Wednesday, November 25, 2009


"Be thankful."  "Count your many blessings."  We hear these statements often at this time of the year, but do we have a thankful heart?  Are we counting our blessings?

Life may be tough right now.  Your husband's job may be in jeopardy or he may already be without work.  You may be concerned about your job or you may have a difficult boss or bad working conditions.  Some of you have serious and/or life-threatening illnesses in your family.  Some have children who have behaviorial problems and some are dealing with rebellious teens that are going against everything you have taught them.  You ask, "How can I have a thankful heart?  How can I count my blessings?"

No matter how bleak things seem, we always have many things for which we can be thankful.  Ask God to show you your blessings and to give you a thankful heart.

Let's make a list of our blessings and the things for which we are thankful.

     I am thankful for:  My Savior, Jesus Christ and for life eternal; Eddie, Paula, Kelly, Kaylee, Kam, Brent, Meredith, Case, Josh; my extended family; godly Christian friends; Christian upbringing and godly, Christian parents; my Sunday School class; our home; the beauty of the earth; good food; opportunities for service; good health, etc., etc., etc.

The psalmist says:  "Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation, Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song." (Psalm 95:1-2)

In Psalm 100, the psalmist says:  "Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.  Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.  Know that the LORD is God . . . . . . . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name.  For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."

Prayer:  God give us thankful, joyful hearts full of gratitude.  Help us count our many blessings and help us focus on You, our Provider, our faithful God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Let's Take Inventory

Before the holidays, let's take an inventory of how we take care of our bodies.  Why?  Because our "body is the temple/sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God." (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Our Inventory Should Include:
1.  How much time am I spending in prayer and Bible study?
2.  How much time am I spending exercising (walking, biking, running, and/or just moving)?
3.  What am I eating?  How much am I eating?

We can become healthier beings who honor God with our bodies if we:
1.  Nurture our spiritual life (this is the most important).
2.  Show restraint (self-control) in how much we eat as well as what we eat.
     "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, . . . . . . . . . . and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23)
3.  Get moving.  Active people burn many more calories than those who are sitters.  Add exercise to what     you are already doing.

Food is so much a part of our holiday celebrations!  Enjoy!!  But enjoy a little less (smaller portions).  You won't feel deprived if you eat what you love, but eat just a little less than you normally do.  Ask God to help you be satisfied with less.  Spend time alone with God during the busy holiday season.  Don't neglect your spiritual life.  Move your body.  You will feel better.

A friend who runs with a group says she is not a runner and does not enjoy running.  She does enjoy the fellowship and how it makes her feel after she runs, so she keeps on running.

Find something you enjoy (biking, walking, water aerobics, etc.).  Join a group or enlist a friend to move with you.  It  will be a lot more enjoyable and you can hold each other accountable.
Enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I plan to and I plan to take my own advice.  I have already taken inventory!  Do you know where I fall short in my inventory?  I do.  Where is your weakness?  Where is your strength?

Serving Him,
Kay Martin

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recipes for Bible Study Group

Girls, Here are the other recipes from Wednesday Bible Study Lunch.


2 cups self-rising Corn Meal
1/2 cup self-rising Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
2 cups Buttermilk
1 T. Canola Oil
1 Egg

Mix all ingredients together with a large spoon (no mixer) just untill well mixed.

Bake in an ungreased loaf pan at 375 degrees for about 55-60 minutes, or until golden brown.


1 (3 oz.) package Strawberry Jello
1/2 cup Hot Water
1 Box White Cake Mix
4 Eggs
2/3 cup Canola Oil
1 cup sweetened Strawberries, mashed
1 recipe Strawberry Frosting

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In small bowl, dissolve Jello in hot water.  Set aside.

In medium bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, and oil together until well blended.  Add dissolved Jello and mix well.  Stir in strawberries.

Pour batter in 3 greased and floured 8 inch cake pans.  Bake 28-30 minutes or until center of layer springs back when gently touched.  Remove from oven and place on cooling racks until cooled.

Frost layers with Strawberry Frosting


1 stick of Butter, softened
1 (16 oz.) box Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup sweetened Strawberries, mashed

In large bowl, mix together butter, powdered sugar until smooth.  Add strawberries.  Mix well.

Hint:  If needed, you can adjust the amount of strawberry juice and/or add powdered sugar to get the thickness you desire.

Recipes from Bible Study Luncheon

Okay, Bible Study Group, I am posting the recipes from our luncheon as requested.  I will start today, and maybe finish tomorrow.

Chicken Corn Chowder

3-5 slices of Bacon
1/2 cup diced Celery
1/2 cup diced Onion
1/2 cup diced Carrot
3 T. Plain Flour
4 (or more) cups Chicken Broth
2 cups (or more) chopped cooked Chicken
2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
1 (20 oz.) pkg. frozen cream style corn, thawed
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook bacon in Dutch oven until crisp.  Drain bacon and set aside.  Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings.  Saute celery, onion, and carrots in drippings until tender.  Stir in flour, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.  Slowly whisk in broth, scraping sides of pan if necessary.

Add cooked chicken, potatoes, corn, and poultry seasoning. Cook for 15 minutes (or longer) until potatoes are tender.  Add cream (milk won't be as rich or tasty, but could be used) and slowly heat through.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with crumbled bacon.

Hint:  Use however much chicken broth to make it the consistency you like.  I also like to let it simmer for a while (longer than 15 minutes) for the flavors to mingle.  I use chicken breast. 

Citrus Salad

2 T. chopped Walnuts or Pecans (optional)
1 (5 oz.) bag of Mixed Baby Greens (washed)
2 Navel Oranges peeled and sectioned
1 large Grapefruit peeled and sectioned
1 pear, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup seedless grapes, halved

Preheat oven to 35o degrees.  Bake nuts in a single layer in shallow pan for 6-8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.

Place greens in a large bowl and add orange and grapefruit sections, grapes, and sliced pear.  Drizzle dressing over salad and toss.  Sprinkle with nuts or serve on the side.  Serve immediately.

Orange Vinaigrette

1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
2 tsp. grated Orange Rind
3 T. fresh Orange Juice
1 T. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
3/4 cup Olive Oil

Whisk together frist 6 ingredients in a small bowl; add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking until blended.

Hint:  The dressing can be made ahead and placed in refrigerator.  Oranges, grapefruit, and grapes may be prepared ahead and kept in refrigerator to make it easier at time of serving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


What is a perfectionist?  Well, I am quite sure I don't want to be called one because it carries with it the idea that one thinks he or she can do something perfect.  No one can! There has only been one man who has ever walked on the soil of this earth who is perfect.  His name is Jesus.

Yet, most of us have areas where we have perfectionist tendencies.  I have to admit to some and I reluctantly admit I have been called a perfectionist.  Those who deal with perfectionism set themselves up for disappointment in themselves as well as in others.  I have been there - have you?

If we expect perfection from ourselves, we are more likely to expect perfection from others.  They cannot deliver (of course, neither can we) and this causes disappointment.  People and relationships are more important than our desire for perfection.

A worthy goal for us:  Strive to be the best we can be with God's help and accept (be content) that even our best is less than perfect.  First Timothy 6:6 says, "Godliness with contentment is great gain."  Contentment will never be achieved as long as we think we can attain perfection.  When we have given our very best effort, let us rest and be content.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pimento Cheese

Sandra (one of my BFF's) requested that I make this my first recipe to post on my blog. I found it in Southern Living, but made some changes.  It is great with crackers or on whole wheat bread.  It has become my favorite (and Eddie's) pimento cheese recipe.

1 (8 oz) pkg. Cream Cheese (I use Neufchatel)
1 (4 oz. jar diced Pimento
1/2 C. Mayonnaise
Dill Relish to taste (or sweet relish if you prefer)
Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
3-4 C. shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Microwave cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30 second intervals.  Stir in diced pimento, mayonnaise, relish and pepper.  Stir in cheddar cheese.  Can serve immediately or cover and chill.  Keeps well in refrigerator.

Suggestion:  Serve these sandwiches with homemade tomato soup for a nice, easy winter meal.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Think I Smell Smoke

This devotional was originally written in August 2008.  Since we are studying Turning Points in Daniel's life, the subject of his three friends and one of their major turning points was part of our study in Sunday School yesterday.

I'm a little choked up this morning.  I think it's my allergies acting up and I think I know why.

I have been in a fiery furnace lately.  Actually, I feel a little ashamed to call it a fiery furnace when I think of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah's real fiery furnace (better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.)

All of us have our difficulties and trials and sometimes they feel a lot like a fiery furnace.  I was reading Daniel 3 again this morning and was reminded of how Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah came through their fiery furnace unscathed, unscorched, and not even the smell of smoke on them.  I am concerned about how I am handling my fiery furnace.

"So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors, and royal advisers crowded around them.  They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their head singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them." (Daniel 3:27-28)

You might have an idea why I am all choked up, but just in case you didn't get it, I am allergic to smoke.  I am very convicted that my faith and my trust in my God (the same God these three young Jewish boys worshiped), has been very small in my fiery furnace.  Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah believed that our God is able to save and rescue.  Most of you will remember the story - God did not deliver them from the furnace, but He delivered them through it.  Either way, He is able and He will do it.  In Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah's words:  "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king, but even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:17-18)

PRAYER:  Lord, forgive us for our unbelief, our lack of trust.  You are able to deliver.  You will help us through our fiery furnace even if you do not deliver us from it.  Thank You and praise You that you are trustworthy.

Serving Him,
Kay Martin

(Today, I do not remember what fiery furnace I was going through in August 2008, but God obviously delivered me from it or through it.  This time next year, maybe you will not be able to remember the fiery furnace you are experiencing right now.)

These Troubled Times

We truly are living in troubled times.  Many leaders - from Washington on down - seem to be going their own way and not God's way.  Even in these troubled times, we must remember that God is in control - He is sovereign.

In Isaiah 45, we see a very interesting concept.  God anointed and bestowed a title of honor on a king who did not acknowledge Him.  "This is what the LORD says to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him . . . . ; I will go before him . . . "   (Isaiah 45:1-2).  This passage was written about 150 years before there was a king Cyrus which makes this passage even more profound.

King Cyrus was a Gentile king who did not acknowledge God but God had a purpose for placing Cyrus in that position.  "For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor though you do not acknowledge me" and "so . . . men may know there is none beside Me."  (Isaiah 45:4, 6)   

God is sovereign.  He truly is in control of everything and can use pagan, non-believing leaders to accomplish His plan.  Our leaders, whether we like them or not, would not hold their offices unless God allowed it or chose them for their positions.

A comforting thought - God is always in control and He is always faithful and trustworthy.  We can rest in that truth in these troubled times.

Serving Him,
Kay Martin