Dec. 16, 1995 Gary Benton of St. Louis Missouri, committed a violent act of murder against my dad, William Bonner, known as Uncle Bill.  A carjacking, fight between 2 gangs, drugs, all of these things Gary was involved in, took his life.

I have been forever changed.  In some ways, I see life as a puzzle – every experience I have had forms a piece of my unique puzzle. When combined, they form the entire picture of my life. My Dad took a piece of my puzzle with him to Heaven, a piece that will never return. He replaced that piece with his beautiful memories.

I lost my dad but gained something in return. He loved and adopted me at the age of 6 shortly after my mother was violently murdered.  For 30 yrs my dad taught & groomed me to learn of the Grace of God.  Would I give up everything I’ve learned if I could have my dad back? I don’t have that option. The only option I have is to make the changes I’ve gone through as valuable as possible.

I refuse to waste my life devoted to the horrific violent crime Gary Benton now living in Atlanta, GA, committed. I will spend my life as he taught me…to try and see beauty and His grace in all things…And fight like the devil against drugs, abuse, injustices, and offer God’s Simple Plan of Salvation.

pretzel These are an easy treat especially for the holidays –
They are so versatile. You can use a mixture of milk chocolate and/or white chocolate. You can use pretzel sticks, squares or twist and whole pecans or pecan pieces. I had a batch done from beginning to end in about 45-1 hour.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bites

Ingredients
24 pecan halves
24 mini pretzel twists
24 individually wrapped soft caramel squares, unwrapped
8 ounces milk chocolate, melted
Sea Salt

 

Lay out wax or parchment paper, using a spoon, drizzle a little chocolate on the paper and smooth it out a little with the back of the spoon like you are painting a circle. Drop three pretzels, slightly overlapping onto the chocolate and spoon a little melted caramel over all three. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and then drizzle a little more chocolate. Let set and store in Tupperware.

1. Put the pecan halves on a baking sheet, single layer and bake, shaking the sheet once halfway through, until lightly toasted, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.
2. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking matpretzel2
3. Arrange the pretzels on the baking sheet
4. Top each pretzel with an unwrapped caramel
5. Bake until the caramels soften (but NOT melting), 4 to 5 minutes
6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and press a pecan half onto each caramel, using just enough pressure for the caramel to fill the pretzel
7. Set aside to cool completely.

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Remove the cooled pretzel/caramels from the baking sheet
1. Drizzle or spoon small dollops of the melted chocolate all over the pretzel & caramel. Sparsely shake sea salt over the top of drizzled chocolate.
2. Allow them to cool completely before serving (you can cool in the fridge).

 

love

Christ calls us to become His image- to reach out to a hurting world and bring His Spirit to that world.  We’ve had too many years of talking – it’s time to get  busy. Let’s pray for His leadership and direction so we can go out and live His love. The world needs you. The world needs HIM!

Mark 12:29-31 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
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We as Christians are to reflect the heart of Christ, to love the way He loves.  If we do not love with the love of Christ then all we do is a hypocritical devotion, flowery language and our church attendance and such are just empty gestures. God did not want us to attend church on Sunday and turn our back to the pain in this world the rest of the time. He wants us to seek justice for the mentally ill, to protect the defenseless, to set captives free, to live a life of compassion and unselfishness.

Too often we stress on saying and believing the right things, that we turn a blind eye to our piousness and conceit. We have a lack of compassion for the hurting. We have become legalistic and satisfied with our devotion and our good works that we develop an attitude of superiority towards those we deem to be less righteous than ourselves.

Matt. 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Is it any wonder too many of the world run from us?

We take pride in doing and saying all the right things, but we are absolutely lacking any joy, peace, gentleness, or any love. In the first century, people would exclaim, We tend to forget our real spiritual goal should be to live closer to God and have him form in us the character of the heart Christ. We, as Christians should die daily to our self and learn to love the way Christ loved. If we are truly filled with His Spirit it should be evident in our lives.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Jesus told his disciples a very clear plan that others would recognize them. He didn’t say it was all this legalistic stuff, it is not your church attendance, how you tote your Bible BUT it is how you love!

