Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blog Post Roundup

A few notable posts for you to enjoy:

Time Alone @ Everyday Grace

Moments That Changed My Life @ The Bishop's Wife

Christmas Cards and RACK'D @ Bits of Everything (Read the RACK'd story at the end of the post.)

Spiritual Lessons from a Toddler @ The Better Mom

God Could Change Things if He Knew it was Best for Us @ Doorposts of Your House

Really Neat Bookcase @ Nerd Quirks (It has a hidden message.  Look carefully.)

Not Letting the "ToDos" Steal the Day @  Happy Homemaker, PhD

The Gifts You Don't Know You Want @ Paul Chappell
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Post-Christmas Week

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas. We had a great time at my mom's down in South Mississippi. Gracie is old enough now that she can remember people between visits.  She had a wonderful time visiting with relatives.

When we first arrived at my grandparent's house, she went looking for "Papa" (my Grandpa) who was outside trying to find Smartie, the donkey.  She enjoyed playing piano and reading books with "Ganh-MA" (my mom).  She also was very sweet with Mema (my Grandma), giving her Baby Ruth (Grandma's baby doll) to hold.

My Grandma, 90 years old, has Alzheimer's and doesn't do much more than sleep and sit on her recliner.  She came to table and ate with us, for the first time since we were there Thanksgiving.  I think she really enjoys having people around.  She was quite lucid and looked very peaceful when we saw her before we left to come back home.

My uncle Steve who is a chaplain in the Army and will be retiring in a few months was also there.  Gracie got him to push her around in Grandma's wheelchair and play with Grandpa's puppy.  Such fun memories!

My Grandpa read the Christmas Story from the Bible on Christmas Eve with some commentary.  That was a very special time.  We also opened one gift which was our Christmas nightgowns/pajamas.  Robert's and mine were the same ones we got last year (Gracie is too little to notice or care), but Gracie's was brand new.

I had intended on getting up by 8 AM on Christmas morning so that we could have time to open presents before getting ready for church.  My mom's church was only having a morning service at 11 AM.  Unfortunately, because I stayed up late the night before, I overslept some.  Actually, Gracie woke up at 6 AM.  Robert got her up, but then I brought her back to bed with me.  We got up at about 8:20.  All we had time for was to do our Christmas stockings.  I do Christmas stockings for me and Robert because I still think they're fun.  After church, we came back home and opened up our wrapped presents.  My mom was cooking Christmas dinner which was ready about 2:30.  We had to take it all down to my grandparents' (just down the road).  As soon as we got there, my Grandpa took out his pocket knife, ready to open presents!  Robert laughed and said, "Now I know where Ava and Sylvia (my mother) get it from, ready to open presents!"  Our dinner was really good.  In fact, no one (except my little picky eater, Gracie) left any scraps on our plates.

We had a wonderful time, but it was good to come back home to our own bed (and pillows).  I've been busy this week catching up on laundry and doing a number of errands.  I knew beforehand that this week would be like that, so I declared it "No Brainer Week" in the kitchen.  That's when I fix things that do not require extra thinking or concentration like chili dogs, oven fish (the kind in a bag that you just throw in the oven), tacos, and pizza.  I may also do Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese.

I took down the Christmas tree and decorations on Tuesday.  Several years ago I decided to put all Christmas-related stuff in red or green plastic boxes.  This has been a great way to quickly find all of my Christmas stuff.  This year, I decided to make labels to go on the outside of the boxes, so that we can know what's in them.

A few of my Christmas boxes.  I use the pink duct tape to designate "If this box gets dropped, somebody's gonna cry" AKA breakable items.  The thing under the sheet is Gracie's new play kitchen which she had not yet seen when I took these pictures.

My new Elf on the Shelf approves of my new labels.

More boxes in the Garage. Only one of my Christmas boxes is not red or green: the white box which has Christmas Card Supplies in it.

Robert has the job of putting away the yard stuff.  I may need to get another box, not sure yet.

I typed up the labels in Pages (which Mac's version of a word processor), printed them out, cut them to size, had them laminated at the local teacher store (cheapest place in town), and put them on with clear packing tape.

When I had the labels laminated, I saw that Knowledge Tree was having a 60% off Christmas sale which included The Elf on the Shelf dolls!  I was excited when I saw this because I'd been wanting to get one, but didn't want to pay $30!  I bought the Elf doll for $5.46!  I still don't have the book, but I'm thinking about getting it from the library and then using it to make my own version of the book.  We do Santa, because it's fun, but I tell Gracie that it's a fun game we play.  Basically, I want her to grow up knowing what's true and what's false.  I don't want her to have any questions in her mind or be able to accuse us of lying!

It wasn't until last night (Wednesday) that I had a chance to put together Gracie's play kitchen which was her main Christmas gift.  Robert was a big help in clipping the parts apart with his wire clippers.  I spent 2-1/2 hours putting it together.  This was not my first choice (or even second or third choice) for which kitchen to give her, but I'm not unhappy with the choice.  Mainly because Gracie really likes it.  See the pictures below.

Gotta check the oven (actually the dishwasher)!

She loves hanging her cooking utensils on the hooks.

Daddy gave her a soda to put in the fridge.  I better not find her milk cups in there!

A little bit of rearranging to include her table.  The kitchen will stay in the living room for now.

We still have one more Christmas event which is Christmas with my in-laws in a few weeks.  We're looking forward to seeing them.  I'm glad that Gracie will have the opportunity to play with her cousins.

Happy New Year, Everyone!
May 2012 be the Best Year Ever!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This is a beautiful story about two sisters and a brother who became orphaned and separated from each other as young children. The oldest, Maelle Gallagher, becomes a rather eccentric apprentice to a traveling photographer and has her name changed to the unconventional Mike Watts. The middle child was taken in by a couple who had lost their son the previous year. During a rough financial time a couple of years later, they put him in an orphanage, and he was then sent to live with a cruel rancher. He ran away and changed his name to Matthew Tucker. The youngest, Molly, was reared as the daughter of a wealthy railroad tycoon and had no knowledge of her birth family until her foster parents died and the man she thought was her brother kicked her out of the only home she knew.

How their lives differed and how their lives eventually reintersected is a beautiful picture of God's grace and demonstrates His directing in people's lives.

I read this book (in paperback) a couple of years ago, loved it, loaned it to my SIL who also loved it. It showed up as a free book on Kindle a while back. I read it again and loved it just as much. I highly recommend this book!
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Transform Christmas Cards into Gift Tags

Several years ago, I came up with a way to reuse the Christmas cards that I get from family and friends.  I transform them into gift tags to be used the following year.

Materials needed:
Christmas cards
a large paper punch in a design of your choice (I got mine from Michael's using a 50% off coupon)
single hole punch

Go through your cards and select the ones that have a portion about the same size as your punch that would make a good graphic for a gift tag.
At the edges of the card, mark the approximate center of this graphic.  Use these marks to line up with the center of the punch.  I marked my center with two lines on the punch, one to the left and one below.
Punch out the graphic.
Use a single hole punch to punch a hole in the new gift tag.  You can attach the gift tag with ribbon.  Alternatively, you can simply tape the gift tag onto the gift.

