Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A Challenging Quote

Don't instill, or allow anybody else to instill into the hearts of your children the idea that marriage is the chief end of life. If you do, don't be surprised if they get engaged to the first empty, useless fool they come across. Women and men should marry when it is plainly the will of God for their lives, NOT because they 'can't minister' otherwise, or because of social pressure. -William Booth.

RECIPE: Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

4 large potatoes
100g unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
150g frozen peas, thawed
500g lean minced lamb
150g beef stock
1-2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 200C. 
Peel and quarter the potatoes, then boil for about 20 minutes until tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, melt 25g of the butter in a large pan and over a medium heat, sauté the onions, carrots and garlic for about 10 minutes until tender.  Stir in the peas.
Add the mince and cook until no longer pink.  Add half the beef stock and cook, uncovered, over a low heat for 10 minutes, adding more stock as necessary to keep it moist.
Drain the potatoes and mash with the remaining butter and milk.  Place the lamb mixture in a baking dish.  Layer the mashed potato on top.  Rough up with a fork so there are peaks that will brown nicely.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until bubbling and brown.


Thursday, 16 February 2012


When you start a relationship with that special young man, here is a list of questions that other young women have found helpful in getting to know their future husbands....this list of questions are DEFINITELY NOT a must-ask, but just things that might be helpful to ask. 

Questions for Suitors

--Are sports just something fun to do, or are they a big part of your life?
--What are your views on television in the home, and what is your family's history with television?
--What are your thoughts on computer/video gaming?
--What's your favourite sport?
--What kind of music do you like and listen to?
--What is your standard for Godly music?
--What do you think about the Internet?  Would you want to have in your own home?
--What are your thoughts on dancing, and on what sort is suitable/acceptable for Christians to do?
--What do you think about playing cards?
--What are appropriate uses of leisure time?

Family/Raising Children
--What family traditions, holiday or otherwise, would you like to incorporate into your family?
--What do you believe about Christmas?  Do you want to celebrate it once you’re married?  If not, why?
--Do you want your children homeschooled? What role would you play in that?  What curriculum would you want to use? What does your family think about homeschooling?
--Would you ever send your children to school?
--What are your views on circumcision? Would our sons (Lord willing) be circumcised?
--How would you go about testing suitors for your daughters? Or mates for your sons?
--What are your ideas when it comes to medical vs. natural/herbal remedies, or emergencies?
--What do you believe about child discipline?  Do you intend to discipline your own children?
--If a visiting child misbehaves in your home, how do or would you handle it?
--As an adult living with or away from your family, what parts do your mother, father and grandparents play in your life?
--In your family, whose responsibility is it to mow the lawn and take care of other yard work?  Is that the way you think it should be? How do or would you establish division of labour indoors and out?
--Does your family have a history of health challenges, and what is their and your view on this?
--Do you think it is appropriate to raise our children from a young age to be computer literate?
--Do you believe in our unmarried daughters staying at home or would you want them to get a university degree/career?
--What kind of relationship do you have with your father and your mother? What kind of relationship do you hope to have with your sons and your daughters?
--Do you believe in using birth control?
--What is your greatest desire for your children?
--What is your vision for your family?
--What situations would merit your daughter getting a part time or full time job? Or are you keen to train them to be helpmeets and homemakers by having them help you and I?
--What if we don’t have children?  Would you consider adopting children?
--What are your clothing standards for each member of the family?
--How would you handle disagreements with parents or in-laws?
--What do you consider as your role in caring for elderly parents and grandparents?
--How much time do you want your wife spending on activities away from home without you?
--Should grandparents discipline their grandchildren?
--What would you do if older children disagree with some of your beliefs?
--Would you report your homeschooling to the government school authorities?

