fbpx

Prayer & Praise Monday – September 30, 2013

 Prayer&PraiseMondayGraphic2

Good morning, Prayer Warriors!

We missed getting the prayer requests up last week and so this week we’ve got a TON! We praise God for the opportunity to lift these up to the throne of God’s grace together this week. I know i say it a lot, but it truly is a privilege to get to pray and to be a part of God’s work in the lives of our friends and customers.

Here is a quick word from the Psalms to focus our hearts today:

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
(Psalm 19:14 NIV)

Let’s begin with a praise:

• Praise the Lord for His miracle gifts of Cole and Ramona! Cole is pictured in the top photos and Ramona is in the bottom two photos:

ColeandRamona

These beautiful, tiny twins were born to Molly’s cousin, Amanda, and her husband, Chris. They came far earlier than their due date – about 9 weeks early, actually! Weighing in at just over 2 pounds each, there was potential for many, many complications! God, in His mercy, delivered two very healthy babies who have been gaining weight and strength over the past week and are making great progress! Please pray for Amanda’s healing and for both Amanda and Chris as they juggle home life and their long visits in the NICU as they wait for the babies to come home.

• And another BIG praise from Karen, who we’ve been praying for while she’s been on her mission trip to Tanzania. She returned last week and just emailed me today with such an encouraging report. I was going to summarize, but I think it is best said in Karen’s own words. Skim if you need to, but I think you will be blessed by hearing how God used your prayers to impact Karen and the amazing women of Africa:

Your prayers were felt the entire time I was in Africa but oh how His power filled me the day of the Women’s Seminar.  God woke me up at 3 am and I prayed straight for 3 hours – then slipped back to sleep for an hour and then leaped out of bed ready to go.  I spoke in the morning and shared my story of not being able to have children and how God healed the hurt in my heart by calling me to pray for the babies of Babyline.  This was in a small and very poor village called Kamala.  To everyone’s surprise a small group of Muslin women who have never attended any function with Hope of the Nations arrived and sat on the front two rows.  I could see their eyes glued to me and one even openly wept when I spoke of my feelings of shame and hurt for not having a child. In their culture not having children is like being cursed and they had never heard of the God who can comfort and bring meaning to a woman who never has a child.  After I spoke, I gave an invitation to come forward and pray and be prayed over and two thirds of the women attending rushed to the front.  In Africa when we pray – everyone prays out loud at the same time.  It is so moving and there I was surrounded by women praying, weeping and holding up their hands to God.  Next Happiness, the woman interpreting for me invited women to come forward and share what they received from my talk.  Several spoke about the wonder of praying for their children.  One woman who looked ready to deliver any minute gave a passionate call to all of the other women to pray for their children.  Another shared her inability to have children and now was filled with hope that God could use her too in some special way.  I am in awe of these women, they have the greatest faith in God and I know that in response to this invitation from the Spirit to pray for their children there will be no stopping them. My talk naturally led into the sharing of the gospel for as children are “a” gift from God, which means it is only one of many gifts and in my case He chose not to bless me with that gift but Jesus is the one gift everyone can receive.  My Mom was to speak during the afternoon and I wondered if we should reverse our speeches but God impressed on us to stay with our first choice.  It turned out that the Muslin women all had to leave at noon to attend a funeral and so God ensured that they would hear the “gift” of salvation in Jesus.

Karen ended her email with, “I told them of you and your prayers for them and they were deeply touched.  Many of them asked me to take their love back to you and let you know that they are praying for their “sisters” in America.”

How amazing is that?? As someone who has (thus far) not had the privilege of doing much international traveling, I love being reminded of how small God’s world is when we are a part of the body of Christ. Let’s pray this week for the African believers that were encouraged by Karen’s talk and also pray for those African women who don’t know Christ or who may have just made a decision to follow Him for the first time. To God be ALL the glory for His work in Tanzania these past few weeks!

• We have a new request for prayer from a customer named Heidi. Heidi attended the Choose Joy event we got to be a part of back in February of this year. Heidi and her husband have struggled through the challenges of infertility and have been brought to a point where they are both in the process of adoption, as well as pregnant with their first child! I’ll let Heidi share her request in her own words:

Please pray that my husband, Alan, and I are completely surrendered to the plan of our good God and that we don’t fall prey to the temptations of worry and bitterness as we seek to adopt our foster son whose mother is still actively working to get him back (but unlikely to succeed), and plan for the January birth of our daughter who has Down Syndrome per an amniocentesis. Please ask God to fully heal my husband who had shoulder surgery last week, and for God to provide for our financial needs as my husband is self-employed and unlikely will be able to work until mid-December. Lastly, ask God to please resolve the uncertainty of my own current job and either provide stability where I am or a new job who will be understanding about my pregnancy.

