So Much to Be Thankful For: Savory Bread Pudding

Yes, Josh, I’m looking at you.

I really am pretty blessed.

I have a family who sees all of my idiosyncrasies, meltdowns and bedhair, and loves me anyway.

A home where I am safe, cared for, and kept warm.

A professor who makes a last-minute decision to cancel class on Thanksgiving-eve.

The unexpected joy of spending the whole afternoon snuggled with sweats, blankets, and cranberry-pomegranate green tea because class was cancelled.

An entire weekend with no deadlines to spend with cousins, aunts and uncles and my grandpa.

A great big extended family who hugs, talks loudly, and eats well in the good old Italian way.

A Thanksgiving eve service that reminds me from Whom all blessings flow; that life is about much more stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie. Yum.

Friends who invite us for Thanksgiving dinner.

The excuse to bake Thanksgiving-y dishes all week long, because, well, we’ll be at friend’s house for the actual dinner and what’s Thanksgiving without a messy kitchen and leftovers?

The butternut squash and Brussels sprouts falling out of the fridge just as I was contemplating vegetarian-friendly Thanksgiving dishes.

A healthy, hearty, scrumptious dish to help combat all the sweets and treats I’ll be consuming this weekend.

Savory Autumn Bread Pudding 
~ Serves 4 as a main dish


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and subed
  • 1/2 lb Brussels Sprouts, cut in halves
  • 1 large apple, diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • 1 T. dried rosemary
  • 4 pieces whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 1/3 c. milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 2 T. raisins


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange squash and Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake about 30 minutes, or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, saute onion in olive oil, salt, pepper garlic, and rosemary. Combine vegetables and onion in a medium casserole dish. Top with bread cubes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Pour mixtures over bread. Sprinkle raisins on top.
  • Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, until egg is set.

This was baked alongside my sister’s egg-sausage-cheese-frenchfriedonion casserole. I’m thankful all our hearts are pumping.

Guess which casserole was licked clean within minutes? Apparently the beauty of Brussels sprouts is outshone by the glitz of cheese covered French-fried-onions. But I am thankful my family was considerate enough to leave me leftovers. What’s Thanksgiving without them?


Quick Eatz: Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of looking at life through lab glasses: 

In attempts to stay healthy during my hectic life, I have been drinking a lot of this:

and consuming far too much of this (which has nothing to do with healthy, but everything to do with the hectic life):

When I get a chance, I let out stress in a run. Fall morning runs are the best. Especially when run with a good friend who has an awesome sense of style:

 I’ve not been neglecting pumpkin, either. I’ve probably been through 6 cans in the past two and a half months. That’s almost a can a week!

Don’t judge, please. Instead, make one of these recipes and you’ll understand. I hope.

Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Honey Buttercream (Heather’s Dish). If the name alone doesn’t have you clicking over, let me tell you that this is one of the most phenomenal recipes I’ve made all autumn.  The buttercream alone is out of this world. I had to hold myself back from sitting down to a bowl of it and calling it lunch.

Pumpkin Molasses Cookie Dough Balls (Peas and Thank You). Soft and flavorful, these cookies didn’t last long!

Pumpkin Smoothie (Edible Perspective). Pumpkin makes such a creamy smoothie! I only wish I didn’t slurp through this deliciousness so fast.

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip:

  • 3/4 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. cottage cheese
  • 3 T. almond butter
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 1 T. maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender or in a medium size bowl until blended smooth. Drizzle maple syrup on top and top with chopped nuts or coconut before serving. Scoop up with graham crackers, pretzels, apple and pear slices, or pita chips.

In just over a week, it will be Thanksgiving. I can choose to be stressed out by the way time is whizzing by, or I can choose to embrace this season of gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for. I have a strong and loving family, I’ve been blessed with good health, I have the opportunity to be in college, taking classes (difficult as they may be) on the way to the career of my dreams. Most of all, my life is marked by the love and grace of God. Every day, His mercies are new. Great is His faithfulness. 

In this hectic life, filled with both joys and stresses, moments of peace and moments of frustration, I choose to give thanks.

Coffee Cup Adventures

I took coffee on vacation.

All other addictions and temptations (cell phone, internet, wallet) stayed behind.

We relaxed.

We soaked in the autumn beauty of Creation.

We explored the stunning grandeur of northern Pennsylvania mountains.

Today, I’m back home. Suitcase a jumbled mess on my bedroom floor. Drinking coffee out of a plain old mug at the bathroom sink while doing my makeup and running through a mental checklist.

It’s Monday and vacation’s over.

Let’s pretend it’s not. Let’s take just fifteen extra minutes before rushing to shower, suit up and jump on the speed bus.

