The Power of I Am

Lately, I have discovered the power of claiming my identity in Christ.  Not to say I always get this perfect.  But claiming who I am in Christ and not allowing my flesh nature to have the predominance has totally changed my life.

One night recently when going to bed, I started claiming my identity once more.  Speaking out loud – “I am more than a conqueror thru Christ Who loves me.  I am a new creature in Christ Jesus – old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.  I am created by God, and redeemed by His blood.”  As I spoke these affirmations, two words stuck out to me in each sentence.  I AM.  I AM.  I am.  Do we even grasp the power in those two little words?  Not only am I claiming these things, I’m claiming them now.  Present tense.  Not someday.  Not was.  Not maybe.  Not I want to be.  I am.

As my mind pondered the power of those words, a very powerful portion of scripture came to mind.

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

Exodus 3:13-14

I AM.  What are some things God said about Himself?  “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)  “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)  “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

He is Creator.  In Him, we live and breathe and have our being.  He is provider.  He is our Father.  He is our Savior.  He is our Friend.  He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Anything that is good, you name it – HE IS.  That’s what I call power!!  But you know what’s cool?  I have been adopted by Him.  Therefore I become a part of Him.  Therefore, I have His Spirit living in me.  Therefore, He gives me everything that I need for life and Godliness.  Therefore – wait for it – I HAVE THE POWER OF GOD LIVING ON THE INSIDE OF ME!!!!!!!  I now have His DNA in me.  I am now a little piece of Him… just as any child is a piece of their physical parents.  So, since HE IS, I AM.  Just let that sink in for a moment.

In 2 Timothy 1:7, we are told that “…God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

So you know what?  That fear holding you back – that’s not from God!  Did you know God wants you to succeed?  Did you know that His wishes for us are far greater than our small human minds can comprehend?  See, this is where we go wrong.  Or at least I do.  Too often, I try to think with my natural mind.  And of course, that isn’t gonna line up with God’s thoughts!

He tells us very clearly in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are you ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Can we, just for a moment, try to wrap our tiny little minds around the fact that the God of the Universe thinks about us, and wants to bless us, and to give us life more abundantly?  “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10)  See, we have to stop thinking from the natural.  We have to be LED BY THE SPIRIT.  “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

“Now 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.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)  Now this is just cool!  God has given us His Spirit so we could know the things that He has FREELY GIVEN TO US.  You know the catch here?  WE HAVE TO ACCEPT IT.  WE HAVE TO CLAIM IT.  WE HAVE TO ACT UPON IT.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritualBut 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.” (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)  Again – y’all….. walking by faith is very often NOT GOING TO MAKE SENSE to our natural minds, or to anyone around us!  They’re gonna think we’re nuts!  It’s truly no different than if you were great at algebra, some kid who is just learning how to add is going to think you’re crazy for using letters instead of numbers in mathematics, right?  Well, same thing.  By being led by and walking after the Spirit of God, you have accessed a higher level with so many more rewards!!!

I hope all of this is coming together to show how POWERFUL God is, and that WE HAVE ACCESS TO THAT POWER.  Don’t ever let anyone convince you any different.  “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossbile, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)  In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said… “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Y’all, it’s not being arrogant to claim the fulness that God has for you.  No more than it would be arrogant for you to claim the millions of dollars that someone left to you in their will.  You know who would start hating on you when you got that money?  The people who are jealous because they didn’t get it.  The thing with the fulness of God though – it’s just as available to them as it is to you.

I want to issue a challenge to you.  I want you to start claiming who you are in Christ.  And start claiming the fulness that He has for you!  And start calling the things that be not as though they already were (Romans 4:17).  SPEAK them into existence.  I remember when my parents were paying off their house, my mom kept a note with the mortgage papers.  The note read “Debt free, and glad to be!”  She was claiming our house being paid off.  And then one day, that which she had been speaking over the situation came to pass.