• Please continue to pray with me for Meredith for complete deliverance- mentally, emotionally, and physically. You may recall that Meredith has Lyme disease and has had heart tissue damage as a result. Our God is the Great Physician! Let’s continue to pray for complete healing for Meredith as she battles this aggressive disease.

• Throne of Grace’s, Tami, would love prayer as she has gone back to work part-time in the computer gaming industry where she was formerly employed before coming to work for Throne of Grace. The company she worked for as a sound design engineer needs her help for a few months in order to finish up the game she was working on before she quit. You may not know this, but Tami is a VERY busy lady! She has one of the biggest servant hearts I know and gives generously of her time and energy for work at church, to care for the needs of friends and family, and of course, in her (invaluable!) work for Throne of Grace. Please pray that Tami will be able to find the time and energy to fit in the extra hours of work and trust the Lord’s wisdom for balancing it all. She will still be working for ToG, but not quite as many hours a week, so please also pray that we will trust the Lord to faithfully provide for ToG’s needs, as well – especially since we have just entered out BUSIEST season of the year! 🙂

• Finally, we have an update to a prayer request we first posted back in July of this year for Mo and his wife, Krissy. You can read more background HERE. Mo is 31 and has follicular lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After completing his medical residency at Duke, Mo was set to become a family physician there. Now, he is beginning chemotherapy instead. Please pray that the Lord will grant success to Mo’s doctors and that the cancer will be eradicated. Pray that God will use this battle to draw Mo and Krissy closer to Him. Pray that Mo will have the strength and energy needed to both fight the cancer and endure.

Phew! I’m sure thankful we have a BIG God, because there are some big needs there! I’m rejoicing in our great praises this week and holding on to the promises of Scripture as I pray over these requests.

If you are praying with us this week, or even want to leave a special prayer for any of these needs, would you leave a comment below?? I know it would be a great blessing to these individuals and families…

By His Grace and for His Glory,molly

Birthday Adventures

My husband, Kyle, and I were both born at inopportune times of the year. My birthday is September 1 – it’s near or on Labor Day and is usually the hottest time of the year here in CA. Kyle’s birthday is way worse, however – it’s January 2!  It’s so hard to make a birthday feel special right after Christmas and New Year’s!  Plus, everything is super crowded and the weather is usually freezing cold – or, at least cold for CA! 😉

So, needless to say, the crowds and bad weather at both times of year usually make going out for a fun birthday activity less than ideal.  We’ve had a few birthday fails over the years, but our lowest point was definitely the “Disneyland Corndog Debacle”.  Kyle had a craving for a Disneyland corndog, but that year his birthday fell on the last weekend of Christmas break.  It was super cold and so crowded that we couldn’t even get into the park!  We went elsewhere in search of a fantastic corndog, but with no success!  That sad day was only redeemed a couple days later when some awesome friends helped me surprise Kyle with corndogs they made from scratch! Delicious!

As you may have guessed, however, that experience forever changed our birthday planning.  From then on, we tended to either stay home and cook or only venture out for short trips to unusual and hopefully, not crowded, locales. In the end, this became a blessing in disguise. We got creative – doing cooking challenges and always trying something new.  We even learned how to make some of our favorite meals on birthdays!

One of the most interesting came from one of Kyle’s birthdays where every meal had to include chocolate and peanut butter.  We did some research and developed a recipe for a chicken mole, which fit the bill and, despite the odd combo of ingredients, came out amazing!

1_ChickenMole

I’ll have to share the recipe for it sometime 😉

This year for my birthday, however, it was so hot that I didn’t feel like doing much cooking, so we did a little something different instead.  I’m the designated baker in our family, but rather than bake my own birthday cake (and turn on the oven!), I thought it would be fun to scope out a yummy bakery we’d never been to before.  After a quick search online, we found the Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa.

2_BlackmarketBakery_Front

Here’s a link to their website in case you’d like to check it out! http://www.blackmarketbakery.com/index.php/home

My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so after church we ventured up to the bakery for lunch and an awesome dessert.  We both had one of their amazing grilled cheese sandwiches on house-made bread.  I had one with cheddar, bacon, and roasted red pepper on cheddar shallot bread.  Kyle had one with bacon and American cheese on their Dutch crunch bread. They were delicious!  We both devoured them so quickly, we forgot to take pictures!

