Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Each year we gather together at this time as brethren around a meal in fellowship and thankfulness to the Lord for His spiritual and temporal provisions. And so, by God's mercies, we were able to meet together for this once again!

This is before the meal time:

Thanksgiving 2012 Before the Meal


And here are the tables decorated very nicely!

Thanksgiving 2012 Table Setting and Decorations
Thanksgiving 2012 More Table Setting and Decorations


The Lord graciously supplied the meal provisions in the main courses:

Thanksgiving 2012 Main Courses


And drinks:

Thanksgiving 2012 Drinks


And desserts! YUM!

Thanksgiving 2012 Desserts


And then it was time to break bread (and turkey and all of the trimmings!) together:

Thanksgiving 2012 Fellowshipping with the Meal
Thanksgiving 2012 More Fellowshipping with the Meal
Thanksgiving 2012 Still More Fellowshipping with the Meal


After the meal, the Lord granted, and we enjoyed, a peaceful and very pleasant time of continued fellowship and hanging out together, here with the ladies:

Thanksgiving 2012 Ladies Enjoying Fellowshipping After the Meal


...and here, the men:

Thanksgiving 2012 Men Enjoying Fellowshipping After the Meal


It is our prayer that we be and continue to be a candlestick of the Church here, for Christ's glory (Rev 1:20,11:4):

Thanksgiving 2012 Lighted Candlestick


We are grateful to the Lord for granting us this time of gathering together for His glory in thanks. May we be ever thankful for His perfections, love, condescension, forbearance, forgiveness, and the multitudes of His other graces and mercies; and by His graces and mercies may we be willingly obedient and faithful servants of Him, out of love for Him, with our hearts focused on the person of Christ, as a purified bride (continuing to be purified by Him even now, individually and as a group), with love, faithfulness, service, and forbearance to the brethren, in humility and meekness, with His continued faith unto the end, wherever that might lead. Amen.

-- David

Monday, November 19, 2012

Simple Bread Rolls

I've been wanting to do this blog post for almost a year now and figured just before Thanksgiving would be a timely...uh...time!

With there always being so much going on these days on our homestead, right now there's a fine line between consciously keeping things process driven but also actually getting things done. So recipes like this come in handy.

I volunteered to make the dinner rolls for our community Thanksgiving meal last year and chose a recipe that ended up taking a few hours in which to make the rolls, including kneading the dough, letting it rise, twice, etc. Well, I started to panic when I realized the recipe would not make enough; and I didn't have time to make another batch. Then I found this bread roll recipe and threw it together quickly to make up the difference in the amount needed. I couldn't believe how fast and easy it was; and the rolls tasted as good, if not better! I was so thankful to have found it because it changed the way I think about making rolls for everyday meals.

So if you're looking for a quick bread/dinner roll recipe for Thanksgiving or any other meal, I highly recommend trying this:

SIMPLE BREAD ROLLS - Yield: 16 rolls (from http://www.food.com/recipe/bread-rolls-246317)

INGREDIENTS

2 (1/4 ounce) packages yeast

3 1/2-4 1/2 cups white bread flour (I use half whole wheat flour, half unbleached white flour)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl, mix milk with water. Add sugar, yeast, and butter. Stir until yeast is dissolved and set aside for 10 minutes or until yeast has foamed up a bit.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Use the lower amount of flour to start with and add more only if the dough is really too sticky.

3. Add yeast mixture to flour and mix.

4. Knead until smooth and elastic.

5. Place in greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes. (I turn my oven on warm and place the bowl in there)

6. Oil your hands and shape the dough into rolls and place in a well-greased pan. I use 2 round non-stick cake pans.

7. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise another 15 minutes.

8. Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Let these cool down before you remove them from the pan or they will likely tear.


For those of you who are helped by step by step photos, here you go!