Here are the gift tags I made with this year's cards.  Not all of them came out exactly like I wanted, but I think they are cute nonetheless.
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Fun

Gracie hands me a Jingled treat bag.
In some ways, this has been somewhat of a difficult month.  I've had lots of ideas and plans of things to do for the Christmas season and was not able to do many of them.

However, Gracie and I have done some fun things.

One thing we did was "Jingle" the neighbors with a treat bag containing microwave popcorn covered with a decorative wrapper that said something like "Popping in to wish you a Merry Christmas" and the printable that you see in the picture.  We took a walk (OK, I took a walk and Gracie rode in her wagon) around the block and gave out four.  I wish now I'd done 10 or at least most of a box of microwave popcorn.  That'll be for next year.  I haven't looked in the past few days to see if more neighbors have been jingled (the idea is for neighbors to jingle additional neighbors - kind of a snowball effect of Christmas cheer throughout the neighborhood).  A few days ago I didn't even see where any of the four posted their Been Jingled poster.

I made this felt Christmas tree activity.  The idea was modified from a Pinterest find.  I put the tree on a background and added the rope for hanging.  I knew that using Command hooks would not last long with my toddler.

This was VERY easy to make.  I cut out the background to the size I wanted it, put the green felt (which is sparkly - gotta love that!) on top and cut away that which was not a tree, did the same with brown felt for the trunk, and sewed the pieces onto the background.  Lastly, I folded the top and bottom to make a tube for the wooden dowels (for stability) and the rope.

I used the templates that the author of the pin used to make the colored ornaments and the star.  I plan on adding felt presents as well.

In all honesty, Gracie likes taking the ornaments OFF the tree better than putting them on.  She also stuffed the felt ornaments in her doll stroller and pushed them into the dining room (by my computer chair, in fact).  I think next year she will like it better.

Original Source:
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Monday, December 19, 2011

No Other Book: Why the King James Bible is the Preserved Word of God

Picture Source:
As many of you know, this is the 400th anniversary of the Authorized King James Bible.  Our church has been celebrating it all year with different themes each month.

In honor of this milestone, I am posting a paper that I wrote for my Personal Evangelism class at Hyles-Anderson College seven years ago.  I will be making minor changes, mostly grammatical fixes.  Footnotes will be typed at the end of the paper. I hope that you will enjoy reading this and will be blessed by it.

No Other Book:  Why the King James Bible is the Preserved Word of God

"The B-I-B-L-E, Yes, that's the Book for me;
I stand alone on the Word of God;
the B-I-B-L-E!" (1)
Every Sunday, millions of children joyfully sing out this beloved song about the precious Book that gives abundant life to the believer.  Although there is unity in having faith in the Bible, there is also division among Christians as to which Bible is the actual Word of God.  Traditionally the Bible has always meant the King James Bible; however, in the last century, with the advent of many so-called versions of the Bible, the Bible could mean the New International Version, the New American Standard Version, the Living Bible, or a host of any other so-called versions of the Bible.  This paper will confirm that the King James Bible is the Word of God, and that It is the preserved Word of God in the English language.

W. A. Criswell states in his book Why I Preach That the Bible is Literally True that all religion is based on authority. (2)  Without some form of authority, a religion's faith is sheer guesswork.  Simply speaking, in order for religion to have authority, God must somehow reveal Himself to us.  The Bible is that revelation of God. (3)

Dr. Jack Hyles asserted in his book The Blood, The Book, and the Body that logic proves that the Bible is the true "final authority" for Christians; otherwise, one's faith is based on idolatry for considering the church, one's own experience, or human reasoning as final authority is a form of humanism which is idolatry. (4)

The Bible Itself claims to be the Word of God.  In fact, its very tenor is final and assumptive.  From Genesis all the way to Revelation, one may find the following phrases: "Thus saith the Lord"; "Verily, verily I say unto you"; "And God spake"; "The word of the Lord came"; "the word of God"; "the Lord commanded"; and many others.  One will not find any uncertainty anywhere in the Bible that the Scriptures are the very words of God.

Jesus often quoted Old Testament Scripture that His listeners already believed were the words of God.  Luke 24:44 is an excellent example of Jesus reaffirming that the Old Testament not only is the Word of God, but also speaks of Him being the Son of God and the Messiah,
 "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."
The New Testament writers also declare that they are revealing the very words of God.  Paul says in Galatians, "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12)  He further writes in I Thessalonians, ".  . when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of man, but as it is in truth, the word of God. . . " (I Thessalonians 2:13)  Peter said, "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." (I Peter 1:25)

Dr. John R. Rice teaches a very interesting thing about the words of Luke in Luke 1:3 ("It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee. . .").  The phrase "from the very first" is translated from the Greek word anothen which literally means "from above." (5)  What Luke is saying is that his writings come directly from God. (6)

No other book but the Bible claims to be the Words of God, nor does any other book prove to be true according to evidences seen in the fulfillment of prophecy, historical evidence, and scientific evidence.

The Old Testament Scriptures prophesied of Jesus, that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14); that He would be born in Bethlehem, the City of David (Micah 5:2); that He would suffer death for the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:5-12).  The New Testament reveals the prophecy that was spoken of in the Old Testament (Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:16, and John 11:49-52 respectively).  Bro. Chris Tefft says that the Old Testament show slides of Jesus and the New Testament is the slide projector that enlarges the slides so that the readers may see Jesus more clearly. (7)

Dr. Henry M. Morris relates that a group of prophecies "predicted the restoration of Jews to the land of Israel as a true nation." (8)  One of the verses is found in Ezekial 37:22, "And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all."  Nearly 1,500 years passed before Israel became a nation in the late 1940's; but once again, God's Word proved true.  Isaiah 45:21 gives God's own words, ". . . who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? . . . "

Historical evidence brought about the work of archaeologists also gives evidence that the Bible is true.  For example, Lenoard Greenway states that among many other findings, archaeologists have found the sites of Jericho and Ur of the Chaldees. (9)  W. A. Criswell gives a wonderful statement about this, "Thus, the Word of God is confirmed by every stone and every spade of earth that is brought to light by the archaeologist.  The very stones themselves cry out, proclaiming the factual historicity of God's Holy Word. (10)

Dr. Henry M. Morris quotes Dr. Nelson Glueck, an authority on Israeli archaeology, as saying the following:
"No archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference.  Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.  And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries." (11)
One such amazing discovery, viewed in a documentary film, shows how two men examined the descriptions in Exodus to find the route taken by the children of Israel from Egypt to Mt. Sinai.  Their conclusions led them to a different spot that what is universally accepted, and allowed them to discover the Red Sea crossing (by way of a land bridge in the Red Sea), the split rock of Horeb, and the scorched mountaintop where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. (12)

The Bible says in Romans 1:20, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen . . . "  This verse tells the reader that nature itself teaches about God.  Although the Bible is certainly not a science textbook, It does contain certain scientific principles that were not understood until the scientific discoveries were made.  For example, before Columbus sailed to America or Magellan circumvented the globe, the world was thought to be flat with edges from which sailing vessels would fall off.  However, the Bible says in Isaiah 40:22, "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth. . . " clearly stating that the earth is round.  Mr. H. L. Wilmington gives other instances of scientific accuracy in the Bible:  the earth is suspended in space (Job 26:7), the stars are innumerable (Genesis 15:5), water changes form in the Hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7, Job 26:8, 36:27-28, and others), and matter is made up of atoms (Colossians 1:17). (13)

One could argue that the above could also apply to any of the so-called versions of the Bible that have been published in the last century.  This paper will now turn its discussion toward proving that the King James Bible, rather than other so-called Bible versions, is the only Word of God.

