Uncategorized

Cantaloupe Pie

This post was originally published on September 5, 2013. Cantaloupe are plentiful right now, so try this pie. It has a unique, delicious taste. I’ve served it to guests, not telling them what it is, but asking them to guess. I’ve gotten lots of answers, but no one has ever guessed Cantaloupe Pie.  Let me know if you try it and if you like it.

1 C sugar
2 T all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 C puréed Cantaloupe

1 t vanilla extract
2 T butter or margarine
1 baked 8-inch pie shell
1 C whipping cream (I use Cool Whip)

Combine sugar & flour in a saucepan. Add eggs, mixing well. Stir in Cantaloupe purée. Cook over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract and butter. Cool completely. Pour filling into pie shell. Spread evenly with whipped topping. Chill.

Uncategorized

Book Review: Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is the story of two families whose lives are irrevocably tied together. It is a story of greed, of anger and beauty, of bitterness and freedom. It is a story of a love so strong that death only deepens it. It is, above all, a story of forgiveness and reconciliation, of God’s mercy, wisdom and grace.

There is great beauty in the gardens of Ladenbrooke Manor and there are hundreds of butterflies, many with names and personalities. (You’ll have to read the book to understand.) The descriptions of the countryside, the gardens, and the manor are described in such great detail that I felt like I was there.

Author, Melanie Dobson, has written a book that moves seamlessly from one era to the next and back again. From one family to the other and back again until the connection between the families is  revealed in a climax that will leave you speechless. (You’ll have to read the book to understand.)

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is full of twists and turns, of unexpected surprises and beauty, it should definitely be the first book on your summer reading list.  (You’ll have to read the book to understand.)

I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Uncategorized

Folly Island Shrimp and Grits

I invited my dear friend, Debbie Mapp, over for dinner last night. This was the first time she had eaten shrimp and grits and she enjoyed it so much, she later posted it on FaceBook. One of her friends asked for the recipe, so I decided to share it with all of you. If you decide to prepare it, I recommend that you include the optional ingredients. Let me know if you try it and like it!

6/15/2015 Folly Island Shrimp and Grits Recipe | Epicurious.com
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/follyislandshrimpandgrits787

Folly Island Shrimp and Grits
Yield: Serves 2
Bon Appetit October 1994 by Paula Keener-Chavis: Folly Beach, South Carolina

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups canned low salt chicken broth
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3/4 cup quick-cooking white grits
3 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons half and half
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined & tails removed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Optional:

1-3 garlic cloves

Sauteed mushrooms

1 C heavy cream

Salt & Pepper to taste

Preparation:
Saute garlic, mushrooms and green onions until tender. Set aside. Combine chicken broth and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in grits. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix cream cheese, heavy cream, and half and half into grits. Cover and simmer mixture until almost all liquid has evaporated and grits are tender, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir in green onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Remove mixture from heat.
Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sauté just until
shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Remove skillet from heat. Spoon grits onto center of
plate. Top with shrimp and drizzle with lime butter from skillet.

E

Uncategorized

Honest, Vulnerable Worship

For the next two weeks, we will look at worship in its different forms. I pray you are blessed by these posts.

This post was originally published on June 24, 2010

For those of you who may not know me very well, I love praise and worship music. I’ve always got my car radio on a Christian station, preferably satellite, which plays non-stop music. Many days at work, I listen to praise and worship music. When I write, I will often have music playing in the background.

Worship music does for me what water does for a thirsty person. It quenches my thirst. It will relieve my parched soul. It gives me strength, takes my mind off of me and my problems and focuses it back where it should be – on the Almighty God.

The Bible commands that we praise God. Psalm 100:1-2Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” It doesn’t say we have to be a soloist, an opera singer, a star recording artist. It says, “Make a joyful noise…” If you still are hesitant to sing in church, perhaps you can relate to this translation of Psalm 100:1-2 from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message:” “On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.” (Emphasis mine)

But worship is far more than just praise and worship songs, far more than singing or playing a musical instrument. We were created to worship God and not just through song. Everything we do should be an act of worship to Him. And the more honest and open and vulnerable we are, the more authentic our worship. This is what Amy Grant is saying in her latest song: “Better than a Hallelujah.”