Speak out loud over your situations.  That thing that you’re scared to step out to do, say “God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  And why is fear not of God?  Because fear has torment.  And God doesn’t want us to be tormented!

One of my favorite songs that we have sung in my church’s praise band has these words in it.

“I AM CHOSEN, NOT FORSAKEN.  I AM WHO YOU SAY I AM.  YOU ARE FOR ME, NOT AGAINST ME.  I AM WHO YOU SAY I AM. … IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE THERE’S A PLACE FOR ME.  I’M A CHILD OF GOD, YES, I AM.”

I AM a child of the Most High God, and I am going to claim and walk in the fulness He has for me.  Are you?  Won’t you please join me?  God loves you, you know.  He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die in your place thousands of years before you were ever born.  He has already paid the price for the sins you have committed.  All you have to do is accept it.  It is a free gift.  And it comes with some amazing benefits!  Think of it this way.  You’re in jail, on death row… and someone has come along and paid to have you released, and your record wiped clean, and is offering you an opportunity for a new life.  You would be crazy to not accept it, right?  Well, God is offering the same thing, because He loves you.  All you have to do is accept Him and His love.  Thank God for this gift!!  And tell other’s about it.  It’s free to all!

Who does God say you are?  Dig into His Word to find out, and CLAIM HIS SALVATION.  Then CLAIM THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD.  Now, LIVE LIKE IT.

 

Love and Prayers,

Kerri

 

Claiming My Identity

Hello, everyone!  Gee, it has been a while since I have had time to post on here.  So much has been happening in my life recently, and I can’t wait to share my heart’s thoughts with you now!

Last September, I wrote a post called “What if I Show Myself Love”.  In that post, I shared that I was starting to discover the power of loving myself.  But I also very readily admitted that this was a struggle for me.  Since that time, I have continued to struggle with it – all the while seeking to gain ground in this area.  Well, a few weeks ago, something marvelous happened.  The truths that I had known all my life FINALLY sank into me.  (Hey, it takes some of us longer than it does others.)  I was driving one day, and I started praying, “God, thank You that I am not enough, but You are more than enough!  Thank You that my righteousness is as filthy rags, but I am clothed in Your righteousness!  Thank You that I can do nothing on my own, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  Thank You that I am more than a conqueror through You.”  I kept praying and claiming the promises that God gave me in His Word.  I claimed my identity in Christ.  Since that time, I continue to do this.  To choose to view myself as God sees me – not as I see myself.  Not to say that I always do this, or that I always get it right.  But by claiming my identity in Christ, I am suddenly able to love myself in a way that I never have before.

You might ask why I am thankful for and embracing my weaknesses.  The answer is quite simple.  2 Corinthians 12:9.  “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  What I learn from this verse is that my weaknesses are just an opportunity for God to show how powerful He is!  I CANNOT do it on my own.  But I don’t have to!  Nor should I!  By acknowledging my weaknesses, I am giving God the room to show how mighty He is.  And now I get to operate through His strength!

At the beginning of the year, I gave myself some life goals.