Here the wet ingredients have all been mixed together and set aside for the yeast to start to foam up:

Simple Bread Rolls Wet Ingredients


All the dry ingredients are then mixed together:

Simple Bread Rolls Dry Ingredients


The yeast has foamed up and is ready to be added to the dry ingredients:

Simple Bread Rolls Yeast Foaming


I knead the dough for about five minutes, but your experience may vary:

Simple Bread Rolls Kneading Dough


And it eventually reaches a smooth and elastic consistency:

Simple Bread Rolls Dough Before Rising


The dough should expand in size like this after it has been placed in a warm area for 15 minutes:

Simple Bread Rolls Dough After Rising


To form the dough into the roll:

Step A: Grab a small doorknob-sized roll of dough from the large amount:

Simple Bread Rolls Starting to Form Roll


Step B: Start to smooth the dough from the top down:

Simple Bread Rolls Shaping Roll Step A


Step C: Continue to smooth the top of the roll all the way to the underneath:

Simple Bread Rolls Shaping Roll Step B


Step D: Make all sides of the roll even and smooth:

Simple Bread Rolls Shaping Roll Step C


Place the rolls on large cookie sheet or in two round cake pans:

Simple Bread Rolls in Pan Ready to Rise


Here are the rolls after rising in the pan:

Simple Bread Rolls in Pan After Rising


These rolls have been prepped and baked in about an hour and are ready to serve with butter, jam or whatever you like! You see...simple!

Simple Bread Rolls Ready to Serve


...except for this batch that ended up rising waaaayyyyyy to long in a round pan on a hot day and turned into pizza dough :(

Simple Bread Rolls That Have Melted and Lost Their Shape


Whether you use this recipe or not, I pray for God to grant the reader a blessed Thanksgiving and the real Bread of life in His Word.

Susan

Friday, November 9, 2012

David's Digest: God is an Extremist

In this day and age, the word "extremist" has been turned into a pejorative by tying it to terrorists, and by today's apostate "Christianity" against those who hold strongly to biblical doctrine and so as to not offend or supposedly detract from being as attractive to an ungodly world as possible (whereas the Bible promises that the world will hate the followers of Christ, not be attracted to them!) Generally, if you believe what is not mainstream, you often get labelled an extremist.

But what does God have to say about extremism?

First, God by His very nature is extreme. He is perfectly and infinitely holy, righteous, wrathful, loving, gracious, merciful, forgiving, etc. -- all of these attributes and traits are extreme to their fullest (and even beyond that). In God there is no darkness (none at all), and only light (1 John 1:5), and the extreme shining forth of light. To deny this is to deny God Himself.

Secondly, God evidences His extremism by His acts. In 2 Kings 19:35, God had an angel kill 185,000 people in one night. That's pretty "extreme."

And God killed everyone on the earth (maybe billions) with the flood, saving only eight people. Wow, now that's "extreme"!

Then, because of one sin, all mankind fell completely, being charged with the guilt of that sin (see the doctrine of original sin), and from then on carried only a sin nature (the spiritual nature and image of God being lost in total), losing all spiritual life as well; and all of mankind was condemned to eternal punishment and death. Now that's really "extreme"!

And finally, in His wisdom, the only way God's wrath would be satisfied and holiness maintained in reconciling with Himself some of those lost creatures -- so that they would enjoy Him for eternity, which is part of why man was created -- was for His only begotten Son -- God Himself -- to die at the hands of creatures, with Him bearing the full wrath of God His people deserved. Now that's the ultimate in "extremism"!

Satan loves the grey, as it confuses the white in its purity and holiness. Compromises, "little" sins, lack of doctrinal purity, synchretism with the world, slothfulness in duties, making fearing the Lord in obedience to ALL of God's commands a "light" or common thing -- these are his lies which he uses to keep people from the Light. Remember, in God's eyes there is no grey -- because He is absolutely pure and holy: you are either "white" -- pure and holy (by Christ's righteousness alone) or you are "black" -- completely impure and unholy...period. Awfully "extreme."

Some will say, but what about God's extreme grace? Paul says in Romans 6:1-2, do we sin (with even "little ones," or by disregarding some of God's commands about how we live our lives that are throughout the Bible because we are "under grace") that grace may abound? He says, "God forbid"!

Are you living like the world and part of it; by the world's rudiments (Col 2:8); unconcerned with living a separate and holy life, spiritually and physically from the world; serving mammon most days; not thinking of your sin and its offensiveness to God; not examining yourself whether or not you have a true faith, believe in the true Christ, and believe a true Gospel; or are ok with disregarding some of God's commands? If so, then God has a word for you:

Rev 3:16 - "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

God is an extremist, and those that are His should be too -- in their spiritual lives and beliefs, and in how they live their earthly lives in obedience unto Him.

-- David