Monday, April 14, 2014

What is Passover

This was a previous post I had written a few years back but is always good to have a refresher.

As I sit here with the computer on my lap in my Grandmothers living room, I am refreshing my facts on the Jewish Holiday of Passover. It is also interesting that this year, Passover is on Good Friday which most of you know is the day that our Lord and Savior Jesus gave His life on the cross of Calvary. As I am typing I can hear the tv in the background coming from my Grandmother's room as someone is talking about Passover, it is by no coincidence that I am writing this at this moment.  Is it really relevant for Christians to recognize this holiday? For me, I say that I have been adopted into the family of God and I am an heir and joint heir with Jesus Christ my Jewish brother,

 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, so that we may be also glorified together."  Romans 8:17.
I feel that it is very important to know Jewish history as Jesus did celebrate these holidays and festivals and you can clearly see if you study enough that the Bible does relate to many of these events.
Let's take a walk back in time to the days of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. After 9 plagues and the Pharaoh would not budge on letting the Jews leave, God sent a final horrific 10th plague that would sweep the streets and every home in Egypt killing the firstborn in every household,

"Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well."
Exodus 11:5

God made a way for His people to escape this plague by giving them the instructions that they were to sacrifice a male lamb without blemish, one for every house and strike the blood upon the doorposts as a sign that the plague of death would PASSOVER the homes of God's people.  Passover is also believed to have been the actual last supper that Jesus attended before His death.





Can you see the similarities between the Passover Lamb and our Savior Jesus Christ. We needed someone to save us from death from an eternity of destruction and torment. Jesus was our Passover Lamb,
"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth." Isaiah 53:7

He did not suffer and die for nothing, it was to give us all a way to eternal life. If you want to secure your place in Heaven, just pray this prayer:

"I come to you God in the name of Jesus and I ask you to forgive me of my sins. I forgive all who have sinned against me and I believe that Jesus gave His life freely to redeem me from my sins and that He rose again on the third day. Come into my life and I will live for you from this day forward, in Jesus name I pray, Amen."

There are many more aspects to Passover that is worth you researching online, such as the Seder Dinner.  My husband and I actually attended a Seder Dinner once and it was very memorable. There are many elements and symbolic foods that represent what the Israelites went through at this time in history.  It is very interesting so I encourage you to research it further.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Pray at the Pump!


As gas prices began to rise and predictions of over $5.00 per gallon started to be reported on the news, I noticed my husband praying for the gas prices to come down everytime we would drive by a gas station. Of course I know that there is nothing impossible with God and would agree with him everytime he would pray. But, it really hit me in the face this morning when a reporter on the news said, gas prices were going to be coming down and could possibly not see an increase over the summer due to a plant that had been closed has now re-opened in California that produces an additive for gasoline that will keep the cost of fuel down. I was so excited to hear that our prayers were being answered and that we do have authority in the name of Jesus to even drive down gas prices. Luke 9:29, "..According to your faith be it unto you."
I am asking that whoever reads this will join us in praying at the pump. So, everytime you pass by a gas station start praying.

I am going to leave you with some great gasoline saving tips from AAA.
*Properly inflate tiresOnly 17 percent of cars have all four tires properly inflated, yet the U.S. Department of Energy reports that proper tire inflation can improve fuel economy by up to three percent. It's important not only to check tire pressures at least once a month, but also make sure it's done correctly; a survey found 85 percent of motorists don't know how to properly check tire pressures. Check the pressures when the tires are cold and have not been driven recently. Tires should be inflated to levels recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, not the pressure levels stamped on the tire sidewall. The proper pressure levels can be found on a sticker on the driver's side door jamb or in the owner's manual.*Be gentle on the gas and brake pedalsOne of the easiest and most effective ways to conserve fuel is to change driving styles. Instead of making quick starts and sudden stops, go easy on the gas and brake pedals. If there is a red light ahead, ease off the gas and coast up to it rather than waiting until the last second to brake. Once the light turns green, gently accelerate rather than making a quick start. The U.S. Department of Energy reports aggressive driving can lower a car's fuel economy by up to 33 percent.
*
Drive the speed limit Slowing down to observe the speed limit is safer and can conserve fuel. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that each 5 mph driven over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. Leave yourself plenty of time to reach your destination to avoid feeling rushed so you can arrive safely and with a little more fuel in the tank.
*
Plan errands in advanceWhen running errands, try to combine multiple tasks into one trip. Several short trips starting with a cold engine each time can use twice as much gas as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Also, plan the route in advance to drive the fewest miles.
*Lighten the loadA heavier vehicle uses more fuel. Lighten your vehicle by cleaning out the trunk, cargo areas and passenger compartments. Also try to avoid using a car's roof rack to transport luggage or other equipment-especially over long distances on the highway. A loaded roof rack affects the vehicle aerodynamics and creates extra drag that reduces fuel economy.
*
Keep up-to-date on vehicle maintenanceKeeping a car running properly helps achieve maximum fuel economy. Be sure to follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule, and do not ignore vehicle warning lights that indicate something is wrong. Warning lights can signal problems that will greatly decrease a car's fuel efficiency.
Blessings,

Stephanie 
              

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Date Night With God (Revisited)


Hey everyone!   I know it's been a while since my last post but, things have been crazy around here with just life in general and then a new direction from the Lord.

