Friday, October 24, 2008

30 Million a week!

I saw this video of Campbell Brown on CNN about McCain and Obama's negative campaign ads. I'm just saying...I like her way of thinking. And I don't think her idea is all that crazy. I think we'd all benefit from not hearing or watching anymore negative ads this election season....check the video out!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

John 15

John 15 (the vine and the branches) is one of my favorite metaphors in the gospels. what a creative and truthful way to illustrate the Christian's relationship with Jesus! i resonate with what the scriptures say about abiding in Jesus. i wouldn't be able to follow Him if i didn't (or He didn't allow me to) abide...this world is too dark, too sinful. I was going to try to break down this scripture and what not, but who am I kdding, I am no Matt Chandler! Instead , I found this poem in one of my books. This poem sums it up nicely, way better than I can say... sorry it's kind of long, but stick with it! It's good!


Only a Branch


'Tis only a little Branch,

A thing so fragile and weak,

But that little Branch hath a message true

To give, could it only speak.


"I'm only a little Branch,

I live by a life not mine,

For the sap that flows through my tendrils small

Is the life-blood of the Vine.


"No power indeed have I

The fruit of myself to bear,

But since I'm part of the living Vine,

Its fruitfulness I share.


"Dost though ask how I abide?

How this life I can maintain?--

I ambound to the Vine by life's strong band,

And Ionly need remain.


"Where first my life was given,

In the spot where I am set,

Upborne and upheld as the days go by,

By the stem which bears me yet.


"I fear not the days to come,

I dwell not upon the past,

As moment by moment I draw a life,

Which for evermore Shall last.


"I bask in the sun's bright beams,

Which the sweetness fills my fruit,

Yet I own not the clusters hanging there,

For they all come from the root."


A life which is not my own,

But another's life in me:

This, this is the message the Branch would speak,

A message to thee and me.


Oh, struggle not to "abide,"

Nor labor to "bring forth fruit,"

But let Jesus unite thee to Himself,

As the Vine's Branch to the root.


So simple, so deep, so strong

That union with Him shall be:

His life shall forever replace thine own,

And His love shall flow through thee;


For His Spirit's fruit is love,

And love shall thy life become,

And for evermore on His heart of love

Thy spirit shall have her home.


-- Freda Hanbury


I hope you are encouraged and thankful for this beautiful picture of our relationship with Christ!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars!

OK, if any of you people are fans of sweets and/or cheesecake, you will love this recipe (Thank you, Duff)! It is amazing! It is just as wonderful as the name sounds. Enjoy!



Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

crust
1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (4 oz) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

dough
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

filling
10 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1 lg egg, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract


1/2 cup semisweet choc chips

make the crust -position a rack in the middle of the oven to 325 degrees. butter a 9 inch square baking pan and line the pan with a piece of parchment paper that is long enough to extend over two opposite sides of the pan. butter the paper.

in a medium bowl, stir the crumbs and melted butter together until the crumbs are evenly moistened. stir in the chocolate chips.
press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. bake for 6 minutes. transfer the pan to a wire rack. leave the oven on.

make the dough- in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. decrease the speed to low and add the flour, mixing it just to incorporate it. stir in the chocolate chips. set aside. (FYI- the "dough" will be crumbly with a different texture than normal cookie dough, just go with it. feel free to ball up the crumby mixture and just throw it on top of the cream cheese layer).

make the filling-in a large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the cream cheese and sugar on low speed just until smooth. mix in the egg and vanilla, beating just to blend them in. pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. drop teaspoonfuls of the cookie dough over the top of the batter. bake until the top feels dry and firm and looks set if given a gentle shake, about 30 minutes. transfer the pan to a wire rack.
put the third of a cup chocolate chips in a small heat proof bowl or the top of a double boiler and place it over a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler); the water should not touch the bowl. stir until the chocolate chips and melted and smooth.use a teaspoon to gently drizzle thin lines of melted chocolate over the top of the bars. cool the bars completely in the pan, about one hour. the chocolate topping will be set when the bars are cool.

loosen the sides of the bars form the unlined sides of the pan and use the ends of the paper to lift the bars from the pan. use a large knife to cute the bars into 16 pieces, wiping the knife clean as needed and slide the bars off the foil. the bars can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. serve cold or at room temp. (they are stiffer and more "bar" like when cold, just pointing out the obvious).


Viola!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

improvement

hey, my back is slowly feeling very better! thanks for those who prayed. It still hurts when I twist, but hopefully that will eventually go away. ok, enough about the back...thats a boring topic, but i did like the pic I posted....a bearded stick man.

anyways, i just made chicken tetrazzini. i hope it turns out tastey. I have been enjoying my days off when i don't have school(i.e-today). thats usually when i attempt to make a good dinner. and then i can usually take the day slow and study leisurely. this will change next semester when i take 14 hours with an internship. i just found out i have been assigned to intern at Dallas Central Ministries. Check out their website. (http://www.centraldallasministries.org/), but i have to have an interview and after that it should be official...unless the interview goes horribly wrong. I am pretty excited about it though! i'm sure i will learn a lot.

well, i hope everyone has a nice "fall" day today! happy birthday to my little sister, Whitney! She turned 20 yesterday! weird....

Friday, October 10, 2008

random ailments

That is the story of my life...random ailments. for now, my random injury is a hurt back. i've never had back pain, and i hope i don't even again after this deal is over. please pray for my back if you think about it. it hurts and it's really annoying/frustrating. i am going to try to get in to see a dr today if possible, but im not sure, so it would be awesome if it would just get better on its own. so if you think about it at all...pray! thanks!

Monday, October 6, 2008

my best friends wedding!

let me start off by showing you some of Ike's left overs in my home town. Jas and I went home(my home) this past weekend to visit my parents and to go to my best friends wedding. i took the pictures on a sail boat...because Ashley's wedding was on a sail boat, so i got a good view. please take note of the big yacht merged between these two houses. boy was that a sight. even though its been three weeks since the hurricane, its going to take a while to get things back to where they should be-aka: no boats in peoples yards. Also, i took a picture of the Aquarium restaurant--where Jas and I had our rehearsal dinner. it was flooded, but i heard that Kemah is working very hard to get the board walk up and running again. it will probably be a few months though. the depressing pictures are first, but then I am ending with the lovely, fun ones from Ashley and Kyle's wedding. it was at sunrise on a sailboat(with a pirates flag, argggh) in Kemah. we left the dock at 6:30 am. it will probably be the earliest wedding i've ever been to. but it was so special and i am so glad i was there! blessings to the newly united Evan's family!






























Thursday, October 2, 2008

the swell season!




Jason and I went to see the Swell Season (aka- Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) at the Palladium Ballroom on Monday. It was really fun to go to a concert together. And Jas and I really like the move "Once" and so it was awesome to see those two really talented muscicians share the stage. they were jiving....jas and i secretly sang/played and recorded "falling slowly" on my camera once. it was hiliarious. we were saying that we should have put it on you tube. oh my, that would be embarassing. but seriously, we should probably start a husband-wife band. would you come to one of our concerts?? OK, well i did record glen hansard singing one of the songs and the video is below. i love it when he gets really intense/screams. its awesome. anyways, enjoy!


video