Recently I was tagged in a Facebook post from a precious young woman who has attended several of my Tasting Grace sessions. Her message about a recipe I had taught the women to make blessed my heart so much. Here it is:
So I made the banana pudding for Thanksgiving lunch at work today. One person told me it was the best he ever had. And another said that it was the star of the meal…the best thing there. Thanks for teaching me!! I plan on making it again next week for family Thanksgiving!
She came to my fall Tasting Grace session where I taught the ladies to make two desserts: banana pudding and pumpkin bread. I can’t help it, y’all. I love to bake, but I also just love to cook. Equally important is that I love to eat. You too? Which one or all three…bake, cook, eat?
Do you know about my Tasting Grace events? Oooooo, let me tell you about them, then I am going to share the recipe for the Banana Pudding.
A few years ago the Lord turned on a lightbulb in my brain after seeing my friend and co-author, Jan, post on Facebook about something she was doing in her home church. Once a quarter she brought women, old and young, into their church kitchen and taught them how to make homemade dishes from tried and true recipes. In the post that brought about my epiphany the group had made homemade biscuits.
I thought, well shoot, I can make homemade biscuits and I bet there are a few women in my area who might like to learn how to make them. So, I tossed out an invite on Facebook and lo, and behold, I had a handful of women who wanted to learn how to make biscuits. It was a tasty success and the rest is history. I try to host Tasting Grace once a month, but it doesn’t always happen.
I charge a small fee for each class…just enough to cover the costs of ingredients. I begin each session with a short devotion time, then we wash our hands, don our aprons, and begin cooking. We laugh and share life while we cook, then we taste our creations. Each woman goes home with a copy of the recipe we made so she can reproduce it in her own kitchen.
I really believe this is what Paul had in mind when he instructed Titus to have the older women teach the younger women. So many young women (and some older ones) did not have stay-at-home moms. Consequently, they never had the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with their mom while she cooked. They likely never learned how to make many of the homemade dishes that are staples in the southern diet.
The Tasting Grace sessions have been such a blessing to me as I share my knowledge of cooking and baking, as well as a bit of Jesus and general life knowledge.
Even though my Tasting Grace Bible study published two years ago, I have not said much about it recently. So, I thought now might be a good time. The Tasting Grace Bible study is a 4 week study focusing on mentoring. It also tells how you can start your own Tasting Grace ministry in your church or home. We included lots of devotions, recipes, and instructions for starting Tasting Grace. Try pouring into the lives of the women in your circle by teaching them something you know….it might be cooking or it might be a craft. See if you don’t find so much satisfaction in touching those lives.
So, now for the Banana Pudding Recipe. This is made from scratch…no boxed pudding in this recipe. I must preface this by saying my family does not like meringue, or as my Daddy called it, “calf-slobber”. Because of that I make a homemade whipped cream for the topping on the pudding. The recipe for this is included below. There is also a download that will let you print the recipe. Mmmmm, mmmmm. This dessert is so good you will make it over and over.
Leah’s Banana Pudding Recipe
1 ½ cups sugar
⅓ cup cornstarch
4 cups half and half
8 egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
4-6 bananas, sliced
1 box vanilla wafers
Whipped Cream Topping:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla flavoring
To make pudding: In medium saucepan mix sugar and cornstarch. Add half and half and egg yolks and whisk until well combined. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
Place ½ of pudding in bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with layers of vanilla wafers and bananas. Repeat using remainder of pudding, bananas and wafers.
Topping: In a mixing bowl beat whipping cream at high speed. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over pudding. Serve warm or chilled.
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What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘COACH’?
I tossed this question out on Facebook recently and was surprised at the answers I received. I assumed most people would say that a coach was someone who leads and directs a sports team. Until recently that is likely what I would have said.
Let me share a few of the answers from the Facebook query about a coach. The words that were offered were:
For the past few years I have been pondering what career path I might take when Greg and I retire one day in the future. My thoughts returned over and over to Tasting Grace, the mentoring ministry I offer. Surely there was some way to turn the mentoring that I do with women, which I love, into a business.