  1. Draw closer to God.  This is something that I will work on every day for the rest of my life.  But I do feel that I have entered into a whole new stage in my walk with Him.  (And in case you didn’t know, walking in close fellowship with God is THE BEST.)
  2. Attain weight loss goal.  Eh… I’m afraid I still have a lot of work to do here, but I WILL get there!
  3. Get a job.  Move out.  Since the beginning of the year, I have made some strides in this direction.  I went to a staffing agency, seeking employment in an office type position.  There were none available at the moment, so I went another route.  I started working as a substitute parapro in the local school system.  I was blessed to land a long-term job immediately, so I had steady employment for several weeks.  During that time period, I took the GACE test to become qualified as a Paraprofessional – and I passed!  Although I don’t think working in the school system is my calling, I love knowing that I was capable of passing the test.  Whether or not I use it, I now have that qualification under my belt – and on my resume.  Since I completed the long-term position, my employment has been sporadic (since I am only a sub).  I will continue to pray and look into things and take steps that I feel the Lord guiding me to take.  I can’t wait to see where He leads me!
  4. Become healthier emotionally and mentally.  It is obvious from the first part of this post that I am making progress in this area as well!  I am so very thankful to be discovering the power of claiming my identity in Christ!  I have also been taking vitamins that are supposed to help with hormone disorders – and I can see that they are helping as well.  It is definitely true that your emotional and physical and spiritual health are all linked together!
  5. Continue writing and publishing.  This one is huge for me.  But I am extremely excited to report that I have finally completed a rough draft of the sequel to my published novel!  This is the first book I have ever completed on my own, so this is a major accomplishment for me!  The first book in this series, Love in the Rain, is available on Amazon.  It was cowritten with my dear, talented friend Cleopatra Thomas, who recently released her first solo-project, Christmas with Cocoa.  (Spoiler – Christmas with Cocoa is really good!)  It took forever for me to get this sequel going in the direction I wanted it to go.  But the first draft is now completed and being read by my beta readers, and then will begin the fun of rewrites.  Hopefully, someday soon I will be able to announce the release of Love Grows.  The completion of this project is not the end of my writing career though.  I look forward to continuing to share my stories with the world!

 

Although not in my listed goals for the year, another of my passions which I am continuing to pursue this year is my singing.  For a short time in 2018, I took vocal lessons.  I gave them up, however, realizing that this teacher – although greatly talented – was not a right fit for me.  I have continued to work on my singing on my own – recording myself and listening to the playback and finding flaws and singing the same song over and over and over again.  I am also very grateful to have the opportunity to continue to sing in the praise and worship band at my church.

I say all that to get to this point.

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time singing along to karaoke on YouTube.  I made several recordings, which helped me discover something about my voice… my voice is far too sweet to pull off Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough.”  I sent that voice clip to a friend, laughing at my “lullaby voice” singing this stand-strong song.  My friend immediately asked if it was me singing in the clip, and I confirmed that it was.  She said “Wow I hope you don’t take this in a bad way but your voice has improved so much!!  Not that it was ever bad!!  Girl you sound SO good!!!  It sounds so clear and smooth!!”  I thanked her, but also told her that it may have been the better quality recording that made a difference.  This morning, I sent a YouTube link of a different cover I had sung and posted yesterday to my mom.  (link here)  When I told her what my friend had said about my voice, my mom called me.  She said she noticed it too.  What she said next is my whole point of telling y’all this story.

My mom said that I am more confident at this stage of my life than I have ever been before.  Not cocky, just sure-footed, per say.  I am being bold – stepping out and expressing myself – and it is showing in every area of my life.  Whether it be me stepping out to take the GACE, or the confidence with which I sing.  She also said she thinks singing in the church band and the way our former music director used to work on my singing during practice have helped develop me as a singer (which shows that I am surrounded by people who push me to be better).

Maybe this story doesn’t mean anything to y’all, but to me, it means a lot.  It shows how my attitude has started changing since I started claiming my identity in Christ, and learning to love myself.  I have become more confident in the gifts that God has given me (writing and singing) because I am more sure of who I am in Him!  And this change inside of me is making a change in how I live my life – thus changing my outcome.  There is so much more I want to share with y’all of what has been going on in my heart and mind, but I’ll save it for another post.

If you get anything from this at all, I hope it is to claim your identity in Christ.

 

Love and Prayers,

Kerri

 

Interview with Angela Cartwright

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a classic movie and tv show fanatic!  My collection is huge, and I am constantly adding to it. Growing up, my favorite movie was The Sound of Music, and my love for the classics has only grown from there! I am excited to finally post this interview with the legendary Angela Cartwright. It was such an honor to get to interview her, and I hope you enjoy hearing from her as I did!

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Me:  Hi, Angela! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview!
As a fan of classic television, I adore The Danny Thomas Show (AKA Make Room for
Daddy). You were very young when this show began. Can you tell us how you came to
get the role of Linda?

