Sunday, April 20, 2014

No Bake Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Bars


I found these wonderful no wheat, low sugar bars on the even more wonderful site The Lean Green Bean and I would love for you to wander that way to see what other wonderful things she has on her web page. Trust me, there are more great recipes and witty commentary to be found.

So, without further ado, here are the wonderful bars I served for Resurrection Sunday:


photo credit to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean

 No-Bake Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Bars
Makes 9 bars
Bottom Layer
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1 cup dates, pitted (~20 dates)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup carrots, grated
Frosting
  • ½ cup 2% greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping
  • 2 tablespoons coconut, shredded & unsweetened (optional)


Directions
1. Place walnuts and almonds into a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Constantly stir for ~5 minutes, or until nuts are slightly toasted (be careful not to let them burn).
2. Into a food processor, add toasted nuts, sea salt and dates.  Process until the mixture forms a dough.
3. Place grated carrots into a couple paper towels and squeeze the excess moisture out of the carrots.
4. Dump the shredded/squeezed carrots and the dough into a bowl and combine.  Press dough into a parchment paper lined 8×8-inch dish.
5. Now make your frosting.  In a bowl, use an electric mixer to combine greek yogurt, cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla.  Mix on high speed until smooth.
6. Spread frosting over pressed out dough.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Allow bars to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour before slicing into 9 bars.

P.S. If you dislike coconut, you can just leave the coconut flakes off.

UPDATE: I added 1tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp clove and I'm glad I did. The little addition of spice is more like the carrot cake I have made before. Adjust to your level of spice. I personally would have added a touch more of each and maybe a 1/2 tsp ginger.

photo credit to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean


Monday, February 24, 2014

OH! You Hypocrites. You Den of Vipers!

 Today, I was a voice crying in a spiritual wilderness, calling out my fellow Christians, while a storm raged in my heart.

(Matthew 23)

The following is a copy of a response to a Craigslist posting in the Rants and Raves section for Seattle that really upset me. The woman was "ranting" about a woman who smelled bad in her church. She admitted to "trying to help her" but that she just couldn't stand it anymore, and her husband had even declared that when they got into their brand new house, she wasn't allowed over. Blood was shooting from my eyes. So I emailed the woman and carefully, lovingly told her that what she was doing was dangerous because it would turn people away from Christ, because OUR actions reflect on Him and the church. She was dismissive and unrepentant. So I posted the following on Craigslist as a response:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here, we have a prime example of what is wrong with the church. This is evidence of a blight among Christians that has reached a diseased level of pandemic proportions. If you are a Christian reading this, I want you to first stop before you declare the oft misquoted and misused missive, "Judge not lest yea be judged" or "he without sin cast the first stone" you might want to read the following article, because you are horrifically wrong about what God has called us to do which is judge righteously and with love. So right now, I'll tell you, I am NOT without sin, but as we all have been, am blessed to be given grace, and it is my duty as a fellow Christian, to let you know when you are in the wrong and hope you would do the same for me. Take it with the same grace I give it to you, and use it to make appropriate changes in your life. (link as spoken of):


Now, I want to address the issue of a fellow Christian, making the extremely hurtful decision to express their insensitive rant to the entire world about someone who is difficult for them to find Christ-like compassion for. Their husband even being so selfish and miserly that he declares that they are going to have a nice home soon and she isn't allowed to come in. Well, take a moment and think about Christ's work. Did He only heal, feed, comfort rich, clean and nice smelling people? Is the church suppose to be only for the socially accepted, pretty, popular people in society? No. On all accounts. We are called to give of ourselves. This life isn't meant to be devoid of discomfort. In fact, we are meant to walk outside our comfort zones and help people. It's called sacrifice. You see, Jesus HUNG ON A CROSS after being BRUTALIZED for YOUR (and everyone's) SINS. The very least you could do, is "suffer" the discomfort of something or someone who doesn't smell all together lovely. You know why? Because all our sin, stinks to high heavens like the worst garbage and sewage to God. But you know what? He still loves us. He still wants us to be in heaven with Him.

Now, it's hard, to do what God wants us to do. I can freely admit, I have been a rather insolent and spoiled brat at times when it comes to realizing God wants me to do something I find uncomfortable. I've whined. But I've done so among other Christians so that I get it off my chest and at the same time, am given a swift kick in the behind so I get off my own pedestal and do what I was called to do. If you don't have friends to do that for you, you might want to consider finding a pastor who actually follows the bible and isn't a pansy about telling his congregation the truth, even if it might cost him numbers in the pews. Because that isn't what the church is suppose to be about. When we are in the wrong, we NEED to be called out. This is evident in the verse :

Revelation 3:15-16 ESV
"'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

In other words, if you are going to be a do nothing, weak Christian who only declares they are followers, when the going is good, but gives up when things get rough, you are not worthy and will be left behind. These are words of warning. You are NOT allowed to be stuck up and pretentious as a Christian!