An understanding of where the King James Bible and the other versions came from is important.  The text from which the King James Bible was translated, the Textus Receptus (literally "Received Test" and sometimes called the Byzantine Text) (14), was first compiled, edited, and printed by a man named Erasmus in the early 16th century. (15)  The manuscripts that make up the Textus Receptus are sometimes called the Majority Text because they make up the majority of the manuscripts.  These manuscripts closely agree with one other.  Mr. Hills says, "The vast majority of these extant Greek New Testament manuscripts agree together very closely, so closely, indeed that they may fairly be said to contain the same New Testament text." (16)

All of the other versions of the Bible come from what is believed to be the oldest manuscripts of the Greek New Testament including the Vatican Codex, the Sinai (or Sinaitic) Codex, the Alexandrian Codex, the codex of Ephraem, the Beza Codex, the Washington Codex, and other manuscripts named after capital letters of the Greek alphabet. (17)  (To the layperson, the names would resemble alphabet soup, and would make about as much sense!)  These other manuscripts actually only make up about 1% of all the manuscripts, including the Majority Text!  Not only that, but Dean Burgon said that four of these manuscripts "are discovered on careful scrutiny to differ essentially, not only from the 99 out of 100 of the whole body of extant manuscripts, but even from one another." (18)

Many scholars believe that the older "minority" manuscripts are the inspired words of God simply because they are older or because they were more difficult to read.  They figure that the older manuscripts more closely resemble the "original" manuscripts.  However, in comparing these older manuscripts with the Textus Receptus, a large number of inconsistencies crop up.  Everett W. Fowler did much study of the different Greek texts, those that make up the Received Text and those that make up the other texts from which the other English versions of the Bible are derived.  He found numerous differences -- 2,288 -- that have an effect on translation.  These differences can be divided into five structural types:  omissions of verses, phrases, or words that are found in the Received Text; substitutions of words or phrases; additions of words or phrases; transpositions of words or phrases; and changes in punctuation.  These differences have the undesirable effects of downgrading the Lord God, misquoting the Old Testament, negatively affecting the doctrines of our Christian faith, and presenting a problem in translating into English. (19)

One of the more significant differences between the King James Bible and the other "perversions" of the Bible is that the verse Acts 8:37 ("And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." was omitted entirely from the other Greek texts. (20)  This is noteworthy because reading the passage without that important verse implies that anyone (believer, non-believer, infant, or even Fluffy and Fido) who wishes to be baptized may do so; however, the Bible makes it clear that baptism must only come after salvation (Acts 2:4, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized. . . ")

Edward Hills relates two theories suggested by Dean Burgon as to why there are false readings present in the non-Byzantine manuscripts.  Firstly, the says that heretics deliberately changed the New Testament Scriptures.  Secondly, there were well-meaning Christians who tried to improve the New Testament text. (21)

Why then do we not have a larger number of older manuscripts of the true Words of God, the Textus Receptus, but we do have so many copies of the older manuscripts of the non-Byzantine ?  The answer is very simple:  just as a modern-day Christian who reads his Bible often will replace his worn-out Bible with a newer copy, the early Christians read and reread their copies of the Word of God until they were worn out.  Conversely, the Christians cast off the unreliable non-Byzantine texts because the Christians knew they were not the true words of God. (22)

Not only is the King James Bible the Word of God, but it is also the preserved Word of God.  As a background for the discussion of preservation, this paper will first discuss inspiration of the Scriptures and then will discuss preservation of the Scriptures.

The Bible Itself claims to be inspired of God.  II Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God. . . " The word "inspiration" literally means "God-breathed."  Therefore, all Scripture was given to us by the very breath of God being transferred to the speakers and writers. (23)  King David explained it in this way in Psalm 45:1, " . . . my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."  The Lord used David as a pen to write His words.  What a wonderful thought, that David was so controlled by the Holy Spirit!

II Peter 1:21 says, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."  J. McKee Adams tells us that the word "moved" expresses the double idea of taking up and bearing along; therefore, the speaker or writer was under the complete control of the Holy Spirit.

There are a number of theories about inspiration.  The theory that fundamentalists hold to is the Plenary Verbal Theory.  Dr. John R. Rice tells us, "Plenary inspiration means complete inspiration, that is inspiration without flaw and mistake and failure." (25)  He also explains verbal inspiration, "Verbal inspiration is simply word inspiration, that is inspiration of the very words of the original manuscripts of the Bible." (26)

There are those who believe that the words of the Bible were not inspired, but merely the thoughts of God.  Scripture teaches us this is not so.  Matthew 4:4 says, ". . . every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."  Verbal inspiration is also proven by the fact that when the New Testament quotes the Old Testament, it says, "It is written," and not "It is thought" or "It is suggested."  W. H. Griffith Thomas explains the importance of verbal inspiration this way, "Inspiration . . . reaches to the words as well as to the thoughts, in order that we may be sure of the thoughts; for how are we to know God's thoughts if we do not know his words?" (27)

Hebrews 1:1 says, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets."  God used many different methods of inspiration to bring His word to the prophets who in turn shared the word of the Lord with the people.  H. L. Wilmington lists either different methods that God used:  angels, a loud voice, a still small voice, nature, the mouth of an ass, dreams, visions, and Christophonies (a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Jesus). (28)

Some critics say that the Word of God is inspired only in the original manuscripts.  This is ludricous.  No human being has ever seen the original manuscripts.  The Bible says, "For ever, O Lrod, thy word is settled in heaven."  The Bible clearly teaches that the original Word of God is in Heaven.  No one, except Jesus, has ever been to Heaven and back to earth again.  Even the "autographs" or the original manuscripts that the human writers wrote on are long gone.  Dr. Hyles says, "If the Word of God was only the original manuscripts, there is no Word of God available for mankind today." (29) In other words, we would not have any words of God today.

Logically speaking, we do, indeed, have the Words of God, which have been preserved in the King James Bible.  The Bible teaches that Its Words are preserved; the means of preservation of the old manuscripts and the making of the King James show divine protection of the very Words; the effects of the King James Bible on people's lives and the longevity of the King James Bible prove Its preservation.