Angela:  I went on an interview. I had immigrated with my family from England and we had just moved to California after a year in Canada. Our next door neighbor had kids in commercials and became friendly with my Mom, telling her she should take Veronica and myself to meet this agent. We did, and voila… I got the first thing I went on and never stopped working. Danny was going to get remarried and they were looking for a daughter to Marjorie Lord. I was on that show for 7 years.

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Me:  What was it like working with Danny Thomas?

Angela:  Danny was rather loud and gregarious. Very different from my father. He always made us laugh and was a force to be reckoned with on the set. Always creating and always rewriting the scenes.

Me:  Do you have any special memories from this show, or any favorite moments in the
series?

Angela:  We shot the show in front of a live audience every week, so every week was a new adventure. I was 4 when I started the show, but as I got older I remember working with all the greats in classic television… from Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Andy Griffith, Joey Bishop, Bill Bixby, Hans Conreid. We always had great stars on the show.

Me:  The Danny Thomas Show ran from 1953-1964. Then The Sound of Music was released in 1965. Lost in Space ran from 1965-1968. You were one busy young lady! How did you feel about being so busy as a child?

Angela:  I loved it, and I really didn’t know any difference. I’ve always been that type of person that is happier when I am busy.

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Me:  Now, I have to confess – The Sound of Music was my absolute favorite movie when I was a kid. As in, I had to get it from the library every time we went… which was practically every week! I believe I drove my family crazy with this film. How do you feel about having played a part in a film that has become so iconic and has been a favorite of
several generations?

Angela:  Well of course it is an honor to be part of such an iconic film. People tell me all the time how much the movie makes them happy, how it is a family tradition to watch it every Christmas, and how much they love the film. It is so beautifully filmed, Robert Wise was a genius. Do Re Mi was the first music video ever filmed. I have taken a group on a very exclusive tour of Salzburg where we go to all the locations and I
tell them all what went on the behind the scenes. Everything looks the same as it did over 50 years ago, and people know so much about the movie. We always have a blast. I think I’m doing the tour again in late 2019, its just being finalized. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for the latest news on that trip.

Me:  You played Brigitta von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but you were also auditioned for the role of older sister Louisa. If you could have chosen ANY role in the film, what role would you play?

Angela:  Hands down Brigitta. She was the most interesting to me. Deep feeling and observing everything.

Me:  What was it like to work with Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews? Were the cast members close to each other?

Angela:  We all loved Julie. She was so electric and funny and kind. You can tell in the movie how much we all adored her. Chris was more reserved, but I had a good repoire with him while filming. I was only 11 so it wasn’t like I was hanging with Chris after the days work.

Me:  Do you have any favorite scenes from The Sound of Music, or any behind-the-scenes
stories that you would like to share?

Angela:  Oh, I have many stories. It took an entire year from recording the music to learning the choreography to filming in Salzburg. Dancing on the steps was something I have not forgotten to this day and running all over Salzburg filming Do Re Mi was so fun. As cold and hard as it was the lake scene was very memorable.

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Me:  You had many adventures as Penny Robinson in Lost in Space. What are your thoughts on this show? Who was your favorite person on the set of Lost in Space?

Angela:  We all got along famously. I can’t call out a fav… Bill Mumy and I enjoyed being kids though and we are still friends to this day. In fact, we have written two books together. The first one is “Lost (and Found) In Space” which has behind the scenes pics and then our comments about our memories while filming the show. We remembered some of the most amazing things. It was like looking through your yearbook and remembering your youth. The other book is called “On Purpose.” it’s a fantasy adventure novel. Its a really good story and we both put a lot of time into making it right. I also created 23 paintings of the characters in the book and Bill wrote a soundtrack of 27 songs for the book. You can buy it with the paintings and the music and our
signatures in a deluxe version. You can find out more about it here: angela-cartwright.com/onpurpose

Me:  Are there any special memories or perhaps a funny story you can share from this show?