--Do you only buy/wear name brand clothing/shoes, or are finds at thrift stores just fine?
--Would you be the only money-maker, or could I have one or more cottage industries either throughout the marriage on a permanent basis or as needed?
--Do you have a student loan or credit card debt? If so what are your plans for paying it off?
--What do you believe regarding going into debt?
--What do you believe about taking government handouts such as family support?
--What do you believe about finances? Cash based or are credit cards ok?
--How would you like to deal with money? Will I have a household budget?
--As far as you can ascertain, what sort of income level are you likely to live at?
--Can you describe your financial situation to me?
--How do you foresee finances once you are married to be organized? For example, what would a regular food budget be likely to be?
--Do you have savings?
--Do you see tithing as an act of worship? ie, not proper to come before the Lord in worship without an offering?

--Do you like `leftover' meals or something fresh for each meal?
--What food(s) will you absolutely not eat? :)
--When your family visits friends for a shared meal, what do you like to do after you've eaten?
--Do you ever do the dishes? When?
--What are your views on nutrition and supplementation?

--Do you like the town or the country better?
--What's your favourite animal?
--What kind of books do you enjoy reading most?
--What's your favourite kind of take-aways?
--What is your favourite food?
--What are some of your favourite TV shows and movies?
--What's your favourite colour?
--Do you have any food allergies?
--Do you like to read out loud?
--What place does music have in your life?
--In what ways are you like your dad? In what ways are you unlike him?
--Who are the influential people in your life? Why?
--What authors do you read/have you read?
--What style do you like to read? What style do you not like to read?
--What is the nicest complement you have been paid?
--How often and how much of the Bible do you read? What have you memorized?
--What would you want to name your children?
--What is your view on speech standards, in regards to education as well as uprightness?
--Would you rather make a large difference in one person's life or a small difference in the entire world?
--What God-given gifts and talents do you have, and how do you use or plan to use them for God's service?
--What ministry(s) do you have?
--Is there any way I would be able to help you in this ministry(s)?
--Have you travelled much?
--Do you play any musical instruments?
--What do you like doing in your spare time?
--Do you like lots of company, or do you prefer more time to yourself and alone with your family?
--Are you a Morning person or night person?
--Do you hold to a Schedule or not? How flexible?
--Do you arrive early or late to commitments?
--What are your views on public & mixed swimming?
--What is your attitude towards pets?  Indoor or Outdoor?
--What is (are) your favourite sources for news?
--What is your attitude towards family (home) business?
--What are your thoughts on immunizations?

Personal Details
--Have you had any speeding tickets?
--Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
--Have you ever been in court?
--How did your parents meet?
--What makes you cry? Laugh? Frustrated?  What other emotions do you tend to feel?
--What are your weaknesses?  What weaknesses can I pray about for you? How are you trying to overcome them, and is there any way I can help?
--What things in your life are you trying to work on?
--What spiritual mistakes have you made in the past or errors have you believed?
--What sort of a wedding would you like? Style?  Size? What traditions would it incorporate?
--What was your family like growing up?
--What is your church like?
--How do you learn best?
--What is important to you? What needs do you have?
--Is there anything else I should know about you?
--Would you consider yourself neat or messy?
--Do you have any personal habits that might annoy others?

--What part does the Bible play in your life, and what is your view on modern translations?
--What do you consider appropriate music in the church and in the home and why?
--How do you spend your Sunday and why?
--If your church leadership taught or promoted something you considered errant, how would you respond?
--What is your view on mid-week or evening church meetings that require the presence of husband and/or wife?
--What is your opinion of youth groups and children's Sunday school?
--What is your attitude and activity regarding missions and evangelism?
--Do you believe in once saved always saved?
--How much time do you spend talking to God? Is He always the main factor in all of your decisions? How has He impacted your life?
--When/how did you become a Christian?  What are the evidences of your salvation?
--Are all the members in your family Christians or not?
--What do you believe about creation vs. evolution?
--What are your beliefs on the end times?
--Do you believe the rapture will occur before the tribulation?
--What do you believe about heaven and hell?
--What do you think about shopping on Sunday?  Do you see it as a “forbidden” practice, or to do only in extreme circumstances to “pull the ox out of the hole”, i.e. run out of petrol, or unexpected visitors for Sunday lunch, etc?
--What are your thoughts on infant baptism?
--What do you think about baptism & the Lord’s Supper?  Who should participate in these sacraments?
--What would you say is your spiritual gift(s)?  Your spiritual strengths?
--Recognizing that we are all imperfect, in what one or two areas do you think God wants you to improve most?