King David said in Psalm 12:6, "The words of the Lord are pure words."  He did not have any original manuscripts, yet he said that the words he did have are pure or are the preserved and unadulterated Words of God.  Jesus also indicated that the Old Testament Scriptures are preserved.  In Luke 24:44 (the text of which is found on page 2 of this paper), He mentions the words of Moses, all the prophets, and the psalms.

In the New Testament, II Timothy 3:16 ("All scripture is given by inspiration of God") not only teaches that the Bible was inspired by God, but is also preserved by God.  The Greek words for "is given" are in the durative tense which basically means ongoing.  In today's vernacular, it could be written this way, "All scripture is given and is given and is given and is given . . . "  Therefore, not only was Scripture originally given by inspiration of God, but It continues to be given.  In the words of Dr. Hyles, ". . . at all times God gives us the Bible." (30)

Ancient Hebrew scribes and Christian copyists of the Bible took optimum care when copying the Bible.  Not only were verses counted, but words and letters were also counted.  So fastidious were the scribes, that if a single error was found, the entire page was required to be rewritten.  Before writing a word, the word was spoken aloud.  The name of God was held in highest reverence: before writing the name of God, the scribe would pray and wipe his pen clean. (34)  Henry M. Morris says that, "Great numbers [of manuscripts] were always current, however, and there were thus a continual self-checking process going on, securing the text against any significant accumulation of copyists' errors." (32)  Thus, the hand copyists preserved the Word of God in ancient times through careful treatment.

During the Reformation, John Wycliffe (often called "the Morning Star of the Reformation") believed the common people should have access to the Word of God in their own language.  For the first time in history, he translated the Bible into English.  His followers, a group of preachers called the Lollards, dispersed across England to teach and preach the Word of God. (33)  The clergy of England was severely opposed to the Lollards and beseeched the king to make a law proclaiming that Lollards who proved to be troublemakers would be delivered to the secular power and burnt as heretics." (34)

William Tyndale also translated the Bible into English.  He too faced much resistance and was forced to leave England.  He relocated to Germany where he printed many copies of the New Testament and had them smuggled into England to be distributed to the common people.  Tyndale was finally caught and sentenced to be executed.  Before being hung and his body burnt, he cried out, "Lord open the King of England's eyes!" (35)

Tyndale's prayer was soon answered when King James authorized that the Bible be translated into the English language.  The only men chosen were those who were extremely well-versed in, and had an incredible knowledge of, the Greek and Hebrew languages. (36)  Not only were they well-learned, but they also had a very high reverence for the Scriptures, regarding every word as being from God and to be handled with the utmost of care. (37)  The undertaking of the translation was highly organized and was controlled by a system of "checks and balances."  The men were divided into committees, each of which worked on a portion of Scripture.  The men would have the other men in their committee critique their work; after they agreed, the finished work was passed along to the other committees to be checked by them. (38)

An amazing thing to note is that the King James Bible was the 7th translation into English, following the works of Wycliff, Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, Great, Geneva, and Bishops' Bibles. (39)  The Bible says in Psalms 12:6, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."  The Bible Itself proves that the King James Bible is the preserved Word of God in the English language.

The Authorized Version of the Bible was completed in 1611, just a few years before the Puritans came to America  so that they could worship God as they saw fit, according to the Word of God, without intervention from the government.  America and its government was founded on the Bible, creating one of the greatest governments the world has ever know. (40)

Dr. John R. Rice testifies of the effects of the King James Bible on people's lives.  During his lifetime of ministry, he saw "thousands of lives transformed from sin to holiness of life." (41) He spoke of drunkards, harlots, atheists, and criminals all being altered into Christians who did not return to their lives of sin. (42)

In a recent sermon, Pastor Jimmy McCullough (a Hyles-Anderson graduate) of Calvary Baptist Church in Coldwater, Mississippi [now pastor of Hillcrest Bible Baptist Church in Arkansas City, Kansas], related a story about a man who served in the Vietnam War.  This man stepped on a landmine that blew up causing him to lose sight in both of his eyes and to lose both of his arms.  With incredible determination, this man spent a whole night learning to read just one Braille letter of the alphabet with his tongue!  After he learned the whole alphabet, he acquired the King James Bible written in Braille and would read it until his tongue bled! (43) No other book could arouse such devotion!

The Bible says in I Peter 1:25, "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever." Throughout history there have been attempts to destroy the Bible.  In ancient times, Celsus, Porphyry, Lucien, and Diocletian all tried to get rid of the Bible. (44)  In more recent times, Thomas Paine said that within one generation the Bible would not be printed anymore.  Adolph Hitler tried unsuccessfully to destroy the Bible. (45)

Compared to other ancient writings, one can see the divine protection over the Bible.  There is only one copy of Herodotus' history after 1,500 years; after 1,200 years, there is only one copy of Plato's writings. (46)  However, there are literally thousands of copies of the Word of God.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:18, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."  Also, Psalms 12:7 says, "Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."  The Bible will continue to be preserved forever!

The purpose of this paper is to show that the King James Bible is not only the Word of God, but also is the preserved Word of God in the English language.  To those who may still doubt, the writer of his paper asks a simple question, "I believe the King James Bible is the Word of God BY FAITH.  By what do you doubt it?"