Angela:  There are many stories in the book I just mentioned “Lost (and Found) In Space”

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Me:  You and your sister Veronica were both busy with shows at this time. Did the two of you ever visit each other on set?

Angela:  Yes… while I was on Lost In Space and she was on Daniel Boone our paths would cross quite often. We were close growing up and always shared each others successes.

Me:  Do you have a favorite role that you have played?

Angela:  Well I loved Brigitta…even among 6 other von Trapp kids each one of us had our own personality. Penny Robinson was another favorite. Brave, adventurous and a lover of animals.

Me:  There were so many wonderful shows going on in the 50’s-80’s. Where there any other shows that you were in at the time? (I know your sister Veronica played Violet
Rutherford in Leave it to Beaver – giving Beaver his first kiss!)

Angela:  After finishing Lost In Space I appeared on many shows as a guest star. High School USA, Scout’s Honor, Airwolf , Room 222, Logans Run, Love Boat, Adam 12 and then another season called Make Room for Granddaddy when I was a teenager. There were others… I kept pretty busy. But after Beyond The Posiedon Adventure I wanted to take a step back… to be a wife and a mother. While my kids grew up I opened a boutique and pursued my photography and art. I’ve never regretted taking that time out of my life to pursue my other dreams. And stay tuned… you never know where I may turn up next!

Me:  Ok, we all know and love the song from The Sound of Music… “These are a few of my favorite things!” What are a few of YOUR favorite things?

Angela:  Playing with my grandkids, rain, chocolate, lights and moonlight.
Here’s my FILMOGRAPHY
http://angela-cartwright.com/filmography.html
My BIOGRAPHY
http://angela-cartwright.com/biography.html

​My links.
showbiz…… angela-cartwright.com
art.site……. acartwrightstudio.com
shop………. angelacartwrightstudio.com
facebook…. TheAngelaCartwright
twitter……… acstudio
instagram… theAngelaCartwright
pinterest….. acstudio
ON PURPOSE a novel by Angela Cartwright & Bill Mumy​
angela-cartwright.com/onpurpose

Me: It has been lovely to chat with you, Angela! I hope we can do it again someday! Thank you again so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I know my readers will love hearing from you! Wishing you the best of everything! Here’s to many more years of happiness!

Welcome, 2019!

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Happy New Year!! A new year is a time when many people make resolutions… But instead of “new year’s resolutions,” I’m giving myself a life goal. Ok, so maybe that’s the same thing spelled different. Or differently, if you want to get technical. Anyway. What are some things I want to work on in my life?

Draw closer to God.

Ah. Definitely top of my list. Although I love the personal relationship I have with my Heavenly Father, I want to draw closer to Him. Learn more about Him. Become more in tune with Him. Serve Him more fully.

Attain weight loss goal.

In 2018, I made it halfway to my weight loss goal. In 2019, I am determined to lose the remaining weight I need to lose to have a healthy body.

Get a job. Move out. 

At 23 years old, I feel it is time for me to start making my own life. Within God’s plan for me, of course! I am looking forward to exploring the life He has ahead of me!

Become healthier emotionally and mentally.

I struggle badly with seeking approval from others. And I rarely find it. I’m such an old soul in this Millenial generation… no wonder it is always the older people who really like me.

Throughout 2019, I want to remind myself that it’s ok to be different. And it’s ok if people think I’m wrong. I am who God made me to be. And that means I am going to reach specific people – even if everyone else who knows me thinks I’m weird or just plain wrong.

I have to work on not letting every little thing get to me. I spend far too much of my life mentally and emotionally distraught – when I shouldn’t even be looking for validation from people anyway.

Continue writing and publishing.

Yes, I’m scared. Honestly, because I’m worried I’m not good enough. But I know this is something that God placed in me… and if it’s His doing, then the people who need to be reached by it will be. It may not be for everyone, and that is ok.

