Recipe: Lemon Bars

Here is one of my personal faves.

Lemon Bars:

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 cup of butter, melted

Lemon topping:

4 eggs

2 cups of white sugar

1 tsp of baking powder

1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

3/4 cup of lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X13 pan.

2. In a medium bowl stir in the 2 cups of flour and the powdered sugar. Blend in the melted butter. Press into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light. Combine the sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 cup of flour so there are no lumps. Stir the sugar mixture into the eggs. Finally stir in the lemon juice.

4. Pour over prepared crust and return to oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Carmel Corn

Here’s a fun recipe that I just discovered. My whole family loves it!

Carmel Corn:

Ingredients:

20 cups of popped popcorn (or 1 cup of unpopped kernels, if you use the stove or an air popper)

8 cups of pretzels

4 cups of dry roasted peanuts

3 cups of brown sugar

3/4 cup of light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups of butter

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of baking soda

2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Place the pretzels, popcorn, and peanuts in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. In a saucepant over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Cook, stirring to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar, until the mixture comes to a boil. One the mixture comes to a full boil, continue to cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.

3. Remove from heat, and stir in salt, vanilla, and baking soda. The mixture will foam a little bit. Immediately pour over the popcorn mix. Stir to evenly coat. For a crispier treat, boil the sugar mixture longer, or bake the finihsed mix in the over and 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Summer Temptations: Laziness

Summer.

A time of freedom and endless possibilities. During the summer you have the time to do what you’ve always wanted to do (especially if you’re still in school!), pursue a new hobby, start a project, be outside, start a good book, try a new recipe, etc.

I make a lot of plans every summer. I have books to read, friends to hang out with, recipes to try, but how do I actually spend my summer? On facebook. Now, facebook is not wrong but it can (and should) be called the biggest time waster in human history. I spend more time than I should on FB (oh look, I even have a nickname for it, how cute!). Facebook can be a great way to stay connected with people and I believe it can be a great ministry tool. But, it can also be a means of distraction; a means of laziness.

I’ve come to realize that I’m a very lazy person. I like to be easy on myself. I don’t like stress, I like relaxation. Why start a project when I can just zone out on the computer?  Why read a book when I can go online and read the latest LOST article?

I have really been convicted of how much time I spend on my computer. Again, it’s not wrong to go on the computer, it’s not wrong to go on facebook, it’s not a sin to read the latest LOST article (thank God!) but these can all be sinful when I am using it to fuel my laziness.

I don’t want to waste my summer on the computer. I want to do things. The awesome thing is, God can give me the grace to lay down my laziness. He can give me the strength (and energy!) I need to do something. By God’s grace I can put aside my idol of comfort and pursue Him more and seek to serve others. All I need to do is ask.

I really want to look back on Summer 2010 and be happy with how I spent it. And by God’s grace that is completely possible.

Another Quote

My family has a set of mugs that have a picture of a theologian on one side and a quote by them on the other. I’ve read these quotes before but I’ve never really thought about them. Yesterday while I was enjoying some hot chocolate with my little sister I read the back of my mug:

“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accomodations here.”

–Jonathan Edwards

I was immediately convicted. I realized that I had been putting my trust in other things thinking they would satisfy me and bring me happiness. Only God can give me satisfaction. I must look to him! Praise God for his grace to do it! All of this from having a mug of hot chocolate. Maybe I should drink it more often…

Christian Music

It is SO hard to find good music to listen to. Particularly good contemporary Christian music. I feel like most christian music sounds the same. There are precious few music artists who write good lyrics and still have good music. But there are a few who do. Reilly being one of them. Right now Reilly is my favorite band. They are a very interesting mix. They are in the rock/pop genre, but they play violins too. It’s so cool. They also have really thoughtful lyrics (particularly in their second CD entitled Let June Decide). I also find it interesting that they attend a Sovereign Grace Church. That’s really cool too! 🙂

Here’s their music video for their song Sunlight:

A couple more Christian artists I really appriciate are; Jars of Clay, Mute Math (we just got their new CD Armistince which is really good!), Waterdeep, Telecast (I love their CD The Beauty of Simplicity), TobyMac, and Red Umbrella.