--What career are you pursuing? How are you pursuing it (college, apprenticeship, etc.)?
--Where do you think the Lord wants you? What is His will for your life?
--How could I help you? In your work, vision for the family, etc?
--Do you work long hours? Do you see this continuing?

Home Life
--What sort of meals does your family eat? What sort of meals do you want your wife to make?
--What sorts of foods do you like? How should I organise meals? ie, main meal at lunch or tea?
--What books do you want on your shelves? For you and your family?
--What books do you not want on your shelves?
--Where do you want to live?
--What will life be like, what will my role be after the children are grown?
--What are your desires/intentions with regard to hospitality?
--What meals will we be able to eat together?
--What do you think about children’s toys?
--What do you think about clutter and stuff? Children's chores? Pocket money?

Husband and Wife Roles and Responsibilities and Relationship
--What do you look for in a wife?
--How do you define a meek and quiet spirit in a woman?  
--Do you believe that a wife should submit to her husband? What exactly does this mean to you?
--Do you believe that a husband should love his wife as he loves himself? What exactly does this mean to you?
--Will you expect your wife to be the sole care giver to your children, or will you take an active role in raising them?
--Do you expect your wife to do all the cooking?
--What are your views on female dress/appearance?  And on the male dress/appearance?
--How can I please you in the way that I dress? speak? behave?
--In what ways, and in what things do you need a wife to help you?
--What things do you see yourself doing with your wife: A. for relaxation? B. for fun?C. to prepare for the future?
--Would you ever require/ask your wife to go into paid employment outside the home?
--Would you desire me to be active as a Titus 2 woman? (Particularly after our children have been raised?)
--How can I show you respect? What would you view as a disrespectful attitude or action from me?
--Have you prayed about our courtship/relationship and a possible future marriage with me?
--Are you prepared to answer my theological questions or, if you cannot, to study so you can remedy the deficiency?
--When I come to you for counsel, will you give it to me? When I ask for a decision, will you make it? Even if I resist it?
--Do you think it is appropriate to correct your wife in public?
--What do you anticipate married life with me looking like?
--List the five most important characteristics of a wife (for you personally).
--List any characteristics or personality traits that would bother or irritate you in a wife.
--Overtime work - evenings and Saturdays

Relationships in General and Ours in Particular
--Do you believe in dating or courtship, and how do you define both of these? What do your parents believe about dating and courtship?
--Do you believe in saving your first kiss for your wedding kiss?
--How much supervision do you think a dating/courting couple should have? Should they be allowed to go on dates alone? Should one of their parents always be present?
--Would you only date/court a person you are interested in marrying?
--How long should a couple date/court before becoming engaged?
--Do you think it's okay to talk to someone of the opposite sex on the phone if you are not dating/courting them?
--What are your desires with regard to physical purity prior to marriage? What sort of physical touch is appropriate prior to marriage?
--What safeguards or accountability should we have when we are together before we are married?
--What role do in-laws play in a marriage?
--Are you ever manipulative of others?
What circumstances might make you impatient or angry?  How do you handle anger?  Have you ever been violent?  Do you raise your voice when angry?

Spiritual Disciplines (Christian Living)
--Do you have any convictions about which Christian organizations you give money to?
--Do you desire to glorify God in all that you do?
--Is attending church every Sunday a priority for you?
--Do you believe in elder/deacon rule, congregational rule or pastoral rule?
--Do you prefer small churches or large churches?
--Would you want me to wear a headcovering?
--How do you feel about gossip? What constitutes gossip? How much should we talk about others? How much is it appropriate for a married couple to talk about others to each other? Would you ever talk about me to others?

Ten Questions to Ask Your Husband Each Year
--What could I do to make you feel more loved?
--What could I do to make you feel more respected?
--What could I do to make you feel more understood?
--What could I do to make you feel more self-confident?
--What could I do to make you more confident in our future direction?
--What attribute would you like me to develop?
--What attribute would you like for me to help you develop?
--What achievement in my life would bring you the greatest joy?
--What would really indicate to you that I really desire to be more Christlike?
--What mutual goal would you like to see us accomplish?

The Cutest Dog in the Whole World

This is Lily, our 4-year-old Lab x Kelpie, and she has such a beautiful nature.  If you don't believe in love at first sight, you will after meeting Lily!  :)


***A letter or a poem to one you love... along with a picture in a frame or card.

***Gifts of your time–‑these can be given to anyone... jobs you can do, things you can make, transportation you can provide, calls you can make.

***Magazine subscriptions - these are a favourite in many homes and you can bring a lot of joy to a family by remembering them with a gift subscription.

***Maybe this is the year you would like to present a child with a new Bible, or a special journal and pen.


***A tree or plants for the home.

***A bucket of tools, gloves, bulbs, seeds, kneeling pad for weeding and gardening.

***A basket of mugs, hot chocolate mix and marshmallows, cookies and a book of poetry.

***A harmonica and a songbook.

***An apron, cookbook stand, kitchen timer or clock.

***Wall calendar for the current year! Maybe find one in a wooden wall frame (or make one!)

***A basket of rubber stamps, ink, pens, blank stationery.

***Sew a pair of satin pillow cases.

***Do a chore(s) for someone!!!! Clean & vacuum the car; paint the bathroom; rake the yard; cut and stack the wood; clean the fridge; sew some curtains; make a plan to prune the trees; do a basket of mending or a basket of ironing.

***Kitchen towels, washcloths, pot‑holders

***Plastic numbers and letters for the refrigerator - magnets, picture holder magnets

***Hair care supplies, brush, comb, clips or bands

***Bouquet of flowers, vase

***Candles, doily and box of pretty matches

***Bath bubbles, salts, sponge, soaps, candles, powder

***Teapot, teacups, teas, vanilla sugar, paper doilies, butter cookies

***CD of hymns or special music

***DVD of favourite movie or an instructional video

***New journal, pens, book mark, candle

***Finger paint, finger paint paper, sponges cut into shapes.

***Music lessons

***Put together a basket of mixes or ingredients for a special meal.

***A basket of tools and a "how to" project book.

***A basket of kitchen gadgets... and favourite recipes you write out on cards.

***If you are a canner and baker, a basket of items you canned this summer along with a couple of baked goods.

***And for your neighbours, a plate of assorted cookies and a special card with the message of the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Need a laugh?

Think Before You Say "Yes" to the BIG QUESTION!!

Don’t Marry That Guy If... wouldn’t want him for a roommate. wouldn’t want him for a neighbour. wouldn’t want to be his sister. wouldn’t want to be his mother. wouldn’t want to be his daughter. wouldn’t want him for a co-worker. wouldn’t want to work for him. wouldn’t want him for a nurse. wouldn’t want to be dependant on him.

RECIPE: Blood Plum Jam

With ripening fruit being at its height, I thought I'd share with you all this recipe for blood plum jam.  I tried this recipe for the first time last year, and it's BEAUTIFUL!!

Blood Plum Jam

2kg blood plums, quartered, stones removed
4 cups water
1/3 cup lemon juice
6 cups sugar

Combine plums and water in large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Add the lemon juice and sugar to the pan and stir, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves.  Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil.  Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until the jams jells when tested (see note).
Ladle the jam immediately into 8 clean 250ml jars and seal. Set aside to cool.  Label and date the jars before storing.
NB:   This jam will keep, unopened, in a cool, dark place, for up to 12 months.  Once opened, keep in the fridge for up to 8 weeks.