Monday, February 19, 2018

Dandelion Latte

Early mornings and coffee are a perfect pair.  Mid morning coffee breaks are a true delight. but an after work relaxing cup of coffee will bring a miserable night of sleeplessness. But there is nothing so cozy and comfortable than a quick break with a mug of a hot beverage. 

Hot tea: includes all the ingredients I crave,a time to relax, warmth but I just don't like black tea...or green tea!  I'm experimenting a have found some flavors that are favored and always on the lookout for something new.

Dandelion tea is one I read about which has fabulous benefits.  Benefits include:

It improves digestion and aids weight loss.

It helps to purify the bladder and kidneys.

It reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.

It contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, vitamins B and C.

It helps to purify the blood, regulate blood sugar and improves blood circulation.

It helps to ease bloating and aching joints.

It helps to cure skin conditions.

Since I prefer the coffee, latte texture to hot tea, when this recipe for Dandelion Latte was found, I immediately tried it!  This is it!  Creamy texture, warm and filling and adding a load of healthy benefits...this is my new afternoon indulgence! 

Here is the recipe:


4 ounces of hot water

1 Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Tea bags

4 ounces of Coconut Milk

Your preferred Sweetener - drops of Stevie or honey


Steep dandelion tea bags in a large mug hot/boiling water for 5 minutes.

Warm coconut milk in saucepan.

Combine tea and coconut milk in a blender and add sweetener

Whip it up for a short bit and get ready for Frothy, yummy & simply indulgent!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lent - Giving Up, Adding To and a Scripture Plan

This year the season of Lent begins February 14.  Lent is a time that offers us an opportunity to come to terms with the human condition we may spend the rest of the year running from and it brings our need for a Savior to the forefront. Like Advent, Lent is a time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and understand our Lord a little deeper, so that when Good Friday and eventually Easter comes, it is not just another day at church but an opportunity to receive the overflowing of graces God has to offer.

Often a part of the forty days of Lent is to “give up” something.  It offers opportunity to “give up” or fast from a behavior or action which separates us from God, others and the person God designed us to be. Likewise, we can “add to” our lives by including the ways of Jesus.

The church I belong to does not actively participate in Lent, but through the years, I've spent the days of lent abstaining from certain things and one year doing a study to add blessing to my words. 

I found some suggestions that combine abstaining from things that may need to be eliminated while adding characteristics that bring blessing to our lives. 

  • Fast from judgment, Feast on compassion
  • Fast from greed, Feast on sharing
  • Fast from scarcity, Feast on abundance
  • Fast from fear, Feast on peace
  • Fast from lies, Feast on truth
  • Fast from gossip, Feast on Praise
  • Fast from apathy, Feast on engagement
  • Fast from discontent, Feast on gratitude
  • Fast from noise, Feast on silence
  • Fast from discouragement, Feast on hope
  • Fast from hatred, Feast on love
Whether we participate in Lent or embrace it as a time of diligently seeking the things of the Lord, we can find things in our life to remove and to add. It is the focus and intent of the heart that matters and our heart should be about seeking to be what God has called us to be. 

As Lent leads up to Easter, it is a perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on the life of Jesus, His ministry and love He expressed to others, His sacrifice and death on the cross which demonstrates His love for each one and His resurrection, the power that He holds over all things. It is a perfect time to read the Bible with special emphasis on the gospels books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. 

Bible Gateway has designed a Lent season reading plan.  Be encouraged to find it HERE and prepare your heart this lent for the things the Lord has for you. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

God's Valentine

It's love week!  You know, Valentine's Day is coming up. Cards, flowers and candy are everywhere! It is a time to remember and exhibit love in action to our loved ones. Spouses, children, friends or those in our lives we appreciate are easy to find a special way for us to express our love to. It is a beautiful time for special moments to share our love and there are an abundance of ways to do it this week. 

But, have you ever thought about this - there is not one person Jesus does not love and did not come to save - this includes everyone you lock eyes with, walk past on the street, hear about in the news, live next door to, stand behind in line at the grocery store, or sit next to in the waiting room. When we actively love those around us, putting their needs before our own, we are taking the same amazing love that Jesus has poured out to us and becoming a living, breathing, beautiful display for humanity.

While many believe love is a just a nice, heart-warming feeling, as Christians, we are called for it to be more than that - we are called to take action. We can share God’s love by noticing the unnoticed, loving the unlovely, or even by extending grace to those who are not so easy to be around.