 

I don’t really know anything else to say at the moment. Just know I’m praying for you. And I love you –  because God loves me so unconditionally. “God bless us, every one.” Happy New Year!

Love and prayers,

Kerri

Christmas Baking Recipies

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Tis the season! I did a LOT of baking this year… I never seem to get any complaints when I give my baking as gifts.

The recipes I am about to share below are the same ones I used for Friendsgiving – things just got crazy after that, and I haven’t had a chance to post them! Also, I tried something new this year. I have never made gingerbread men from scratch! So, I thought I’d give it a whirl. And apparently, they were a hit! My mom said she thinks they were possibly the best or close to the best gingerbread cookies she’s ever tasted. And I got great feedback from my church family on the goodies I shared with them. So, score! Without further ado, here are some of my favorite holiday recipies!

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First on the list, an Apple Pecan Cake. I found this recipe several years ago, when I was bored with our usual desserts. We’ve loved it ever since, and it’s a pretty big hit with anyone who has ever tried it! My pastor loved the one I made for Friendsgiving, so I made him one for Christmas. Here’s the recipie!

APPLE PECAN CAKE

1 1/2 c. cooking oil

2 c. sugar 

3 large eggs

3 c. self rising flour

2 tsp. vanilla 

3 c. chopped fresh apples 

1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream oil and sugar. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Put in greased and floured Bundt pan and bake st 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

*My notes: I use Fuji apples. And just FYI, I’ve found that 3 large apples is 3 cups when chopped. Also, you may have a different experience, but I tried using PAM in the Bundt pan once… And let’s just say the cake didn’t turn out too well. So, I prefer to use Crisco and flour. Also, as with any fruity cake, you might want to add just a few minutes of baking time. If it is even slightly undone, the cake will want to crumble from the moisture. This is usually another 5-10 minutes in my oven, but every oven cooks differently. (I know. We have 2 ovens, and they don’t cook the same!)*

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Next up is my recipe for sugar cookies! I have been using this recipe for so lomg, I don’t even remember where I got it! I will also post the recipe for the gingerbread cookies I made this year!

SUGAR COOKIES

3/4 c. butter, softened

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. self rising flour

In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour. Roll out dough on floured surface to desired thickness. Cut. Bake 6-8 minutes at 400°. Cool completely. Enjoy.

*My notes: I personally prefer a SOFT sugar cookie. A lot of people call them tea cakes. The time I cook them varies slightly due to thickness and which oven I’m using, but I usually set the timer for 4-5 minutes and then just watch them until the edges are JUST turning golden. Another thing that my dad likes me to do is to sprinkle a little bit of extra sugar (not a lot) on top of the cookies as soon as I take them out of the oven. It adds just the right touch of extra sweetness. These cookies are always a hit! Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.*

GINGERBREAD COOKIES

3/4 c. unsalted butter

3/4 c. brown sugar, packed

3/4 c. molasses

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon 

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. allspice or cloves – I used allspice

1 large egg

3 1/2 c. self rising flour

  1. In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
  3. Stir flour into the molasses mixture.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a thick rectangle. Wrap well, and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. The dough may be sticky and hard to roll if not thoroughly chilled, so make sure it’s cold before continuing.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350°F. (Lining  the pan with parchment saves effort on cleanup.)
  6. Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface. Roll the dough 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick; the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookies will be. Flour both the top and bottom of the dough if it starts to stick. 
  7. Cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
  8. Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

*My notes: Again, I like soft cookies. So, I baked these for 8 minutes, then took them out and let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes, then transferred them to the cooling rack. Prior to baking, I decorated them with mini chocolate chip morsels to create the eyes and mouth and buttons. Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies.*

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Last on the list is the recipe for Brookies! These are a HUGE hit with my young adult group – especially one of the guys. (So, girls, if you want to build up some Brookie points with the special guy in your life…. Haha! Just teasing.) They are delicious!

