recipes. whatever is true. adoption. whatever is just. redemption. whatever is honorable. modesty. whatever is pure. motherhood. whatever is lovely. think about it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Free Giveaway!!

It's Raining! It's Pouring! 
The Adoption Auction is Soaring!
OH LOOK! A Giveaway is Roaring!

We just got "the call" this week from our adoption agency that our little boy is due in just a matter of weeks... we are so excited!  We know that adoption is a huge roller-coaster and anything can happen, but for now we walk forward with joy in the anticipation of his arrival! 

We are doing a final fundraising push with our online silent ADOPTION AUCTION going on now!  If auctions aren't your thing, but you would love to help us bring Judah home, you can donate HERE!  Seriously, sit in your jammies and have fun!

Our auction has already raised over $2,000!!  We are almost halfway to our goal!  Would you help us spread the word about the auction and get your friends, neighbors, co-workers, family & church members to come over and check it out?  There are pages and pages of wonderful items to bid on...something for everyone! 

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE AUCTION (ENDS APRIL 15) AND GET ENTERED TO WIN A FREE GIFT CARD FROM 
 CHIPOTLE & STARBUCKS!!
 





 








Thank you!  The Daniels 5 (Soon to be 6!)







Monday, April 7, 2014

The call is here!

Every adoptive parent waits for that call.  The call that changes your life and sends you scurrying around in excited anticipation.  It's the call that never seems to come soon enough, yet in God's sovereignty, it is the perfect timing.  It's THE CALL that tells you that a new little life is going to be joining your home... your life... your memories... your world... your family.

Well, I am excited to announce that we just got that 'call'.  THE CALL!!!!!

We understand that adoption is a roller coaster and anything can happen... anything can change...  

For now, however, with joy we will prepare for his upcoming due date:

ONLY 3 WEEKS AWAY!

We have been working very hard over the past month to prepare for an adoption auction that was to be held on April 15th.  BUT- due to this surprising news today, we feel that our fundraising efforts need to get pushed up as quick as possible! Things could change super fast & we want to be ready!

"These are a Few of our Favorite Things" Adoption Auction will now start tomorrow!!!
{Head over right now to take a sneak peek of our items & get your user name & password}
TUESDAY APRIL 8, 2014 AT 6:00AM
CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW!






Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's NO JOKE! April Fool's Day Giveaway!


We are officially adopting again!
'Cause who doesn't want more love & laughter in the house?  We sure do!
Are you as excited as we are?!
 One of the biggest parts of the initial adoption process is fundraising.  
 Yep, money. But that isn't going to stop us because when the Lord calls you to walk down a path, He gives you the ability and the resources in His sovereign timing!

We are excited to announce our online silent adoption auction fundraiser we are affectionately
calling, 
"THESE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS".
 

Will you help us spread the word about our online silent adoption auction coming up on April 15th?
 You Will?  Awesome!

We have put together a FREE GIVEAWAY  for that will end on April Fool's Day
 (April 1) to get you excited for our fundraising auction & to help us share all the info with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, church members, homeschooling groups and more!  

(No purchase necessary to win) 
Giveaway Includes: 
  • Donatos Pizza Gift Card ($10.00 Value)
  • Brand New Songs for Saplings 3 CD Set ($28 Value)
  • Lilly's Coconut Dark Chocolate Candy Bar ($5.00 Value)









Enter to WIN below!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Grandma's Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies... THM {S}

Chocolate Chip Cookies 




These cookies are AMAZING!  They are Gluten Free, Sugar Free & THM friendly!  These would be considered an {S} and are NOT a crossover.  Don't let the small amount of oats fool you in this recipe.  It yields 36 cookies which means that you are well within your carb limit if you don't eat the whole blessed batch.  Even though you will want to.  But don't.  Okay?  Good.  Let's move on to the recipe!!


Pour the following into your high speed blender at full speed to make a Flour Base Mixture: 

  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla unsweetened whey powder (Swansons Brand) (About 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Set aside your flour mixture and wipe the drool from your mouth at the excitement of your pending cookie rampage. 

