Saturday, February 26, 2011


So I must admit, I have a passion for bread! I love to eat it! I love to make it! I love to try new recipes and then make them my own. It is just fun, and the family has a fun time (usually) trying my new found experiments...oh, I mean recipes.
A while back a good friend gave me a recipe for bagels. Since I live in Asia, bread is hard to come by and I am always looking for new things to make for breakfast. I have made these a few times and they have turned out ok. I have not perfected them yet, but I must say they are edible. And Josiah really likes them! So today I decided I would try and modify the regular recipe. What me and the boys came up with were cinnamon raisin bagels. We had lots of fun making them and spinning bagels on our hands. They didn't quite turn out as planned, but none they less I think about 1/2 of them are worth eating!
I never promise to be the best cook, but I always try! I am going to continue my quest to make bagels. I think I will do some reading up on the subject and see what I am doing wrong (like here or maybe here).
Here are some pics from my experiment, but I think before I give out a recipe I will try and fix all my problems.
They started off looking good. I think I added too much yeast!

 I boiled them.

The first few turned out ok, but the rest rose too long and became mush!

You can see the ones that became mush and don't look anything like bagels.

I tried them again with the new recipe and they turned out better. A little dry, but better!  They are still a work in progress, but I love the thought of making my own bagels!

So here is the new recipe!

4 cups  flour
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water
(1/2 cup of raisins, 1 tsps cinnamon) optional or you can just add toppings or nuts/seeds.

Pre-heat oven to 425.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should be kinda stiff, but you can add the extra water until the flour is all incorporated. Knead for about 10 min. or until the dough is smooth.
Cut the dough into 8-10 equal pieces and let them rest for 10-20 min.
There are two methods for making your bagels.
First, you can roll your dough into a snake long enough to wrap around your hand. Take the two ends and join them in your palm. Roll the ends together so that you can no longer see the ends.
The other option, my favorite and Josiah's, is to make a ball out of the dough. To make a uniformed ball you can take the dough in the palm of your right hand (or left if you are a lefty) and make a circle out of your thumb and pointer fingers. Push the dough through the hole a few times to make it a smooth circle. When you have your circles, poke one of your fingers in to make a hole. Then, here comes the best part, put the bagel on your finger and swing it around until the hole is large enough.

See him whirling it around with a mouth full of popcorn!

Easy enough for a 4 year old to do!
Let the bagels rise for about 20 min.
While you are waiting, now is the time to get a great big pot of water boiling. After the 20 min place the puffy bagels in the boiling water a few at a time being careful not to let them touch. 1 min on each side is about all it takes. Drain them on a towel for just a min. to drain the water and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
If you want to add different toppings to plain bagels, now is the time. Just after they have come out of the water, place the sticky bagel onto a plate of whatever you want stuck on there. Rock salt, sesame seeds, cinnamon and sugar (use coarse sugar), sunflower seeds, ect. Whatever you can come up with! 
Bake the bagels for about 10 min on one side and then flip them over for another 10 min or so.
Then they are done! so Yummy!!!! I haven't done the math, but they have to be cheaper than buying them. I am sure that they will freeze too.
I hope you enjoy them and have lots of fun making them! i know they are kinda time consuming, but what better way to spend time with your family! I know my boys love helping me bake! And these times are such good teachable times.  Capture those moments and enjoy the blessings God has given you!
Let me know if you try them!  I would love to hear about it!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What is your calling? pt. 2

