Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Favorite Authors Tag

Who is your all-time favorite author and why?
The Holy Spirit and hence all the authors He used to write the Bible. =)

Who was your first favorite author and why? Do you still consider him/her to be among your favorites?
Nancy Rue, she wrote very adventurous historical fiction from a Christian perspective. Her books were the spark to my interest in American history. I haven't read any of her books for probably seven years, so I don't know if I would still enjoy them as much.

Who is the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?

John Newton, I read a book of his letters here recently and was greatly blessed by his simple, straight forward way of teaching truth.

If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth?
Besides the above:

There are probably more that I can't think of right now.

The rules:

Link to the person that tagged you.
Post the rules somewhere in your blog.
Answer the question.
Tag six other people in your post.
Let the people tagged know they've been chosen in a comment on their blog.

I'll have to think about who to tag, it won't be six people though. Sorry for breaking the rules. (=

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Five Things I Love (to do)

I have several things that I love so I thought I would put a twist on the list and do things I love to do (especially when I am under stress).

1. Pray and Read God's word.
This week I have had a little trial and this has been my life line. God is so good to me.

2. Make something with my hands.
Sewing, crochet, card making, knitting, cross-stitch, ect., these all bring me an great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

3. Play the piano.
My favorite way to relax. I love to improvise hymns and play hymn arrangements. I enjoy classical pieces as well.

4. Fellowship with like-minded people.
I always come away refreshed and encouraged after spending time with other families of like mind. What a blessing!

5. Ride my bike or walk in beautiful surroundings.
Usually this is with my dad. Three or four nights a week we go for a bike ride on the back roads around our house. West Michigan is a beautiful place to live and right now it is in full leaf and bloom. I always return home feeling rejuvenated.

Now I get to tag four people to list their own five things they love (excluding family).

Emily at A Heart of Praise
Amy at Under Southern Skies
Emily (She isn't blogging yet, but she told me she would soon. So this is for her when she gets online.)=)
Rebecca at By His Grace and for His Glory

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The School

This poem has been a great blessing to me and greatly encouraged my heart. I hope you shall be blessed by it.

We are scholars, nothing but scholars,
Little children at school,
Learning our daily lessons,
Subject to law and rule.

Life is the school, and the Master
Is the man Jesus Christ,
We are His charity scholars,
His the teaching unpriced.

Slowly we learn, all His patience
Is hourly put to the test;
But often the slowest and dullest,
He pities and loves the best.

Still, we sit at the feet of our Master,
Very low at His feet.
Study the lessons He sets us,
Sometimes lesson repeat.

Some of the lessons are pleasant,
Pleasant, and easy to learn;
The page of our task-book simple,
Simple and easy to turn.

But anon the reading is painful,
Studied mid sighing and tears;
We stammer and falter over it,
Do not learn it for years.

Yet that is no falt of the Master;
All His lessons are good;
Only our childish folly
Leaves them misunderstood.

And still we go on, learning,
And learning to love our school;
Learning to love our Master,
Learning to love His rule.

And by and by, we children
Shall grow into perfect men,
And the loving, patient Master
From school will dismiss us then.

No more tedious lessons,
No more sighing and tears,
But a bound into home immortal,
And blessed, blessed years!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bread Tips

As I was making bread today I was thinking about how many little tips I have gleaned to help improve my whole wheat bread. I know many struggle with trying to get their 100% wheat bread to rise and have good texture, so I thought you might be interested in some of my simple techniques.

1. Use hard white wheat flour.
Most wheat flours you buy at the store are red wheat; some prefer this, but the white wheat doesn't have as strong a flavor and makes more pleasant tasting and lighter colored bread. If you have a wheat mill you can buy your own berries to grind, if not King Arther brand sells a whole white wheat flour (not white flour, white wheat flour).

2. Use a hard fat.
Butter, lard, chicken fat, bacon grease, ect. are all good. My favorite is chicken fat, I skim it off of my chicken stock and it makes delicious bread. Just be sure not to add any seasoning to your stock before skimming the fat off or your bread will have that flavor (though bay leaf does add an interesting flavor to bread).

3. Use potato water for your liquid.
This can be water you have saved from boiling potatoes or water with a little potato blended into it ( I keep some potato chunks in my freezer so I just have to thaw it and blend into my water when I make bread). Just be sure to add it to the measuring cup before measuring the water so you don't end up with to much liquid.

4.Knead until gluten is developed.
Usually this takes about 10 minutes. To test pinch off a golf ball size piece and hold up to the light. Pull gently until you can see the light through it, if it breaks before this it isn't fully developed, knead more and test again.

I hope these tips have helped you. My bread recipe can be found here.