1 John 3:10 ESV
"By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."

In other words, you may as well turn in your "I'm a Christian" card if you are incapable of doing the job you were created for. Which is to bring light and love to this world. Did you bother to ask the woman gently if there was anything she needed? Let her know (carefully and lovingly) that she seemed to need her clothing washed? Then quickly offer to DO her laundry for her while she takes a shower?? Did you consider that maybe she lives somewhere where there is no running water? How about that she is actually homeless? Did you ever consider beyond your own precious sensitivities, that this person is in need and is EXACTLY the sort of person Jesus came to relieve the suffering of?

Your husband declaring his decidedly uncaring and ugly opinion on the matter, that she wouldn't be allowed in your new home, is alarming. For a man to be dismissive and devoid of Christ's calling to protect the weak, vulnerable and needy is beyond unacceptable.

Hebrews 13:1-3 ESV
"Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body."



James 2:14-17 ESV
"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

Ezekiel 16:49 ESV
"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy."

James 2:1-26
"... For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "You sit here in a good place," while you say to the poor man, "You stand over there," or, "Sit down at my feet," have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?"

So, in closing, I want you to think hard about the ugliness you just shared with the world. I want you to ponder, how many people you turned away from the saving grace of Jesus and righteously walked to the door of hell by spewing in a public forum. Because who would want to even be friends with someone declaring to be a Christian, but is so self centered, selfish and stuck up? Who would even bother with going to church if it's filled with such pretentious prigs? I wouldn't. In fact, if that is what was being encouraged in a church I was going to, I would leave. Because it would be encouraging a false religion that is contrary to what the is in the bible and mandated by God.

Here is a parting thought, by most of the world now, thanks to "Christians" like you and your husband:

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

PS
When I emailed you to ask you to remove your hurtful post (which I see you did, thank you)
I found it alarming that your response to me was that you didn't do anything wrong and that if I emailed you again, you would tell your law enforcement husband. For someone in the "serve and protect" business to be unwilling to help people in need is indeed a disturbing thing.
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If you want to "be the change you wish to see in the world", consider taking a pledge to do small acts of kindness for those who are in need. Whether it be a need that is physical, emotional or spiritual, be the hands and feet of Jesus. Be a true representation of our Heavenly Father in this broken and dark world. We are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). This is a fun page where you can take a pledge to do kindness in this world:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Finally Speaking Out

I am discussing something, that I never thought I would. Something that happened a long time ago, but has affected my entire life. This isn't for sympathy, or a perverse need for attention. I'm speaking out for the many who may have their own story, swept under the rug, ignored, or invalidated.


I was 5 years old. My memory is shaky of that time spent with another family. I remember it in bursts. If I try to remember what that time was like, I will get flashes, and then blank spots.

The kids were a little older than me and my brother. The daughter was 7 years old (I'll call her "T" from here on out). I looked up to her. She was fun and wild. I don't remember a lot about the mother. I remember her being around, but not as much as the father. He was very different from my dad. He was very affectionate. He liked to hug a lot. Especially T.

I remember going to the grocery store with their family and their mom went inside while we stayed in the car. He got out and got us gum from the gum machine outside the store. We were trying to blow bubbles, and they were playing a game I had never played before. We were suppose to pass the gum back and forth to each other, with our mouths. I watched them, T, her dad and her brother, play this game with a sort of uncomfortable fascination. Then, her father asked me if I wanted to play too. I felt weird, and embarrassed and said no. T kept wanting me to play, even grabbing my face and pressing her lips against mine to try and get me to play and I pulled away. Her father laughed and said, that I was missing out. Then he and T put their mouths together and I now know what was happening was french kissing, until he pulled away with her gum and showed us by sticking his tongue out at us with the gum perched on the end.

I remember one of the nights she spent the night. We played a game where, I would pose and she would take my picture. Like we were models. Then, she would tell me to pull up my night dress, so she could take pictures of my underwear. She taught me how to pose "sexy". Which at age 5, is kind of a mystery. It involved putting my hand on my hip, sticking my hip out, and opening my mouth, "So I can see your tongue." she would say. She would then pose for me pretending to take her picture. Some of the poses she made, were embarrassing, but I played along. Then, it was time for bed, and things would get very confusing.

She would tell me that her father told her to take her underwear off and put it under her pillow and "wait for him". So, she would do that, and tell me to do the same. Then she would proceed to do things to me. Stuff her father did to her. I remember her being surprised that my dad didn't do that to me too. This sort of ritual was repeated at a slumber party where we stayed with a mutual friend and two other girls. Only, some of the things done, I remember now, were more disturbing.

My parents didn't know. How could they? It was a different time then, and it wasn't done in the open. She nor her father were careless. I know, if my parents had known, they would have swiftly protected me and done everything to save T and any future victims from her father. But at 5 years old, I didn't know how to say what happened. I didn't know I needed to tell. T tried at one point, but her mother didn't react well and she was forever silenced.