A few weeks ago a divinely orchestrated email popped into my inbox from Elisa Pulliam, founder of More to Be Ministries. In the email, Elisa shared about the start of two new life coach training classes. Suddenly, I knew I had found was what I had been looking for. I began asking Jesus if that was the direction He was sending me in. The more I pondered and prayed about it, the more convinced I was that the Lord had placed this in my path. I signed up for the class and began my journey toward becoming a certified Biblical Life Coach.
What is a Life Coach and why would working with a Life Coach be beneficial to you?
A Life Coach is someone who is ‘trained and devoted to guiding others into increased competence, commitment, and confidence.” (Fredric Hudson). A Christian Life Coach is a person who walks alongside another person and helps them move from where they are to where God wants them to be.
Let me be clear. A Life Coach is NOT a therapist, counselor, or even a mentor. Therapists and counselors are trained to help people look back at their lives and deal with negative influences from the past. Mentors are experts in an area who walk alongside someone who wants to develop a specific skill.
Life Coaches are not necessarily experts at a topic, but rather they come alongside a client and use skillful listening and questioning in order to prompt the client to come up with solutions that will allow them to move forward in their life.
Some examples of situations where a life coach can be helpful are:
Developing better communication in marriage or other relationships
Deciding on a career change and implementing that change
Improving inter-personal relationships at work or home
Providing accountability and encouragement to someone trying to break a habit or addiction
Developing intimacy with Jesus
Discovering passions and gifting
Finding life purpose
Learning to manage change (and we all know change is certain to happen)
Getting unstuck and moving forward
Getting rid of behaviors and attitudes that sabotage the client’s ability to move forward
Sometimes we get so focused on a problem or situation looming over us that we cannot devise ways to deal with the it and move forward. That is the perfect situation for a life coach.
By the end of January, Lord willing, I will be a certified Biblical Life Coach. Between now and the time I finish my training I will need a few volunteers who are willing to let me practice the skills I am learning.
Would you be willing to be willing to allow me to practice life coaching skills with you? Here is what you would need to agree to:
- I will take lots of notes of our conversation, as well as a recording. I will record because I have to write a word-for-word transcript of the practice coaching sessions that I do to turn in to my instructor. The recording will be deleted once my final notes are written. You will need to sign a waiver that gives me permission to record our conversation.
- The session will be a get-to-know-you session where you share with me about yourself and why you might desire coaching.
- Each session will be done either in person (for those living close to me) or via FaceTime or Skype.
- At this time this is not open to my family or close friends.
There will be no charge to you for the session(s) because they are training/practice sessions for me.
So what say ye? Is anyone interested in and willing to help me out? Do you have questions about this that will help you make a decision? Please email me to volunteer or for questions you might have: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanking you in advance!
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
September gave me opportunity to speak at three ministry events, each of which were such a huge blessing to my heart. Honestly, I am so very much in my sweet spot when I am standing on the speaking stage because it is what I was born to do. What about you? What does it look like for you to be doing what you were born to do? What is your sweet spot? I would love for you to share about it in the comments.
I shared a couple of weeks ago about the Come Awayretreat in THIS post. My final ministry opportunity in September found me in northeastern Georgia at Camp Pinnacle sharing with the ladies from Middle Georgia WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) at their annual retreat. It was such a sweet time as I shared the Legacy message with them. I also had the opportunity to share about Compassion’s Child Sponsorship program. Y’all, six precious children now have sponsors, and those sponsors have changed not only the lives of the children, but they have also given the families of those children hope for a better future for their child. Praise God!!
So, today in our study in the book of Revelation, we finish our look at chapter 12 by examining verses 13 – 17.
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.
16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.
17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.