I wanted to re-post one of my most popular blogs and the reason for that is due to a comment I had received just last week.  This comment was left by someone who gave a name, not sure if it was the real name and did not leave an e-mail where I could send a message so, hoping that this person may come back to my blog to read this.

The comment was:

"None of these things, not a single one happened because of god...and if they did, why does god answer the prayers of one middle class white american lady who asks to have a nice date night, while letting 400 people die in an earthquake in Pakistan today? I don't know about you, but to me that makes god sound like...."  (You do NOT want to know the rest!)

and by the way, big "G" please..

As a matter of fact, everyone one of these things DID happen because of God, because we invited Him into our lives and into our plans. God is a gentleman, He will not go where He is not invited or wanted! Many people and Nations do not invite Him into their lives, into their plans, or into their Nation however, they have invited false gods, false religions, and have rejected the ONE TRUE GOD who could actually save them from horrific things that happen. It is amazing to me that people will not accept or even believe in the one true God of the Bible except when terrible things happen and then all of a sudden, there is a God and why did He bring this or why did He let that happen, it is all His fault.
There has been an age old question of, "Would God send a person to Hell?"  ABSOLUTLEY NOT!! It is the person who sends themselves to hell by rejecting God and His son Jesus Christ. It is the same principle for the Nations and for these things that happen. If we reject Him and say He is not real, how then can He save us.

FOR EXAMPLE:  If I were drowning and needed help and you could help me, you were holding out your hand to save me but, I ignored you and acted like you were not there or even existed, at that point you cannot save  me, my life is lost!

God wants to help all of us, He loves each and every one of you no matter your age, your race, your income, your political standing. God will save those who believe in Him and who call on His name. God is no respecter of persons.

"Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism."

                                                                                                                            Acts 10:34

So, if God does not cause these things to happen, then who does. Well, people died, people had homes and possesions stolen and lives were destroyed.  Sounds like John 10:10 to me!

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:"

But Jesus says;

" I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."


Right here, right now, I want to invite each of you who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to ask Him to come into your life. If there is any question who Jesus is then look at this:

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God."

AND
 
John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

To accept Jesus into your life, just pray this simple prayer:
 
I come to you God in the name of Jesus and I ask that you forgive me of my sins, I also forgive all who have sinned against me or hurt me in anyway. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day.  Make me a new person as of today and I will live for you from this day forward. In Jesus name I pray Amen.
Let me know if you prayed this prayer, have a prayer request or a question: ablessedhome@mail.com


Now,  here is the original post that started this whole thing!
 
Also notice that I say in the post,
"Pray before you go anywhere"
that could also save you from danger!
 
 
Be blessed people!! Love you!






 
 
My husband and I always try to pray before we go anywhere and on this particular Saturday night date night, we were just not sure where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do. Then we decided to STOP AND PRAY and boy are we glad we did. We prayed something like this:
  
 
"Father God we come to you in Jesus name, and we ask that you would
choose the place where you want us to go and if for any reason we should not
 go then just put it on our hearts to stay here. In Jesus name we pray... Amen."
 
 
 
It was funny, because my husband had just celebrated his birthday and had a wallet full of gift cards to all the restaurants we were just about to pass by and for some reason (we know the reason) we just decided to keep going, none of them seemed appealing to us. As we began to drive down the freeway, my husband said. "How about going to Joe T Garcia's?" and I agreed.
 
 
You may think this is so simple and we could have decided this on our own but I can tell you, if we had not prayed, we would have chosen something else and missed all the blessings that God had in store for us, just because we had asked Him before we went.
 
 
First off, Joe T Garcia's is in Ft Worth, we live 20 miles away and gasoline is extremely expensive. As soon as we arrived in Fort Worth and made the first turn toward the restaurant, there was a gas station on the corner that was selling gasoline for 15 cents cheaper than any other gas station. It was amazing, I have never seen gasoline that much cheaper at one station than all the rest so, we filled up.  The first blessing was that God paid for our gasoline to to get there!
 
 
The second blessing was that we found a parking place in the main parking lot right outside the front door.  You have to know this place. If you try to eat at Joe T Garcia's anywhere from 6-8 on a Friday or Saturday, you can expect to park in the overflow, gravel parking down the street and stand in line for at least 45min to an hour, (the food and atmosphere, especially in the outdoor dining is well worth the wait. I will tell you all about the restaurant later on in the story.)
 