How did all this affect my life? Well, I struggled with nightmares, that I sometimes still have today. Not very often, but when I am struggling spiritually, they come. I look back and realize how provocative I was at a young age. I acted out once on another child when I was 7 years old. Something I'm ashamed of still. As I got older, I put myself in dangerous situations with older men. I would do things for their attention that I am ashamed of. I don't think some of the things I did, would have happened, if I hadn't been sexualized at a young age. Any time the news reports, yet another repeat offending pedophile, adding another victim to the list of children they raped/molested, I feel sick. I want to kill anyone who has violated a child. Not all victims become perpetrators, but acting out is very common. So I struggle with being suspicious of the intent of children. I am overly protective sometimes of my kids, I'm sure. But if anyone were to harm my kids like that, I can promise you that they would pay dearly and I am willing to do time for getting them justice.

It doesn't matter how old the perpetrator is. It doesn't matter what gender they were. We have no right to quantify the extent of trauma based on some predetermined guidelines. When you are sexually exploited, it IS abuse! Do NOT ever discount, rationalize or diminish a child's claim of abuse. This holds true, for the countless adults who are living with memories of abuse. The extent of the abuse is not what makes it valid. If it happened at all, IT MATTERS.

















 
Now, I have to recognize, that while I am not "better", a lot of the bad feelings have lightened and that is because of my relationship with Jesus Christ. It's a process. When the nightmares come, or I feel panicky over a memory or trigger, I pray for His protection. For healing and grace. I am a work in progress and I have bad days. However, when I sing hymns and talk to Him, I feel at peace again and for a time, I find freedom. If you struggle with memories of abuse, you are not alone and there is freedom from the pain and heartache. Call on Jesus. Ask Him to come into your heart and take away the darkness. You will begin a healing that no doctor, fling, pill or drink can cure.

For More Information:
What Is Child On Child Sexual Abuse?
"... more than one-third of the sexual abuse of America's children is committed by other minors."
-- 2012 crime statistics

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Rapid Decline of A Once Great Nation

I have held off putting out my opinion on the Gosnell trials. It was hard to read the transcripts. Not just because there was so little media coverage and finding anything was a matter of hunting for key words found in obscure regions of the internet. It was because it was jaw dropping and heart rending to read of the horror visited on not just the desperate and ill cared for mothers, but their innocent offspring.

I wasn't surprised, but still sickened to find out that the local "legal" clinics referred patients to Gosnell when they knew they were passed the "legal" term for killing their young (past 23 weeks). Planned Parenthood, knew of Gosnell and his reckless disregard for women's health and their well being. As far back as 1972, Gosnell partnered with Harvey Karman to create a medieval torture device, devised to shred a baby inside the womb. This was done with the blessing of Planned Parenthood. Shortly after giving the nod to Karman and Gosnell the Mother's Day Massacre occurred. If you asked Planned Parenthood about this, they will probably feign ignorance, so here is the short version:
A young Philadelphia doctor “offered to perform abortions on 15 poor women who were bused to his clinic from Chicago on Mother’s Day 1972, in their second trimester of pregnancy.” The women didn’t know that the doctor “planned to use an experimental device called a ‘super coil’ developed by a California man named Harvey Karman.
A colleague of Karman’s Philadelphia collaborator described the contraption as “basically plastic razors that were formed into a ball. . . . They were coated into a gel, so that they would remain closed. These would be inserted into the woman’s uterus. And after several hours of body temperature, . . . the gel would melt and these . . . things would spring open, supposedly cutting up the fetus.”
Nine of the 15 Chicago women suffered serious complications. One of them needed a hysterectomy. The following year, the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. It would be 37 more years before the Philadelphia doctor who carried out the Mother’s Day Massacre would go out of business. His name is Kermit Gosnell.
 Planned Parenthood knew about the conditions in Gosnell's House of Horrors, but chose to do nothing. Why? Because they didn't want to admit that the practice of killing children in (and out of) the womb was common, and the health and safety of women, was not of concern. You see, it is far more important to maintain an image, than it is to protect women who are in a vulnerable position. Further, I charge PP with being more interested in their bottom line. I wonder if they collected a referral fee for sending women to Gosnell that they knew they legally couldn't perform abortions on? I'll go further, and tell you that PP as well as most of the abortion clinics out there, make a lot of money SELLING BABY PARTS to industries that use them in cosmetics and research.

I am tired of hearing feminazis chant that abortion is a women's rights issue. I am tired of our president claiming his goal is to keep abortions safe, legal and rare when they are anything but. Margaret Sanger must be kicking up her heels in hell, knowing her plan to use abortion/contraception as a way to cull the races and ethnically cleanse the world is being championed by a black man and many in high positions of authority. I am tired of pro-aborts, ignoring facts and statistics. This nation's ground is soaked with the blood of innocents and that will not go unpunished. We lost our blessing a long time ago, and it would appear, it is all downhill from here.
I'll leave you with this final image/thought. Because I don't think anyone realizes that this was all going to go down. The downfall of this earth began with the first disobedient act in the garden. Satan whispers in the ears of our leaders, and compels them to endorse and stump for sinful, evil and wicked acts. We need to be on our knees in prayer daily, and we need to be out in the streets, calling out those who practice their evil in darkened clinics. We must intervene for women who are confused, and most likely, pressured and coerced to kill their babies. The wanton murder of innocence must end, or our world, will end.


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