This breakfast says it’s worth it.

Pumpkin Banana French Toast

~ serves one ~


  • 2/3 c. vanilla almond milk (or other milk)
  • 2 t. molasses
  • 1/3 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 T. ground flax seed
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread


  • In a shallow dish, whisk together milk, molasses, pumpkin, and flax. Mash banana and whisk into milk mixture. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
  • Heat a greased skillet over medium heat.
  • While skillet is heating, dip bread in milk mixture until coated on both sides. Don’t let the bread sit and soak in the liquid, or it will get soggy and fall apart.
  • Fry bread in skillet until bottom is golden brown and “set”. Flip and repeat on other side.
  • Serve with “Pumpkin Cream”: 1T. pumpkin mixed into 2T. plain yogurt with maple syrup and cinnamon. Lick plate clean.

Of course, as long as we’re still extending the vacation weekend, we can top this with whatever we want: whipped cream, ice cream, warm apples, caramel topping, powdered sugar, candied nuts…the ceiling’s the limit.

I made a few extra slices ahead of time to pop into the toaster on a busy weekday morning. To eat in the car and wash down with a travel mug of strong coffee. To bring that vacation sense of adventure to an average kind of day.

I take vacation to my coffee.

Bite-Sized Bedtime Revelations

  • I’ve concluded that apple picking needs to be an annual welcome-to-fall event. Nothing puts you into autumn vibe like walking through rows of apple-laden trees, picking fruit fresh off the tree and then coming home and trying to fit three large baskets of apples into the fridge. Someone got a little carried away…but really, how could you not? They’ve already been simmered into applesauce and baked into pies, and no one’s allowed to leave the house without stocking up on car ride snacks.

  • 5Ks are really fun. While I love conquering long runs, there is something about just giving it your all for a short distance. It was an awesome feeling to run a 5K on Saturday just for the pure pleasure of it. It helped that I got to watch a dear friend experience a race for the very first time. It also helped that I broke my PR without even trying! Definitely made up for the unfortunate race T-shirt:

  • Went to the grocery store to rent a movie and came home with this:

Contrary to what my family thinks, this is not an obsession. This is a necessity. It’s October, the shelves have been bare since March, and this girl needs her orange-spiked happiness.Finding this 6lb can pretty much saved my autumn.

Do you see what that says there? 25 servings. Should last me about two weeks.Watch out, family. Pumpkin is going in everything.

  • Speaking of happy winter squash, I give the Butternut some love over on Vibrance. Five of my favorite ways to cook that lovely vegetable, including a recipe for the best soup ever. Butternut, Carrot, and Nut Butter Soup. Doesn’t that just turn all the leaves bright colors and give the air a cinnamon smell? It should.

  • I better get to bed so I can knock out a five mile run tomorrow morning before school. I am really loving the way a morning run sets the pace for the rest of the day and helps me hit the books already feeling like I’ve accomplished something good. Another discovery this school year — the enigma of packing lunches. This is the first time I’ve ever regularly packed lunches (homeschooler alert!) and it’s more of a challenge than I used to imagine — especially when I’m away from 10-5. One thing I’ve got down: the daily apple. But that’s a post for another, more enlightened time.

For now, goodnight. And happy munching.

Simply the Best

Sometimes the simplest moments are the best. A favorite song playing on the radio. A letter in the mail from a friend. A few red leaves fall on the hood of the car. A cup of Vanilla Caramel tea, flannel pajama pants, and a ginger spice candle on a chilly evening.

On Saturday, I went to Queens for a street fair. I was helping a church I had grown to love this summer. Driving back into the city, walking back on familiar sidewalks past the same delis and boutiques and bagel shops, a wave of nostalgia and sweet memories rushed over me. I thought of little hands pressing into mine as we traced jungle animals; little giggling, singing faces lifted to mine; little arms tightly wrapping around my legs. That week back in July, my heart had expanded far beyond what I thought it was possible in love for these children. When I came back home, I carried their memories with me, in the many precious “I love you”s, the handmade cards, and the camera full of pictures. They have been on my heart and in my prayers ever since. I wonder how they are, what they are doing, and it makes me sad that I will never know what became of these lives I felt so closely bound to.

The tent of our stand fluttered in the crisp autumn breeze. Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day for a street fair. I was quickly busy cutting muffins, labeling brochures, and setting up the face painting station. But the whole time my hands and feet were moving, I was watching the people streaming by. So so many people. People I didn’t know, would never know. And again the wistful longing tugged at my heart in a way I didn’t understand.

And that’s when I saw her. Standing on the outskirts of our stand, clutching her brother’s stroller, her dainty black braids dancing in the wind. I knew her. She was one of mine — one of the sixteen five year olds who intertwined with and shaped my life that special week in July.

What was even more thrilling was that she knew me. She came close, her little almond eyes raised to meet mine with a shy smile and her little arms wound around my legs. It was a small moment, but my heart overflowed in praise for it. God had shown me once again that He cares for me, even the little desires of my heart, and that love and prayers are never a waste. Sometimes the simplest moments are the most profound.

This is one of the most simple recipes I’ll ever post. Probably because the naturally sweet flavors of butternut squash and apples need little enhancing. Or, probably because when you’re having company over tomorrow, you search your recipe box for the quickest and easiest side dish that will still impress and not taste like something that came out of the freezer in a cardboard box.This autumn bake does that and much more. What is a more simple October pleasure than walking to the farm stand for fresh butternut squash and apples? It is really the perfect fall side dish — a touch of sweetness, a bit of crunch, the smell of cinnamon, warm and comforting — and a healthy alternative to the sugar and fat-laden Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole. If nothing else, you must at least make the candied walnuts. Please. And then throw them on everything you eat the next week. They are life-changing. One of those simple ingredients that bring so much joy and color to life.

Roasted Butternut-Apple Bake with Candied Walnuts

  • 1 large butternut squash, chopped into cubes
  • 3 medium apples, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 t. salt


  • Preheat oven to 400F. In a large baking dish, mix squash, apples and onions. In a small bowl or jar, whisk balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt. Pour over vegetables and mix to coat thoroughly. Bake about 40 minutes or until squash is soft when pierced with a fork.
  • Stir candied walnuts (recipe following) into warm vegetables. Sprinkle raw sugar or brown sugar over the dish, if desired. Serve warm.

Candied Nuts

  • 1 c. walnuts
  • 2 T. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup or honey
  • 1 T. coarse raw sugar
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. salt


  • Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium jar, combine balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Secure the lid on the jar and shake to thoroughly combine ingredients. Add walnuts to the jar, secure lid and shake until nuts are coated with the wet mixture. Spread nuts in a single layer on a lightly sprayed cooking sheet. Bake until they turn golden brown and give off a fragrance (be careful not to burn!). Cool completely before eating. Candied nuts make a great addition to salads, baked goods, ice cream (yum!), fruit salad, and lots of other things! Simple, but fancy!

Because sometimes simple is all this blessed soul can take.

When Yummy Things Happen


I’m working on it (beginning with spelling it).

It’s one of character traits that when you realize you need it, you find all kinds of opportunities to learn it.

Learning that sometimes torrential downpours happen and you find yourself without an umbrella and then means you have to run across campus in your sequined flats and arrive in class resembling a wet rat. And no, the world is not ending.

Learning that on the one free day of the week you hoped to spend with family, everyone else is out of the house. You suddenly have a free whole day for studying.

Learning that even when you have whole days blocked up for studying, that never really happens. Because other important things come up. Like baking.

Learning that as soon as you find one good excuse to bake (those apples in the fridge are getting mealy), there come along three other necessary events to bake for that weekend (thirty+ guests, a neighborhood party, a friend’s 90th birthday). This means you need to triple your recipe. And go to the store for more apples. And you can give up any ideas of studying.

Learning that when sisters watch you bake, you will end up making an entire separate batch with chocolate chips instead of apples and you will become the brunt and punchline of several jokes when you ask the question “What does quirky really mean anyway?”. Never ask that question. But you will also have someone to stir the batter as you wipe flour of your camera so you can arrange and take thirty pictures. That’s normal, right?

Learning that no matter how much they leave you to your textbooks, make fun of you, or call you names (can you be a little more original than Ditzy?), all will be forgotten when they follow a buttery, warm-apple fragrance into the kitchen and sinking their teeth into your creation, offer up mmms and contented sighs that makes your quirky sister heart swell with love.

These bars are one of my favorite recipes because they are endlessly adaptable. The base recipe, adapted from Mama Pea’s Toffee Bars, is so versatile and can be taken any way your imagination, mood, occasion, or kitchen pantry dictates. Some of my favorite add-ins have been the toffee chips (follow Mama Pea’s recipe for homemade toffee = amazing!!) with coconut and chocolate chips, fresh blueberries and white chocolate chips, peanut butter and chocolate chips.

