Recipe Friday: Oreo Fluff Stuff

I had something like this at a restaurant, and hoped to replicate it for a church potluck. I came close, and this is equally tasty. I think this was the first dish I’ve brought to a potluck that was wiped clean – I brought home an empty bowl!

In addition, it’s a really easy recipe. Mind you, there is no nutritional value here; in fact, this is blatantly bad for your health. But some of us get to enjoy treats once in a while, in moderation.

Oreo Fluff Stuff

Ingredients:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

7 oz marshmallow crème

8 oz Cool Whip

6-8 big squirts of chocolate syrup (maybe ½ cup?)

10 Oreo cookies (or more, if you like), crushed

4 Oreo cookies, cut in half (or 8 cookies, if you wish to keep them whole), for garnish

Directions:

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.

Add the marshmallow crème, beat in and mix well.

Add the Cool Whip, beat in and mix well.

At this point (for example, if you’re starting this the night before), you can refrigerate until just before serving.

Just prior to serving, start scooping the crème mixture into a serving bowl: Add two big scoops of the crème; then squirt in a puddle or two of chocolate syrup and 1/3 of the crushed cookies.

Add two or three more scoops of the crème mixture, another puddle or three of chocolate syrup, and the second third of the crushed cookies.

Add the last of the crème mixture, another couple of puddles of chocolate syrup, and the rest of the crushed cookies.

With a big spoon, gently mix and swirl the crème, syrup, and cookies until the cookies are distributed throughout. Do not overmix if you want a swirl effect.

Arrange the extra Oreo cookies on top, as garnish. A friend suggested also sprinkling miniature marshmallows on top for garnish.

This would make a pretty good pie filling, with an Oreo (or other type of) crust. You may need to double the recipe for a pie.

The Queen’s Service

photo from google

I’ve been interested in the recent news clips of the life, death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. As is usual at funerals, nary a word against her has been spoken: all comments and opinions have been most positive, mentioning her dedication to service and duty to her country. But then, she has received positive comments and opinions all her life.

Queen Elizabeth has left an honorable impression on the world, and has done so all her life. At the age of 21, before she ascended the throne, she pledged to dedicate her life to service of her country. She followed through on that pledge. All her public oratory has been dignified, thoughtful, and caring. She has promoted peace and unity with grace. She did not promote division. She was poised, and gentle. All she did and said was for the good of her people and country.

I think of this, and write of this, because it occurs to me that she exemplified the life of a true servant, and we, as servants of Christ, can learn something from her. At all times she put aside her personal life, her personal feelings, in deference to those she served. She knew, at a young age, that she would be a monarch, and that the most important way she could fulfil this important duty was to die to self and live to serve others. From testimony of those who knew her well, this wisdom and strength came from her Lord, Jesus Christ.

She left behind a positive legacy. She did not seem to seek to serve special interests, she did not appear to work under the table or accept bribes. Those who knew her and served her understood, from beginning to end, that she lived to serve the country as a whole, that she lived to do good to her people.

May we learn from her, and do the same: may we set aside our selves and serve our King, our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 10.33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Philippians 2.3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Matthew 20.28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Christian Women’s Conference online offer

From an email, Jessica | Ultimate Bundles <customerservice@ultimatebundles.com> (free workshop opportunity):


The Called to Act Christian Women’s Conference is a LIVE online event designed to help Christian women of all denominations better understand God’s Word and God’s will for their lives today.

Over the course of three days, you’ll hear from 19 incredible authors, speakers, and Bible teachers – all sharing practical, encouraging, and biblically-sound tips and advice for reading, understanding, and applying God’s life-changing Word.

Topics include:

How to Hear God’s Voice Leading You – Mark Batterson, pastor and bestselling author

How to Accurately Understand God’s Word – Mark Strauss, seminary professor and NIV Bible translator
Overcoming Your Past and Finding God’s Will – Shari Rigby, actress
How to Trust God Through Seasons of Waiting – Wendy Pope, author and speaker
How to Get the Most Out of Your Bible Study – Arabah Joy and Jen Evangelista, founders of Sojo Academy
and many more!
Tickets are free, but you do need to register in advance.

Learn more and grab your seat today!
Jessica
—and the rest of the Ultimate Bundles team

Weeping for God’s People

Psalms 119.136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

Lord, my God, I weep for Your people.

You have given Your people Your Word and Your Spirit. We are without excuse in our sin.

Hosea 4.6-9 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 7As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. 8They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. 9And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings

Lord, You have called Your people to follow Your ways so that You may bless us, and so that we will receive and live in the fullness of Your joy.

But, my Lord, we have sinned. We do not live by Your ways. We have become comfortable in our own fleshly ways. We have turned far from You. We do not walk in Your light, but have preferred the shadow and darkness of our sins.

Ezekiel 20.19, 20 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; 20And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God. 21Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness

Lord, I pray You will bless us with a crushing guilt. May You spread over Your people a burning sense of conviction. We have wronged You, and we must repent so that we may live and not die.

