Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adopted!!! Ephesians 1

As I sit to write this blog, I am reminded of the fact that my daughter will turn 14 this Friday!  Where did the time go?  It seems like only yesterday I had her cuddled in my arms with feelings of overwhelming love and fear all at the same time.  As a new mom, we all wonder how we could ever love anyone more and question how we will ever be able to protect our children and care for them the way God has intended for us to.  For myself, there were even greater emotions as I cradled my newborn and wondered who would ever "choose" us. 

You see, I was a single mom setting out to raise a little girl on my own.  There were obvious, overwhelming questions that I struggled with.  But God had even greater plans for us than I could have ever imagined!  He sent us the most wonderful husband / father that any girl(s) could ever ask for.  We were so blessed to have a man who chose us!  Who loves us and accepts us unconditionally! 

Several years ago, while driving down the road, I explained this to my daughter.  I shared how much her daddy loved her and chose to be her daddy; the same way that God chooses us to be His very own!  In Ephesians, Paul explains to us that as Christians, we will receive the same inheritance from God our Father as Jesus!  Just as my daughter will inherit the same blessing as her siblings, we will gain the same inheritance as Jesus!  Can you even begin to wrap your mind around that thought, dear friend? 

How about you?  Do you feel neglected?  Like no one loves you?  Do you feel lonely?  Like no one understands where you've been or the hurt you've felt?  Do you feel abandoned?  The ones you thought loved you and cared for you have left you for bigger or better dreams?  You are not alone!  I dare say we all have had these emotions at one time or another.  But God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins.  He made a way for us to be connected to him!  How did He chose you?  Do you remember the very day that you were "adopted" into the Kingdom of Heaven? 

I'll never forget the day the judge ruled and the decision was final for my daughter to legally be adopted by my husband.  It was a day of celebration!  Do you vividly remember the day your name was changed and you became a child of God?  If not, you can.  Today can be the beginning of your celebration! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Bars

It's October, and  Fall is in full swing.  With the chipper mornings and beautiful afternoons, it is perfect weather for traditional home cooking.  If you like pumpkin pie and cheesecake, you'll LOVE this recipe!  It is a wonderful combination of the two. 

Pumpkin Pie Bars
1 box yellow cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines cake mixes.)
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 (16-oz.) box powder sugar
1 stick butter (room temperature)
3 eggs
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Mix all three crust ingredients together with an electric mixer until a stiff dough is formed.  Press dough evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.  Using the same bowl (no need to wash), beat the cream cheese, powder sugar, and butter until creamy.  Add the eggs (one at a time), then add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.  Mix until fully combined.  Pour over the pressed crust and bake for 40-45 minutes or until done.  You want the center to be a little gooey, so don't over bake!  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. 
Don't cut these too big.  They are rich and filling. 

For an added touch, you can sprinkle the serving platter with cinnamon before placing the bars on it.  Then garnish each bar with whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon as well.  Then they will be just as beautiful as they are delicious!  (You can leave the whipped topping off of mine.)