This newest creation was inspired by the autumesque weather we’ve been enjoying — Apple Butterscotch Bars. Why have I not baked with butterscotch chips before? Find of the week season.

adding color to a “blank slate”

Apple Butterscotch Bars
(Adapted from Mama Pea’s Toffee Bars)


  • 1 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. vegan margarine
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 c. diced apple
  • 1 c. butterscotch chips
  • 1/3 c. coarse raw sugar (or brown sugar)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray a 9×12 pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, cream together sugar, margarine and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add dry ingredients gradually into wet mixture until fully combined.
  • Gently fold in apples and butterscotch chips (or other add-ins of your choice).
  • Press mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

Learning adapplebility adaptability isn’t easy. Sometimes it includes rain-drenching, flour-coating reminders that I am not in control of my life. Squashed sequin flats and late night study sessions will happen, whether I plan them or not, and if I choose by God’s grace, I can surrender my unmet desires, give thanks in all things, rejoice in the abundant life I’ve been given, and eat Apple Butterscotch Bars because somehow I missed lunch.

Really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s Beginning to Taste Like Fall

Something is happening.

The other morning, instead of daily iced coffee routine, I woke up craving steaming green tea. I had to search deep behind stacks and stacks of mugs to find one big enough.

Another strange thing. It is no surprise that whenever Mom goes anywhere, she almost always manages to drive by a farm stand and almost comes home with a big bag of fresh produce. But the surprise came when she pulled a big butternut squash out of the bag and declared, “It’s time you make butternut apple soup again.” Which I haven’t done yet because butternut squash are far more pretty to look at then to cut.

And then there are all this packages that kept appearing on our front step and now there is a mountain of textbooks stacked in the middle of my bedroom floor. I’m scared to go near it, lest there be an avalanche, so I’m considering sleeping on the couch until it melts.

Oh, and the past couple days when I’ve stepped outside for my early morning runs, I have been shocked by a cool breeze. Where did that come from? And why do I still sweat like it’s 90 degrees?

So the hot tea, butternut squashes, textbooks, and breezy mornings have brought me to a conclusion: The seasons are a-changing. Opening my calendar to September 1 this morning confirmed my suspicions. Autumn is coming.

There’s an excitement that creeps over me at this time of year, just as shades of red and orange creep into summer’s green leaves. There is something about the crisp air, the evening glow, campfires and woolly sweaters that makes my heart so glad. And it reminds me of the faithfulness of God, shown in the way the seasons cycle and the earth is renewed every year. “He did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17).

But I also know that with summer’s end comes the end of other things as well. Like baking. Let me tell you, I took every opportunity to bake this summer because I knew they would soon be no more. Now, the afternoons I’m not in classes must be devoted to studying. Now, instead of dusting myself in flour from head to toe, I’m spilling chemicals in Biochemistry lab (please, don’t comment. I’m an absolute klutz in the lab). Now, I’m not pursuing cookbooks on a lawn chair, I’m bent over Plato and Locke. In bed. With the covers pulled up to my chin.

During my last week of freedom, I decided to devote my last baking project to making something that would welcome the new season with open arms, to embody everything I loved about fall.

Well hello there, beautiful. I think I can handle you.

Please make this. On a autumn school night, this banana apple bread will keep you warm company, especially if paired with a mammoth mug of hot tea. I promise it will give you happy thoughts during lab disasters and strength to tackle The Leviathan.

And it’s easy enough to whip on a weekend or in between study sessions (shh, I won’t tell).

It’s-Almost-Fall Apple Banana Bread

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • ½ c. rolled oats
  • 2 T. flax seed meal
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • 3 ripe bananas mashed (about 1 ½ c.)
  • ¼  c. honey
  • ¼ c. natural peanut butter
  • ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ t. vanilla
  • 1 medium apple, sliced.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8-inch cake pan or 8×4 loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, flax, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a separate bowl, blend mashed banana, honey, peanut butter, applesauce and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  • Pour batter into pan and smooth top with a spoon. Arrange apple slices on top, only overlapping slightly.Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Fall I welcome you with open arms. And open mouth.
In bed with the covers pulled up to my chin.

>Sharing the {Pumpkin} Love


When I’m not blogging, my time is spent studying, fellowshipping with my favorite girls, or catching up on life goals.

And whatever time is left, I spend doing art in the kitchen.

I love baking and cooking. It clears my brain of all its unnavigable clutter to flip through my recipe box, whip out bowls and measuring spoons, and let my creative energies run free. Without much thought but with lots of care, a cake, a soup, a bread comes together and I can say: I made that. And I walk away from the kitchen with a happy feeling of accomplishment that invigorates me to forge through other, less enjoyable tasks.

Creating in the kitchen calms me and I think that’s why I love it. It is one of the few activities I do for the mere pleasure of doing.

