Saturday, October 9, 2021

LaRae Completes Her Doctorate Degree at Oxford University

The years do fly. The months come and go. Days pass. We change. Relationships change. We experience, birth, childhood, teenage years, young adulthood, singleness, marriage, aging, sickness, death... But our Creator is constant in His word and through His presence in our lives. How grateful I am for the hope His Word brings and the comfort His presence gives. 

I started this blog in 2007. While home-schooling our two girls, I shared a lot. But once they were adults, I became much quieter about their lives, for I knew it was their choice to share what they wanted to share with the world. 

I may come back to blogging again someday, but I am extremely busy doing other things. I got permission to share a final educational goal our LaRae met this past Friday. She passed her Viva at Oxford University and will be graduating with her Doctorate degree. She remains in England with her husband, Matt. What a blessing he is to our family. God is amazing and good. It is so worth placing your life in His hands, the One who is ever constant and The Source of deep joy. 

With grateful heart,

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Delectable Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookie Recipe

2 Cups Gluten Free Flour 

1/2 Cup Cocoa

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
1 Cup butter, softened but not melted

1.5 Cups Coconut Sugar - or to taste. I use a bit less than this.

1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

12 oz. Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks
(I like these from Aldi. I use the full bag and enough from a second bag to make 12 oz.)

1 Cup chopped pecans (or more if you like. I do.)

Heat oven to 375 F. 

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. 
Beat butter & coconut sugar until very creamy.
Let it set for a few minutes, beat again.
This helps the sugar to dissolve for a smoother cookie texture.
Add vanilla.
Add eggs, one at a time and beat well.
Gradually add flour mixture. 
Add chips and then nuts and drop on a cookie sheet using a #16 scoop.
I like them big for the best texture. 
Bake for 11 minutes.

Enjoy! Everybody at my house likes these! Even those who don't normally choose Gluten-Free options. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Our Happiest 2020 Event

So much has happened this year! What a year! The happiest news is that our dear LaRae became Mrs. Matthew Cherukara! She and Matt, her dear friend and fellow Oxford Doctoral student (grad now), who co-lead a Bible study with her at their church in Oxford, England, were married in Oxford on July 20th! 

I love this picture of them and Matt's parents, Tom and Diana. (Thanks, Rick, for the photo!) 

Because of COVID, we could not attend their wedding which was originally planned to take place here, and they could not be married here since Matt is not a U.S. citizen. We watched it online and focused on LaRae and Matt's joy. We were and are so happy for them.

If you'd like to see their marriage blessing ceremony at the church, here is the link. It's a long story, but due to COVID complications, Matt and LaRae had to go to Gibraltar to get the legal paperwork for their marriage. This video is their sacred service in their Oxford church, St. Ebbe's. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Lyrics Matter

I was raised on conservative, sacred music interspersed with great classics. We did not listen to Pop or Country music. Not because it was always, in any situation, considered to be wrong. But my dad and mom wanted to carefully guard the way our minds were shaped, the influences that had sway with us, and as I work to recall, I think they wanted us to develop a particular taste in music. They wanted our music choices to be intentional. They wanted our music diet to be thought-provoking, inspirational, and artistically developed.

When my brother and I were in high school, they opened up the funnel and allowed us to listen to contemporary Christian music - on headphones at first because it was so foreign to them. We had demonstrated that we were pursuing God with all our hearts, and so they trusted us to choose wisely. We joined the Word Record Club and could hardly wait for new records to arrive each month! We would comb through each and every song, analyzing the lyrics, discussing whether the music appropriately painted the words, contemplating whether the words were theologically accurate as best we understood.

I was shocked when as a young mother I met young people (from Christian homes) who were listening to music that was filling their minds with ideas contrary to the mindset of Jesus. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that they had no conscience on the issue, that they were filling their minds with images that would not promote thinking which would lead them to healthy relationships or Godly living. I remember being told by a young lady, "I don't listen to the words, I just enjoy the music." Sadly, the outcome of her life has proven she (at the least) hasn't been helped by her musical diet.

So, I have this theory that lyrics really matter in music. It seems to me, what I repeatedly feed my mind (in the way of ideas) I become. 

Phil 4:8 Whatever is true, ... honorable,... just,... pure,... lovely,... think about these things.
Proverbs 4:26 Ponder the path of your feet...
John 15:4 Abide in me...

Any thoughts?