In a large bowl, combine well:

  • 2 sticks of softened (salted) butter
  • 2 eggs (We use fresh farm eggs from our hens)
  • 1 1/2 cup of your preferred baking blend sweetener (xylitol, erithytol, truvia, etc.)  I used xylitol for this recipe. 
  • 1/8 tsp black strap molasses 
  • Splash of vanilla

Then add the following to your wet ingredients:
  • 2 cups of your dry mixture (SAVE THE REST FOR ANOTHER TIME)
  •  a couple shakes of sea salt 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Finally, add:

  • half a bag of Lilly's Dark Chocolate Chips (Sugar Free- they use Stevia).  You could use the entire bag, but it costs $7, so I'd rather make it laaaaaaaaaaaaaaast.  
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans because I like nuts in my cookies, but that is totally optional.  

Scoop your dough onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  My sheet holds 12 cookies and I was able to make 3 trays.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Basically, you are looking for them to LOOK like a 'done' cookie. 

We didn't let our cookies get hard or sit in the fridge because we were too hungry to eat them.  They are pretty soft and will fall apart, but if you stick  them in the fridge, they will harden right up.

My boys said that these are the best on-plan (Trim Healthy Mama) cookies that I have ever made in 7 months... trust me, I've tried a LOT.   They really resemble the chocolate chip cookie dough that I LOVE to eat raw.  And, if you skip the eggs, you could totally just eat the dough!

Enjoy your tasty treats.  ;)

Blessings,












Angelena

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

{S} Easy Caribbean No Bake Balls

In the mood for a fantastic chocolate treat?  I give you... Easy Caribbean No Bake Balls!  For you girls on THM, these are an S... if you eat too many, it would be a Crossover.  Like I said, be careful if you want to stay in "S" mode because they have a small amount of oats in them plus a minimal amount of net carbs from the pecans, so don't go crazy.  My batch makes 25 nice sized cookies with a carb count of 2.5 grams each, so to be safe- I would only eat 2-3 for a snack (staying below the 6 gram rule) or dessert within 3 hours of any other S or E meals. They are filling!

Ready?  Oh, this is so easy.  You're gonna love me.

In your blender, combine 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes and 1 cup preferred unsalted nut choice (Pecans, Walnuts or Almonds).  Blend until thoroughly mixed, but not a paste.  Pour this "flour" into a large bowl and add 1 cup whole dry oats (NOT instant).  Add two shakes of salt and stir.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 stick of salted butter, 1 cup peanut butter, splash of vanilla, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of xylitol.  (You can add a little more of you prefer a sweeter taste).  Heat on low-medium heat until low boil and then pour into "flour mixture.  Mix it all up until nicely blended.

Roll into nice little balls.  See below?  Put on parchment paper and then place into freezer until hardened.  Then, if you want a little extra coconut flavor, make up a batch of skinny chocolate to drizzle on top!



Enjoy!












Angelena

Saturday, March 1, 2014

{S} Nanaimo Bars from the THM Inspired Test Kitchen

You know how you click on a link to read a recipe and the blogger tells you an entire story about how their recipe is going to change your life and they use all kinds of funny anecdotes and make you want to be their BFF and all you can think is, "For the love!  Give me the recipe already!"  Forgive me because I'm going to be that annoying blogger today.  But, if you want to scroll past all my witty anecdotes, the recipe is at the bottom. 

Last week I was on a Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle and was desperately hungry for something chocolatey on an E day and came up with some yummo Brownies from my "THM Test Kitchen".  My sweet friend, Jennifer Griffin, who many of you know from Home With a Purpose was so kind to share my blog link with you (because nobody knows me- haha!).  She also shared my recipe for Angel Food Cake and the Rockin' Roll Cake too!

I had a great response from the brownies and in the Facebook thread I mentioned that I have an open test kitchen and would love people to pass along their favorite pre-THM desserts for me to adapt to be on plan!

One of the ladies said, "Hey!  Do you have a converted recipe for Nanaimo Bars?"

I replied, "Sure!  Those are my absolute favorite!" "Eh?  What is a Nanaimo Bar?"

So, off I went to learn a little more about this treat.  Apparently,The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin popular across North America. It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the west coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. (Source: Wikipedia)  You feel smarter now, don't you?

The basis for my recipe is from the Cooking Classy site: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/01/nanaimo-bars/   Now, prepare yourself for this blogger's pretty pictures and neatly cut squares of dessert perfection.   I am ashamed to tell you that I am a photographer, but have no patience for still-life or the pretty plates to match.  I'm all about the active portrait session and the blushing bride, but don't let my picture fool you... this is GOOD.  I mean, sneak-back-around-midnight-with-a-fork-and-hide-in-the-pantry kind of good.