Of course there has to be a spiritual application. Isn’t there one in every life situation, if we only have eyes to seem it? When I read God’s Word, I find the recipe for peace — lasting peace that doesn’t fade away with the aroma of muffins in the oven. It is the only cookbook that contains the secret true joy that is lighter than the flakiest biscuit and yet as nourishing as the heartiest stew. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God?” (Matthew 4:4)

When you are feeling overwhelmed, what do you do? Where do you go for refreshment, for rejeuvenation, for stability? How are you satisfied? I hope when I have a moment to spare in the middle of a hectic, energy-depleting day, I first go to the presence of the Savior, being revived in His Word and in prayer, before seeking relaxation elsewhere. Because only “He satisifies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Ps 107:9).

And if there is still time left after that time of spiritual renwal, you will find me in the kitchen, probably whipping up one of these concoctions.

Pumpkin Spice Latte for One
(adapted from here)
  • 1 c. strongly brewed coffee
  • 3/4 c. milk (I used almond milk, but you may use any of your choice)
  • 2 T. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • dash of clove
  • maple syrup
Combine milk, pumpkin, spices, and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Transfer mixture to a blender and process till foamy. Pour into a large coffee cup and then pour in brewed coffee. Breathe in the fragrant aroma and then sip away a cold morning.

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 – 3 c. vegetable or chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, saute vegetables in oil until they are tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, and spices. Add just enough broth to reach a good consistency. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until heated through. * For a more traditional chili, add ground turkey to sauteing vegetables*
I hope I find time to do what I love, dusting every kitchen surface with flour and creating tornados in the blender. But if I don’t, I won’t in reality be missing much. The Word of God is what ultimately calms me, refreshes me, and sustains me. Girl doesn’t live by pumpkin alone.

>Orange Colored Dreams

> I know autumn is here when I start counting pumpkins instead of sheep at night. In my opinon, a fall without pumpkins is like a summer without watermelon. Or a wedding without the groom. Seriously, it is that important. Stout, orange, and oh so handsome. Totally swoon-worthy.

I am always dreaming up new ways to keep us close. Not just the cute fellas lining our front porch (and walkway, and driveway), but I’m really talking about their cousins of the Libby’s 100% pure-bliss-packed-in-a-can variety. Around the end of August, pumpkin makes an appearance at almost every meal — pumpkin spice latte with pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast, pumpkin yogurt or quesadillas for lunch, and pumpkin chili for dinner.

Yes, dear friends I’m obsessed. Just ask my sisters who watch in incredulity as I fill shopping baskets and kitchen cupboards with an ingredient they thought was reserved for pie. But don’t worry. The fascination usually fades with the season…to be replaced by a new love.

I only wish I could keep my thoughts occupied with anything so harmless. Unfortunately, my mind doesn’t stop at pumpkin, but is always running headlong to places it shouldn’t. Then fears, doubts, jealousies, and preoccupations with the good opinion of others consume me and expose me to all kinds of temptation.

And I struggle and beat my fists in the air and resolve that I will never allow my thoughts to spin out of control again. But just a few moments later, I find myself once again entangled in unkind judgements, covetous schemes, and self-gratifying contemplations. Wearied and frustrated, I eventually decide it an endless fruitless cycle that I can’t do anything about.

But then I open my Bible. “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

It’s dangerous to think that what goes on in our mind is harmless. God’s desire if the meditations of our hearts to honor Him and bring Him glory. Any thought that does not put Him first does not bring Him pleasure. Our minds are the battlegrounds where sin is either triumphant or vanquished by the truth of God’s Word. It is true that my thoughts are flawed and “prone to wander”, but God’s Word lasts forever and is not bound. In season and out of season, it never returns void

“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him” (Proverbs 30:5). My spiritual life can only withstand temptation if my mind has been placed on the altar and immersed in the life-giving, purifying words of God. The Lord who searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought” (1 Chronicles 28:9) speaks specifically to my needs: my weakness, inadequacy, doubts.

It discerns the true state of my heart, enables me to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and replaces wrong thoughts with a new preoccupation — the preeminence and glory of Christ.

My mind, Lord, is yours. Work Your cleansing power and change it by Your grace into a sanctuary — a place of worship where the offerings of my thoughts bring a sweet savour before You. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)

I’ll be back to talk about ways God’s Word speaks to our thought life. But not before I share some of the pumpkin recipes that are crowding my brain.

You didn’t think you were going to miss out on that, did you?

>Fruit of the Season


Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
~ Psalm 17:8 ~
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me…

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit
and so prove to be my disciples
~ John 15:2,4,5,8 ~

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
~ Galatians 5:22,23 ~

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for patient he is for the land to yield its valuable crop, and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
~ James 5:7 ~