 
The next miracle of the favor of God was; as we were walking up to get in line, the girl that was seating people parted the sea of people that was in line ahead of us, and as we were walking up to get in line, she hung over the railing and asked us how many, and then she asked that we follow her.  
 
 
We followed her to the next favor of God, which in our opinion happened to be the best seat in the house, in the courtyard right beside the fountain and might I add, it was a bit nippy outside but while other folks had to share a heater between two tables, we had our own heater just for us.
 
 

 
 
At Joe T Garcia's, they have some folks who serve the meal and then other employees who deliver the chips and salsa and these folks usually never usually speak to us, we think perhaps they are busy or just might be Spanish speaking only but, we had the sweetest person bring us the chips and salsa and said hi, smiled, chatted for a second before he was off to the next table. My husband looked at me and said, "They usually never say anything to us."  His comment just got to me and I started laughing so hard, just thinking of the multiple blessings that our God had given to us and how ridiculously beautiful God had made this night for us.  As I was laughing, I happen to look to the side, to notice a lady that had been laughing just as much as I had, but her laughter came from the beer that was in her hand, my laughter came from a joy inside my heart that God loved us so. I had real joy and laughter but the lady across from me had an artificial joy and laughter.. Feels so good to have The REAL Thing!
 
 
So, from now on before you go on that date or anywhere for that matter, make sure to pray before you go for God's guidance, pray for His favor wherever you go and you will be surprised at how wonderful things will turn out.
 
 
Now for a little about Joe T Garcia's...
lovingly referred to around these parts as JOE T's
 
 
Joe T's is a Mexican restaurant that was started on July 4th 1935 and serves on two dinner menu items: Enchiladas and Fajitas and even with only the two, it is still hard to decide!! The service is prompt and the food delicious and well priced I might add, especially for all the items you get with the meal. I recommend you definitely go if you are ever in the Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex.. Even celebrities have lined the walls with photos and sentiments about the restaurant.
 

                                                                   
 
 
  Joe T Garcia's
 
2201 N Commerce
       Ft Worth, Texas 76164

Friday, June 14, 2013

Remembering Dad

Stephanie and Dad (Jim)





I can't believe that this was actually me. It seems so long ago. I was definitely a Daddy's Girl and watched his every move. I can remember some of the best times with my Dad, was on Saturday evenings when we would cook dinner, which was most often his favorite fried bologna sandwiches and tomato soup, while watching 8 Country. He loved to cook and so I suppose that is where I get my love for cooking. He was a born again, spirit filled Christian, a hard worker, in love with my Mama, and was a great man.

 I was only 1 week away from my 14th birthday, when in 1985 my Dad went to be with the Lord. We had plans to go to an Andre Crouch concert, the tickets were still in his wallet. This was the toughest time in my life and only by the grace and mercy of the Lord my Mom and I made it through. 

When you have a great man for a Dad, you never forget them. It has been almost 27 years now that he has been gone and just today, while at the Bass Pro Shop we walked past the fishing aisle and it took me back 30 years to our living room where my Dad would show me how to cast a fishing rod (onto a carpet), he showed me all the bait and I fell in love with a little rubber frog that I couldn't bear to see him put in the tackle box, I had that frog for years.

You know, it's ok to miss them, it means you loved them and they loved you. If you don't have your Dad with you this Father's Day, remember the good times. If you do have your Dad with you, cherish him and thank God for him. There may even be some of you who didn't have a great Dad, keep in mind that forgiveness heals and restores.

Always remember that our Father God is the greatest Father of all so, wish him a Happy Father's Day today as well.

Happy Father's Day to all you Father's out there!



"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;" 
                                                              Psalm 103:13



"The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him."
                                                            Proverbs 23:24



"The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him."

                                                       Proverbs 20:7


Celebrate Flag Day



I can remember the first time I ever even realized there was a Flag Day. I was a teenager and one of the local Christian radio stations were having a concert at the mall to recognize the day. When I arrived, they had flags everywhere, I had never seen so many flags in one place before. I remember thinking, that was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen and it did make me proud to be an American as I looked up at those flags and thought about what they represented.
I wanted to give you a variety of fun and interesting information about the flag today. Fly her high and remember what she represents.





Happy Flag Day!



Fun Facts:
*The American flag, consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically
as the "union") bearing fifty small, white,
five-pointed stars arranged in nine
offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars.
The 50 stars on the flag represent the
50 states of the United States of America and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain and became the first states in the Union.

*Betsy Ross, often credited with sewing the nation's first flag, apprenticed not as a seamstress but as an upholsterer, learning to make and repair curtains, bedcovers, tablecloths, rugs, umbrellas and Venetian blinds.

