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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Great Aunt Mary's Banana Nut Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F (180C)

Sift together into bowl (I don't sift, I just whisk)
2 1/2 C Flour
1 2/3 C Sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

2/3 C Shortening (I use butter)
1/3 C Buttermilk (you can substitute with 1 tsp vinegar and enough milk to make 1/3 C)
1 3/4 C Mashed Bananas
Beat vigorously 2 minutes with spoon or mix with electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes.

Then Add:
1/3 C Buttermilk (you can substitute with 1 tsp vinegar and enough milk to make 1/3 C)
2 large Eggs
Beat 2 more minutes. Fold in 2/3 C chopped nuts (optional). Pour into prepared pans.
For 2 round pans, bake for 30-35 minutes.
For Rectangular 9x13, bake 45 minutes.

I like to ice this with Cream Cheese Icing. Follow this link and look for the icing recipe at the bottom of the cake recipe.

Cream Cheese Icing (Better Homes & Gardens)

Follow this link and look for the icing recipe at the bottom of the cake recipe.

South African English

South Africa has 11 official languages! Fortunately for us, one of those languages is English. While we didn't have to learn a new language to start the ministry, there are a lot of differences! I thought it might be fun for you to see just a few of them.

Bakkie (pronounced bucky) - pickup truck
Boot - trunk of car
Bonnet - hood of car
Hooter - horn
Robot - stoplight
Trolley - grocery cart
Serviette - Napkin

Brinjal - Eggplant
Marrow - Zucchini
Mince - Ground Beef
Spanspek (pronounced spawnspek) - Cantaloupe

Cot - baby crib
Dummy - pacifier
Nappy - diaper
Doo Doo - nap
Camp Cot - Pack 'n Play
Pram - Stroller

Stroller - Umbrella Stroller

Pronunciation and spelling are also often very different! Here are a couple of examples:

When saying "path" the a would be pronounced like the a in wigwam;
but when saying "wigwam", the a would be pronounced like we say the a in path!

Due to other languages, street and suburb names can get quite interesting! We lived in Weltevreden Park (veltefreeden). Yet now we live in Wilro Park, and it's pronounced like it's written. Another suburb is Helderkruin (helderkrane). W's can be "v", V's can be "f", ui says long a....

Here are a couple of the spelling differences: colour, practise.

Dates are written as day/month/year. For example, today is 31/10/2010, or 31 Oct 2010.

Time is frequently referred to as military time. It is currently 22h52.

God's Children

Tonight God brought this to mind, and I just felt the need to share. There was a time, about 3 1/2 years ago while we were waiting for a baby to adopt, that one night while I was praying through the tears for God to bring us a baby. I felt God clearly saying to me (not audibly, of course) that I needed to stop praying for God to bring us a baby, but to start praying that God give the babies a home.
There are so many orphaned and abandoned children in South Africa. God loves each and every one of those children. Please pray that they have a home and are loved, but even more importantly, please pray that they come to know and experience the love of God in a relationship with Him!
I am so grateful to God for giving us Mya to love. She brightens every one of our days!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Words, Meditations, Rock, Redeemer

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart 

be acceptable unto you, O LORD, 

my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

I can't tell you the number of times that I've prayed these words in the last week. They have been a source of strength to me. Lord, let my words be acceptable in Your sight! If my meditations are acceptable in Your sight, how much easier it will be for my words to be acceptable! Lord, please help me to meditate on Your Word!
And how grateful I am that you are my Rock - never changing, never failing, always present God! and my Redeemer!!! Thank you, Lord, for your vast forgiveness, unfailing love, and for being able to do exceedingly abundantly more than I can ask or imagine to change my life.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Disciplines of a Godly Woman

This month's chapter was on the discipline of propriety. I read the chapter a little here & there throughout the month, God continuing to lay on my heart specifically my attitude toward my children, which can often be lacking in patience, resulting in harsh words. I have known this is wrong, and pray to change, but have struggled often, having to ask the forgiveness of my children and my merciful Abba Father.
Today I was directed through the Bible Study to this passage: (Now keep in mind that I memorized the verses in bold when I was in high school, but reading them in context today just majorly spoke to my heart!)

Psalm 119:9-16 

 9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
       By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
       do not let me stray from your commands.

 11 I have hidden your word in my heart
       that I might not sin against you.

 12 Praise be to you, O LORD;
       teach me your decrees.

 13 With my lips I recount
       all the laws that come from your mouth.

 14 I rejoice in following your statutes
       as one rejoices in great riches.

 15 I meditate on your precepts
       and consider your ways.

 16 I delight in your decrees;
       I will not neglect your word.
Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that it's Your Word that washes me. I want my spiritual apparel to reflect my life as a believer. I want to work on having more patience in my heart and gentleness in my words. Barbara encouraged us to pray Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer." This is my next memory verse. Then I will seek out verses that speak specifically to the issues that I'm dealing with and memorize them, too. It's His Word in my heart that is going to change me. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Heart

God brought this back to my mind today, and as I wrote this long before I had this blog, I thought I would share....

July 2, 2008
I read this yesterday, through my tears, and I just had to share. I couldn't believe how much I related, and with the freshness of visiting an orphanage....