Then, it was time for dessert!  We got a couple tarts to share – one had chocolate, shortbread, and crème brûlée, while the other had chocolate and caramel (also devoured before a picture was taken…).  They were so good, we went back for more to take home – 2 more crème brûlée tarts and a lemon raspberry one that also looked fantastic!

3_BlackmarketBakery_tarts

It was definitely an insane dessert-splurging day!

Next, my super sweet hubby came shopping with me for my birthday present – a new pair of boots.  I’ve spent the last year trying to find a pair of riding boots that would suit me.  No matter what I ordered, Kyle vetoed pair after pair.  I’m only 5’4”, so trying to find a pair of knee high boots that looked right on me hadn’t been easy…

Both of us aren’t usually big fans of shopping, unless it’s done online, but after so many attempts, Kyle suggested we go to the mall and look together.  What a sweetie!

Here’s what we found!

4_Boots

As you can see, I didn’t end up with knee high riding boots in the end, but we both liked these and thought they fit both my shorter stature and my style 🙂

So, all in all, it was a great birthday!  And, the best part, of course, was spending the whole day with Kyle!  That’s what I look forward to most every year!  Although, the desserts and boots were pretty awesome, too 😉

Let us know if you have any fun birthday traditions – or tips for beating crowds at busy times of year!  We’re always open to new birthday ideas!

Love,tami

Tomato Salsa

Last month I wrote about how to grow your own tomatoes.  If you missed that post, check it out HERE.

As of this month, my two little plants have produced over 20 tomatoes!  So, with all these tomatoes, I need to find a good use for them!  Of course, I can always chop them up and freeze them to use in sauces later, but I’d also like to try and eat a lot of them fresh out of the garden!

So, I asked Molly to help me brainstorm a few ideas, and we decided I could make some tomato salsa.  Tomato salsa is one of Molly’s favorite things, so I wonder where she got the idea! 😉

Here’s my recipe for fresh Tomato Salsa:

You’ll need the following ingredients:

1_Ingredients

2 large or 3 small to medium tomatoes

1/8 red onion

1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves

1/2 to 1 jalapeño (depending on how spicy you want the salsa)

juice of 1 to 1 1/2 limes, depending on how juicy your limes are

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp regular salt)

 

First, begin to prep your ingredients.

Rough chop the tomatoes and onion and remove most of the stems from the cilantro (to end up with around 1/4 cup of leaves):

2_RoughChoppedVeggies

Next, rough chop your jalapeño.  I recommend wearing plastic, food safe (not powdered!) gloves for this step as the essential oils from the jalapeño can stay on your hands for hours – even after washing them with soap!  If you touch your eye with jalapeño essential oils on your fingers, you’ll feel like you just maced yourself, so wearing gloves is really important!  (If you don’t have any gloves, but you’d still like to forge ahead with the salsa recipe, you can also cut up the jalapeño with a knife and fork or make use of any other method that will keep you from touching the jalapeño directly.)

So, once you’re properly gloved-up, rough chop your jalapeño:

 3_RoughChoppedJalapeno

For mild salsa, cut the jalapeño in half, remove the seeds and ribs before chopping it, and only use 1/2 of the jalapeño in the salsa.  Alternately, if you like your salsa spicy, you can add more of the jalapeño – up to the entire pepper.  Or, for extra spicy salsa, leave some to all of the seeds and ribs.  Most of the heat in a jalapeño is in the seeds and ribs, so leaving them in will really give it a kick!

Next, add all the ingredients to a food processor (starting with the juice of only 1 lime):

4_IngredientsInFoodPro

Pulse at least 3 or 4 times (1 second pulses) to more finely chop and combine the ingredients.  If the salsa still isn’t diced finely enough for you, continue pulsing until everything is as small as desired.

5_IngredientsChopped

Finally, taste the salsa to see if you’ve added enough lime juice.  If not, use a spatula or large spoon to mix in a little more at a time, tasting the salsa after each addition.

Transfer your salsa to a small to medium serving bowl.  Serve immediately, or to chill the salsa, refrigerate it for at least a couple hours before serving.

6_FinishedSalsa_alt

Makes 8-10 servings.

Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite salsa recipe?  Or, do you have another favorite way to prepare and eat fresh tomatoes?  We’d love to hear all about it!

Love,tami