This is a no-bake bar and really wasn't hard to make at all.  It made a big ole' casserole dish full that I served to our family of five and the grandparents for a birthday treat and we had over half left so it goes a long way.  We had just had a big meal and when I offered dessert I only had one taker (out of seven people!)  Then I served it to him and all of a sudden, everybody straightened up in their chair and said, "Hey!  I'll take a little of that!"

Without further ado (and there was a lot of ado here today).... here you go!  This is a step-by-step layering dessert that doesn't involve any baking. I may have mentioned that, but save the ovens, sisters!

Nanaimo Bars THM Style {S}


Dry Crust:  In your high speed blender, place the following ingredients and then blend until thoroughly crushed into a thick flour.  Don't over blend into a paste.  After blended, set aside.

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
Wet Crust: In a saucepan, place 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup).  Melt and take off heat.  Stir in the following and whisk until blended:

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup xylitol
  • 1/8 tsp black strap molasses
Now, put your saucepan back on a low heat and add in a beaten egg.  Continue to quickly whisk egg into chocolatey mixture for 1-2 minutes until thickened.  Take saucepan off heat and add a splash of vanilla.

Remember your nut/coconut flour mixture?  Now is the time to dump it all into your saucepan and thoroughly combine wet and dry crust ingredients.  Layer this crust into the bottom of a casserole dish (9x12) or if you want a slightly thicker bar, a 9x9 pan.  Cover with plastic and put into freezer for 20 minutes.

Now for the filling.  I went a little different route this time than the classic bar mixture because I wanted a thicker filling.

Combine the following with an electric beater.  Add in your ingredients ONE AT A TIME until creamy so that your cream cheese doesn't clump.

  • 3 packages (8 ounce each) full fat cream cheese. (Blend until creamy before adding any of the other ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup Swansons vanilla whey powder
  • 1/2 cup xylitol
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Pull your pan back out of the freezer and pour your creamy mixture on top.  Spread out evenly.  Recover with plastic and freeze again for 15-20 minutes.

Last layer is your chocolate topping.  You can melt a bag of sugar-free chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of hot water and mix in a saucepan OR you can make a batch of Skinny Chocolate (see THM book for recipe) using extra virgin coconut oil.  After you mix this up (must be hot), let sit for a minute and then pour over the creamy filling mixture and then put back in your freezer for a final 15 minutes.

Store in the fridge after serving.  

All done!  Serve and enjoy!  I know this recipe seems a bit tedious, but it really was one of the faster recipes I've ever made.  Let me know what you think!

Want to Pin it?  Here is your link: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/27443878953818845/


Have a blessed day!

Angelena


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{E} THM Brownies






Last week my husband and I started our first "Fuel Cycle" on the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan.  It is a more structured week or two to help kick things into gear in regards to losing a few stubborn pounds.  When we came to day 6, a full "E" day (energizing/carbs), I was a little stuck on what I could enjoy that didn't involve apples.  Almost everything on the Pinterest site involved fruit dishes with oats and that is all well and good... but I wanted CHOCOLATE!  And not pudding, either. Chocolate cake...chocolate brownies...chocolate muffins.

As I often do when I'm hungry, I head to the kitchen to create some inventive sort of yumminess that is on plan, but not in the recipe books or sites that I have found.

Okay-dokey.  Here is a great and delish recipe for brownies on an E day... or any day if you just want something that is tasty and you don't even follow the THM plan!

Ingredients

  • Egg Whites
  • Whole Oats
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Swansons Vanilla Unsweetened Whey Powder
  • Xylitol or Truvia
  • 0% fat Greek Yogurt
  • Salt
  • Cream or tartar
  • Baking powder
  • vanilla
Directions
  •  Put 1 1/2 cup egg whites in a bowl and blend with hand mixer until stiff peaks form (much like a meringue). I use egg whites from the carton.  Add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and blend for another 30 seconds.  Set aside.
  • In Vitamix or Ninja blender, put in two cups of whole dry oats, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 scoop of Swanson's whey powder, dash of salt, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 cup of xylitol (or truvia).  Blend on high until a flour-like powder form.
  • Add "chocolate" flour to egg white meringue and let sit on top while you add 1/2 cup greek yogurt and a splash of vanilla.
  • Blend everything with electric beaters until meringue goes down to half size and the consistency looks much more like a brownie batter.
  • Put into brownie pan or casserole dish (I sprayed mine very lightly with olive oil) and bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Should be able to insert toothpick and come out clean.  
  • Let set up for about 30 minutes and top with strawberries or a plan-approved pudding or icing.
Enjoy!  :)

Angelena









Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Five Scrumptious "S" Meals!



I started Trim Healthy Mama in September 2013 and my husband and I have lost a combined 45+ pounds pretty evenly between us.  It is good to be eating well (as in, "Wow, that's yummy and healthy!"), feeling energetic and getting back in the jeans you thought were destined for the thrift donation.

The Facebook group for THM has been fantastic and we've been able to encourage each other with great stories and AMAZING recipes.  I'd like to share five favorite "S" dinner meals with you that you and your entire family can enjoy.  You do not need to be a short order cook trying to make THM approved meals for you and something else for the rest of the family.  Share the love, peeps!

Remember, you will not have to stare blankly into the fridge wondering what to make twenty minutes before dinner if you have it planned out for your week or month.  It doesn't have to be a Martha Stewart approved spreadsheet or graph, but rather something simple so you will have a guide for your day.

Mix up those "S" & "E" meals throughout your day, girls!  Our family does an "S" every evening because it is a fun way to share a yummy meal and always have enough leftovers for hubby to take to work in the morning. I am not a calorie counter and will not be giving specific recipes below based on caloric values per person per serving per day, yada yada yada.  Just eat a good & filling portion without being a glutton and enjoy it.  Remember, "S" meals are full of fats and shouldn't be paired with carbs.  So, if you are really wanting a bowl of oatmeal after dinner, give it three hours!

Food freedom!  Okay, here we go... drum roll please...


1.  Chicken Cordon Bleu, Salad with sliced almonds, cheddar, veggies & ranch dressing.  {Bake boneless, skinless chicken breast with a lean & no sugar added slice of ham & slice of thick mozz cheese.  Serve with salad & dressing.}

2.  Bacon Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers & Cilantro Tomato Salad.  {Using your favorite ground turkey burger recipe, grill some of these bad boys and top with crisp turkey-bacon that you can make in your microwave (yeah, not a purist here) and blue cheese crumbles warmed on top.  On the side, chop up one full bunch of fresh cilantro, 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese into small cubes and 1 cup of cherry tomatoes.  Sprinkle a dash of salt on your salad.  Note:  We obviously opt not to use buns, but the kids still love their burgers with a bun.}

3.  Grilled Chicken & Steamed Broccoli with Shredded Cheddar.  {Bake boneless, skinless chicken with on-plan seasoning of choice.  Serve with a side of broccoli that has been coated with shredded cheddar and a tablespoon of butter with a pinch of salt and heated until cooked and bubbly.}

4.  Chicken Enchiladas & Mexican Salad. (You can you ground beef, steak, turkey, etc if you are chickened out for that day/week.).  {Get a package of Lavash bread, take out three pieces and cut these into thirds.  You will have nine pieces now.  Taking a casserole dish, lay these out side by side and ladle in cooked chicken that has been thinly sliced.  In a sauce pan, combine one small can diced green chilies, 8 ounces sour cream and 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese.  Mix until creamy and pour half this mixture over each chicken/lavash bread in the dish.  Take the other half of the cream mixture and add a dash of cumin and chili pepper.  Close each of the lavash bread/chicken mixture by folding over and pour the remaining sauce with the seasoning added on top.  Finish by covering with shredded cheese and baking 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so.  You just want everything to heat through and cheese to be bubbly.   Garnish on the side with a Mexican Salad: bed of lettuce, dollop of sour cream, slice of avocado, slice of tomato and slice of onion.}

5.  Homemade Mac n' Cheese & Italian Sausage with Green Beans with onion.  {Grill up Italian links (enough to feed your family) and dice into coin sizes.  Lay these on top of your whole, freshly steamed green beans with sliced onion on top.  Put in microwave or oven for a few minutes- enough for the flavors to combine.  Boil one box Dreamfields pasta (elbow mac, rotini or penne).  While that is boiling, combine one stick of butter, one 16 ounce container sour cream and one 8 ounce shredded block of sharp cheddar with salt to taste into a saucepan.  Mix with a whisk on medium heat until blended and creamy.  You can also add 1/2 cup of heavy cream if you really want to get crazy.  Drain pasta and add cream sauce.}


Next time I'll share five of my favorite dessert recipes and they are SO good!

Blessings,

Angelena











Thursday, November 21, 2013

Farewell...