  1. Unknown, "The B-I-B-L-E," Songs & Hymns of Revival (N.p., N.d.), p. 192.
  2. Criswell, W. A. Why I Preach That the Bible is Literally True (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1969), p. 132.
  3. Phifer, Lyndon Burke.  The Teacher and the Book (New York:  The Methodist Book Concern, 1929), p. 12.
  4. Hyles, Jack, The Blood, the Book, and the Body (Hammond, Indiana:  Hyles-Anderson Publishers, 1992), p. 46.
  5. Rice, John R. Here are More Questions . . . Vol. II (Murfreesboro, Tennessee:  Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1973), p. 22.
  6. Ibid., p. 22-23.
  7. Tefft, Chris, "Setting of the Old Testament," Old Testament Survey class, Hyles-Anderson College, Crown Point, Indiana, 27 October, 2004.
  8. Morris, Henry M., The Bible Has the Answer.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Baker Book House, 1971), p. 2.
  9. Greenway, Leonard, Basic Questions of the Bible.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1948), p. 18.
  10. Criswell, W. A. Why I Preach That the Bible is Literally True (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1969), p. 43.
  11. Morris, Henry M., The Bible Has the Answer.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Baker Book House, 1971), p. 2.
  12. Unkown, Mt. Sinai, Old Testament Survey class, 14 October, 2004.
  13. Wilmington, H. L. That Manuscript from Outer Space (Lynchburg, Virginia:  By the author, 1974), p. 99-102.
  14. Hills, Edward F., "The Magnificent Burgon," Which Book?, comp. David Otis Fuller (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1970), p. 89.
  15. Hyles, Jack, The Need for an Every-Word Bible (Hammond, Indiana:  Hyles Publishers, 2003), p. 24.
  16. Hills, Edward F., "The Magnificent Burgon," Which Book?, comp. David Otis Fuller (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1970), p. 89.
  17. Adams, J. McKee, Our Bible (Nashville, Tennessee:  The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1937), p. 65.
  18. Burgon, John, The Identity of the New Testament Text (N.p., N.d.), p. 217.
  19. Fowler, Everett, Evaluating Versions of the New Testament (Watertown, Wisconsin: Maranatha Baptist Press, 1981), p. 9.
  20. Ibid., 30.
  21. Hills, Edward F., "The Magnificent Burgon," Which Book?, comp. David Otis Fuller (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1970), p.94-95.
  22. Grady, William P., Final Authority (Schererville, Indiana:  Grady Publications., 1993)., p. 27.
  23. Criswell, W. A. Why I Preach That the Bible is Literally True (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1969), p. 26.
  24. Adams, J. McKee, Our Bible (Nashville, Tennessee:  The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1937), p. 32.
  25. Rice, John R., Here is My Question:  Bible Answers to 294 Important Questions in Forty Years' Ministry (Murfreesboro, Tennessee:  Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1962), p. 52.
  26. Rice, John R. Here are More Questions . . . Vol. II (Murfreesboro, Tennessee:  Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1973), p. 44.
  27. Thomas, W. H. Griffith, How We Got Our Bible (Chicago: Moody Press, 1926), p. 90.
  28. Wilmington, H. L. That Manuscript from Outer Space (Lynchburg, Virginia:  By the author, 1974), p. 11-13.
  29. Hyles, Jack, The Blood, the Book, and the Body (Hammond, Indiana:  Hyles-Anderson Publishers, 1992), p. 42.
  30. Hyles, Jack, The Need for an Every-Word Bible (Hammond, Indiana:  Hyles Publishers, 2003), p. 78.
  31. Greenway, Leonard, Basic Questions of the Bible.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1948), p. 48-49.
  32. Morris, Henry M., The Bible Has the Answer.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Baker Book House, 1971), p. 13.
  33. Wilmington, H. L. That Manuscript from Outer Space (Lynchburg, Virginia:  By the author, 1974), p. 89.
  34. Fox, John, Fox's Book of Martyrs Edited by William Byron Forbush.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Clairon Classics, 1926), p. 190.
  35. Wilmington, H. L. That Manuscript from Outer Space (Lynchburg, Virginia:  By the author, 1974), p. 90-92.
  36. Brown, Terence H., "The Learned Men," Which Book?, comp. David Otis Fuller (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1970), p. 14.
  37. Morris, Henry M., The Bible Has the Answer.  (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Baker Book House, 1971), p. 12.
  38. Grady, William P., Final Authority (Schererville, Indiana:  Grady Publications., 1993)., p. 154, 161.
  39. Ibid., p. 160.
  40. Wilkinson, Benjamin G., "Our Authorized Bible Vindicated," Which Book?, comp. David Otis Fuller (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1970), p. 316.
  41. Rice, John R. Here are More Questions . . . Vol. II (Murfreesboro, Tennessee:  Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1973), p. 31.
  42. Ibid., p. 30.
  43. McCullough, Jimmy, "This Could Be That Year," Sunday Evening Sermon, Calvary Baptist Church, Coldwater, Mississippi, 2 January 2005.
  44. Criswell, W. A. Why I Preach That the Bible is Literally True (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1969), p. 76-77.
  45. Hyles, Jack, The Need for an Every-Word Bible (Hammond, Indiana:  Hyles Publishers, 2003), p. 29.
  46. Criswell, W. A. Why I Preach That the Bible is Literally True (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1969), p. 79.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Printables

I found these Christmas Printables on Pinterest.  My husband put them up in the Living Room going into the Dining Room.  I plan on keeping different Printables in here throughout the year to celebrate different holidays or perhaps highlight different Scriptures.

Luke 2:11

Unto Us A Child is Born

Luke 2:13-14

At first, I couldn't find the one on the right in my Pinterest boards.  I did a Google Image search for "Christmas Printables" and found it.  There are lots of other good ones on Google Image search as well.  I also have a few more in my Christmas Crafts & Activities board.

I really like Printables:  fun and easy way to decorate.

Original Sources:

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blog Post Roundup

Here are a few posts that I've read that are worth passing along.

The Same Rules Apply @ The Bishop's Wife

Thoughts on Blogging @ Encouraging Words from Cary Schmidt

Growing Up the Bible Way @ Thimble Thoughts

Making Room @ Everyday Grace

Blessings From the Father @ The Bishop's Wife

Twenty Six Years Later @ Frog's Lilypad (Speech by President Ronald Reagan)
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Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like......


I love Christmas!  I love all the decorations, both inside and outside, the yummy treats we get to indulge in, shopping for loved ones, even addressing Christmas cards!

Part of the fun is trying to come up with creative ideas for gifts for different people.

One thing I am doing this year is making the DIY Canvas Art that I blogged about last August.  In addition to the picture of Grandpa, I am doing a picture of my Grandma as well.  This picture is several years old, but is the last "good" picture I have of her.

On thing I am doing differently is I am painting the edges of the canvas.  I really like the results.

Painting the edges of the canvas.  They are sitting on canned goods so as to not mess up the table.
 I haven't take a picture of the final results just yet.  I'll add that in AFTER Christmas (Can't spoil everybody's surprise!)

Teenagers are somewhat difficult to buy for.  My nephew and niece are no exception.  We are, in effect, giving them cash for Christmas, but I have found a couple of great ways to be creative in the presentation.

For my niece, who enjoys taking photographs, I made a shadow box bank in which she can put money to save up for a dSLR camera.  I got this idea from a blog that I read, and I pinned it on Pinterest.

For my nephew, I was also going to do a shadow box, but the store only had ONE.  I went to my backup plan which was of folding his money into an origami shirt and tie, also found on Pinterest.  I was trying to figure out how I was going to find a small box to put it in when I got a great idea:  go ahead and put it in a big box just as if it's a real shirt and tie!  So, I've got this tiny shirt and tie in this big ole box.  I love pranking my nephew.  I'll have to tell y'all about the Cinderella gift card I gave him several years ago.

How about you?  Any creative ideas for gifts or gift containers?  How about pranks?  What's your favorite prank you've pulled?

As of today (12-20-11), I've had the shadow box pinned over 1,500 times!  Wow!  Thanks for pinning me!

Update (2-16-12), my shadow box has been pinned over 11,500 times!!

Original Sources:

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7-Up Biscuits

I got this recipe from Plain Chicken, a new-to-me blog that has some really great recipes.  I made these on a Saturday and they were devoured by my family.  Robert made them again on Monday!


2 cups Bisquick mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-Up
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Melt butter in a 9" square pan.

Cut sour cream into Bisquick.  Add 7-up.  Mix.  This will make a soft dough.

Sprinkle additional Bisquick (or flour) onto your board or table.  Pat dough out and cut into biscuit circles.  (I have a set of biscuit cutters, but my mom always used the open end of a glass.  Actually she hand-rolled biscuits, but used the glass for other things.  Sorry for the tangent.)