I heard this song just the other day for the first time. I had to listen closely because at first, I thought the lyrics composer really missed the mark. “God loves a mother’s tears…. a drunkard’s cries??” You’re kidding, right? “He loves the “tears of shame, and the silence when the words won’t come?” He thinks these things are”better than a Hallelujah?” I didn’t get it—until she got to the chorus:

“We pour out our miseries,

God just hears a melody.

Beautiful the mess we are,

The honest cries of breaking hearts,

Are better than a Hallelujah.”

So God wants us to be honest and open with Him. But doesn’t He already know what we’re going through, how we feel? Of course He does. He wants us to be honest with Him because it benefits us. As we openly share our feelings with Him, we realize there is no retaliation from God. No name calling, no being treated as if we are the lowly tadpoles in the bottom of the pond. As we come to understand that God will not reject us because we are a mess, we learn that we are accepted and loved unconditionally.

So the next time you think your life is a mess, remember that God would rather you come to Him openly and honestly. Be Bold! Approach Him just as you are. He will extend His arms and welcome you!

Better Than A Hallelujah:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmtBYmHDeAA

Maranatha!

© Edwina E. Cowgill June, 2010

Uncategorized

Take That Which is Coming Against You

My husband and I like to listen to Comedy USA on satellite radio. Comedy USA is the channel that has clean comedy. Very funny stuff. Obviously since this is a comedy channel, it is rare that you hear anything serious on this station. But the other day, there was a comedian doing standup comedy (unfortunately I don’t know his name or I would definitely give him credit here). He told his audience he wanted to leave them with an encouraging thought. It seems he had been in Atlanta just a few days before and he had been having a difficult time. So he went to Stone Mountain to have some time alone, to think. He climbed to the top of the mountain and there, perched on a tree, was an eagle. He sat and watched this eagle for a while, observing its beauty, its proud stance, its haughty look. Unexpectedly, a strong wind rose. He was sure that the eagle would fly off – away from the wind. But instead, the eagle perched steadfast in the face of the strong wind. The comedian watched and waited but the eagle never moved. The very instant the wind reached the eagle where he sat on the tree limb, the eagle spread his wings and allowed the wind to lift him up—he soared into the air and away from the mountain. The eagle used that which was coming against him to lift him up. The comedian said he knew there was a lesson there and it would preach. “Take that which is coming against you and use it to lift you up.”

Take that which is coming against you, and use it to make you stronger. Take that which is coming against you and use it to grow your trust in God. Take that which is coming against you and use it to help others. The Bible says that which was meant for evil, God turned for good.(my paraphrase of Genesis 50:20).
Scripture also tells us that we should “put on the whole armor of God and having done all, stand.” (Eph. 6:13, emphasis mine)
Although the comedian didn’t speak of the eagle’s preparation to face the adversity of the wind, I don’t think the eagle casually hung out on that limb. I can see his talons wrapping around that limb as tight as possible. I can see his body tense to prepare for the onslaught of the wind. I see the eagle lift his head slightly, perhaps to gauge the speed or direction of the wind. But I like to think the eagle raised his head to stare down his adversity.  And when he had done those things, he stood (or perched as the case may be. J)
Just as the eagle did—just as the Scripture says in Ephesians 6:13—we do all we can do and then we stand. And we wait. And we hope.
“But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” (Is. 40:31NIV)
Uncategorized

God’s Interventions and Changes

How many times have we made plans, believing it was the right thing to do, only to have something happen that completely changes those plans? Or how many times have we agreed to follow another person’s advice, but again, something happens that changes that person’s advice – or changes our mind about following that advice? Sometimes, we look at these changes in our plans as a minor aggravation, but often times, those changes can be major disappointments. And for many of us, or perhaps I should keep this personal, and say “for me,” I see those disruptions in plans as part of everyday life. If I’m trying to be “spiritual” sometimes I’ll give credit to the enemy, thinking to myself “he’s trying to stop me from doing God’s work.” But what if it’s not everyday life or the enemy? What if those changes in plans are God ordained changes?