Let’s get our bearings for a moment. In this post, we learned that the woman represents the nation of Israel, the child is Jesus, while the serpent represents Satan. A while ago in this post, we learned that the phrase ‘a time, and times, and half a time signifies a 3 ½ year period of time. Also, in this post, we reviewed Scriptures that told the story of Satan’s fall from grace.
So, today in our focal passage we find the devil lashing out at the woman (Israel), but she is rescued by a miracle and hidden in the wilderness for 3 ½ years.
Verses 15 and 16 depict an interesting scenario of the serpent trying to destroy the woman by a flood that pours forth out of his mouth. Israel is helped by the earth when it opens its mouth and swallows the river. A reasonable question here is whether this will be a literal occurrence, i.e. a real flood, or whether this is a symbolic reference to how Satan will try to destroy Israel, yet again.
Commentator Warren Wiersbe believes that this ‘flood’ symbolizes an unprecedented wave of anti-Semitism. There is no way to know with certainty what this flood is, but one thing is certain….God protects His people and provides a miraculous way of escape for them. When Satan cannot attack Israel, he turns his fury on those believers in Christ who are alive in that day.
Although there is really no biblical evidence to support the idea, some have speculated that the place where Israel is sheltered for 3 ½ years is Petra, which is in the mountains of in country of Jordan.
You might ask when this takes place. I believe these events occur during the last half of the 7-year period of tribulation, or the 3 ½ years that might be called the great tribulation. I believe this 3 ½ year period begins at the sounding of the 7thtrumpet as detailed in this post.
Satan hates Israel because God loves her. Over the millennia he has tried many times to obliterate the nation of Israel from the face of the earth, but each time God has spared her. Satan will keep trying and God will continue to protect her until the hearts of the Jewish people turn to Christ.
Next time we will journey into Revelation 13. See you then.
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
I knew, by the way the devil was fighting, that the Come Away retreat was going to be special. But, oh sweet mercy! It was so good and I am, honestly, struggling to find words to describe last weekend.
The battle over Come Away began weeks ago:
Registration lagged terribly. At the two month out point, only one lady had registered. I had sleeping space for 9 women at the retreat. One month out I canceled the retreat, then in the same week I had four ladies say they were planning to come. The retreat was back on!
Months ago God had been very specific regarding the cabin, Gleesome Inn, where the retreat would be held. When I canceled the retreat I also cancelled the cabin. So, when the retreat was a ‘go’ in August, I reasoned that I needed a smaller cabin. God said, “Nothing doing!” I had just enough ladies telling me they were coming to need the larger cabin, and guess what? Gleesome Inn was still available! I was now planning for five paid registrations, plus my helper and myself.
The week of the retreat arrived and my heart was so ready. The Lord and I had been preparing for months~~messages, music, food, schedules. I was certain it was all planned correctly….and for the most part it was. I felt such anticipation and excitement to serve the ladies who were coming. There were ladies I knew and a couple whom I had never met.
The week of the retreat one of the ladies emailed me and said that her husband was having health issues and she would not be able to come. My heart was so sad. She was new to me and I was eager to get to know her.
Thursday, the day the retreat was scheduled to begin, found me packing my car and preparing to drive the 30 miles to the city where the cabin is located. I had arranged for early check-in so we could get set up, pray over the cabin and women, and then rest a bit. At 11:15am I received a call telling me that the previous renters of the cabin had trashed it and I would not be able to check-in early. In that moment, I recognized the devil’s hand at work and knew I had a choice. I could get all controlling and upset OR I could roll with it, knowing that God had it all under control. I chose the latter and it was definitely easier on my gut and my emotions.
We arrived at the cabin around 3pm and began the set-up. The ladies were set to arrive at 6pm. Earlier in the day I had received a text message from one lady telling me that her young daughter was sick and she was likely not going to make it on Thursday night for the opening session, but that she would touch base the next day. On Saturday morning her child was still sick and she had to miss the entire retreat. This sister is a precious friend to me and I knew she was looking forward to being at the retreat, so for her to have to miss the entire retreat was a disappointment to both of us.