As we have recently moved back home from the mission field I have been thinking about my calling in life as a Christian and how I can truly live it out in my life. In moving back into a new culture where things are much different than I have lived over the past 3 years I have tried to think about how will my ministry be different. And how my role will change once again.
For the past three years my life has I have been very intentional with my life. Not something that was completely new to me or strange in my life before we moved. Before we were intentional in our lives, but never this much or this often. Intentionality is something we have had to learn and practice and put forth and effort to do. Being intentional about witnessing. Intentional about discipling and challenging others and making the most of the time we had with people. It was hard, it stretched us and brought us out of our comfort zones, but it became easier. Each day we forced ourselves to think how we could arrange our day to make it intentional. Our desire is to live and interact with the world in such a way, we pray, to draw people to the Lord. In Asia we planned our days around meetings with people or eating at restaurants so that we could share the gospel.  And now moving back I wonder how can my life be that intentional, how can I fulfill the calling the Father has placed on every believer, of making disciples of all nations?
The call of disciple making in my life has not changed just because I moved back across the ocean. My role has, my methods will have to. The place, the people and my circumstances have changed, but what I am doing has not.  I am not just called to follow Christ if I live overseas or I am paid by an organization to do so.  It is a call, a mandate for every believer to make disciples.
So what do I want to bring back to my life here in America and what do I want to challenge you today with? Intentionality.  Intentionality to be a disciple maker.  Look at Jesus. I think he was pretty intentional about his teaching and training of His disciples.  He walked with them, ate with them and spent his life with them. In Asia we used a term called life on life discipleship.  Using our life and our time to pour into others.  I believe it is key to the health and growth of the church and of believers.
So, how can we, as the called in Christ Jesus, be intentional in our lives? How can we let our life rub off on another to bring God glory? Which leads you to think is your life one that you really want rubbing off on someone else?
Are you being intentional by:
·      By intentionally spending time with the Father.
·      By spending time with people, Believers and Non.
·      Share the Gospel!
·      Thinking about it. Planning time to do so.
·      Looking for others to pour into us and to pour into ourselves.
·      Look at our roles, If you are a mother or father, taking every opportunity to pour into your children. Duet. 6:6-9 When you are eating, walking sitting standing…make the effort to teach your children, disciple your children and share the gospel with your children.
My desire is to see God glorified. My heart is to see the lost come to know Him and the saved to draw closer to Him. It is my prayer that we as Christians would not be lazy and neglect our responsibility to God and His commands and the call in our life. I pray that believers would take serious the Call upon their lives when they became a Christian. Not to just ride free and easy, or to be lazy and comfortable, but to DIE to ourselves and obey God. It is not someone else’s responsibility to answer the call to GO. It is everyone’s!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What is your calling? pt. 1

I wanted to share what the father has laid on my heart recently. I was able to share at a local church recently and thought others might like to read it as well.
There were many times in Asia that I had to remember my calling. Through the rough times I needed God to remind me that He indeed did call me there and he was going to give me strength.  He had called me to a different role that what I had been doing previously and even though some days it was hard, I knew it was where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing.
Sometimes as Christians we use the word calling to mean something special for just certain people.  I think in some instances it does, because there were many people who were called out to do special service in the Bible. Paul and Barnabas, John the Baptist.  So does that exclude the rest of the people who are not in the ministry from serving or from being called to do God’s work?
As a Christian, what is our calling? In Eph. 4:1 the Bible tells us to walk worthy of the calling by which we are called. God has called us out of darkness into salvation.  In Luke 9:23-26 Jesus commanded his disciples in order to truly follow Him to “Take up your cross and follow me…” “Sell all you have and follow me….” To “die so that we may truly live…” God has called all believers to give up of themselves to follow Him. I don’t think the calling that God has given us is all that easy sometimes.
But during those difficult times where we can remember, Romans 8: 28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purposes.”
Well, what are God’s purposes?  Jesus commands us in the Great Commission, to (Matt. 28:19, 20 ) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” His purposes are to make disciples of all nations.
Who do these verses apply to? Is it just a few believers? Just the select few that have been truly called and sent overseas to live and follow this command? Is it just the job of a pastor or the responsibility of someone we feel is truly qualified to obey God’s commands of discipleship? I believe not.  Like we mentioned previously, God has called all Christians to walk worthy of their salvation. I believe the scripture teaches that all believers are commanded go and to be disciple makers.  It is our responsibility to take the Truth to the lost and then to help them grow up in the Lord.
It is easy for us to hold fast to the promises of Romans 8:28 that God is going to take all of our circumstances and use them for our good, but it is sometimes hard for us to live these verses in Matthew out as truth. Those who are called according to his purposes should be involved in his purposes. Who is that again? Everyone! What are His purposes? Making Disciples.We believe that it is truth and accept it as truth, but living it out in our lives is not always seen.  I pray that this will change.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's been awhile!

Sorry, I know it has been like a month since I last wrote anything! For that I apologize, but let me explain myself. It is kinda like I fell off the face of the earth, or at least just one side of it. Over the past month my family and I have sold all we had and moved back across the ocean to America. Our time in Asia has come to an end and the Father has brought us back to the US for a new chapter in our lives!
Throughout this process of moving home, my heart has been full of such contrasting emotions, but that is for another day! A day when I can just have a few minutes to really sit down and process what has happened to us all. Hopefully that will come soon!
In the past two weeks we have said goodbye to our to our new old friends and met back up with our old new friends. I have gained a sister-in-law, a new niece, reacquainted ourselves with the West, become homeless, driven more than I care to remember, had to rely on God more than ever and really enjoyed constantly seeing Him provide. I am truthfully excited about the new chapter in our lives. It is a new adventure and new call upon us, and I feel we are up for the challenge. Although, it is not completely clear as to what it is yet.
All of this to say, I am excited to be back in America, I am ready to get back to sharing my heart and what the Father is doing and I hope to be more regular in doing so here!