"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever."  1 Peter 1: 24 & 25

This blog has been a dear friend to me over the past seven years.  When my boys were little, it was a way that I could journal our daily lives and post ridiculously cute pictures.  When I began to understand Reformed theology and grow in love for Christ's Word, this blog was a great venue to share scripture, hymns and solid teaching from pastors that preach the solid truth of the Gospel.  When I started to take charge of my health and begin running, it was a way to encourage others and make new friends that also loved to feel the wind on their face.  When I wanted to share recipes, grocery ideas and menu planning, I found a home here.  When I started a photography business, I shared my images and ideas here.  When we began on the road to adoption, I shared our fundraising ideas and excitement with the blogosphere.  And when Facebook was born, I quit blogging and did all of the above {and more} over there.  

My poor blog has been ignored for far too long and as much as I would LOVE to say that the New Year is coming and things will change... I know now that they will not.  My thoughts on writing for the world have changed.  Personally, my *reach* will now extend to my sweet little people that I cook, clean and love on daily... my husband... my amazing parents...my dear friends... our church family.  

I loved blogging.  LOVED it.  And I have no plans to delete it because it is a history for me.  Not just a journal of cute pictures and funny stories as my children grew, but a journey of where I used to be and where I am now.  I am different from when I started this seven years ago and it is a good barometer to see where I have grown, both in spiritual disciplines as well as physical/emotional ones as well as where I can keep growing.

I guess I am a little more private now too. :)

Thank you for the years and thank you for reading.  May the Lord be praised....

Signing off,

Angelena

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gotcha Day 5K Run Walk or Bike for Adoption!

Consider yourself officially invited! 
 

 The Daniels family is excited about adoption and we are heading down this wonderful and familiar path once again.  In an effort to fundraise for our adoption, we are hosting the first annual, Gotcha Day 5K Run for Adoption!  You can run, walk or bike on the beautiful cross-country trail over beautiful bridges and past sparkling lakes on your way.  Go to www.gotchaday5k.com to register!


 
Hopefully you've seen these posters all around town!  We're hanging them up anywhere somebody will take them for us.  (And we have a lot of supporting businesses that are happy to help!)
 

 
Have you seen our yard signs around town?  We are really thankful for those families that were willing to put a sign or a vehicle decal to help advertise our event!  It's gonna be BIG!


 
In addition to all these great sponsors offering free prizes, products and food to our registrants, we also have just added Panera Bread to the list!!  It's going to be a good day!


 
 
Here is another sign we designed earlier on that we've used in more family-friendly environments like libraries, churches and ice cream shops!
 

 
Our daughter, born in our hearts in 2012... what a blessing and one of the million reasons why we LOVE adoption!
 
Please consider coming and supporting the Gotcha Day 5K!
 
See you at the finish line!




Friday, January 13, 2012

My New Years Resolution is to Gain Six Pounds... More or Less


2/2012 Update: Thank you to everyone that has been such a blessing in helping us to get closer to our financial adoption goals! As you may note on our adoption donation site, our goal has increased to $16,500 as our family continues to save for this adoption. (We have a wonderful grant, but due to restrictions that have come to light, we must raise slightly more than once anticipated). It is fun for us to have a 'thermometer' and watch our savings put toward our newest little member. Again, we thank our family, friends and the body of Christ for stepping forward over the past two months to help! We love you guys!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our New Years resolution is to get bigger this year- by at least six pounds at first and growing from there, more or less. No, I haven't lost my mind. No, McDonald's is not paying us to be in a documentary. Yes, we are adopting!

Over the past two years we have raised, saved, scrimped and begged to add to our $33,500 agency adoption fund. Yes, I said Thirty-three thousand, five-hundred d o l l a r s. Get out the inhaler and put your head between your knees- you'll be fine in a minute... Better now?

Can you spare just $5 for adoption?! If each person can give only five bucks, we could reach our goal!
DONATE HERE NOW!!!


We've sold lemonade to every neighbor child in a 20 mile radius and the trash men know us by our first names because of all the cookies we've sold to them. Yes, my boys freak out when they see "that look" in my eyes and wonder which of their toys I'm going to sell to fill the glass mason jar in the pantry marked Adoption with a black sharpie on the lid.

In all seriousness, the Lord has been gracious and over the past week we have raised an additional $1300 from AMAZING friends, family and complete strangers who have wanted to help us reach our final $10,000 goal!