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

We are so full of dramatization even in our church services and our lives. We want God to be awe stricken with our fancy worship and slick tongued sermons. Why do we spend so much time talking about what we allegedly believe yet so little time living it. Why are we satisfied with following rituals yet neglecting our heart.

Why are we so content with our empty gestures?

google imageThis past week has been an incredibly difficult one. The desperation and brokenness some are suffering with is becoming heavy to bear.  So many who battle physical ailments, addictions or mental issues.  The cancer rate is staggering.  A little 11-year-old girl’s body has been invaded  by this vile diagnosis.

We have had stories of the abuse some are enduring now and some who have had it in their past.  Suffering with abuse causes much anguish whether it is sexual, physical and emotional.  The unbelievable amount of those caught up in sex trafficking is staggering. This is the new form of slavery! If we fight against slavery we must fight against slavery in the sex industry!  Seeing more and more the perversion of the world can cause me to become totally expended. causing feelings of hopelessness.

As I recalled the incidents that were troubling me, I began to sing…

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

As I sang it over and over, I could feel God touching my spirit and drawing me close to him. What comfort I began to feel.

There is assurance in Christ that HE IS in the middle of all our darkness.  God IS unchanged in His Goodness and Love. His Sweet mercy and truth extends far beyond the contamination of this world and beyond any bounds of our wasted lives.

While we know there is more beyond what this world can offer, we still long to have someone jump in the middle with us to help bear the burdens we carry.  This is exactly what being a Christian is all about!  We put on the Hands and Feet of Jesus and walk in the shoes of another to help in their struggle.

This isn’t about going to church, teaching a Sunday school class or having a theology degree, this is about being and doing -Jesus- This is our only hope in reaching others.linen-paper

And though the evil around me may feel like I am drowning, I will still beg out to God for healing, rescue and deliverance for those who are struggling.

Having the heart knowledge that HE is in the middle of our battle and there is NO darkness!

google search Just to add to what I have copied, when you ask the Narcissist to have a meeting with all parties involved – they will not do it! They DO NOT want to be confronted about their lies. Some studies say that N’s cannot change that it is a brain problem. The N that is in our life, I believe does what she does to purposely hurt. It has to be all about her.
PLEASE BE AWARE! THEY ARE DANGEROUS!

“Beware of people who “Drive Under the Influence of a Narcissist” (DUIN). They are as dangerous as the Narcissist. They are drunk on lies and not safe for close association. ” This sounds exactly what we are dealing with!

“Almost by definition, narcissists don’t care. We wonder if they have the ability to care about others. Yet, they cannot move forward in the relationships they need without convincing people that they do care. So narcissists learn to do what it takes.

I believe that narcissists are some of the most practical people we will ever meet. Because they are actually quite free of emotional ties, they are able to look at situations without the same complications we experience. That ability gives them freedom to make quick and strong decisions and to make difficult decisions.joy

Who can look on the employees of a small business and choose which has to be let go because of the budget cuts? The narcissist can, and without consideration of the employee’s needs or tenure. The decision will be practical and ruthless. But it can’t look that way or the other employees might cause problems. The thinking narcissist will feign a struggle, let everyone know how difficult the choice was, and even shed a tear or two. Of course, if you watch carefully, the narcissist will look bigger and better because of the phony struggle. None of it will be about the employee.  joy-2

Emotions are useful to the narcissist. She/He knows that the way into the heart of another person is through connected emotions.She/He will be upset about some injustice with those who are feeling abused. She will be attentive and loving with those who need a friend. I have found narcissists to be some of the best listeners in my life, accepting and instantly grasping my own feelings. But all of this is an act. The same narcissists who have been so gracious in times of need will produce much greater struggles for their victims in the future.

