Monday, December 19, 2011

Powerful in the Original German- O Holy Night!

My favorite traditional Christmas Carol...
Today, I stumbled across the literal English translation from the original German and was richly blessed by it's beautiful gospel worship...

Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
May the ardent light of our Faith
Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Guided the Oriental kings there.
The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,
It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Scoop 'O Soup

Welcome to my favorite "Tried&True" soup recipe!
Veggie Minestrone

This is one of those recipes that is so familiar I can shop for it and prepare it from memory.....but I remember when it was new to me.

I remember googling soup recipes that day. 
I was sitting in a brand new kitchen, in a newly built house. It was my home, but I was 707 miles from anything I'd ever known.
My husband (of only 5 months) had just driven away to his first day in a new office, and I was gearing up to go buy groceries to stock our bare fridge and cupboards.  We had just moved from our born-and-raised hometown of Racine, WI. to NorthWest Arkansas so that Steve could fulfill a 2 year rotation in his job with SCJ.

My eyes landed on this recipe. It sounded good. 
I added the ingredients to my list, and off I went, with map in hand, and directions to what I thought was the nearest market.  Later, I would learn that in my 18 mile drive, I had passed 3 other markets that would have been much nearer to our new house. =)

Those were hard and very, very good days!  Steve and I had only each other, and we loved it!!! God was so faithful - sovereignly caring for even the littlest details - like leading me to a soup recipe that would become a family favorite for years to come!

4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
4 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
2 medium celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 oz)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups uncooked rotini pasta (4 1/2 oz)
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

Step 1:
In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except pasta and cheese.
Step 2:
Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.
Step 3:Stir in pasta. Increase heat setting to High; cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes longer or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.
Note: I prefer to cook the pasta while I'm preparing the soup, immediately rinsing in cold water and coating with a small amount of Olive Oil....then adding into the soup for the last 5-10 min to heat through.  This avoids their becoming too soft!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wednesday Scoop O'Soup

My Man's favorite. Heavy on the chicken, cooked-just-right egg noodles, in a spicy (thanks to Mom's secret added kick) steamy broth.  The first time Steve had this soup was during our dating days.  I was way far away (too far away) in Dallas, and he was sick here in Racine.  I petitioned my Mom to take care of him, and given the fact that he still requests "your mom's chicken noodle soup - you know - the one she brought me when I was sick" to this day, I'd say she did a good job of it. =)

"Your" Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup:

4-5 large frozen chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite size pieces.
32 oz. Chicken broth.  My Mom makes her's by straining the chicken water and adding salt to taste.
  I like the Organic Free Range Chick Broth by Pacific Natural Foods.

2 C chopped celery
2C chopped carrots
1 C sweet yellow onion, diced.
AND.... here's Mom's secret... 1 Tbl Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce.
(There is nothing like it on sore throats and swollen sinuses.)

1 16 oz Bag of Reames Frozen, Homemade Egg Noodles.  Freezer section at the market.

Add all ingredients, except the noodles, together in slow cooker on low (for all day), or in pot on the stove. 
Simmer until veggies are tender. 
This recipe can be prepared to this point and then frozen for ease in later use.

Add the egg noodles and continue to simmer for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. 
Serve hot, be filled, and feel better!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top Ten

1) Kaylene Grace is walking.  She's extremely cautious, most likely evidence of inheriting her momma's lack of natural athletic ability, hah, but she's tottering and waddling around our home and absolutely the cutest thing in the process.

2)Steve and I celebrated 9 Years of covenant love. 3 different houses called home. 4 babies treasured. 1 baby dearly missed. 2 career transitions. 6.5 years of middle school ministry. Countless falls deeper in love. Endless laughter.  A zillion failures. A zillion forgivenesses. So much more of His grace than we know to express...

3) My friend, Mary! The way she comes to my house to accommodate my little one.  The way she goes right for the heart in accountability, listening with the most sincere expressions of concern.  Her transparency and humility.  The way she remembers and follows up what has been shared. The way she gets and shares my excitement for the gospel applied to every situation.  I am so thankful for this friend and sister in Christ!

4) Watching Glendon participate in soccer camp.  There is nothing more entertaining and fun than a bunch of 1st graders playing the game with an energy and intensity  that abundantly makes up for any lack in skill.

5) Answering the phone to hear the voice of my dear sweet Grandfather who is battling through progressive stages of congestive heart failure.  His voice was labored because catching his breath is hard, but the encouragement and exhortation he shared was priceless.  It was a conversation that promoted only the praise of the Lord! Death has truly lost it's sting through Christ!

6) A series of pictures and texts that streamed in from my ultra sophisticated brother who was away on business in New York City! Tim spread the love of Christ to a man who tried to steal his subway card by freely giving it to him in Jesus' name! 

7) Psalm 22 - taught and discussed at RBC this morning. Wallowing around in the psalm to which Jesus pointed the hearts and minds of those present at His cross.  Even in His deepest suffering, He was about the fulfilling and finished work of the gospel to be made real in needy hearts.  The Holy one was forsaken and afflicted in my place.  Now I stand in His righteousness!

8) My parents who lovingly watched our children for three days, allowing Steve and I to kidnap each other away to one of our favorite haunts yet.  The time away was such an undeserved time of joy and fun in being together...and we're still hearing the stories of what fun our kiddos had on their own special retreat!

9) My SG girl, Olivia who I call, "OOOoooooLIVia".  Kind, joy-filled and super cute is only the start with this girl!  She loves Jesus, but she wants to love Him more.  She wants to be so filled with His love, that loving others would just flow out of her surrendered heart.  She desires to testify to His work in her life. She wants to share the gospel in a real way with the people in her life. She gets teary when she talks about God's work in her life.  She puts others first.  I prayed that God would enable me to wisely build into Olivia.  I came away richly encouraged by her and praising God for her!

