Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Good Morning Beautiful People

As the dawn breaks into a beautiful sunrise, 
may God shower you with His blessings of 
love and lead you  always to the right path.

Monday, 16 November 2015

6 Ways to Pray All Day...

There are multiple ways to pray in the midst of a busy life.

Enough of us have scratched our heads at Paul’s admonition to “pray without ceasing,” wondering if we’re ever to get up from a kneeling position, but if we take Paul’s life for an example–traveling, preaching, tent-making, church-building, letter-writing–we can assume there are multiple ways to pray in the midst of a busy life. Here are some that you might want to try.

1) Write a thank-you note.
Whenever I’m out of sorts and need to get myself to a godly place, writing a thank-you note proves a prayerful road back. There’s always somebody in my life who deserves much thanks. It could be an email, a note on nice stationery or a postcard I drop in the mail. Writing down what I’m grateful for, expressing it, sharing it, is a reminder of my own gratitude to God.

2) Repeat a short prayer to yourself.
And when I say short, I mean short. It could be a phrase from the Lord’s Prayer, something from a Psalm like “The Lord is my shepherd,” just an expression of God’s name or the Jesus Prayer, “Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” You can say it as often as you want, letting it pull you back to God, giving you a kingdom perspective on this world. No one has to know what’s going on in your head. These are words just between you and your Creator.

3) Send a flash prayer.
I’ll never forget my friend Claire who worked in the film business, and she told me that when she found herself in a contentious meeting, she would “zap” people with prayer. She said it was sort of like a secret Star Wars weapon. Often enough the contentiousness would die down and real collaboration would happen. Make God your collaborator and zap someone with a prayer when both they and you need it.

4) Breathe in God’s love.
People will say that you should pause and take a few deep breaths when you’re stressed. My friend, David, recommends something you can add to that. With each breath, take in God’s healing love. Let it fill you up and then breathe His Spirit out into the world. I like the way Job, who had his share of suffering puts it, “God’s spirit made me: the Almighty’s breath enlivens me.”

5) Hold a song in your head.
I’m lousy at multi-tasking. It’s challenging enough to concentrate on one thing at a time. But I can hold a song in my head while doing a dozen other things. It’s there on its own inner loop, filling my brain and my heart, making me happy even without me singing a note. Put your ear buds on, play your favorite spirit-lifting song, then let it play back for you the rest of the day. It’ll do the praying for you.

6) Be other-oriented.
I find the more focused I am on others, the more prayerful my life is. Not for nothing do certain names pop into my head–often enough I find there’s reason. It’s a wake-up call for caring and prayer. My friend, Roberta, gives away something every day. It might be just a clipping from the newspaper or a recipe she likes, but she shares something of herself. “Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus said. “Us” not “me.” Doing for others takes me right there.

Coconut Snowmen

Snowman is made of vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut. His eyes, mouth, and buttons are licorice candies, his carrot nose marzipan, and his hat a toasted marshmallow atop a chocolate cookie. To make these snowmen, you will need three ice-cream scoops in varied sizes. Shoestring licorice cut into small pieces can also be used for the buttons, eyes, and mouth.  (by Martha Stewart Living)

2 1/2 pints best-quality vanilla ice cream
Two 7-ounce packages coconut
Orange food coloring

1 tablespoon marzipan (1/4 ounce)

40 Sen Sen licorice candies

4 marshmallows
4 chocolate wafers
Sifted confectioners' sugar

Line a baking pan that fits in your freezer with parchment paper. Scoop the vanilla ice cream, rounding scoops as much as possible, until you have 4 of each size, and place on the prepared baking pan. Place the pan in the freezer to harden for 15 minutes.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer, and roll in coconut. Return to pan, then return the pan to the freezer. Add orange food coloring to marzipanuntil carrot color is attained. Shape marzipan into small carrot shapes, using a paring knife to make ridges. Remove 1 small scoop of ice cream at a time from the freezer, and make faces using Sen Sen for eyes and mouth and marzipan carrots for the nose. Return to freezer until ready to serve.

