Saturday, December 25, 2010

Born Crucified

I've been reading this book for several years. Years? Yes, years. It is rich, rich, rich in self-examination and reproving truth and so, as sinful and selfish as my heart is, I am only able to read a paragraph or two, small snippets, at a time.

Tonight's reading was no less an appeal to lay down self (die) and live for Christ, the only true life worth living.

"The purpose of the Cross of Christ, as all His teaching, was to set self aside and to bring our hearts and wills into harmony with God. The whole of redemption is to save man from himself and from his wicked pride and self-exaltation. It is the power of the Cross to work in us the blessed will of God. 'Such a claim does the Cross lay upon our hearts that, though our deepest attachments be violated, and what we love more than anything else in the universe, namely, 'self', be crucified, we give our consent. We cry out: 'Spare nothing, O God, in me that would keep me from merging my life with thine in an everlasting union of love.' Here lies the supreme glory of the Cross, and the reason why it is, as Paul says, 'the power of God, and the wisdom of God.' It disposes us to die to 'self'. That is why it saves. It gets the consent of our wills that we be detached from ourselves and attached to God. Any other kind of salvation would necessarily be fictitious."

The last line was truly a Selah moment for me. (Thank you, Brother Barba)

Any other kind of salvation would necessarily be fictitious. Any kind other than less of me/more of Him, none of me/all of Him, my weakness for His strength, giving up my unsettled thoughts for His perfect peace. Stepping out, reaching out, speaking a word or life when Pride would have me stand still, don't touch, be quiet.

Detaching from the idol of self and attaching, clinging, cleaving to God in Christ.


If you've never heard of this book before then may I point you HERE where you can read the entire book on-line, or you may find it in e-book format from Christian Book Distributors or Amazon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Best Triple Ginger Cookies

Posted especially for my Heritage family who enjoyed these cookies at church this morning!

I was never exposed to ginger (except the powdered stuff) as a child, and as a young grown-up I didn't try it because it sounded strange. A friend made a gingerbread cake many years ago, with fresh ginger in it. I raised my eyebrow but tried it because she also made some scrumptious lemon curd to go with it. Being a lover of all things lemon, I gave it a shot. From that first bite ginger became of wonderful friend of mine!

This is a great gingersnap recipe which I use as is, except that I load it with fresh grated ginger and chopped candied ginger, too, to make them over the top good! As I frequently do, if I go to the trouble to make something wonderful like this, I usually double it so that there is plenty to share. I think my friends appreciate that :-)

Grandma's Gingersnaps (from Betty Crocker)

1 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup molasses
1 2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. each salt, ground cloves, ground ginger
fresh grated ginger and chopped candied ginger, at least 3/4 - 1 1/2 cups of each, depending on your taste

additional sugar

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Melt short. and butter in small saucepan over low heat. Allow to cool 15 minutes.

2. Mix shortening, molasses, sugar and eggs in large bowl until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients except additional sugar.
(You can bake cookies now or refrigerate the dough for later)

3. Put additional sugar into small/med. bowl. Shape dough into 1 in. balls; roll in sugar. Place about 2 in. apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 - 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.

For Extra special cookies: melt three 6 oz. packages of white chocolate/baking bar with 1 T. shortening. Dip half of cookie into chocolate and place on wax paper until chocolate is set.


Thai Coconut Chicken

This is from a Gluten-free cookbook I have. Really flavorful - it was gone in no time and one of the children even wrote "It's Really Good!" on the recipe page. ;-)

Thai Coconut Chicken

1 green chili, seeded and roughly chopped
1 sm. onion, roughly chopped
3 (+++) cloves garlic, chopped (I added at least 1/2 a head - we LOVE garlic)
3 cups fresh cilantro
2 tsp. Thai fish sauce
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 stalk lemongrass (now available at Raley's!), roughly chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. superfine sugar
1/2 in. piece fresh ginger root, roughly chopped (again, I more than doubled this because we LOVE ginger, too!)
4 skinned boneless chicken breasts
1 TBS peanut oil (I just used veg./olive oil)
2 cups chicken stock/broth
1 can coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
roughly chopped cilantro for garnish

1. To make the curry paste, put chili, onion, garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, turmeric, lemon grass, lime zest and juice, sugar and ginger in food processor and blend until smooth, scraping mixture down when necessary.
2. Cut chicken into small pieces and season lightly. Heat oil in large saucepan and gently fry for 5 min. (You want to sear the chicken on the outside but not fully cook it.)
3. Put chicken stock and curry mixture in a separate pan and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
4. Add chicken and coconut milk to curry stock and cook for about 20 minutes until chicken is very tender. Garnish with cilantro and serve with fragrant rice or rice noodles.

Yummmmm- delicious!