Place cut biscuits into the pan on top of the butter.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Note:  I used a 8" square pan which was not big enough for all of the dough.  Hmmm....maybe I should've kept the dough thicker.  That would make a whole lot more sense and make higher biscuits.  Anyway, when Robert made them, he put the dough in a 9x13" pan.  I don't think he bothered to cut them out.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Questions

My blogging friend Laurie over at Everyday Grace posted these Christmas Questions.  She got them from A Peek into My Life.  I thought I'd participate, too!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
It depends on how much of a hurry I'm in.  I wrap most of my gifts, but sometimes I will use gift bags.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
I like the idea of a real tree:  the wonderful smell and the fun of picking out just the right on.  The reality of a real tree:  falling needles, the need to keep it watered, etc.  I've had my little fake tree for about 10 years.

3. When do you put up the tree?
I put up the tree as soon as Robert gets the Christmas stuff out from where we have it stored.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

5. Do you like eggnog?
My mom either made or bought eggnog when I was younger and I liked it.  I don't think I've had it since.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
My favorite childhood Christmas was when I was 8 years old.  "Santa Claus" brought me a life-size old-fashioned wooden cradle, wooden table and chairs, and a new baby doll.  The cradle had a pillow mattress, quilt, and quilted pillow.  The table had a red-and-white gingham tablecloth.  These were all handmade by my dad and mom.  I still have the cradle.  It's in my daughter's room and houses her stuffed animals.  My mom has the little table.  It used to be a TV stand and now it's a stereo table.  I had to reinforce the legs with nails.  The little chairs are long gone.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
I would have to say a toss-up between my husband and my sister-in-law Karen.  Robert because he always says not to get him anything or not to spend a lot on him.  The one thing he asked me to get is a battery for his remote control helicopter.  Karen is somewhat hard because every year I ask my brother what to get her and he says "chocolate"!  SHE may enjoy getting chocolate every year, but I'm tired of giving it!  LOL!

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My daughter.  Right now, I buy her things that I would like for her to have.  She usually enjoys them, though.  The "readers" in my family are easy, too.  I know what kind of e-readers they have so I give them gift cards to go with.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
I have several.  My favorite is the Little People Nativity Play Set that I got Gracie last year.  She has enjoyed playing with it this year as well.  It's missing the sheep and that kinda bugs me.  I hope we find it somewhere.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I mail them out.  For years I have wanted to do a Christmas Letter, but I have never found the time to do it.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I really can't remember.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie(s)?
My favorite "new to me" movie is The Polar Express.  I would totally love to ride a rollercoaster based on that train!  I also love the Rudolph movies.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
That varies from year to year.  I'm getting a late start this year, somewhat.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I'm not sure.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Sweet Potato Pie and Martha Washington Candy.  Oh, and fudge!

16. Lights on the tree?
They are clear lights that light up in random patterns.

17.Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Depends on if I'm pregnant.  We usually travel down to my mom's at some point during the holidays.  Sometimes, we'll travel to my brother's or my husband's brother or to my sister-in-law's.

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
When I was a kid, I remember BEGGING to open at least one gift on Christmas Eve.  We never did until I was a young adult.  My mom worked at a convenience store and had to work on Christmas morning.  We opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, and somehow, it just wasn't as fun.  Beginning last year, we now open one gift on Christmas Eve which is our Christmas pajamas.  (Robert and I will be opening the same pj's as last year - Gracie will never know the difference!)
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Crockpot Tex Mex Chicken

I love recipes that are quick and easy to prepare.  I also love mexican-flavored dishes.  I found this recipe in the magazine put out by Kraft Foods.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 breasts), cut into 1" strips
2 Tbs Taco Seasoing (1/2 package of seasoning) -- I used 2 heaping Tbs of the Taco Seasoning Mix that I have on hand
2 Tbs Flour
green pepper, cut into 1" strips
red pepper, cut into 1" strips
1 cup frozen corn
1-1/2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded Mexican Four Cheese

Toss chicken with taco seasoning and flour in crockpot.  Stir in all of the remaining ingredients except cheese.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Stir before serving.  Top with cheese.

Serve with rice.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Chopped Pizza Muffins

Put together

I came across this pin for Chopped Pizza Muffins and thought they looked so yummy!  Of course, anything with pizza in the title is going to deserve a closer look!

This was super easy to make.  All you need is a can of refrigerated jumbo biscuits, some shredded cheese, and your choice of pizza toppings.  I used pepperoni, onion, green pepper, and red pepper.

The original recipe said to put your toppings on top of a biscuit and chop them up, then divide between two muffin wells.  This didn't work out so well for me (could be because I have knives that are not very sharp).  So I chopped up everything and put them in a medium bowl and mixed by hand (literally - I used my hands to mix them up.).  Then I put them in my muffin tins.  This actually filled 18 muffin wells rather than 16 (there were 8 biscuits in the can).  I then sprinkled cheese on top.

This turned out very good!  Robert really liked it.  He even said, "You should keep these in mind for a church function."  I liked them, too, although I think I put too MUCH toppings.  The ratio was definitely off in terms of biscuits to toppings.  The other thing is that I think it could've benefited from some extra seasoning like Italian seasoning.  I will probably try that next time.

UPDATE:  Not two days after I made this, I found out we were having an after-church fellowship the following Sunday to celebrate our Pastor and his family being at our church for five years. I intended to make two batches, but only had time to make one (I took a MUCH-needed nap that afternoon and chopping took longer than expected).  Several people came up to me and asked me what was in it.  By the time, I got to them on the food table (we went last), there was only one left.  It was well-received!  One person came back to me and said they were good.

Original Source:
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Martha Washington candy or .... ?

See last Thursday's post for the recipe.

The younger schoolchildren wrote me Thank You/Christmas cards. I received them today at church which was a nice surprise. Several of them mentioned the Martha Washington candy, but they called it "reindeer poop"! LOL!

Whatever you call it, it's good stuff!
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Taking a Break

Hello!  I just wanted to let y'all know that I'll be taking a break from blogging for a few weeks.  I have a few already-scheduled posts coming next week, and will probably post a few things as they come up and I'm able; however, for the most part, I'm not going to focus on blogging right now.

My sister, Sherrye, who has battled lung cancer for the past four years (she found out soon after Robert and I got married), went Home to Heaven this morning.  She joins my Daddy and three of our infant sisters along with bunch of other relatives most of whom I never met.  This was expected, yet unexpected.

What with the funeral and Christmas preparations, I'll be busier than a one-armed paper hanger.  Most of it is the good kind of busy.  I love this time of year!

I'll see y'all in a few weeks!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Treasured Traditions: Special Treats

One new tradition that I am just now starting is making Christmas goodies and giving them to the schoolchildren at our church's Christian school.  Every Thursday, when Gracie and I go to the Ladies Prayer Group, we stop by and see the older children who is taught by my pastor's wife.  They enjoy seeing Gracie, and Gracie enjoys all the attention!

