One of my favorite parts of our morning routine is when CJ and I grab our coffee and sit for ten minutes on our tiny enclosed patio, listening to Albert Mohler’s podcast “The Briefing.” Each morning, Dr. Mohler provides biblical commentary on the latest news in politics and culture. I don’t know of another commentator who daily offers such an insightful, prescient, theological perspective on current events. The Briefing is informative and enlightening and equips me to think, pray about, and talk to others—especially non-Christians—about current events in a winsome and biblical manner. If I had teenagers at home The Briefing would be a mandatory part of their day—although Dr. Mohler is so engaging and interesting I doubt I would need to require it! Today Dr. Mohler provided 7 suggestions for watching the Presidential Debate, and I look forward to catching his program tomorrow to benefit from his biblical analysis.
Here at girltalk we are always excited to pass along great resources, and this is one of the best. I hope all the girltalk readers and their families will make The Briefing a part of their morning routine.
Here is a yummy pumpkin recipe for fall, and a poem to go with it:
Colonial Pumpkin Bars
3/4 cup butter 2 cups sugar 1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin 4 eggs 2 cups flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1 cup pecans, chopped
Cream butter and sugar together. Blend in pumpkin and eggs. Mix remaining ingredients together and add to creamed mixture. Spread in a greased 10"x15” pan, or (for a cake) in a 9"x13” pan. Bake at 350* for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the pan. When cooled spread with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar 1 tsp. vanilla
Blend cream cheese and butter well. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and blend well.
Roxie Kelley and Friends, Just a Matter of Thyme, (Kansas City, Missouri: Andrews McMeel Pub., 1998), 115
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Come ye thankful people come, Raise the song of harvest home! All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin; God our Maker, doth provide For our wants to be supplied: Come to God’s own temple, come, Raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God’s own field Fruit unto his praise to yield; Wheat and tares together sown Unto joy or sorrow grown; First the blade, and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear; Lord of the harvest! grant that we Wholesome grain and pure may be.
God shall come, And shall take his harvest home; From his field shall in that day All offenses purge away, Give his angels charge at last In the fire the tares to cast; But the fruitful ears to store In his garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come, Bring thy final harvest home; Gather thou thy people in, Free from sorrow, free from sin, There, forever purified, in thy presence to abide; Come, with all thine angels, come, Raise the glorious harvest home.
We are off to a 4th of July picnic—the first gathering of our Louisville church planting team! Here are some wise thoughts about patriotism to ponder today. Happy 4th!
”...I am not ‘proud to be an American.’ To be precise, I am not proud because I am an American. I am not proud because pride is for those things that we accomplish, those achievements for which we deserve credit. How did I end up an American? I was born one, and I would be a fool to be proud of something for which I can take no credit. My Americanism was granted to me and is a gift, not a status. That does not make me unpatriotic. Patriotism ought not to be a prideful touting of our country’s greatness but rather a joyful exclamation of it. My parade going and grilled-meat eating are not hypocritical. They are expressions of thankfulness. I am thankful…In all, we ought to be humbled on this Independence Day. This American life we lead is an undeserved opportunity, and for most of us, one that we did not choose. We did not find it, neither did we claim the right to it—we were given it as a gift.” ~Barnabas Piper, “Thankful and humble to be an American”
At the beach last week we made one of my husband’s favorite meals: White Barbecue Chicken on the grill. Taken from an old Southern Living cookbook of my mother-in-law’s, this super easy recipe uses mainly pantry items and tastes different yet delicious. The perfect main dish for a red, white and blue meal!
(Our photographer is busy unpacking today and I can’t take a decent picture to save my life, so you are just going to have to take my word for it that this chicken looks and tastes super yummy!)
WHITE BBQ CHICKEN
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons white wine Worcestershire sauce*
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
I like to double the sauce, and use one third to marinade the chicken, one third for basting, and the last third to serve at the table. Score chicken and marinade for a few hours. To keep chicken from drying out, I cook it in the oven at 375 degrees and throw on the grill at the last minute. Serve with lots of extra sauce!
*This product is now called Lea & Perrins White Wine Worcestershire Marinade for Chicken but I have been unable to find it in my local store. To make your own decent substitute combine:
You know you have kids when you tell people that you will be leaving for vacation in “3 sleepies.” Obviously, we are on countdown here at the Bradshaw household; we’ll be heading to Tennessee on Sunday with the whole Mahaney clan.
If you are planning to take a vacation, and like me, need to prepare to serve others and glorify God, here are a few links from the girltalk and cheap seats archives you might find helpful:
First, check out my dad’s three part series on leadership and family vacations. You can leave it up on your computer screen for when your husband “happens” to walk by.
Then, for some easy vacation cooking ideas, you might like these recipes.
If you need a reminder to keep fighting remaining sin—which doesn’t take a vacation—this post by Nicole will encourage you to prepare accordingly.
You definitely don’t want to forget to make wonderful memories. Read about that here.
And the hardest part of vacation—coming home. This post will help ease you into normal life again.
I hope this little sampling serves you as you prepare for your trip. I’m signing off, because I only have 3 more sleepies to get ready!
A few Sundays ago, some friends invited my and Kristin’s family over for lunch after church. Yes, do some quick math in your head and you’ll realize that’s a lot of people. 4 Adults and 7 children. And these friends have 5 children of their own. Tara-Beth, you are a brave and gracious hostess. I still laugh when I think of MJ coming into the living room covered in watermelon (which she was eating in some other part of your house) and you just smiling and saying no-big-deal. I obviously have a large amount of sanctification that still needs to occur in my life.
Along with the wonderful fellowship and the messy children, we enjoyed some very yummy food. Tara-Beth served us a Cobb salad that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since we left—3 weeks ago now. I know, I really have it bad for this salad. It was delicious. She got the recipe from the well-known cooking blog Smitten Kitchen. But more than just being out-of-this world good, it was a fantastic dish for hospitality. Almost all of the parts can be prepared ahead of time so there is very little last minute prep involved. And have I mentioned that it is so so yummy?
Would anyone like to come over this Sunday? Cobb salad is on the menu.
2012 at 3:11 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
First of all, a reminder: You have a little over 24 hours to take advantage of the 52home sale. At midnight on Wednesday the “MOM” coupon code will expire and you will no longer be able to get 25 percent off an order for your mom. So hurry on over there!
And we couldn’t resist—we just had to choose one more person to be runner-up in our “Pick One Spot” contest! So congratulations Rachel! You win a $50 gift certificate to any home store of your choice. Here’s what Rachel had to say about her once messy spot:
I chose our “storage room.” It’s intended to be “usable storage” but things were so bad in there that I didn’t even know what we had and certainly couldn’t get to anything I might need. For example, every time I would buy a package of toilet paper (24 rolls no less), I’d toss it on top of the stack nearest the door so that we could get to it. But when I would go to get some, it would be no where to be found, and I was left wondering how we went through it so fast! It turns out that the stack I would set the pack on was unsteady enough that invariably the package would fall off to the other side so that I couldn’t see it. I was surprised at how many packages I found when I started to clean things out!
Even though our contest is over, consider tackling that spot in your house this week—you never know what you might find!
As my mother-in-law will tell you (and we shared a home for six years, so she would know) there are few things I enjoy more than reorganizing a cluttered spot in my house. But I think it might be even more fun to judge the pick one spot contest—all of the satisfaction one gets out of uncluttered floors and neatly stacked boxes and bins, but none of the work!
Every year, you all make it so difficult to decide a winner, but I think we’ve found one—congratulations to Jasmine! We’ll let her give you a tour of the before and after:
We have a spare room closet that was a junk closet:
Is the truth about Easter too violent for children? Russell Moore answers this question in a recent column:
Our children need to hear the Gospel. They need to see Jesus. That means they need to see both sides of skull place. That’s graphic, sure. It’s confusing, of course. And not just for kids. But it is the only message that saves. It’s the only message that prepares one for salvation. It is, as Paul says, that which is “of first importance,” the message he received from Jesus Himself (1 Cor 15:3-4).
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the Gospel. That’s the first word. If we cannot speak of that, we would be better off not speaking of Jesus at all, rather than presenting another Christ, one who meditates but does not mediate, who counsels but is not crucified, who is accessible but not triumphant over sin and death.
The apostle Paul told us the word of the cross would be folly to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18). He didn’t warn us that it would sometimes also be folly to those who are publishing. No matter. It is still the power of God
This Easter, preach the Gospel… to the senior citizens, to the middle-aged, to the young adults, to the teenagers, to the seekers, to the hardened unbelievers, to the whole world. And, yes, preach the Gospel to the preschoolers.
Happy Spring y’all! This is always the time of year that I rush to the grocery store to stock up on those candy coated malted eggs. Kate wrote in last week because she remembered something about a tradition (not the tradition of me raiding the store for malted eggs) in our family to celebrate the first day of Spring. She was right. While we’re a little late in getting this up—the first day of Spring being today—it’s not too late to celebrate. We often held our Spring Celebration anytime during the first week of Spring.
The first day of spring was this past Monday—although it doesn’t feel like it here in Maryland. The yearly arrival of spring was greeted with much excitement in the Mahaney house during our growing up years. This was because of a unique Mahaney family tradition known as “Spring Celebration.”
Every March, on the Saturday following the first day of spring, my mom prepared a special breakfast. There were individual boxes of cereal, not just any cereal mind you, but “sweet cereal.” (For girls raised on Grape Nuts and Raisin Bran, Fruit Loops and Cocoa Krispies were a big deal!) There were also cinnamon roll bunny rabbits. Check out the picture below.
(A small disclaimer here—this sample bunny was made by Nicole and does not look exactly like the original. For example, Mom’s icing was light pink, not fuschia, her bunny face didn’t have icing, and she didn’t burn her cinnamon rolls.)
Mom created these delicacies by using those pre-made cinnamon rolls that come in the little tube. After cooking the rolls, she would decorate them. A few drops of food coloring made the icing pink. Two halves of one roll made the ears. Raisin eyes, a cherry nose, and little almond whiskers completed the project.
In addition to the special breakfast, each place at the table had a basket filled with candy.
We weren’t allowed in the kitchen until everything was ready, so we waited at the top of the stairs, yelling down every thirty seconds or so to find out if it was “time yet.” When Mom FINALLY gave the word, the party began!
First things first—we ate and ate some more. After the food was taken care of, it was on to the activities. There was an egg hunt with those little plastic eggs that you can fill with candy or some other treasure. We would dye hard-boiled eggs, and play games together.
My mom always worked hard to make it a day to remember, and her efforts were not in vain. As you can imagine, for three little girls, this day was one of the highlights of our year. Actually, writing about Spring Celebration makes me a little nostalgic. I just might throw myself my own little party to welcome spring this year!
The house was filled with the sound of children. The Luthers had six children in their first nine years of marriage—three sons, and three three daughters (one of whom died at a few months of age, another at the age of 13). And then a few years into their marriage, the Luthers took into their home the six children of Luther’s sister. They also raised Katherine’s nephew. Martin often told them stories, taught them songs and games, played melodies on his lute, and instructed them in the faith.
University students often ate and boarded there, and Luther’s letters make reference to a steady stream of guests either coming or going.
There was a waiting list for those who wanted to room and board with the Luthers—no doubt because of the stimulating theological education and conversation, but also because for many years the Luther didn’t charge anyone for room and board.
As Martin lectured and wrote and debated and preached and traveled, Katie drove the wagon, took care of the field, bought cattle and put them out to pasture, brewed beer, prepared food for the graduation banquets, rented horses, sold linen, served as Martin’s publishing agent, and often nursed him back to health during his frequent illnesses. (You simply must read the whole article!)
Martin and Katherina’s intentional, joy-filled, self-denial for the sake of the kingdom is provoking to say the least. Their happy, hectic home life—so full of service to others—is an example I fall so far short of, but want to imitate. Their lives push me to ask myself what legacy I am leaving for my children: Is it one of hospitality and generosity that reflects the heart of our Savior? May God give us grace to make our homes more like this.
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:8-9
How do we practice hospitality cheerfully instead of begrudgingly? We remember the why: We practice hospitality because we have first received hospitality.
“Grace is the hospitality of God to welcome sinners not because of their goodness but because of his glory,” explains John Piper:
“The ultimate act of hospitality was when Jesus Christ died for sinners to make everyone who believes a member of the household of God. We are no longer strangers and sojourners. We have come home to God. Everybody who trusts in Jesus finds a home in God.”
If we have trusted in Jesus, we have found a home in God. We were once strangers, alienated from God because of our sin. But through the suffering of Jesus Christ, we have been brought near to God. We are not strangers anymore.
We have received the ultimate act of hospitality! How can we not, in turn, show grace and love to others by extending hospitality to strangers?
When we truly understand the gospel, the amazing, undeserved love that has been shown to us, we will find a powerful incentive to show hospitality that will conquer every hindrance or reluctance. Reflecting upon Christ’s lavish hospitality will compel us to joyfully show hospitality to one another.
What burdens are you carrying around your home this January day? Whether nagging or crushing, may this gospel truth compel you to cast them on the Lord, who daily bears us up (Ps. 68:19):
Perhaps, your home-duties, trials, and needs, form your burden. Every home is an embryo kingdom, an epitomized world, of which the parent constitutes the sovereign. There are laws to be obeyed, rules to be observed, subjects to be governed, cares to be sustained, demands to be met, and “who is sufficient for all this?” is often your anxious inquiry. Who can tell what crushing burdens, what bitter sorrows, what corroding cares, what pressing demands, may exist within a single family circle, deeply veiled from every eye but God’s? You are perhaps a widower—bereaved and desolate. Or you are a widow—lonely and helpless. Your children are an anxiety. Your domestic duties a trial. Your necessities are pressing. Your whole position one of embarrassment and depression.
What shall you do? Do even as the Lord who loves you enjoins—“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you.” Your Heavenly Father knows all your home-trials, for He has sent them! Jesus, though he had no home on earth, yet sympathized with the home-cares and sorrows of others, and is not a stranger, nor indifferent to yours. Bring all to Him, tell Him all, confide to Him all, trust Him in all. You have no family trial too great, and no domestic need too little, and no home-sorrow too delicate, to take to Christ. Obey the precept, “Cast your burden upon the Lord;” and He will make good the promise, “and He shall sustain you.” O costly and blessed home-burden that brings Jesus beneath our roof! . . .
Jesus is the great Burden-Bearer of His people. No other arm, and no other heart, in heaven or upon earth, were strong enough, or loving enough, to bear these burdens but His! He who bore the weight of our sin and curse and shame in His obedience and death—bore it along all the avenues of His weary pilgrimage, from Bethlehem to Calvary—is He who now stretches forth His Divine arm, and makes bare a Brother’s heart to take your burden of care and of grief, dear saint of God, upon Himself.
Octavius Winslow, The Ministry of Home (London: 1847), page 351–352 (emphasis mine)
It’s a girltalk tradition to recommend a sermon to listen to while taking down your Christmas tree and trappings (if you haven’t already!). I listened to an excellent series of sermons today as I was packing away our Christmas decorations. These messages on the life of Joseph (of the OT) were preached by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson over a few months this past year. I’m only part way through and already greatly encouraged. So while you’re putting away those ornaments and lights, listen and enjoy.