If you’ve read my two most recent blogs, you will know that my husband is going through a very serious medical issue. A few weeks ago we were informed that part of his right lung would have to be removed due to a benign tumor blocking a portion of that airway. Although we were nervous and frightened, we wanted to get this surgery done as quickly as possible so that Dave could begin on the road to recovery.

The night before Dave was to report to surgery, the thoracic surgeon called and asked both of us to get on the phone. He explained to us that due to a test result he had just received that day, he was not going to perform the surgery. There was a possiblity that he would have to remove more of Dave’s lung than originally thought, and he was not willing to do that. Now, don’t misunderstand me. We were and remain extremely grateful for his caution and refusal to do the surgery. But for a few hours, we were very disappointed. Dave has felt bad for so long, that we were excited to think that the surgery would be the beginning of his healing. After prayer, talking with each other and talking with a number of people who had been praying for Dave, we realized that this change in plans was God’s way of intervening in this situation. But until we met with a second thoracic surgeon the other day, I had no idea what God’s intervention could mean to us.

It seems there’s a possibility there is no tumor. This doctor seems to think it’s possible that what is being seen on the CAT scan is pneumonia. But fungal pneumonia, not bacterial pneumonia. If it is fungal pneumonia, that can be treated with medication and NO surgery will be required! This doctor also errs on the side of caution and will be running a battery of tests, but has already begun treating Dave for fungal pneumonia. What a miracle it will be if no surgery is required!

What a lesson learned it has already been! I must be more spiritually “in tune” – discerning – about those things that happen in every day life. And I should be so ready to move ahead unless I know that I know that I know it is God who is saying “Do this, or go there.”As the scripture says, “But they that wait upon the Lord…” Or as my sweet hubby says, “Go with the flow.”  Selah.

breathe, Job, Word of God

A Modern Day Job? (as in Biblical Person – not Work)

Originally posted May 5, 2011

Have you ever felt like Murphy’s Law was developed just for you? That no matter how hard you try, if anything and everything can go wrong, it will?

Or perhaps you feel like God has decided to replicate the life of Job (See Old Testament, page 610 in my Bible) in your life or in the life of someone you love. I have decided that God has done just that in my sweet hubby – replicate the life of Job in a modern day version.

Four years ago tomorrow, Dave, my hubby, came home from a business trip with back, right hip and right leg pain. That pain continues today. Yep, you got it. 24/7/365 Unrelenting. Pain. Never. Painfree. But Dave has continued to work, to laugh and joke and to push on. Even when he thought he could not go on.

Besides the back/hip/leg pain, Dave has had other issues involving areas of the skeleton. Two elbow surgeries, two wrist surgeries, two neck surgeries. One hip surgery. All within the last four years.

Are you getting the picture here? The skeleton is the frame of the human body. It is what everything else in the body is either directly or indirectly attached to. Without the skeleton, the body would be a big blob of cells and organs rolling around aimlessly. (The body would have to roll – with no leg bones, it couldn’t very well walk, could it?) Just like the skeleton provides the framework for the body, so is the husband – he is the framework – the backbone – of the marriage and home. It’s part of who God created him to be and the enemy knows that. So he will often attack the husband physically – and with my husband – he went straight to one of the most important parts of the body.

The enemy was not finished with Dave. In October of last year, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. After four rounds of antibiotics, Dave is still sick. A tumor has been found in the lower lobe of his right lung, and sometime within the next week or two, that lobe will have to be removed. The spiritual implications here are obvious. With our lungs, we breathe in oxygen and breathe out poisonous carbon dioxide. With our spiritual lungs, we breathe in the Word of God and breathe out the poisons of this world. If the enemy can stop us –  especially our husbands – from breathing in the Word of God – he will do so. The less Word breathed in, the more poison enters and stays in the body.

I’ve rambled on here not because I want to complain. Not even because I want to tell you how awesome my husband is – even though he is. Dave never has a day when he feels really great. Yet, he’s still pushing forward, working when he can, laughing and joking. He’s never once complained against God. (I’m afraid I can’t say the same for me.)

Stay tuned for Part Two, Friday, June 12