Let’s make it our prayer this Valentines week to ask God to help us actively love others - to actively walk across the street to help our neighbors, to actively cook a warm meal for a friend in need, or to actively visit a near-by nursing home to love on the elderly. Let us ask Him to lead us to places where He wants us to shine His light and ask Him for the courage and strength to share His love with all who surround us in our daily lives. And, maybe when we do this, we will guide people to His beauty and they, too, will begin to actively love others and then, who knows how many lives will be impacted?

Simple Ways to Show Love: 

Exhibiting patience rather than frustration at the person ahead of you in line

Offering forgiveness when you feel you have been wronged

Setting aside time to spend in His Word each day

Focusing on courtesy in your everyday interactions with strangers and family alike

Praying for a friend, family member, acquaintance—or someone you don’t get along with

We know how it feels to be on the receiving end of love, so how wonderful it is also to spread love to others. When we consider the gift of God’s unconditional love, we realize how truly lucky we are to be loved by Him. Loving others is how we show Him we are listening and want to do as He does. Not only does sharing love make others feel good, it lifts you up as well. Go into this Valentine's week with a heart full of love.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pruning With a Purpose

This has been one cold winter!  I'm not complaining and actually enjoyed being able to spend time in front of the fireplace, wear cozy sweaters and serve many meals of delicious homemade soup. Cold weather brings causes us to find an inner warmth and seek a little harder to make our lives more comfortable. 

Things are warming up now and I spent some time outside examining my porch plants. Back in the summer when the heat was scorching, I found a plant that thrived in hot, dry conditions.  It bloomed with many little flowers and brought a touch of beauty to the pot it was planted in.  During the weather transition, some cool weather loving flowers were planted beside it.  After the harsh winter, a patch of dead, wilted branches were all that remained from the summer loving plant. 

This is a spider plant which does not like cold weather.  During cold nights, it was covered up in an attempt to keep if from the cold.  It is still living, but the cold snap bit the growth on the ends and they are dead.  Both of these plants need a little trimming to take away the dead weight and renew the flowers that are in bloom. 

A similar thing happened in my life. Being a routine person, I was managing well two part time jobs. Days and hours were systematically distributed and like cruise control, all was going well. Like my plants received a jolt from the cold weather, an office computer crash, personnel changes, new software, new office routines jolted me out of my comfortable situation.

The time of transition caused some sleepless nights, dreaming about the workload that was falling behind, anxious, early mornings at the office trying to figure out new software, juggling time, commitments and simply life.  

Eventually things got back on track and a new routine in place. But like the plants, there is a lot of dead branches that need to be trimmed. Like taking clippers to my plants, it was time to reevaluate a few things.  I want to do what is best for my plants to bloom. That means cutting away the old growth that is no longer helpful, but a hindrance to blooming flowers. 

In life, we sometimes have to evaluate what we need to bloom.  Is there any dead growth that needs to be clipped away?  Activities, habits, circumstances that hold us back from blooming beautifully may need a purging. Sometimes letting go may be painful, but the beauty that will come forth will be worth it.  

Springtime is coming, may we be encouraged to examine our lives before a jolt comes.  Where are we blooming, productive and fulfilled?  Is there anything that holds us back from abundant blooms?  Prayerfully seek the Lord, He created us, gifted us and desires to use us for His glory. May He do a new thing in our lives this spring that will make our lives bloom for all to see and recognize the Lord as our master gardener. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What Your Words Mean

Have you ever heard some really bad news?  A friend going through a devastating situation, hearing of an illness or death, loss, grief or sadness. Often our first response may be 'you are in our prayers' or 'I'm praying for you'.  These words may be simple but can be used in ways that carry very different meanings.  

Offers of prayer may often be the only thing to say when situations are devastating. But, when followed up by the promise of prayer, the most powerful source of relief is sought after.  It comes down to the action we simply say we pray or do we take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Similar to prayer, our words can be a blessing or a distraction to our Christian walk.  Words of blessing and encouragement without actions that match are not very effective. Purposefully using our words can bring great blessing. 

The Bible has a lot to say about the ways we should use our words.

To ENCOURAGE – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

To WORSHIP – “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

“May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.” (Psalm 119:171-172)

To TEACH – “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:26)

To PROTECT – “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Proverbs 21:23)

To CONNECT – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6)

To CALM – “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” (Proverbs 26:20)

I am challenged and changed by the love of Christ. My words should reflect that. 

Scripture points us to speak in ways that honor Christ, reflect His grace, echo His love, build others up and make much of Him. Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus to, “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1) Today let’s determine to TALK in a way worthy of our calling.

A daily prayer is the tool to equip and help us.  I love this one:
Dear Lord,
Please help me choose my words wisely today. Instruct my tongue.
Lead me to build others up and to worship You continually.
Keep me from causing harm to others.
In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.