But you know what? It is going to be TOTALLY worth it. I can't wait. Bring on the diaper changes with those funky new cloth diapers that my husband despises. Bring on the 2am feedings--err, screaming sessions. Bring on the looks from people who don't understand pale peach mommy snuggling little sweet brown baby. Bring.It.On. I love my children and can't wait to see our family growing through the grace of Christ!

 

A heart FULL of gratitude

Can I just tell you (and you know who you are) how amazing ya'll are?! What a blessing it is to put out a request for adoption donations and see such a wonderful response! It roughly one day using our online fundraising site HERE (plus donations that came through coworkers and friends), we were able to add $1,200 to our adoption account!! Praise the Lord for that! You honestly don't know what a blessing it was- and we are so thankful for YOU! One day when our little one is old enough, I'm going to sit him or her down and tell about all the people who wanted to bring them into our home-- wanted them to be a 'Daniels' and wanted them to have the opportunity to know Jesus Christ.

Bless you all...

For His fame,

Angelena

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An adoption donation challenge!


"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans..."

Isaiah 1:17a


Would you give ONLY $5.00 to help bring a child into their forever family's home? Well, you can!


DONATE NOW!




Our family started down the road to adoption in February 2010. We have a total of $33,500 that needs to be raised for the current agency that we are working with. Right now, only $10,000 is outstanding to raise!!


If we can find 2,000 willing people to give just FIVE DOLLARS, we can raise our final amount!!


We love children and are excited for the additional blessings that the Lord will add to our family one day. We wait patiently on His timing and for His good will!


Our love & gratitude,

Angelena

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Songs for Saplings


Last year, our church had the opportunity to host Dana Dirksen of Songs for Saplings for a family concert. Dana and her husband started a music ministry years ago that give children (and adults too) a solid Biblical foundation of the truths of God's word through catechism memory. We love these songs and enjoy each and every CD. There are currently four CD's available for purchase and the fifth will be coming out this year. I encourage you to stop by their website today!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Movie Night


From time to time, my family and I enjoy a good old fashioned movie night. Years ago we made the decision to disconnect from "commercial television" and don't even get a signal in the house anymore. If we want to watch a movie, we either buy it, borrow it or go to the local library to check it out. Movie night in our house usually consists of homemade pizza, popped corn and lots of blankets and pillows.

Now, you must understand...if my husband and I are going to gather the entire family for a time in front of the TV, the movie itself must submit to our house rules. First, there should be no foul language or cursing. Second, no sexuality/sensuality ("There must not even be a hint of sexual immorality..for these things are improper for God's holy people"). Third, any movie that is laced with gore, intense violence (for the sake of entertainment only) and horror themed- NEVER makes it into our home. And lastly, and most importantly- there has to be a theme that points us to Christ or doesn't confuse us about true theology. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than watching a "Christian" movie that is filled with more heresy and false teaching- and does more damage than a Hollywood film ever could.

One of my favorite genre's as a young adult was black and white classical movies. So, we decided to pull in some Fred Astaire's and Cary Grant's and do you know what we found? With an exception of profanity and gore, they still include sexual innuendos, sensual and immodest clothing (sure, call 'em ballet dance outfits if you like- they still look like scantily clad bikini wearers to me) and sometimes the overall theme points away from what God desires in His holy people.

Now you are all wondering- what about 'just for you- or just for your husband'. Yes, there are movies, documentaries and news stories (not appropriate for a five and seven year old) that my husband and I will watch, but the overall concept of our house rules still apply. I'm old enough to watch R rated movies by the fact that I'm over 18, but choose not to. I'm married and have children...does that now give me the right to 'appreciate' movies that are filled with cursing, sexual themes and coarse joking? If you are bought by the blood of Christ, His spirit lives within you and it should be our desire to live by the spirit- and not by the flesh.

Philippians 4:8 says this- "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things."

Sister in Christ, be reminded that this scripture does apply to the movies we watch, the books we read, the magazines we delve into and the people we fall into conversation with. I am guilty of not following by my own standards many times...fooling myself to believe that a movie will be 'mostly clean' and then filling my heart with grief because little by little, I'm hardening myself to His gentle spirit.

I'm sure there are plenty of online reviewers for movies, but one of our favorites is the following: Plugged In by Focus on the Family. I don't always agree with their overall rating of the film or write up, it does give the reader the opportunity to assess each movie by category (violence, sexual content, language, etc.). I encourage you to stop by...before you check out that next movie.

Blessings,

Angelena