BROOKIES

INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

  • 6 tbs. butter, softened
  • ¼ c. brown sugar, packed
  • ½ c. white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. self rising flour
  • 1 c. chocolate chips 

INGREDIENTS FOR BROWNIES

  • 10 tbs. butter, melted
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ c. cocoa powder
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ c. chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven 350 F.
  2. Line a 8 X 8 pan with grease parchment paper, set aside.
  3. To make the chocolate chip cookies dough, in a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Stir in flour until well combined.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.
  7. To make the brownie batter, in a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  8. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  9. Stir in cocoa powder until combined.
  10. Stir in flour and salt until all flour is incorporated.
  11. Fold in chocolate chips.
  12. Spread brownie batter into prepared pan into an even layer.
  13. Drop the cookie dough by the spoonful over the batter until covered.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remember it will continue to cook as it cools so be careful not to overbake. Check it at the 30 minute mark.
  15. Remove from oven and place on a cooing rack to finish cooling.
  16. Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.
  17. Store in airtight container

*My notes: In MY oven, I have to bake these for 40 minutes, then cover them and cook them for another 10 minutes in order for them to be cooked properly. Adjust cooking time to your oven and personal preference.*

 

So there you have it! Some of my favorite go-to recipies! Now wow some people with your skills! Merry Christmas!

Love and prayers,

Kerri

Thankful

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Well, it is the end of Thanksgiving week.  I hope y’all each had a wonderful holiday!  Although I am already in Christmas mode by the time Thanksgiving rolls around… ok.  Let’s be real.  I am always in Christmas mode!  Anyway.  I do feel that Thanksgiving is important.  It is more than just another holiday.  It is a way of life.  Curious about the definition of the word, I just Googled “thanksgiving.”  The very first definition is “the expression of gratitude, especially to God.”  There are so many scriptures in the Bible about being thankful.  One of my favorites is Philippians 4:6.  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  God blesses us so much.  Do we thank Him for these things, or do we simply continue to ask for more?  A quote that really helped me turn thanksgiving into a lifestyle is “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?”  Just as we need to feel that people appreciate us and what we do, we should be giving that consideration ourselves!  I think you’ll actually find it makes you happier as well.  Because it puts more of your focus on God and on the other people around you – instead of on just yourself.  Thanksgiving is a choice.  I’m not saying I always hit the mark.  But I try!

This week has been a crazy one for me.  Monday, I ran errands.  Tuesday, I baked a cake, then went to my voice lesson, then had to make two trips to Walmart, then baked ALL AFTERNOON.  I was in charge of desserts for my church’s young adult group’s Friendsgiving meal.  Because of the required second trip to Walmart, I was running half an hour behind.  So… I was thirty minutes late getting to the dinner.  But according to the group, the brookies I made were TOTALLY worth the wait!  (By the way, if you are like me and didn’t know this – brookies are brownies with chocolate chip cookies on top.  I had eaten them before, but I didn’t know what they were called!  You learn something new every day, right?)  We had a wonderful time of fellowship together.  Wednesday, I was doing housework ALL. DAY. LONG.  By the time I finished, I was so exhausted that I had almost lost my voice.  Seriously, my voice was barely above a whisper.  When I woke up Thursday morning, I was still so tired that I didn’t feel like talking.  (If any of y’all know me, you KNOW I am not feeling well if I don’t want to talk!)  So, my Thanksgiving Day was spent in my pajamas, watching movies.  Surprisingly, I did not watch Miracle on 34th Street.  It wasn’t an intentional oversight, I just didn’t happen to watch it!  Friday was spent shopping.  I did manage to buy myself a new dress, and I found a few Christmas gifts.  Nothing big.  Today, I am going to watch the Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech football game on tv.  Should be an interesting game!

