Posted in Different Scriptures, Spoken Word

John 21:1-14

“Children”, you called out your men
Asking if they’d caught some fish
Did they wonder who this man was
Who told them sides to switch?

Did you say it playfully
With loving brotherhood?
Or did you try to draw their ire
As if up to no good?

Their response is telling
For they did not get upset
They responded, trying the other side
And came up with overfilled net

Peter threw his clothes on,
and jumped into the water
I wonder if you thought he’d come
Swimming naked as an otter

I’d love to have seen your smile
As he reached the shore, soaking
And the smile that came to his face
As he saw your fire smoking

I’m sure you hugged him fully
Soaking through your clothes
With the kind of compassion
Only a Father knows

I see you every morning
Awaiting me, ashore
I know that you receive me
With a gladness just as pure

I confess that there are days
I stay too long in my boat
Wanting to be productive
Thinking my role is to stay afloat

If I am discouraged
Or have moments a bit too wild
I pray that you’ll call out to me
And begin by yelling – “child”.

Posted in Uncategorized

a flat story.

Long ago, in a world covered completely in maple trees, a thought was thought. This thought was one of the most powerful thoughts ever known to man, but it couldn’t be contained in a single mind, and so it was shared. In those days, there was a serious problem that was growing more and more urgent every day. Gravity was growing more powerful.

Every day brought new stories of how the increased gravitational pull was impacting this world and it’s inhabitants. Birds were now walking around on the ground, causing massive disturbances in traffic flows as they didn’t know how to use common cross-walks. Baseball fields were forced to shrink the size of the playing field, as the ball wouldn’t go nearly as far as it used to. Elevator cables made strange noises, and weary people began getting healthier as they were forced to use the stairs on a regular basis.

But one thing that began happening without much notice — were the cakes. Only slightly at first, but over time it became more and more noticeable. Cakes were not rising. No matter how many eggs were added, or how fluffy the batter seemed; as a cake was baking in the oven, gravity pulled at it to the point of become simply a flat cake. Not much taller than a shallow pan.

Well you can imagine the chaos that ensued. No one wanted a flat cake. It was too difficult to get the perfect “frosting to cake” ratio once the cake became deflated. It was always either too rich, or not enough. Birthdays were lost to tragic fits of childish rage. Parties began to be things of the past, as too many embarrassed mothers saw a flat cake as their own personal defeated attempt at motherhood.

That is, until one woman saw an opportunity to change the world.

It was, after all, a special occasion. Her daughters’ birthday. Her daughter, Phoebe, deserved to be celebrated by everyone. Her mother loved her with a love unparallelled in any other stories illustrating motherhood. She was special, and the world deserved to know why. But her mom knew this would only happen by solving the problem of the flat cakes.

That’s when it hit her. Maple.

As a child, she’d read an ancient story about a people at the beginning of time who’d purposefully planted maple trees all over their planet. How this tree that literally “bleeds sugar” could be used to do great things for humanity. She labored intensely to brainstorm the perfect combination until finally she emerged triumphantly from her kitchen, yelling to the world, “I’ve done it!!!” (Which also happens to be the phrase engraved underneath the giant statue of a Shortstack on that same planet, if you ever happen to visit.)

Sure enough, not only had she solved the problem, but she had done it in such a way that these flat cakes covered in pancakessugary maple syrup have become a staple. A meal to be eaten all year long, in celebration of the girl who inspired it all. Phoebe.

And now through circumstances that are hard to explain in a Craigslist ad – God has not only allowed us to know of this amazing recipe, but has also given us a sweet little girl named Phoebe to bring home from Africa. The problem is….it cost about as much as traveling to Planet Shortstack to adopt a daughter from Africa. Thankfully, God has been providing so far, and will continue to. We hope that you will consider coming to celebrate this incredible little girl (our Phoebe, not the fictional Phoebe from the silly story), and help us raise money to bring her home — one plate at a time.

Details: Help us raise money to bring our daughter home from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Africa. We hope to travel in 9-12 months. We’ve paid over $14,000 already as God has provided….and are trusting Him for the other $17,000!!!!

7:30am — 11am
Moundford Free Methodist Church — 1803 E. Mound Rd (Next to LSA)
Breakfast — Pancakes & Sausage, Drinks

Adults – $8/plate
Kids – $4/plate
Kids 5 & under — Free

Espresso Drinks – $3

TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Join the event on Facebook!

Posted in Different Learning, Uncategorized

Gluten Free Donuts

image(1)Over a year ago, my wife found out she’s been allergic to gluten for quite a while now.   It was a pretty significant change, for a woman who’d just discovered a love for baking.

Over the past year, she’s made changes accordingly.  I was aware of it, only as far as we were eating less baked goods actually in our home.  Notice that….LESS baked goods.  She continued to make things for her family and friends that she couldn’t even eat herself…because of her servant heart, love for baking, and gift of hospitality.  During this time, I’ve gone though moments of sharing gluten-free experiences with her.  But I’ve always had my trusty gluten-eating to fall back on when the xanthan gum settled.

So for a little longer than the month of July this year, I told my wife I wanted to experience her daily struggle of living gluten-free.  No gluten for me…even during the private or social hours of consumption away from home.  It’s been an eye-opener, for sure.  The amount of times gluten-ladened foods cross your paths on a daily basis is huge.  The tough times come unexpectedly, and complete with growls of hunger.  You’ve definitely got to be pro-active to stay afloat.  I once had dinner at Subway by getting my kids sandwich covered with fresh spinach, and scooping all of the spinach off before serving it.  With a small side of vinaigrette and some Cheeto’s as croutons, it made a decent salad!

But one thing that had been itching at me, was my wife’s inability to enjoy a great cake donut.  (and yes…my own hunger for them during this month.)  So I gave it a shot, throwing together a few flours we happened to have layin’ around.  They turned out to be pretty awesome fresh, and even tasted great as a lunch-time snack later on!  If you’re gluten-free, give it a shot.  If you don’t have these specific flours, try some other combination!  Don’t be too afraid…it’ll end up being dough that’s sweet, fried and covered with sugar… can’t go horribly wrong!  Just be sure to put in the Xanthan gum, and you’ll be alright.

2 Cups Sorghum Flour (I think potato starch would work here too.)

1/2 Cup Tapioca Flourimage

1/2 Cup Almond Meal/Flour

1/2 Tsp. Xanthan Gum

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

3/4 Cup Milk

1 Egg – Beaten

1/4 Cup Butter – Melted & Cooled

2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, & nutmeg.  Make a well in the center & pour in the (milk, egg, butter, vanilla mixed).  Mix until well blended.  Cover & refrigerate (not sure if this part is needed when making donut holes).  I found holes were much easier to make than “donuts” themselves….so we went that route.

Heat oil to 370 degrees.  Seriously – this is perfect donutting temperature.  I’d always fried them in a pot on the stove before, but this time tried our fondue pot with specific marks for temperatures.  It went so much better, and I didn’t end up with uncooked dough balls that were crisp on the outside….like I usually do. 🙂

Spoon out bouncy-ball sized pieces, and put them into the oil carefully.  Let it fry around 8 minutes or so, turning as needed.  When they’re nice and golden all over, remove & place them on a paper toweled plate.  I fried about 10 at a time, and once they were cooled a bit my daughter helped me cover them with sugar.  She loved helping, and making sure they tasted good before we served the family!  Cover with cinnamon & sugar, or glaze (1 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar + 3 Tbs milk…I had no idea how easy this was!  I wanna try and glaze everything now.)  I hope you enjoy, and if you adapt the recipe with other flours, add your comments here!!