I spent most of this week -- mostly while Gracie was sleeping -- making these treats for them.

 Aren't these Reindeer the cutest thing ever?  I found them on Pinterest and knew I had to make them!


Nutter Butter cookies
Pretzels (mini size)
Mini chocolate chips
Red M&Ms
Dipping Chocolate

These were pretty easy to make.  I wasn't really sure what kind of chocolate to get for this since I couldn't find the "Candy Quick Melting Chocolate" that the original recipe called for.  I found these neat bowls of dipping chocolate that I used.  One bowl just did cover the 32 Nutter Butters that are in one package.

First, I melted the chocolate and then I dipped the Nutter Butters.  I set them out on wax paper.  After I dipped all of them, I put on the pretzel antlers, the M&M nose (I swiped the red M&Ms from Gracie's reward candy - I don't think she'll notice!), and the mini chocolate chips.  I didn't bother trying to make sure that the chocolate chips were pointy side up; I had a hard enough time dropping them in the right places!  A toothpick came in handy for moving things if needed.  I let them sit out all night.  The next morning, I transferred them to wax paper on top of baking sheets (I know - should've done that first!) and put them in the refrigerator to harden up some more.  I bought two large treat containers (12" in diameter with a handle) and put them in there.  I kept them on my baker's rack which is in the garage.  It stays nice and cool in there.  {What's funny is that later that day, I caught Robert frantically searching for the reindeer.  "I know you've got them somewhere!"  He finally did find them, after I was watching him cracking up.}

 I also love these Snowmen which I also found on Pinterest.  As you can tell, I need to work on my dipping skills, but they still turned out cute.

Nutter Butter cookies
Vanilla Almond bark
orange Tic Tacs
black decorator icing

First, I melted six squares of the Vanilla Almond bark in a small bowl in the microwave.  I dipped the Nutter Butters and laid them on wax paper.  This was enough to do half of the package.  I then put in the orange Tic Tac noses (how creative is that?) and the M&Ms.  I'm glad I did that right away rather than dipping the remainder of the cookies, because the almond bark started setting up really quickly.  In fact, on the last couple of snowmen, I had to paste on the M&Ms with additional melted almond bark.  I then proceeded to do the remainder of the cookies, working quickly so that I could put it all together before it hardened. I waited for the snowmen to set completely before drawing the eyes and mouth with the black decorator icing (which I did not find at Walmart, but at Kroger's).  I cooled them in the fridge and put them in the treat containers.  I put one layer on top of the reindeer in one container and then put another layer by itself in the other container.  The black icing is rather smeary and I didn't want it to get messed up.

 These cookies, called Colorful Swirl Cookies (also found on Pinterest), are supposed to look like pinwheels.  What a disappointment that they don't!  They tasted ok.  I actually did not like the peppermint extract that I added to it.  I should've known better since the last time I used peppermint extract in cookies, I didn't like it then, either.  Oh well.

The pin takes you to the Our Italian Kitchen blog.  You can find the ingredients and instructions there. Sorry, but I'm too lazy to type all that out (or even copy and paste), especially since, to me, they didn't turn out that great.

A couple of notes:  It is really hard to roll out cookie dough to a specific shape, let alone specific size.  I invented (in my head not in reality), a device that will allow you to roll out dough to a rectangle 9x11".  If I ever actually make one, remember you heard it here first.  :-)

I couldn't find holiday sprinkles either at Walmart or at Kroger's.  Ever since Kroger ran Schnuck's out of Memphis, those are about the only choices I have for grocery shopping.  Well, except Target, but I didn't think to look there.  I have to get some #4 diapers there tomorrow, so I may look just to see.

Now, this is my favorite:  Martha Washington Candy.  I have no clue where the name came from, but it brings up many warm-and-fuzzy feelings in my memory.  An elderly lady who lived "around the curve" from us, Miss Winnie, used to make this often for us.  I promise you, they are the best candy ever.

Miss Winnie was a short, rotund woman who had several (don't know how many) children and lived in a little house with a flower garden out front.  She loved to do two things (three, if you count making this wonderful candy):  quilt and tend her flower garden.  Her front room and kitchen were rather sparse.  I can still picture her quilting rack hanging from the ceiling of her front room, and the old metal and formica table in the kitchen.  Her bedroom was another story.  It had all kinds of stuff in there.  Miss Winnie was just younger than my great grandmother, Ida Bounds, having been born in September of 1906 (Grandmother was born in January of that year). We all loved her.  She went Home to Heaven before Grandmother did (which was 2002, I think).  I remember just about every Christmastime, she would make this candy and give some to us, crammed into a powdered sugar box.  We kept it in the fridge and would raid it when we got a hankering for the Martha Washington Candy.

2 boxes confectioner's sugar, sifted (I did not sift)
1 can Eagle brand condensed milk
2 cups coconut Angel Flake (optional -- Miss Winnie did not use and neither did I)
2 cups chopped pecans (Miss Winnie ground her pecans.)
2 sticks oleo/margarine (I used butter)
1 tsp vanilla
Large package of chocolate chips or chocolate blocks
1 stick paraffin wax  (I did not use because I couldn't really get it to melt in the microwave with the chocolate.  I need to ask my mom exactly how to do that.  I do not own a double boiler.)

Mix first six ingredients.  Form into small balls; chill overnight.

Melt chocolate and wax, mix.  Dip balls with toothpicks.  Dry on wax paper.

I had a difficult time rolling this dough into balls.  They stuck to my hands and looked all globby.  My brother called me while I was doing this, so I had a little break.  When I resumed, I noticed that it was much easier to roll.  My advice:  After mixing, wait about 15 minutes to let it set up before rolling into balls.  It'll be much easier and will look much better.  I made most of them a little too big.  I can't think of anything to compare it to.  Guestimating:  maybe 3/4" in diameter?

I formed the balls and put them in the fridge in the afternoon when Gracie was taking her nap.  I took them out about 6 hours later, so it wasn't a "full" overnight.  I'm not very good at the dipping thing.  I wish I knew some tips on how to make them look beautiful.  Maybe the wax would've helped, I don't know.

Robert came in when I was in the middle of dipping and asked, "Can I have one?" while pointing to the plain dough. I said, "sure!" and waiting in great anticipation as to how he would like it.  He really liked it!!!  I was really happy, because this has been a family favorite for well over 40 years.  He also tried one of the dipped ones and said he didn't like it as well because the chocolate taste overpowered the candy middle.  I didn't quite have enough chocolate to do all of them, so I left three of them undipped just for him.


This morning, I got up and filled some cute bags with one each of the above treats, adding in a matching paper napkin, and a Christmas pencil.  Gracie woke up when I was just getting started, so I got her up, gave her a cookie and a treat bag, and she happily amused herself while I filled the bags.

I left a few minutes later than I wanted to -- time speeds up with a toddler when you have a self-imposed deadline -- but we made it to church on time.  I was the first of the ladies in the prayer group to arrive, so I headed over to the school.  Poor Gracie stumbled on the sidewalk and skinned her knee for the first time.  I later patched her up with a bright yellow bandaid from the nursery.  We delivered the treats and enjoyed seeing the older children.