10) Cookies. In the mailbox. Homemade. Delicious - reminders of how we are blessed through a certain youth Pastor and his girl!

11)The lyrics to this song by Arron Shust
That you would leave Your throne
And make this world Your home
Forsaking majesty
Embracing mundane
And all of its shame

You walked our dusty streets
Healing a world in need
You looked into the eyes
Of sinners like me
Setting us free

What wondrous love is this
What wondrous love is this
That You would lay aside Your glory for my soul
What wondrous love is this
What wondrous love is this
That You would lay down Your life for my soul

Enduring agony
You bore the cross for me
Betrayed by those You love
You took all our blame
Bearing our pain

They nailed Your feet
They nailed Your hands
You are the God
Who understands
You know rejection
Loss and grief
You loved a world
That nailed You to a tree

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Scoop O'Soup

Today's soup recipe is a Bower kitchen favorite making it's debut in the Schulz home.
It's delicious aromas have led to some significant snitching on my part - Yummy!

Hearty Ham and White Bean Soup


    1 Tb olive oil
    1 sweet onion, diced
    1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
    2 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise ans sliced thin
    1/2 cabbage, cored, cut into bit-size shreds
    12 ounces lean ham steak, diced into small pieces
    1 quart chicken broth
    1 14.5 can petite-diced tomatoes
    2 cans (15 oz each) white beans, undrained
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


    Heat the oil over medium high in a soup kettle.
    Add onion, saute until soft and golden, about five minutes.
    Add the Italian seasoning and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
    Add the remaining ingredients, then bring to a full simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.
    ~I prepared the soup to this point yesterday, stored in the fridge over night and now have simmering on low in our slow cooker. 
    Reduce heat to low, simmer gently (partially covered) until the vegetables are just cooked and flavors blended, about 15 minutes.
    Stir in the parsley; cover and let stand for five minutes

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Top Ten + 1

    1 - Tuesday evening. A hard night. An evening of failure, many tears, and desperate awareness of my neediness. Because I yearn for His likeness to be formed in me, this is a highlight!

    2- Wednesday morning. The power of God's living and active word never ceases to grab me, wash me, change me, empower me.
    Ps72:12-14 "For He delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence He redeems their life, and precious is their blood in His sight."

    3- Steve. The tender and wise way in which he shepherds me through such times. The way he listens, willingly making himself vulnerable. The way he gives correction through the word and gentle prayer over me. I don't deserve his love and leading - that's for sure. He continues to be the hugest human expression of God's grace in my life!

    4 - Soup recipes. A new one experienced and embraced this week and thanks to my friend, Libby, several more lined up to be enjoyed in the weeks ahead!

    5 - Lauren. Sister in Christ. Friend. Co-laborer in youth ministry. Jesus Christ is shining bright in this sweet gal's love for others. I have observed her tangibly reaching out and extending welcome twice this past week in ways that challenged me!

    6 - Glendon received correction and discipline from God-given authorities at school this week. The platform this gave Steve and I for proclaiming the rescue that is found in Christ to our son was huge. How God worked in my mother-heart's reaction to this situation exercised and strengthened my faith in ways I would never chose to by-pass.

    7 - A bunch of Middle Schoolers, flashlight games. Too-yummy snacks. Hot cider and cozy bonfire. Fall Fun Night with the MS youth was such a joy-filled night. Best part was the part where we all gathered around the fire and shared about God's work in our lives. Just about the time I think I love these kids as much as I ever will, God does something to further knit my heart to them...

    8 - CHELLE! The way she loves Jesus! The way she drives a go-cart like a crazy lady. The way she carves pumpkin welcome signs and opens her home. The way she serves with heart and soul. The way she brought her new employer to church to hear about Jesus this morning!

    9 - Pumpkin Farm. Yummy family fun! I commend to all within driving distance the amazing Salted Carmel Pecan Fudge we discovered at Borsynski's Farm!!!

    10 - The rich blessing of spiritual fellowship given to us through Jesus Christ. On Friday morning, with a dear friend and sister who knows how to literally "pour courage" into my heart. On Sunday afternoon, with one of my SG girls who loves to laugh and talk about Jesus! I treasured both!

    11 - Chris Tomlin's rendition of "All The Way My Savior Leads Me".... a theme of my heart throughout this past week.
    "You lead me and keep me from falling,
    You carry me close to Your heart,
    And surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me."

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Wednesday Scoop O' Soup...

    Today's soup recipe is bubbling away in my crock pot for the first time - thanks to my friend, Kathy.

    Kathy is wife, mother, step-mom(to my cousins), and grandmother. While our paths rarely cross in person, facebook has given us connection, where her love for her Saviour, her husband, cooking, the outdoors, and pilates has been of great encouragement to my walk...

    Thank you, Kathy, for posting this recipe.  I have been eager to mix it up in the Schulz kitchen ever since!

    Chipotle-Kissed Red Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

    1 tablespoon olive oil or water or broth
    1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    1 medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 large garlic clove, minced
    1 tablespoon chili powder, to taste
    1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    14 1/2 ounces crushed tomatoes
    15 ounces canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1 1/2 cups water
    salt — to taste
    1 tablespoon canned chili peppers — chipotle in adobo sauce

    In a large skillet, sauté the onions, pepper and garlic in oil or substitutes, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cook 30 seconds,then add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat evenly with the spices.
    Transfer the mixture to a 4-6 quart slow cooker and add the beans and tomatoes. Season with salt and cover, cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
    Add the chipotles just before serving and adjust the seasonings to taste.
    Source: Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker