell her to do this? No. Was it even remotely hinted at that doing so would bring about the desired result of having her belongings returned? No.

This sweetly determined little five-year-old was feverishly picking up and tidying ever crevice and corner with nothing but faith and hope that her efforts would bring forth a good end. Her hopeful cleaning dash took much more time and effort than the original task ever would have. The easiest choice would have been to take a few minutes to put each belonging away when finished with it instead of dropping each thing on an ever growing pile. To Giggle, however, the minutes spent in preventive tidying were minutes she could be playing. Therefore, because she is only 5 and didn’t have the maturity to see the larger reality, easy became hard and eventually unpleasant.

Giggle’s choice didn’t end with Giggle. As I looked around the room wondering at her actions, it crept into my head. That’s when I heard a still small voice asking me if I’m really all that different than my dear Giggle? Uhhhhh, I had to admit that no, I’m not even a little bit different. God has told me exactly what choice is the wisest, and I, like Giggle, am too immature to see anything but my own limited perspective. Then, instead of basing my decision on the perspective of my loving Heavenly Father, which He has given in His Word, I base my choice on human understanding.

I could avail myself of God’s unlimited wisdom and understanding but no, I go with how it looks from my vantage point. Even though it has a failure record of 100%. Not only that, just like Giggle, often after choosing foolishly, I feverishly work at doing good things in an attempt to make up for my failings. As if somehow, I can undo the wrong I have already done. And I, just like Giggle will, discover that nothing I do or say can buy forgiveness. It’s all been done. Restoration doesn’t come because of what I do or don’t do. Grace and love restore. Grace and love bring forgiveness full and free. Restoration isn’t earned, it enters on the wings of Grace and Love. Thank You, God for Grace and Yourself (Love). May Giggle and I grow in both Grace and You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

10.04.2011

And we're off! to the finish line of meals from those two roasted chickens. For readers just now joining this wild ride, we have spent the past several posts seeing just how many meals two chickens can provide a family of eight. Amount of food and number of meals will change for families of other sizes.

Meals #4 & #5 were, drumroll please, Fried Brown Rice and Chicken and Rice Pilaf. In all fairness, the Rice Pilaf was a side dish and only had the chicken broth in it, not any of the actual meat, but it did make a large enough amount that it could have served as the main course. The only addition needed to bump this dish up to main course standing would have been some beans. Red beans would have been very nice. Beans and Rice together form a complete and inexpensive protein for those times when meat isn't available or desired. Of course, then it would no longer be Rice Pilaf but Red Beans and Rice. Since Red Beans and Rice always need some cooked bacon crumbled up in it, (I think it does anyway) we could have added the leftover bacon from breakfast. MMm, I'm getting hungry now.

Fried Brown Rice - recipe to come at later date. Not of This World made this dish, and she isn't here to share how. I do know that the amount of chicken in the dish was generous. If meat needed stretching, the amount used could easily have been reduced to half leaving some for another dish. Please know that I enjoyed the amount Not of This World used tremendously. I wouldn't have wanted it to contain less meat. Sometimes, though, ingredients need to be stretched leaving what we would prefer aside for a time.

Oh yes, the Rice used in the Rice Pilaf was leftover from the previous meal of Fried Rice and Chicken. Believe me, I appreciated the convenience precooked rice provided when a quick lunch was needed today. The remaining chicken broth, leftover rice, a small onion chopped fine, 1/2 celery stalk chopped fine, 1/4 grated carrot, and garlic powder joined together to form a delicious Rice Pilaf to accompany our steaks. Since this dish was prepared using precooked and leftover ingredients, exact measurements aren't available to share.  Our family did think of some fun variations to try someday. Here they are: Instead of using chicken broth, combine the precooked rice with a cheese sauce. Broccoli was also mentioned as a possible addition. Ham would be tasty with a cheese sauce.

Abundance hopes that the posts on how many meals two roasted chickens can provide has been enjoyable to you. We had a lot of fun cooking and eating the results. There is a little disclosure we would like to make however. While all of the dishes and foods made here at Abundance during our little chicken experiment were tasty to the majority of our family, not all of us were as thrilled as most of us were. That being said, a few of the meals saw My Beloved eating different meals than the rest of us. This only added to our meal-stretching experiment as the meals that My Beloved ate provided the ideal way to use up small amounts of ingredients that weren't enough for the entire family. Even though a few meals were spent eating different foods, we were still eating together as a family, and we were wasting less food. Experiment chicken was an absolute success. As a matter of fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to realize later on that there were other meals/dishes I forgot to include.

Do I Know Him?


Hi There! It is the beginning of a windy evening here at Abundance. Giggle, Might Man of God, and I have been having a great time learning together the past several weeks of Kindergarten. Might Man of God is only three, but he enjoys singing with us, repeating drills, and coloring. Letters, numbers, and sight words aren't the only things Blessed Mama has been learning though. All of us here at Abundance continue to be amazed as we regularly read the same lessons and truths in other placesGod has been taking her to His school of life as well. The next few posts share some of the lessons He has shared with Blessed Mama. . Truly God is telling all of His children the same teachings. Prayerfully consider subscribing to the daily words sent out via email from The Elijah List website. These have been powerful, confirming words; words full of NOW truths for today.

Without further adieu, we will share the newest article. The following article, along with the next several, have each been written at an earlier date. Because of Christ, Blessed Mama


As I sit down to write this morning I am reminded of how in one of the letters the apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament, he told the readers of his letter to look at the large handwriting with which he had used to tell them of what he had written. The passion and feeling for what he had written was so intensely strong that the letter had been written in his own hand rather than being dictated to another.

Even though I don’t yet know what I will be writing today, I, as Paul did, have chosen a large size of type to share it. There is an intensely strong urgency within me. Whatever God the Holy Spirit is leading me to share, it is important. Those who read must know that God means it.

He means everything He has said. The question is, do I know what He has said? Have I read enough of His Word, the Holy Bible, to know the words of my God? Do I spend enough time with Him to know His heart’s cry? Is He my only priority? Is He my all in all? Have I become swayed and entrapped by the world and it’s illusions of grandeur?

I profess Him as Lord, but do I know Him? I am part of His Holy Bride, the one betrothed to Him in Holy Covenant. Yet, am I loving Him as one in love loves the very beat of their heart? Am I blindly walking on roads built on traditions of men? Are my days spent diligently plodding along step by weary step? Have I become so focused on doing exactly what a good girl does that the blazing heat of my Holy Lover’s passion has become nothing more than cherished memory? Is the fire of His love, a remembrance of “once, a long time ago, in a land far away”?

May it not be so, Lord. May I never cease to worship you in Spirit and in truth. May I never forget You and who I am in You. Your ways are not my ways, and Your thoughts are not my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8, 9) This is a good thing, God, a very good thing. May your Word accomplish that which You please and purpose in my life. May it prosper in the thing for which You sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) Show me Your ways. Teach me Your paths. Lead me in the way everlasting. Mold me and make me into the Bride of Your deepest desire and longing. This is my heart’s cry. How I want to see as You see and hear as You hear, not as the world sees and hears, but like You. I long to be transformed into Your image. May it be so, in the name of Jesus. Thank You. Oh how I thank You Lord. In Jesus’ name, AMEN

9.30.2011

Chicken Meals #2 & #3

Chicken Tortilla Soup and a version of Chicken a la King we call "in town" became the second and third meals to come from the chickens we roasted earlier this week. Three meals and there is still chicken left!

Having already had three meals containing chicken this week, I am considering placing the remaining chicken in the freezer for a future meal. On a crazy busy day when a meal that can be prepared quickly is needed, cooked chicken would be a blessing.

Chicken Tortilla Soup was an extremely inexpensive meal. For the base I used some of the broth from the chickens. To this I added approx. 2 C. of fresh salsa (tomatoes, jalepenos, onions, garlic powder, cilantro, cumin, bit of chili powder) that I made in the small food processor, the remaining leftover nacho cheese (roughly 1/4 C.), about 1 1/2 C. cooked chicken, and salt to taste. The soup cooked on med/low heat for approx. 30 min. During the final few minutes of cooking I added some homemade mac 'n cheese leftover from earlier in the week (approx. 1 C.). I added the macaroni at the end to avoid mushy pasta. We ate the soup with nacho cheese doritoes and a small dollop of sour cream.

This brought the final total of meals for the nacho cheese to 4.(see previous post for nacho cheese recipe)

Our version of Chicken a la King aka in town experienced a new tweak as I replaced the cream soup usually used with a water based thickener. This not only brought down the expense of the dish but made it easier for others to digest. Once more, the chicken broth showed up in this meal along with chopped carrots, celery, frozen peas, baby onions, and cooked chicken (approx. 2 C.). While the chicken/veggie mixture was cooking, wide egg noodles (yes, I cheated and used boughten ones - they were on sale) were cooking in another pot. Once the egg noodles were done, they were drained and set aside to add right before serving. After allowing the veggies to cook until tender, a thickener of flour, chicken soup base, and water was added to the broth and stirred in. Water was added until desired thickness was reached. Mixture cooked for approx. 20 minutes to eliminate floury taste. Right before serving the egg noodles were stirred in. In town was served over homemade biscuits that had been made while the veggies cooked through and baked while the mixture thickened and flour taste cooked out. This dish served 8 generously with enough left over to serve 2-4 more. This leftover amount was placed in the freezer for an easy meal on a day when only a few of us are home.

The chickens are at meal #3 with approx. 4 C. of chicken left and in the freezer. This means that there is a possibility of getting 5 meals from two roasted chickens. Not just five meals, but five meals of generous servings for 8 people. A smaller family could have obtained dinner for up to 10 nights out of the same amount. Each meal also incorporated other leftovers; this saved even more by eliminating food waste. The leftovers also tasted much better when given new life in other dishes than if they had been reheated and served in their original form. Now that's abundance.

9.29.2011

Chicken Meal #1

Alright, the first meal on this quest of seeing just how far two chickens can stretch when feeding a family of eight has been eaten. Chicken and nacho cheese quesadillas were a quick, easy, and delicious lunch for all eight of us at Abundance. Both the nacho cheese and the flour tortillas were homemade. They were also made from new recipes. Cheese and tortillas don't have to be homemade. Our nacho cheese was leftover from supper the night before. Since we were out of purchased tortillas, I made them. Tortillas are easy as well as fast, and I was in desperate need of a quick and easy meal that could get to the table FAST. Quesadillas fit the bill. For those interested in the recipes we used, we're including them below. Please be advised: the recipe below will NOT produce a traditional, super flat tortilla. They are a TexMex style which may puff up a bit.

(NOTE: I did not allow the dough to rest as instructed due to short prep time available. Rest time would have made the tortillas better. However, they were still very enjoyable. We do strongly recommend following the instructions exactly - if time allows.)

Texas Flour Tortillas (adapted by the Homesick Texan from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)
  • 2 C. all-purpose flour (whole wheat can be made by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 3/4 C. warm milk
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and oil.
Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, break of eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren't touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It's very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won't roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it into a four inch circle, andthen roll with a rolling pin from the center until it is thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you will have no problem with this.) Don't over work the dough, or it will be stiff. Keep rolled out tortillas covered until ready to cook.
In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it is done.
Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napking until ready to eat.
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas burner flame, or in the oven wrapped in foil.
While you probably won't have any leftovers, you can store in the fidge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.
Makes eight (8) tortillas.

Homemade Nacho Cheese
  • 2 sticks butter
  • onions - chopped
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • approx. 2 C. milk or water
  • jalepenos to taste - we used 2 jalepeno peppers - seeded and chopped
  • 1 box Velveeta cubed (Velveeta melts smoothly and is what we had in the pantry. For a healthier, more natural option, Velveeta can be substitued with 2 C. Monterey Jack and 2 C. sharp cheddar or for a white nacho sauce, 4 C. Monterey Jack. Cheddar may produce oil. This is normal.)
Melt butter in large saucepan or pot.
Add onions. We used two tiny little ones.
Add flour stirring constantly until mixture bubbles freely.
Add cream cheese. Continue stirring constantly as it melts.
Add milk/water slowly -  stirring continually.
Allow mixture to cook, keep stirring, bring to boil.
Add cheese - stir until melted.
Keep warm in crockpot or warmer.
Will thicken if allowed to cool.
Makes enough to serve 12+, generously.


I enlarged the tortilla recipe so that there would be leftovers. These leftovers were eaten as snacks yesterday afternoon with enough left for breakfast burritos this morning.

The nacho cheese was originally made and served as an accompaniment to homemade soft pretzels for an evening meal. We made 10 nacho chicken quesadillas for lunch and there was still nacho cheese sauce leftover for another use. It wasn't but could have been used in the breakfast burritos.

More meal stretching coming your way. We told you it was going to be a ride:)