Thursday, December 30, 2010

i think i can i think i can i think i can...


photo by Pips Ebersole


Psalm 71:14

But I will hope continually

and will praise you yet more and more.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

happy christmas



“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.””
- Luke 2:11-14

Sunday, December 12, 2010

more thoughts on idols

Each morning, my husband and I usually spend some time reading our Bibles and praying. Over the past few days Dave has been leading us in a devotional time that has really been awesome. Usually when we do our Bible reading, we do it individually but then come together and chat about what we've been reading later on. This Devo time that Dave has been leading has been different, because we are reading the passage together, chatting together, confessing sin to each other (and God) and praying together. Its been so wonderful!

Im sure its no surprise to you that God is still working on me to break down my idols- specifically the idol of health. I was challenged the other day during our devo time to really confess my health idol to the Lord and to ask Him to break it down. Now, I have thought about confessing this to the Lord over the past few weeks but never did, because in my mind I thought "if I confess this idol and I ask God to crush it, then God is going to test to see if my confession is true by stripping more of my health away from me and making me more sick.". So in the end I would never confess it. During our devo time Dave really challenged me to rethink... He asked me to imagine myself on the titanic (the "unsinkable" ship), and the ship is sinking. He asked me if while knowing that the ship was sinking if I would chose to stay on the ship or get into a life boat. The answer was obvious- we all know the story of The Titanic- I would get into the life boat. Dave then told me that the idol of health that I've been clinging to and trusting in was the sinking Titanic, and that by not confessing it to the Lord I was going to die on that ship. He challenged me to get into the life boat- even if it seemed scary- by confessing my health idol to the Lord, because only then would I be able to find contentment and have Jesus be my most valued treasure. I'm realizing that I can't have two most valued treasures... health+Jesus can't both be #1.

Anyway, Daves challenge was on Friday. To be honest, I still wasn't ready to confess. But last night while we were driving home from SanFransisco, for some reason it seemed like the right time. I chatted with the Lord about my health idol, and told Him I was sorry for placing such a high value on it. I told him that I was sorry for trusting so much in my own ability to keep myself healthy by eating healthy-homemade-never-from-a-can-or-box-food and taking herbal supplements/vitamins. And I told him that it was hard for me to not feel entitled to health, especially since I never eat fast food- ever. Let me tell you something... even though I confessed that to God, there was still this part of me that was terrified that because I confessed that God was going to test me by stripping more of my health from me. And just because I'm being honest... I will tell you that even as I write this I'm still afraid that He will do that.

So Im just praying that as God crushes this health idol that I've placed on the throne of my heart, that the Holy Spirit would come and open the eyes of my heart to see the beauty, love, and all surpassing value of Jesus... so that nothing else- even health- doesn't even begin to compare to Him and His glory.

I've been reading thru the Bible for the past year, (maybe year and a half) and I'm only in Isaiah. Anyway, here is parts of a passage that I read this morning. Funny how the Lord knows what we need to hear from Him, huh?

" Because you despise this word and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on them, therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant...
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.' But you were unwilling, and you said, 'no! we will flee upon horses'....
Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as He hears it, He answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversiry and the water of afflicition, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, 'Be gone!' "

Isaiah 30:12, 13, 15,18-22

sf. lights.friends.

I just took these pics on my phone, so they aren't great...






Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

praise




Hey all :-) As you know I had my another ct scan done last Thursday. Thanks to all of who have been praying for me. You have no idea how much it has meant to me to know that you are praying. All of your texts and emails have been so encouraging. Thank you.

So as I was saying, I went in last Thursday for another CT Scan. They told me that I would probably hear something back by Monday. So yesterday came and I still didn't hear anything. Today after lunch the Dr. finally called. She explained that the reason that it took so long was because the pulmonary doctor was spending some time comparing my ct scan from September to the one that they just did on Thursday to see if there were any changes in it. Then the pulmonary doc emailed my primary doc giving his recommendation but my primary doc didn't quite understand it... so she had to call the pulmonary doc and get a better explanation from him. Whew- that was a mouth full. Anyway... whatever it is that they saw on my lungs in September (they are calling it a 'density'.) has shrunk in size! The pulmonary doc said that he is confident that the density is healing and that in another 6-12 weeks it should be mostly gone or completely healed. However he did say that he wants me to come in to get one more blood test just to make sure they have covered all their bases. In 3 months I will come back into Kaiser for one last CT Scan to see if the density is healed. The Doc also said that in the meantime, if I come down with a fever or feel like my pneumonia is coming back that I need to come directly to the ER.

While I am super thankful that I heard good news, there is a little bit of me that is kinda bummed that it could be another 3 months of rib discomfort. I'm so tired of my body not feeling "normal". I know that God is directing my steps through this rough trail for my good and His glory... I believe Lord, but help my unbelief.


Thanks for the prayers. Love you, friends.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

bittersweet chocolate cream pie with creme fraiche topping


This is THE best chocolate cream pie that I have ever had! I made a few changes from the original, and it was amazing! Please make sure to try it for Christmas, okay?

bittersweet chocolate cream pie with creme fraiche topping
adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
serves 8

CRUST (you'll only need one crust, but this recipe makes 2):
2 cups white flour (I HATE white flour, but honestly if you are a true pie crust snob, then you have to use white flour- its a must!)
1 (scant) tsp salt
1 cup lard or shortening (I used shortening, but lard would work better)
1/2 cup cold water

Mix flour and salt together. Cut in the lard/shortening until its pea sized. Gradually add cold water. Place dough on heavily floured board and role out to 9 inch diameter. Place in pie dish and pinch the edges. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 8- 10 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

FILLING:
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
1/8 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups whole milk, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), finely chopped
1 tbsp dark rum (I used coconut rum, because thats all I had)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk sugar, cocoa, arrow root powder and salt to blend in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually add 1/3 cup milk, whisking until smooth paste forms. Whisk in remaining milk, then 1/4 cup cream. Using flat-bottom wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, stir mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping bottom and sides of pan until pudding thickens and begins to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes. Add chocolate; stir until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in rum and vanilla. Pour hot pudding into crust and spread evenly. Cool 1 hour at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap; chill overnight.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

TOPPING:
1 cup chilled creme fraiche
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using electric mixer, beat creme fraiche, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl just until stiff peaks form and mixture is thick enough to spread (do not over-beat or mixture may curdle). Spread topping over top of pie, swirling to create peaks, if desired.
DO AHEAD: pie can be made 6 hours ahead.

Thanksmas...



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hopeful...

Return to your rest O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you... I will take up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the LORD.
Psalm 116:7&13