Remove middle-size scoops from the freezer one at a time; place Sen Sen in a row down the front to create buttons. Remove remaining scoops from freezer, and stack to create snowmen, pressing slightly to adhere. Return snowmen to freezer.

Make the top hats by roasting marshmallows on skewers over a gas burner. Alternatively, place marshmallows on a baking sheet under the broiler, and cook until browned, rotating every few seconds. Place the toasted marshmallow on the chocolate wafer, and dust with sifted confectioners' sugar. Place the hat on the snowmen just before serving.

14 Short stories about life. I think they are worth reading.

Posted on July 9, 2015 by RJI

1. Fall and Rise
Today, when I slipped on the wet tile floor a boy in a wheelchair caught me before I slammed my head on the ground. He said, “Believe it or not, that’s almost exactly how I injured my back 3 years ago .

2. A father’s advice
Today, my father told me, “Just go for it and give it a try! You don’t have to be a professional to build a successful product. Amateurs started Google and Apple. Professionals built the Titanic

3. The power of uniqueness.
Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70’s – what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.

4. Looking Back
Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.

5. Try and U shall know

I am blind by birth. When I was 8 years old, I wanted to play baseball. I asked my father- “Dad, can I play baseball?” He said “You’ll never know until you try.” When I was a teenager, I asked him, – “Dad Can I become a surgeon?”. He replied “Son, you’ll never know until you try.” Today I am a Surgeon, just because I tried!

Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”

Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.

Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.

Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”

Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.

Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?” “Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said.

12. JOY
Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”.

Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.”

Cheers to life.
Each one of them has a message.
Happiness is a choice.

Your children are not your children.

By: Kahlil Gibran
[An excerpt from The Prophet”]

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Lemon Meringue Pie Shooters

Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Homemade lemon curd and italian meringue are two quick and simple components that combine with store-bought vanilla cookies to make this delicious two-bite dessert.
Recipe Type: Dessert
Serves: Makes about 24 shooters
Lemon Curd
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup (1,75 dl) sugar
  • ½ cup (1,18 dl or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup (1,18 dl) lemon juice
Italian Meringue
  • 8 oz (227 grams) sugar
  • 2 oz (57 grams) water
  • 4 oz (113 grams) egg whites
  • 30-35 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
  • 24 shot glasses (I found these plastic ones at a party supply store)
Lemon Curd
  1. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice in a medium stainless sleet or glass bowl, and set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
  2. Whisk constantly until lemon curd thickens and reaches 175 degrees F.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool, whisking every few minutes to aid cooling.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap so the plastic touches the surface of the curd and chill for a few hours or overnight, the curd will continue to set up as it chills.
  5. This can be made in advance, you can store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks or freeze.
Italian Meringue
  1. Cook the sugar and water together in a small saucepan over high heat until it comes up to 243 degrees F.
  2. When the mixture reaches about 230-235 F, begin whipping the egg whites in a stand mixer on medium-low speed until they are foamy.
  3. When the sugar reaches 243 degrees F, remove from heat, and pour very slowly in a steady stream into the whipping egg whites.
  4. As soon as all the sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer onto high, and whip until completely cool.
  1. Place a small amount of crushed cookie into the bottom of each shot glass.
  2. Transfer your lemon curd to a pastry bag and pipe a small amount into each glass.
  3. Top each glass with more crushed cookies.
  4. Transfer your meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe a big dollop on top of each shot glass.
  5. Using a kitchen torch, carefully toast each meringue top until they are golden brown. If you are using plastic shot glasses, be mindful just to toast the tops of the meringues, otherwise you run the risk of melting the plastic.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Bria Helgerson

Bria Helgerson

Bria Helgerson is a Chicago based food blogger and pastry school student. Lover of all things sweet and savory, she cooks, bakes, and blogs as she navigates her culinary life at her website These Peas Are Hollow.