I don’t understand

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I don’t understand

Last night I took my thirteen year old daughter and her friend to an event called Winterjam.  This was my third (or fourth) time attending Winterjam as I had gone previously with her older sisters. The event is a multi-artist Christian music show which features top recording artists, especially those that would appeal to teens.  In the middle of the event, one of it’s organizers stood up to explain the purpose:  “To worship God together.”  Included in the event was a clear gospel presentation and a testimony by a man named Tony Nolan.

Tony spoke in a way that was relevant to teens, using social media illustrations to portray how to (and not to) relate to God.  The event also included a plea for attendees to sponsor orphaned children until they can meet their “forever families.”  Volunteers from the audience were sought for training in preventing teen suicide. Youth workers attended a short session before the show. An offering was taken, some of which would go to our local rescue mission.   Finally, artists and speakers alike lifted up the name of Jesus in prayer.

The one bad apple of the night was the protesters positioned outside.  They held up signs questioning the faith of attendees (or had their children do so).  One man was yelling through a loud speaker as the crowds filed toward the door.  There were about 7 of them if I counted right, shouting bible verses and condemnations outside for about an hour as the arena was being filled.  I don’t understand.  I have seen and heard this group before when attending concerts. Their words are always that of condemnation.  I’m certain they didn’t come inside to hear the message.

What I wish they could see is that the music draws in teens (and adults) who might never set foot inside a church because they fear they might meet people like, well, THEM–the protestors!  I wish they could understand that almost no one attending the concert thinks that being a follower of Jesus is about listening to loud music.  That is certainly not the message that is given inside the arena.

You see, music is just an avenue to bring people to Christ.  In our culture people don’t often visit a church out of curiosity.  They might go to a concert.  Music is a universal language, and we can use it to influence people.  I don’t understand the need of some to condemn. I have written previously of the need to build others up in God’s kingdom rather than to tear them down.  I pray the three young boys that were present with their fathers will not learn hatred and condemnation, but will learn to reach out to people in love.

Let me leave you with one of the songs sung by Jeremy Camp last night.  Well done Jeremy!

Rice Chex Dessert

Mom’s Rice Chex® Dessert

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One more G-free dessert recipe from the holidays, then I will return to healthier foods.

While preparing the below ingredients, soften 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream.

Melt 1 stick butter

Into butter, blend:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chopped nuts

2 cups crushed Rice Chex®

Press 2/3 of mixture in bottom of 9×13 pan.

Spoon softened ice cream over mix, and top with remaining 1/3 of mixture.  Freeze until ice cream is hardened again, but let soften slightly before serving.  ENJOY!!

Chai Sweet Potato

This was a nice healthy way to enjoy one of my favorite tastes: Chai!

Peel and slice a large sweet potato into 1/2 inch coins. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with a mixture of equal parts of the following:

cardamom

cinnamon

clove

If you have it available, a squeeze of fresh fennel juice will add a sweet touch.  You can experiment with nutmeg, black pepper, and ginger as well.

Bake at 350 degrees, 45-60 minutes.

Nutty Quinoa Breakfast Bake

One look at this breakfast bake makes my mouth water, and the smell is even more heavenly!

Last summer I harvested an overabundance of butternut squash.  What to do, what to do…

I ended up baking, scooping out, and freezing a bunch of it, and I have had so much fun using it since that time.  I will replant this year for sure!  I have used it in all my favorite pumpkin recipes (shh! don’t tell the relatives), and I have incorporated it into some new recipes as well.

Here is how I made a delicious nutty quinoa breakfast bake:

1 c. quinoa, boiled in 2 1/2 c water until absorbed

1 1/2 c butternut squash puree

1/2 c coconut milk

1 c chopped pecans, and 2 dozen pecan halves

1 t cinnamon

dash of salt

1 t nutmeg

1/2 t ground cloves

1/2 t ginger

2 t vanilla–a patient brought me a bottle of the “real thing” from Mexico, and it is Wow!

1/4 c. brown sugar

2 T flax-seed meal

Layer 1/3 of the quinoa in the bottom of a greased bread pan.  Follow with 1/3 of the butternut squash, and 1/3 of the chopped pecans.  Mix the rest of the ingredients (saving the pecan halves for topping) in a small saucepan and mix while heating through.  Layer this over the pecan layer, and then arrange pecan halves on top to decorate.  Heat through.  I used 350 degrees 20 minutes.  Enjoy!!  This is a sweet treat, but full of protein, omega 3s, beta carotene, and other nutrients!