And today we were at another orphanage! My heart just broke for those children. And then I walked into a room full of babies, cribs lining all the walls. The first baby I saw was a tiny new baby that had been abandoned. She was so precious and innocent that my heart melted! So in need of a mother. I could hardly hold back the tears. She had only been there for days and was assumed to be a couple weeks old. As I write this, I still want to go back and get her and bring her home with me. As I held her, she yawned and put her tiny fingers in her mouth to suckle. Lord, I know you love her and have a plan for her life. Please allow her the opportunity to know the love of a mother and a family!

coffeegirlconfessions ....
[what's brewing today: the stuff that keeps you up at night]

It was late and high time to be falling asleep, but I could not get my thoughts to slow down. My sister delivered her first baby today, a precious baby girl. This was a day that we dreamed of together since we were old enough to talk. I couldn't believe my sister was now a mom, but even more difficult to believe was the fact that I would be moving out of the country, thousands of miles away from this precious baby in just 6 weeks. I knew all along it would be difficult to go, but until I held that little bundle in my arms tonight I didn't know just how difficult it would be. 

My heart was aching, and suddenly the weight of moving away from my family seemed too heavy to bear. My throat was sore from holding in my tears, and I decided to make my heartache known. "Honey?" I quietly cried out to my husband. No response. "Honey?" I said again, a bit louder. Nothing. How could this be? I feel like I'm on the edge of an emotional breakdown and my husband is sleeping peacefully next to me? I need to talk – I need to be heard, right now. I contemplate waking him, but know I will only be disappointed with his groggy response when I explain the reason he's awake. 

So I lay there, alone. 

The tears start pouring down my cheeks and before I know it I'm shaking with emotion. I'm simply overwhelmed with the thought of leaving, and sad that I'm alone in this pain tonight. As I lay there crying, I suddenly have a thought so clear that I know it is not of my own mind. "You're not alone. I'm here with you. I am the one who collects your tears, whether anyone else in the world knows of them or not. I know your heartache and I've promised to be near to the brokenhearted." ....
I have never audibly heard God speak to me, but I am often spoken to in this way –a pressing thought that I know is not of my own thinking. As I silently interact with those thoughts, my conversations with God begin. "Oh Lord, how quickly I forget that you are the only one who truly knows my heart and the joys and pains within it. I had no idea how hard it would be to leave my family – I feel devastated over it tonight." ....
My thoughts continue from there, guided by the Lord I am sure. Oh, how fortunate I am to have a family that I am grieved to leave behind. The orphaned and abandoned children that we will soon be living among do not know this feeling – they have no family members to love, nor family to love them in return. The capacity to feel this pain is a blessing that devastatingly sets me apart from thousands and thousands of children in this world.....
I start to realize that this broken spot in my heart has been given to me as a bottle to collect my tears and grief in as I move forward in this journey. This bottle of tears will be turned into worship as they have been this night – I can pour them out in prayer and love for these children. I can be thankful for the capacity to grieve and intercede for those who do not know what it is to grieve separation from family members.....
It is a holy moment as I lay there in bed – God has shown himself to me. He has seen my tears. He has come near to the
And so I pray for the orphans we will soon be serving:....
Oh Lord, may they someday know the depth of love that you have for them. ....
May you allow me to love them in such a way that they will know what it feels like to grieve when we part ways in the future.....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our Great High Priest and A Perfect Sacrifice!!!

WOW!!!! That was the first thing I wrote in my Word of Life Quiet Time this morning.... (Now, for those of you in the US using the Quiet Time, we're on a different schedule here in SA, so don't think I'm crazy. You've already done this. ;)) But, back to WOW! I love how God works.
You see, 1). I am in week 10 of Beth Moore's study, A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place (about the Tabernacle), 2). AND my pastor has started a series on the tabernacle Sunday nights at church, 3). AND about a month ago, God brought me in my QT to Hebrews - which brings to light that JESUS is the only sacrifice that takes away my sins, the only priest that can sit because His sacrifice is once and for all, that He is a better priest, a better sacrifice....

Now, do you think God is trying to teach me something?? Well, I KNOW He is, always! But, specifically today, I HAD to share. I'm STILL going WOW!!!

First read what I read....
Hebrews 10:19-25
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Now, in the OT Tabernacle, ONLY the High Priest could enter beyond the veil to the Holy of Holies, and he had bells on his garment so that people knew that he was still alive when he moved, and a rope tied to his leg so that if he wasn't they could get him out. Our God is a holy and just God, and if they didn't follow His regulations, there was consequence!
But when Christ died on the cross, that veil was torn, top to bottom. Read the Hebrews passage again - the veil that is His flesh! When Christ died on the cross He gave us access to the Holy of Holies through faith, "having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
But before we get carried away, let us look at the "therefore". Now I'm sure that you've probably heard, like me, that when we see the word "therefore" we must look and see what it's there for! It's a matter of "if this", "then that"....
So, these are some of the verses that stood out to me as I looked back on Chapter 10....
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. v. 4
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. v. 10
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time,  SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, v. 11-12
And I am reminded of Hebrews 7:23-28:
The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.
Is anyone else saying "Wow" yet?
Anyways, back to Hebrews 10 and the "therefore".  "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."

It really speaks for itself, but it challenges me. This year has been a challenge toward self-discipline. I want to run the race with abandon! (see previous post) So, in light of that, this is the challenge that I received from Hebrews 10 today....
1. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
2. let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds
3. not forsaking our own assembling together
4. encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

I could expound on each of those points, specifically how I feel God is challenging me in each of them, but I think this post is long enough and I'll save it for another day. Thanks for following down the "therefore" path with me today, and I hope someone out there is saying, "WOW" with me as we consider God's Word and how amazing HE is!!!