Friday, January 21, 2011

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha - Contemporvant Worship Gathering

I have to admit 2 things.
1.  I did not find this on my own.  It was sent to me by a fellow pastor and friend.
2.  I have experienced these kinds of worship gatherings... and liked it!

I have to say with the video producer that this is just plain fun.  we are all doing our best to honor God in our own circumstances and sometimes, a little parody helps us examine our progress.

Sit back.  Relax.  Laugh.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Thanksgiving Recipes - Pumpkin Cream Pie

Pumpkin Cream Pie

  • This one is too easy and it is great for those guests who don't really care for the texture of custard, but really want the traditional Thanksgiving flavor.  Be sure to give this one a try.  It's too easy not to!  If you feel like this little recipe is just too far from scratch, feel free to make homemade whipped cream in place of the whipped topping.  You'll feel much more like Martha that way!

1 1/2 cups cold milk
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

    • Combine milk, pie filling mix, pumpkin, spices, and whipped topping in a deep, narrow-bottom bowl. Beat at lowest speed of an electric mixer for about 1 minute. Pour filling into cooled pie shell

    • Chill until set, about 3 hours.

    My Thanksgiving Recipes - Sausage & Apple Stuffing

    Sausage Apple Mushroom Stuffing
    This recipe came out of desperation.  My mother made the most perfect traditional turkey stuffing with Rainbow brand bread crumbs, onion, and celery.  When she died I tried several time to recreate the magic... to no avail.  So, one Thanksgiving when I was cooking for my wife's family and knew there was nothing to compare it to, I tried to concoct my own recipe with the help of my mother-in-law.  This is what we discovered together and just LOVE.

    2 lb. sausage meat (Don't be afraid to use your favorite specialty sausage - not Italian or any that includes cheese.  I'm using apple artichoke this year!)
    2 c. minced onion
    2 c. pared, cored, diced apples (I like tart apples)
    1 cup of chunked mushrooms (I like baby bella for more presence in the final product)
    6 cups of stale sourdough bread cubes.  (Overnight on a tray is enough. Once I toasted them in the broiler for just a few minutes after being out all night.  Yummmmm!)
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. sage
    1/2 tsp. thyme
    1/2 tsp. marjoram
    2 bay leaves
    1/2 tsp. curry powder (yes really!)

    Rub cavity of turkey with salt.
    Break sausage into small pieces and fry in large skillet over moderate heat about 5 minutes. Then, before the sausage is fully cooked, add onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes on low medium heat. Add apples, and mushrooms turning over the mix for a few minutes as you add all the remaining seasonings. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and stir into your bread crumbs.   I like to let these ingredients sit together and meld for a couple of hours before I stuff and roast my turkey.

    (Resist the temptation to add more liquid to this mixture.  The apples and mushrooms will continue to release their moisture as they cook.)

    If you would like you can stir in a 1/2 cup of melted butter (only to the portion you are going to stuff into the bird) for a richer flavor.  Stuff turkey loosely and sew or skewer neck and body cavity.  (Oh, make sure one of the bay leaves makes it into the turkey.)

    Rub skin of your turkey with fat, butter, or oil. Place in oven. Roast at 320 degrees uncovered 4 to 4 1/2 hours for a 12-14 lb. turkey, basting occasionally. Makes 10-12 servings.

    To cook the remaining stuffing, bring about 1/2 cup of chicken broth to a brisk boil in a large pan.  Add 2 T. butter.  Then, remove from heat and pour in the remaining stuffing and stir constantly until all moisture is evenly distributed.  Cover and let sit for about 30 minutes before serving.

    Remove both bay leaves before you serve this dressing.

    My Thanksgiving Recipes - Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple

    3 lg. fresh sweet potatoes
    6 tbsp. butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 c. pineapple, crushed and drained
    1/2 cup candied pecans, broken into small pieces
    2-3 cups marshmallows (optional)

    Bake sweet potatoes the night before your meal and allow to cool completely.  (I bake at 375 for a couple of hours.  (Be careful not to over bake.  I like to put my fork in all the way to the center but not have it slide out quite so easily.  I bake the potatoes on the rack with a rimmed cookie sheet on the rack below to keep my oven clean.)

    After potatoes are cool, peel them and cut into halves the long way.  Layer into a greased 9x13 casserole and sprinkle with brown sugar. (If you like, you can sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon on top at this point.  You may want to do this if you are going to opt not to use candied nuts.) Dot with butter and sprinkle with candied pecans.  Bake in a moderate oven (325 degrees) for 30 minutes. Last 10 minutes of baking, top with  marshmallows, also pecan halves and pineapple spears if desired. Bake until marshmallows are melted and golden. Makes 8-10 servings.

    If you don't have time to cool potatoes completely, you could partially cool them, peel and slice, layer into pan, sprikle with sugar and then marshmallows.  Then put the pinapple and nuts on top and bake the whole thing for only 10 minutes in a hot oven (375 degrees) on the lower rack. 

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Foot-In-Mouth Disease

    Man I hate it when words come out of my mouth and say something that I don't mean.  This usually happens when I am nervous.  And I am usually nervous when I'm trying to impress someone.  I think that is the real sting of foot-in-mouth.  It materializes causing embarrassment at just the moment when you want the polar opposite to happen.

    A couple of weeks ago I had a HUGE foot in mouth moment.  I was sharing the epic story in San Bernardino at the missions banquet of the church that I once pastored.  The current pastor gave me the place of honor in the speaking line-up (which I was not expecting).  He then introduced with incredible grace and generosity (which is always embarrassing to me - it's very difficult for me to receive thanks or compliments publicly).  Following the introduction, embarrassment rose up to completely cloud my mind and coincidentally my children entered the room from the childcare facility causing me to wonder if they had been misbehaving.  Then out of my mouth slipped a coy response to one of the pastor's comments that instead of sounding light and encouraging, sounded slight and critical.  I wanted to shrink back into my chair and disappear.  However, I had to make my presentation and do it clearly within 3-5 minutes.

    Well, I think I took about 23 minutes to talk my way into lucid thought again and then finally resorted to telling the 3 stories of epic members that most clearly represented the epic mission.  Those stories restored order and foundation to the moment, and when they were done I made a quick exit.  On Sunday morning I had the chance to redeem myself with another brief presentation and I think I managed to avoid a relapse.

    Thanks to San Bernardino Community Church for 4 1/2 years of faithful financial support of the epic mission.  We are so thankful for your investment and will continue to guard that investment by fervently pursuing the mission God called us here for.  Thank you pastor Sam for your kindness and love.  Thank you for your faithful shepherding of a flock that continues to mean a great deal to me.  I honor and respect you for your faithful service to God in San Bernardino for the world-wide cause of Christ.

    (Why didn't those words come out of my mouth under pressure?)

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