Understand that emotions are risky for the narcissist. If she/he cannot control his/her feelings, she/he may reveal the weakness he knows himself to have. She/He will betray the image if they are not careful. So the narcissist learns early not to cry, not to express too much enthusiasm, not to hope. They cannot look weak. They must be in control. Even the covert narcissist, who seems much more willing to express vulnerability, will share only those emotions that will be useful in relationships. They might cry, a lot, and they might show fear or anxiety or disappointment; but all of that will be for the purpose of manipulating those around them.”

ruggedcross

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Ever thought ‘If I could just get a break!” So many times we think it is the ‘Big Break’ that will ‘Open the Door’ to success in life. Or maybe because we came from ‘The wrong side of the Tracks’ is what we blame for holding us back. Maybe blame the family you were born in or ‘I’m the black Sheep’ philosophy. ‘If only’… things had been different in my life… Read the rest of this entry »


Christmas is almost here and this is a sure favorite!  This is always a crowd favorite.  Our Amish friends in Indiana served this to us and I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

Salted Toffee Pretzel Bark
• 1 bag mini pretzels (at least 4 or 5 cups)
• 1 cup butter (not margarine)
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
• Sea salt (if desired)
1. Line 11 x 17 cake pan with parchment paper.
2. Cover the bottom with a layer of pretzels.
3. Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a full boil. Stir continually.
4. Pour slowly over the pretzels.
5. Place in a 350° oven for 8 minutes, or until bubbly all over.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.
7. Let sit for a minute to melt the chocolate.
8. Then smooth chocolate surface with a spatula.
9. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
10. Cool to room temperature.
11. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden chocolate topping. Or lift out of pan onto a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter to make bars.
12. Remove from the pan and break into bite sized portions.

 

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Josh Duggar’s 2nd news event -pornography & affair is called the “Scandal of the year.” Absolutely horrible but would not have been newsworthy for someone else. This is normal behavior for many men.  The media’s intention was not so much to attack Josh Duggar.  This was clearly done with intention to be an attack on Christianity.

Yet Caitlyn Jenner is “Person of the Year” & Glamour Mag. “Woman of the Year.” If Bruce wants to be Caitlyn, fine but giving an award for it is messed up! Plus, how can you be Woman of the Year, when you haven’t been a “woman” for a year?

As twisted as Bruce Jenner is and Josh Duggar has obviously sinned wrong –  this is nothing in comparison to what is about to be unleashed. The scripture is very clear.  Gal. 6: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

I worry about America.

….And who doesn’t love a Crunchy Cheesecake! One of our favorite restaurants that moved into Lexington, Ky around 1998 was –Up The Creek- This was the first time my husband and I eaten a dessert of Fried Cheesecake. We immediately fell in love with it! They also had a sandwich that was Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. Oh my, every night this was what I ate for weeks!

 

 

Fried Cheesecake

• 3 -8 oz. Cream Cheese
• 2/3 c. sugar
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 3 1/2 c. vegetable oil
• 1 stick butter, melted
• 15-20 small flour tortillas
• 1/2 c. sugar
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• SAUCE
• 1 lb. strawberries, diced
• 1/4 c. sugar
• 1/8 c. water
• 1/8 c. strawberry preserves

cheesecakechimichanguasDirections:
1. For the sauce: In a medium sauce pan, add the strawberries, sugar, water, and place on low to medium heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Using a potato smasher, smash the strawberries while in the sauce pan. Add the strawberry preserves and allow to simmer for approximately 5-7 minutes OR until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese; add the sugar, and vanilla. Take a flour tortilla and add about a spoonful and a half of the cream cheese mixture and spread in the middle of the tortilla. Begin to roll the tortilla away from you; half way through tuck in the sides; and roll to the end of the other side of the tortilla making a roll. Complete the process until all of the cream cheese mixture is gone.
3. In a large sauce pan on medium heat (make sure it isn’t too high) heat the vegetable oil. Add a couple of the tortillas to the pan seam side up. Allow to fry for 1 minute on each side. Using a slotted spoon remove from oil once it is golden brown on both sides. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.
4. Using a pastry brush swipe each tortilla with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, and allow to cool before serving. Use the strawberry sauce for dipping.
Please note: Allow to cool before serving. The tortilla will remain crunchy even after cooled.  I prefer the cinnamon be left out of the recipe but that is a personal choice.  Enjoy!