The Thursday night session was planned for 7pm, but God had other plans. One of the ladies had to work late and did not arrive until 9pm, while the remaining two women arrived around 6:30pm. My goal had been to share my testimony with the ladies on Thursday, but I delayed it until Friday evening, which was a much better fit with what I was teaching on Friday night.
We were privileged to be led in worship by Mike and Becca Medori on Friday and Judy Tipton on Saturday morning. Our hearts were encouraged and blessed by the worship. Even so, the struggle with this retreat was real, y’all. It was very real for all of us except God!!!!
The theme of the retreat was “This is My Story”. I taught from the stories of Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth and asked the ladies to begin writing down their story using worksheets I had created. I am quite taken with this theme and I hope the Lord will give me the opportunity to share these messages and plans in another retreat. It was POWERFUL!!
One precious woman came up to me after the Friday morning session and told me that God had been after her for over a year to tell her story. She had been resisting mightily, then, she comes to Come Away and the theme is all about creating her story. Only God!!
On Saturday night, I asked the ladies to share the stories they had been creating…their stories of how God has worked in their lives. It was such a precious time. There were tears, laughter, hugs, and prayer. Four wonderful ladies now have created their story so they can share them with other people. Y’all I could write so many words about how God showed up and showed off, but I think most of those words are for tucking into my heart. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.
One of the resources I always provide at the retreat is a list of my favorite books. This year I brought some of the books to the retreat so the ladies could look through them and read them in their free time each day. Here are some of my favs and links to a few of them on Amazon are at the end of this post.
I hope to have more to share with you about Come Away retreat in the coming weeks. This retreat is a bit different from other retreats because of the large blocks of time that I place into it for resting and spending time with the Lord and other women. I am currently seeking the heart of Jesus regarding Come Away 2019 and am hoping He gives me the privilege of hosting this retreat again…..maybe even twice in 2019.
Hey there friend!
I am so excited to be part of the speaker panel for the Woodstock, Georgia She Found Joy Event happening Sunday evening, October 7th at Venue 92. Let me tell you a bit about it.
As women, we don’t spend enough time with each other, let alone make time for ourselves to get away with God. She Found Joy provides the connection and soul care we all need by bringing communities closer to Christ in a time of food, fellowship and fun.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS // KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Each event features handpicked, prominent speakers who share a unique message based on the tour theme and their personal story.
WORSHIP & MUSIC: Music is a big part of She Found Joy! Our goal is to have worship be presented in some format, and we love to partner with local artists to feature their work onstage.
COMMUNITY: Community is one of the cornerstones of our mission statement. She Found Joy gives women the chance to connect with other women in their community through a corporate meal, prayer and intermissions, which facilitate conversation.
FOOD & FUN: We love food and we love showering women with gifts to help them know they are loved! Each event features a gourmet dinner and free giveaways and/or swag bags to give our guests something to remember the night by. Lastly, we partner with local vendors making a difference in their community to give women shopping opportunities that not only enrich their lives, but also give back to others.
TOUR INFORMATION // 2018-2019: The theme for the 2018 National Tour is Courageous Faith, and we will be hosting the event in eight cities:
Jacksonville (FL), Woodstock (GA), Des Moines (IA), Fayetteville (AR), Southlake (TX), Elkhart (IN), Nashville (TN) and Raleigh (NC).
ABOUT THE FOUNDER LAUREN GASKILL is an author, speaker and founder of She Found Joy. She is passionate about encouraging women to fight for faith and keep hope alive. When she’s not writing or speaking, Lauren loves to cook, bake and go on hikes with her husband and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who is affectionately named Reese after Lauren’s favorite candy — peanut butter cups.
shefoundjoy.com // email@example.com
Tickets for the Woodstock location are on sale now and PRICES HAVE BEEN LOWERED. Y’all, if you are planning to attend, please purchase your tickets today so we can give the caterers an accurate number. Click the image below to purchase tickets.
I would love to see you there.