We all have so much to be thankful for!  For a roof over our heads.  Food to eat.  Our family and friends…  The list is endless!  As for me, this week, I have been especially thanking God for the gift of life!  My niece was born early Wednesday morning via emergency C-section.  Having heard the story, it is plain to see why the hospital staff is calling her a miracle baby.  If even one thing had been different, this precious baby girl would not be with us.  God brought everything together just as it needed to be, and we now have this beautiful baby girl added to our family.  I have not yet gotten to meet her, since our families live halfway across the country from each other.  But from what I hear, the nurses have already nicknamed her Sassy.  This spunky little thing didn’t want to miss out on any holidays this year!  So, I had something to be especially thankful for this Thanksgiving.

What are some things that you are thankful for?

P.S. ~ If anyone wants me to share the three dessert recipes I used this week, let me know in the comments below.  They were a huge hit!  I think I racked up on brookie points.

Love and prayers,

Kerri

Slow Down

Have you ever noticed how stressed out most people are?  How about noticing how impatient people are?  Everyone is in a hurry.  These days, we’re tapping our foot impatiently as we wait for one minute to pass to heat up something in the microwave.  To tell the truth, there are some of us who are probably muttering “Come on!” as we wait for that minute to pass.  We say “What color green are you waiting on?” if someone takes two seconds to get going when the light signal turns green.

WHAT IS OUR HURRY?

What IS our hurry?  It seems all we do is make things faster, and we have less time than ever!  It seems that people are always late to something.  Now, don’t judge me, here.  I understand that people have to work, and that they have responsibilities that have to be tended to.  So do I!  However, may I submit to you that people’s priorities are out of line?

Pastor DaRon mentioned Sunday that he had never heard someone on their deathbed say that they wished they had worked harder or had more things.  People always regret not having more time.  More time to truly be a part of people’s lives.  More time to tell people that they loved them – and show that they meant it.

“Dost thou love life?  Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin 

I have had a pretty crazy, full week, myself!  What started out as a one day deep cleaning project turned into a three-day project when a kitchen faucet broke and had to be replaced.  Then there was a voice lesson.  Then a trip to the grocery store.  Then another trip to the grocery store the next day… which somehow resulted in me spilling chocolate milk in the floor of my car.  (I did clean that up, just so y’all know!)  I also went to soccer playoffs to cheer on some friends of mine on Monday night.  I also finally got to work out, and got some housework done at home.  Finally, last night, I went to a bonfire for our church youth and young adults.

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What is it about staring into a fire that makes time seem to stand still?  It is such a tranquil moment.  Just for that moment, you relax, breathe, and forget about all of your worries.  Also the fellowship of friends and brothers and sisters in Christ builds your Spirit up!  It was a moment for me to remember a conversation with my mom.  We had talked about how many people don’t make the time for life.  I thought back to the old days.  For example, how did young people spend their free time?  Maybe a walk to the drugstore for a soda.  Or listening to records.  Or getting a group of friends together for a game of football or baseball in a local field.  Or maybe bowling.  Or a dance.  A movie on the weekend was a treat.  They didn’t have social media to keep them connected to the world around them.  Instead, they were out in it – experiencing it.  They were connected to their friends and family in a way that has sadly been lost in this age of “connectivity.”  Families actually ate dinner together and talked together.  Wow.  What a novelty!

Maybe I’m not conveying my point well.  Sometimes I don’t.  But I want to encourage you to evaluate where your priorities lie.  Sometimes you don’t have time.  Sometimes you have to make time.  Which means that some other things may be neglected.  Just ask yourself what is most important to you.  For me, God and the people in my life are most important.  They will always have my top priority.  I don’t care if I have the new iPhone.  I’ve actually never even had an iPhone.  I don’t care if I have a new car.  My car is the newest we’ve ever had, and it’s a 2000!  Again, I might not be conveying this well, but my point is – regulate your time.  I am encouraging you to unplug from social media for a while.  It doesn’t have to be a long time.  Start LIVING the moments you post about, and stop worrying about what all of your friends think about it!  Become responsible for yourself and to yourself and God.

Where are your priorities?  What is your hurry?  What are some things that maybe you need to change?  Comment your thoughts below!

Love and prayers,

Kerri