Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Ultimate Game Plan!

Hi my lovely ones! Today's post is actually coming to you today as a request by Jesse. 

You see, Wednesdays in Kristy-land are Mainly Music Days. No, that doesn't mean I spend my day mainly listening to music - Mainly Music is actually a children's program our church runs that I'm incredibly lucky to be apart of. 

Each and every Wednesday morning I spend a few hours with an incredible team made up of my fellow sisters in Christ and we get to spend that time with over twenty different Mums/Grandmas/Dads and Carers and up to thirty different kids. It's a ministry that is thriving and a ministry that I am so thankful I get to be apart of. 

When holidays roll around, we like to spoil our MM families because we are so thankful for them - for the friendships we've made, the laughs we've had and the fact that they keep on coming back week after week to join us. With Easter fast approaching, I came up with an idea for an Easter gift for our Mums and was responsible for putting together the gift along with a little note to explain what it all meant.

This little note is what Jesse wanted me to share with you. In fact, he wants me to call it The Easter Tactic - rather than a gospel tract, because he thinks it gives you a game plan for life. 

You see, when we think about Easter most people think about things like chocolate, traditions, cute little chicks and bunnies with fluffy cottontails - but what is Easter really about?

It's not about scratching your brain to remember which of your kids asked for which specific Easter egg - and it's not about scribbling down your shopping list to ensure that you're not left without that one vital ingredient on one of the few days a year the shops are closed.

In fact, all of that stuff is probably going to leave you feeling pretty flustered. This Easter, even if there's tears and tantrums and arguments and melted chocolate, I want you to remember one thing; 

As hard as we try, none of us will ever be perfect - but that's okay!
In fact, Easter celebrates the very reason why it's okay that we're not perfect. 

Easter celebrates that Jesus Christ came to earth for the purpose of paying the price for our sins, for substituting His perfect life for our imperfect ones.

The Bible tells us that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..... the wages of sin is death" Romans 3:23, 6:23

But we don't actually have to pay that price..

Jesus died a cruel death on a cross and rose from the grave. Why? Because, though He is God's sinless Son, He became human, took our place and paid the penalty for our sin - bridging the otherwise uncrossable separation between us and God. 

Jesus took our debts to God, nailed them to the cross and stamped them PAID IN FULL. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins. 

At Easter, we celebrate this; the greatest gift we've ever been given. It's not a giant chocolate Easter bunny or a cuddly plush toy and it's not even a massage voucher - this is a free gift that we all have the opportunity to accept; 

"God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us..... The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 5:8, 6:23 

Through Jesus, God provided the only way to be forgiven for ours sins and receive the gift of eternal life. We no longer need to be perfect or do XYZ in perfect order because Jesus already paid the bridged the gap between us and God. 

But how do we accept this gift?

To be forgiven by God and to receive His gift of eternal life we need to trust in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

Jesus tells us; "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" John 14:6 

The Bible also tells us; "To all who did receive [Jesus], who believed in his name, He gave the right to become children of God..... for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" John 1:12, 3:16

This Easter, in the midst of all the holiday madness and the bursting sugar filled stomachs, I want you to take a moment to sit and think about the most incredible gift you've been offered. This free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord has been offered to you - are you going to accept it?

Jesus paid a debt we could never pay ourselves - how do we respond to that?

If you want to find out more, I encourage you to seek out a local church - or even just send me an email. I'm always more than happy to chat about anything - especially about Jesus! I know there's a few readers out there who live near us and see us around and if you'd like to join us at our incredible church, just send me an email and I'll let you know what our service times are - or even meet you for a coffee first so that you know at least one face! xx

But tell me, what does Easter mean to you?
And what's your favourite Easter memory?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Recipe: Lightened Up Mac & Cheese with Bacon + a Secret Ingredient!

Lightened Up Bacon Mac and Cheese with Pumpkin | healthy, low fat, low calorie, gluten free, clean eating

I've got a confession to make....

I'm not always honest with my husband.

Now, before you start offering couple's counselling, it's actually for his own benefit.... now that sounds like I'm an addict self-justifying my problems, but it's actually the truth...

The only thing I'm not always honest with Jesse about is food. 

You see, I married a Southern man who has verrrrrrrrrry specific ideas about food. He doesn't cook it, but he has these ideas in his head of exactly how its made. I discovered this early on in our relationship when Jesse refused to try chilli that had tomatoes in it because he didn't believe that chilli had tomatoes in it. 

Why? Because he'd never seen anyone make it :P When I asked him how you made the sauce for chilli he told me "well, it's just meat.... and chilli.... the meat makes the sauce". Yahhhhhhhhhhh-no. 

Low Fat Bacon Mac and Cheese with Pumpkin | healthy, low fat, low calorie, gluten free, clean eating

The same thing has happened with a million other foods so I've just learnt to serve Jesse food without telling him how it was made. Jesse will try a food and assess it on taste - but as soon as you give it a name of something he's familiar with, he'll judge that blueberry pie against the one he got from an old lady with round spectacles in a store by the highway next to a cow paddock. 

I married a man who couldn't tell you what he did yesterday - but he can remember eveeeeeeeeeeeery little detail about food :P 

But back to today's recipe.. This Bacon Mac and Cheese is a recipe I've been making for ages and one that Jesse requests over and over and over again - but it actually has a secret. In fact, I've probably made it 30 odd times and Jesse never even pondered the thought that there may have been something out of the ordinary. 

A few weeks ago, I revealed the secret of his favourite mac and cheese. 

The reason why it's so cheesy and delicious and the ingredient to thank for the fact that the sauce coats every single piece of pasta? Butternut pumpkin... or butternut squash if you're from across the pond ;)

A little bit of pumpkin puree is the very reason why this mac and cheese is sooooooooooo very good - and the reason it feels insanely decadent whilst being low fat and super simple to make. 

But enough yapping from me, let me share with recipe with you so that you can try it for yourself and see what all the fuss is about! >>

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Recipe: Healthy Flourless Protein Brownies

Healthy Protein Brownies | gluten free, low fat, low carb, flourless, clean eating recipe, high protein

As someone who's quite active, I always like to make sure I'm getting enough protein in my diet. Sure, I could eat processed protein bars but, really, I find them quite bland or chalky and would much rather eat something delicious. 

These protein brownies came about as the result of an experiment, as many of my recipes do! I had a big tub of protein powder that I wanted to use up and I decided to try baking with it. Being a chocoholic, naturally I decided protein brownies were the thing to try so I set to work.

High Protein Brownies | gluten free, low fat, low carb, flourless, clean eating recipe, high protein

At first, I wasn't sure about these protein brownies. They're different to your traditional brownie and quite a bit cakier - but when I found myself making batch after batch after batch I realised I was hooked - and after a few tweaks and changes I came up with the perfect recipe. 

Best of all? It only has seven ingredients but each brownie packs a serious protein punch with around 11 grams of protein per brownie. They're also low fat, low carb and even lower in calories than most other brownies so there's a whole lot to love!

Gluten Free Protein Brownies | gluten free, low fat, low carb, flourless, clean eating recipe, high protein

I tend to make about a batch a week of these babies as they're the perfect quick and easy protein packed snack. We also switch up the mix ins or toppings for the brownies with each batch because they're even better with chocolate chips stirred through the batter or a healthier chocolate frosting on top - but sometimes we keep it simple and eat them as is as well.

But let me share the recipe with you so that you can make them yourself! >> 

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