*Congress officially adopted the Stars and Stripes as the nation's flag on June 14, 1777.

*The U.S. flag has been modified 26 times since its adoption in 1777.
Today's 50-star flag, created in 1960, has been in use the longest.




 Do's & Dont's:

• It’s OK to fly an old flag with fewer than 50 stars, because, according to American Legion, “the American flag never loses its relevancy.”
 
• Don’t use the flag in advertising. According to the Flag Code, using the flag for advertising purposes is considered mutilation.
• The appropriate time to display the flag is during the day. To display the flag at night, it must be illuminated with artificial light.
• Flags cannot be draped over motor vehicles. Instead, they must be affixed on a staff firmly attached to the vehicle’s right side.
• When several flags are on a single staff, the American flag must always be at the top. When there are several staffs holding different flags, the American flag must always be raised first and lowered last.
• If a flag of another nation is being flown with an American flag, both flags must be on separate staffs and flown at equal heights.
• When flown at half-staff, the flag must first be raised to its highest point briefly, and then lowered to the middle of the staff.
• When a flag is placed across a casket, the area containing the stars, known as the union, must be located at the head and over the left shoulder of the body inside the casket.


Now for a great video by: Martha Stewart

"How To Fold A Flag"


(Click photo and choose video #2)
 

 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Terracotta Makeover

 
Terracotta was the only ceramic produced by Western and pre-Columbian people until the 14th century, when European higher fired stoneware began production. Terracotta has been used throughout history for sculpture and pottery, as well as bricks and roof shingles. In ancient times, the first clay sculptures were dried (baked) in the sun after being formed. Later, they were placed in the ashes of open hearths to harden, and finally kilns were used, similar to those used for pottery today. However only after firing to high temperature would it be classed as a ceramic material.
 
While sprucing up our backyard and getting ready for Summer, I  decided to add flower pots to the four corners of our backyard gazebo.  As I started looking for pots, I realized I did not want to spend what the stores were asking for their flowerpots and then times that by four. So, I had the idea of why not buy terracotta pots and just paint them and that is just what I did. There is a huge selection of sizes when it comes to terracotta and very inexpensive.
 
Now that I had my pots, it was time to decide on a paint color. Rustoleum has spray paints especially for Masonry, I chose the color, "Rosemary" then after that dried, I decided I wanted a bit more rustic look and added a great new textured paint that gives a stone effect.

 
 
 


 
 

After you let the first coat dry, then spray on the stone texture.
 
Just add beautiful Flowers and your done!!
 
You can go crazy with these pots and spray paint to coordinate almost any theme.
 
Just by doing this simple project, I turned an at least $60.00 project into less than $25.00..
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Communion Bread Recipe & How to Take Communion

 

 
 
 
I guess of all the recipes I have done or will ever do, this one will forever be my most favorite. 
 
 
Communion is a very special time set aside to remember the sacrifice that was made for all mankind upon the cross of Calvary. Many may think that you can only take communion in church but that is so wrong. The Bible says;
 
 
"For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."
 
                                                                                                                              I Corinthians 11:26
 

 
It does not say you have to be in church, it just says that when you take communion you are remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Most people only take communion on Resurrection Sunday or Christmas Eve, but I personally want to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for me more than once or twice a year. If not for the broken body of Jesus Christ and the shed blood, we would not have our sins forgiven, we would not have an opportunity for eternity in Heaven some day, we would not be freed from the bondage of sickness but, thankfully we have those opportunities and I am so grateful.
 
At my home church we have always taken communion on the first Sunday of each month, when we break a fast, and for special holidays.
 
 


I am also so glad that my husband and I decided to take communion during our wedding ceremony.  If you are planning a wedding, it is a beautiful thing to do to let God and everyone there know that He is going to be the center of your marriage.
 


 
 
 
I am happy to say that I have retrieved the original recipe for communion bread that has been used at our home church for years. A wonderful lady of the church by the name of Tammy Jourdan gives of her time to prepare this bread for the church when it is needed.
 
 

 
 
This bread is basically unleavened bread and you can bake it up at any time. It is not your typical thin cracker style bread or wafer. 
 
 

 
 
 
Communion Bread
 
 
Ingredients:
 
4 Eggs (slightly beaten)
 
3Tbsp butter flavored crisco
 
1Tsp salt
 
2 cups unsifted flour
 
 
How to:
 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
 
Mix eggs, crisco, and salt together with a hand mixer. 
Hand mix in the flour, (dough will be sticky).
Form dough into a loaf and place on a greased cookie pan
 lined with foil or parchment paper.
Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes.
 
Let cool and break.
 
 
Be sure to watch the video for more important information
 about taking communion and how to actually do it at home.