Happy Birthday Becca!

Dear Becca,

Happy 17th birthday! Wow! You’re old. 🙂

You are an incredible example to me. With your love for the lord, your church, and your family. With your desire to serve others even when it’s hard or makes you “get out of your comfort zone.” Your humility. Your willingness to put aside your fear and pride and step out in faith. With the way you talk and bring loving counsel to others. You have wisdom beyond your years. All this is God’s grace in your life! Praise be to Him!

Thanks so much for being there for me. You are a blessing!

Love, B

More Links

HERE are some “talks” from Girl Talk. I particularly want to recommend Carolyn Mahaney’s talk on True Beauty. It is fantastic!

Immodesty in the Heart

In my pride I expected to be able to read chapter 5 in Worldliness entitled “God, my Heart, and Clothes” with little to no conviction. I mean come on I dress modestly. Even if I wanted to dress immodestly my dad would never let me out of the house.

But as I was reading I realized how immodesty has less to do with what I wear and more about where my heart is. This is such a humbling realization! I became acutely aware of how often I try to impress others with what I wear. As I buy clothes (or even get dressed in the morning) I tend to have a man-centered view more than a God-centered one. Instead of asking myself if I am bringing God glory through the way I’m dressing I usually wonder what “so-and-so” will think. I can dress modestly but still have an immodest attitude. Seeking attention through what I wear is wrong whether or not I dress immodestly.

I thank God that He has revealed this to me and I pray He will continue to turn my heart more towards Him and less to man. Thank God for His neverending grace!

Fighting Crushes: Self-control

We’ve decided to do a little “series” on crushes. And as I was praying about, this I felt led to share from a Christian standpoint what crushes are and why we need to fight against them. Here we go!

First of all,  having a crush is totally normal. You are not weird if you are attracted to a guy. Actually, to a certain extent crushes are a good thing. The attraction between a man and a woman is God-given, and therefore good (James 1:17). But crushes become wrong when we start to think about a certain person a lot and when we start fantasizing about that person. This is wrong because it’s having a lack of self-control. Proverbs 25:28 says, “A man without self-control is like a city broken down and left without walls.” This is a serious matter. When we lack self-control we leave ourselves open for all sorts of trouble. For example: if I keep thinking about a specific guy, if I dream about him and all that, and then I find out he is interested in someone else, I will be left heart-broken. Another thing my mom always reminds me is this (and it’s so helpful): the guy I’m attracted to is probably someone else’s future husband. That puts things in a whole new light! While he might not be married now he probably will be someday—and it most likely won’t be to me. This really stresses my need for self-control.

One thing I really want to encourage you ladies to do is talk to your parents if you find yourself falling for a guy. As teens our parents are our principle source of help and encouragement. There have been many instances when I feel overwhelmed with weariness of fighting for self-control and I go to my parents and I am reminded afresh of the power of the gospel and that I do not have to go through this alone. God is here with me and He will give me all the help I need. Now I understand that it might feel embarrassing to talk to your mom about this. But it doesn’t have to be. Your parents love you and want to be there for you. They know how you feel and they want to help. Please take advantage of the God-given gift of Christian parents. And if you don’t have Christian parents, I suggest going to another mature Christian woman for help.

Psalm 73:25-26 says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Even if I fail, God never does. I have no strength in and of myself. But with God all things are possible . . . even getting over a crush. And Jesus is way more satisfying than any crush could ever be.

Post Christmas Blues

I’m going to cut into Becca’s series for a second and post a link to the Desiring God blog. Jon Bloom wrote a great post about the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Click HERE

Bronte, for the Innominables

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