Lord, we are deserving of the many tragedies and catastrophes filling our country and our world today: wildfires, floods, plagues and sickness, famine, hurricanes, tornadoes, evil perpetrators, and wars. I pray You call Your people, bring us to our knees in repentance before we are completely wiped out or taken away.

Amos 2.4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

2 Kings 18.11, 12 And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes: 12Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.

Jeremiah 9.12b – 14a for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through? 13And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; 14But have walked after the imagination of their own heart

Bring us to our knees before You, that we may confess, and then praise You and give You glory, O Lord.

Psalms 119.137, 138 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. 138Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

You long to gather us under Your wings, my Lord, but we would have none of You. Turn our hearts to You, Lord God. Cause us to hunger for and crave Your Word, that we might eat of it and be filled, and walk in Your ways again.

Psalms 119.136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

Firstfruits

We’re continuing our study of Mosaic law in our Sunday School class, and this past week we delved into some of the festivals and feasts. In particular, we read about firstfruits.

In Exodus 12, God instituted the first Passover, and the Angel of Death passed over the obedient Israelites. In Exodus 13, God laid out the ritual of consecration of the firstborn – all the firstborn of God’s people were His. Exodus 13.2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

In Exodus 23, God gives direction for three festivals each year: Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Harvest (the firstfruits of thy labors), and the Feast of Ingathering. These were to be solemn feasts to the Lord.

The premise of firstfruits is that we are to give back to God the first whatever-it-is that He gives us, whether it be income, friends, harvest, children, time, or other resources. God allows for payment to redeem the firstborn, because He does not ask us to kill our young.

Israel was precious to God, His firstborn of His peoples: Jeremiah 2.3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD. God desired to protect His people from evil.

God promises blessings when we remember Him and give Him thanks.

Proverbs 3.9, 10 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your harvest; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.

Why does God want to bless us when we give Him the first part of what He gives us? He wants us to trust Him. He wants to give us hope and assurance. He wants us to see that we can trust Him, that He wants the best for us, that He wants to take care of us.

Romans 8.22-25 We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time. Not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see? But if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it patiently.

We can’t see God; we can’t necessarily see His immediate blessings when we offer to Him, when we sacrifice, when we honor Him. But we hope! The more we obediently place our trust in Him, the more we are able to wait patiently for His blessings, because we learn that He is always faithful.

So let’s take this to a personal, spiritual level: I am the only one of me. God created in me a firstling: the first of its kind to be produced or to appear. There has never been, and never will be, another me.

John 12.24-26 Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, My servant will be as well. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

Do you see what Jesus is saying in this passage? He repeats it in other passages. Luke 9.23, 24: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Mark 8.35: For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the gospel will save it. Luke 17.33: Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. Matthew 16.25: For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Because we have the Holy Spirit within us, and because we have the mind of Christ, and because God’s mercies are new every morning; we have the opportunity to die to self every day, to give God the firstfruits. We can sacrifice our flesh to the Lord, so that it may go well with us.

Think again on Proverbs 3.9, 10 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your harvest; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Honor the Lord with all He gives us, even our own selves. He will bless in so many ways, we will overflow! We will gain hope and assurance of His great provision and lovingkindness.

Recipe Friday: Ha! This Really Works! Keeping Strawberries Fresh

I bought two cartons of fresh strawberries, and wondered how to keep them fresh for the longest time. Every time I buy strawberries, they’re already moldy or soft in just about the next day or two. So I went on the Internet and found this site, where Taste of Home tried out several methods: https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/how-to-store-strawberries/ .

I tried out their winner, which was to store them, unwashed, in tightly sealed mason jars, in the ‘fridge. I moved them straight from the store’s carton into my jars, tightened the lids, and put them in my crisper. That was on a Wednesday morning. The pictures you see are from this afternoon, Friday – a week and two days later!

They turned out fresh. One strawberry was slightly softened in one spot, but that was all the deterioration I had. After I washed them, I popped one in my mouth to make sure the taste and texture were still fresh, and everything was great.

I love it when something works! 😁

Robyn Openshaw (Green Smoothie Girl) Preparedness Principles

Robyn Openshaw is the Green Smoothie Girl, and I have often cited her in my blog. After following her for several years (blog, e-mails, website),I have developed a great respect for her information, her research, her thoughtfulness and common sense, and her presentation of the information she presents. I have never paid a dime for the valuable information she freely shares (although I could because she sells really good nutritional products). She is a Christian, and follows Godly principles, as far as I’ve ever seen.

For a limited time, Robyn is offering a free, 1-hour, 20 minute introductory webclass in preparedness. Nearer the end of the video, she offers her reason for sharing what she has learned (God).

I accessed the video via an invitation e-mail, then registered. When you click on the link, you will likely be redirected to a registration page. https://greensmoothiegirl.com/preparedness/registered/

She also offers a page full of resources (that she mentions in the class) here: https://greensmoothiegirl.com/preparedness/list/ Again, you may need to register first.

Robyn is worth following, as she offers the sage advice and resources she works so hard to obtain.

Recipe Friday: Hubby’s Birthday Cheesecake (Instant Pot)

I topped this with a white chocolate glaze and macerated strawberries – all his favorites together!

I did have lots of little lumps when I poured the batter into the crust; but they did not transfer to the finished product – couldn’t notice them.

I was unable to separate the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake until after I’d cut a couple of slices. But they cut and served from the bottom of the springform pan just fine. I did think that, if I’d put the cake (still attached to the pan bottom) over a simmering pot of water, and allowed it to warm up; that maybe I could have separated the cake from the pan and parchment paper via an offset spatula run around the bottom, and a wide spatula to lift.

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 35 min at pressure + natural pressure release

Yield: 7″ cake

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup crushed vanilla wafers

3 tablespoons melted butter

Cake:

2/3 cup sucanat sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 pinches sea salt

16 ounces (2 pkgs) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

4-8 drops lemon essential oil, optional

Glaze:

4 ounces white baking chocolate

3 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions: Line a 7″ springform pan, bottom and sides, with parchment paper. (Oiling/buttering the paper is optional, but the paper sticks to the sides better if you dab some oil or butter in the pan.)

Mix the crushed wafers and melted butter together and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Do this carefully: you don’t want too much air in your cheesecake, or it will be too dry and cake-y; but you need to beat all the lumps out (once you start adding the other ingredients, you’ll never get any lumps out).

Add the sugar mixture, mix well, scrape down the sides, and mix again.

Add the sour cream and vanilla, mix, scrape and mix.

Add the eggs and lemon essential oil (if you wish), mix, scrape and mix.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Tap on the counter to get the air bubbles to rise. Pop them, and smooth out the top.

Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot pot.

Cover the pan tightly with foil. Place on a trivet and lower the pan and trivet into the pot.

Tighten the lid, set the valve to seal, and set to pressure cook for 35 minutes.

When the 35 minutes are up, allow to natural pressure release.

Using the trivet handles, carefully lift the pan out of the pot and remove the foil. Set the pan on a cooling rack.

Allow the cake to cool on the counter for an hour or two, until it’s at room temperature. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Remove the ring from around the cake, and peel off the parchment paper from the sides. If you can, separate the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake, and remove the cake to a serving plate. Otherwise, just place the cake, pan bottom and all, onto the serving plate.

In a double boiler or in the microwave, melt the white chocolate. Whisk in the whipping cream. Allow to cool, then pour over the cake. (This glaze does not harden, even after refrigeration.)

Garnish with fruit, if desired, and serve.

Be Ye Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind

Romans 12.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In Romans 12.2, the word transformed is from the Greek metamorphousthe or μεταμορφόω (metamorphoó), which is the root of the English terms “metamorphosis” and “metamorphize.”

How do we effect this transformation, this metamorphosis of the mind?

1 Corinthians 2.11b-16 even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

This is how we effect the transformation: through the power of the Holy Spirit of God. We simply cannot understand the things of God without His guidance. And, as children of the Most High God, WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST!

But we must work with God’s Spirit, and put our salvation to work – we must LEARN the Word of God, the ways of God.

The primary avenue of learning God is through the mind. The foundation must be God’s Word.

We learn with both our hearts and our minds. The heart may influence the mind, but only the fool allows the heart to rule. (Jeremiah 17.9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)

We must train our hearts through the transforming of the mind.

When we learn God’s Word, the Holy Spirit works to transfer that knowledge to our hearts. This is vital, because we act on what is in our hearts – what we really believe. We know things in our minds, but we believe them in our hearts.

Proverbs 4.20-23

20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

As you study God’s Word, pray that it floods your heart and fills it with His Truth.

God’s Word can be a mainstay in times of trouble. In my own experience, I sometimes haven’t had the heart to read my Bible or pray. But when, in obedience, I read anyway, and I prayed anyway, God blessed that obedience. March your way through the tough times in obedience.

Allow God’s Word to cleanse you, to fill you with hope, to guide you, to bring you peace.

And, in order to set your heart aright, learn what God says; let it filter to your heart, and believe.

Still Learning, Pt 3

In my last post, I mentioned that God created evil, and I cited Isaiah 45.7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

I found it interesting that the replies contained comments about God creating evil, and that some do not agree with this, or have other ideas.

So this post is an invitation to discuss where you think evil came from.

My position:

  • God is good and love and light. He is eternal, and has ever been eternal. I don’t think evil has been present from eternity past, so it must have been created.
  • Where would evil have come from, if God didn’t create it?
  • I don’t think that evil is simply the absence of the presence of God, because, if that were so, then evil would have to have been co-eternal with God. And, God is omnipresent.
  • I cited Isaiah 45.7, and the word evil is from ra’, which can be translated as calamity, bad, evil. In this passage, God says He created evil; He doesn’t say, as in many other passages, that He used evil, or sent evil; but that He created it. Perhaps in this passage He is referring only to this instance; but, to me, it shows that God creates evil.
  • I believe God has complete control over evil, that He can send or use or prevent.
  • I think Lucifer may have been the first entity to choose evil. Did he choose it immediately after God created evil, or after God created him?

I am really interested in other perspectives, with Bible passages to corroborate. What do you think?