Later, I heard from the teacher of the younger kids that the treats were a big hit.  One child said, "This is the Best Day Ever!"  Another one said, "I would rather have this than morning break!" (Now that's high praise!)

As Gracie grows older, she'll be able to help with making the treats and giving them out.  I really look forward to continuing this tradition.

Original Sources:
Source: via Ava on Pinterest

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Treasured Traditions: I Found a Purple Durple Pan!

One of my childhood favorite family Christmas traditions involves the making and consumption of a wonderful dessert that we call Purple Durple.  Here is an edited repost from my Family Blog written nearly three years ago.

I Found a Purple Durple Pan!

You're probably thinking, "WHAT in the world is a Purple Durple pan?" Quite simply, it is a special copper bundt pan that is used to hold Purple Durple (aka Blueberry Congealed Salad), a family favorite, especially around Christmastime. I was around five or so when my mom first made it, and I made up the name Purple Durple to describe it.

My mom has had a pan just like this since I was very small. I always wanted one for myself, but could not ever find one. . . . until I went into a new-to-me store called The Antique Gallery in Bartlett, TN. I had been meaning to look around in that store for over a year, but never took the time until last Friday [sic]. It is a wonderful, HUGE, place filled with beautiful treasures!  I remember giving myself a time limit of about 15-30 minutes of looking around; otherwise, I would be in there for a couple of hours!  You cannot imagine my excitement when I saw not just one, but several different purple durple pans hanging on the walls of one of the booths.  I honestly think I would've paid $40 for one, but my husband is thankful that it only cost about $8!  It now hangs on the wall in my kitchen as a decoration when not in use.  It's a wonderful reminder of good times in my childhood and a favorite Christmas treat!

Here is the recipe for Purple Durple:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 16 oz. can blueberries
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 6-oz. package black cherry jello
  • 1 large package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Open blueberries and pineapple. Drain well, and save the juice.
  2. Dissolve jello in boiling water. Measure juice that you saved in step 1 and enough cold water to make 2 cups. Pour into jello and boiling water.
  3. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, and sugar. Mix well into jello mixture. Add blueberries, pineapple, and nuts. Let jell.
Make sure the cream cheese is softened because it is really hard to mix in if it's not.  It results in clumps of cream cheese throughout the congealed salad which is really not very appetizing.
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chicken and Rice Bake

My sister-in-law (who is a closet reader of my blog - I didn't know she followed until recently.) gave me this recipe years ago. We all love it! Since I've been married, I have changed it by doubling the rice and soup because it's that good!

First, I'll post the original recipe, then the changes I made, and then a failed experiment.

The Original Recipe:
1 can condensed cream of chicken & broccoli soup*
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (optional)**
1 can (2.8 oz.) Durkee French Fried Onions
4 chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs.)

In a 3 quart baking dish, mix soup, water, rice, and 1/2 can onions.  Arrange chicken on top.  Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Top with remaining onions, and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

*I have not been able to find cream of chicken & broccoli soup in years.  You can substitute with cream of chicken or cream of broccoli or any other of your favorite cream soups.
**I don't do mushrooms.  I used to be able to tolerate cream of mushroom soups, but ever since pregnancy, I can't even handle that.  Instant gag reflex upon thought.

My Changes:

Because we love the soup-rice-onion mixture so much, I now double that portion.  Also, my husband prefers brown rice.  I used to do half white rice and half brown rice, but now I do all brown rice.  Here's how I usually do it:

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can condensed cream of broccoli soup
3 cups water
1-1/2 cups uncooked rice
skip the mushrooms
1 large can of Durkee French Fried Onions
3-4 chicken breast halves (depends on how many people will be eating)

In a 3 quart baking dish, mix soup, water, rice, and 1/2 can onions.  Arrange chicken on top.  Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Top with remaining onions, and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

A Failed Experiment:

I found a neat recipe for Cream of Something Soup mix on Pinterest.  I made up some and put it in a airtight container.  [Tangent - I thought I had blogged about this already, but I couldn't find it.  Has anyone ever seen a post by me about it?]  I've been anxious to try it out, and I picked this Chicken and Rice Bake to be my guinea pig.

First, here's the ingredients for the mix:

1 cup non-fat dried milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup bouillon*
4 Tablespoons freeze dried minced onions
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
For the equivalent of one can of condensed cream soup, mix 1/3 cup dry mix with 1-1/4 cup water. Cook until thick.
*I couldn't find bouillon in the soup aisle of Walmart.  However, I looked in the Latino section and found some there.  This worked out better because it's a larger bottle of powdered bouillon instead of the cubes which would have to be crushed and ground up.  I used the chicken flavor since I've never heard of anybody needing "cream of beef soup."
I measured out 2/3 cups of the mix and 2-1/2 cups of water and cooked it while I mixed up the rice and onions.  I initially put the heat on too high and had to really stir to get the stuff on the bottom up.  I hoped it would add flavor.  I noticed a difference between the 3 cups of water needed for the recipe and the 2-1/2 cups needed to make the soup.  I meant to add an extra cup of water (and really, I should've added the full extra 3 cups), but I got sidetracked.  That's life with a toddler -- not to mention life with a husband who had the day off that day!  :-)
I added the soup as it was to the rice and onions and shoved it in the oven.  An hour later, I took it out of the oven and was horrified at the results.  It looked both overcooked and undercooked at the same time.  Overcooked because it was a dark brown mess; undercooked because the rice on top was not cooked.  We were actually going to out to eat that evening (for our anniversary), but since I already had this out, I cooked it, and put it in the fridge to eat the next day.  Upon eating it, we discovered that the chicken was very dry.  We finished our portions (Robert added BBQ sauce to his chicken - a sure sign he didn't like it), and we gave the remainder to the dogs who gobbled it right up.

My mistake was in not adding enough water.

Here's what I should've done:

1.  Cook the Cream of Something soup mix (2/3 cups mix plus 2-1/2 cups water).
2.  Mix 1-1/2 cups rice and half of the onions.  Add the soup plus 3 cups of water.  Mix it all up.
3.  Arrange chicken on top.  Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.
4.  Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.  Sprinkle remaining onions on top, cook additional 3-5 minutes.

If anybody tries this (the Cream of Something mix) with this Chicken and Rice Bake recipe before I do, please comment and tell me how it goes.

I still have high hopes for the Cream of Something soup.  I know it'll save money in the long run.

Another thing, unless you want to make a ton of it using the whole box of dry milk, I would recommend giving away the remaining dry milk to someone else who would like to use it.  I gave some to my mom and some to my other sister-in-law when I saw them over Thanksgiving.  My mom was excited about it -- and she asked about adding mushrooms to it.  I didn't know about that and didn't care since I don't do mushrooms.  However, she showed me a recipe she wanted to try that called for something that sounded like "mushroom base organic" that made it sound like a type of bouillon. So it may be possible.

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