Ms. Susie’s Pumpkin Bread

Dinner with librarians.

Dinner with librarians.

Ms. Susie retired from the library where I work several years ago. We miss her company and the delicious food she frequently shared. One of my favorite treats from Ms. Susie’s kitchen is her pumpkin bread.

To celebrate the cooling weather, I baked her recipe yesterday and plan to surprise my coworkers with a platter full of slices. I’ve discovered sharing food and laughter make the best memories. Try Ms. Susie’s pumpkin bread, and perhaps you’ll have a new Fall tradition too.

Thank you,  Ms. Susie, for sharing your recipe, your friendship, and your generous heart.

Ms. Susie’s Pumpkin Breadccanpumkinbread2

2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
½ cup cooking oil
¼ cup water
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp soda
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 2/3  cups Flour

img_2918

Cakes cooling in coffee cans.

Preheat oven to 350° . Grease and flour two (12 ounce) coffee cans. Combine eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add pumpkin, oil and water. Blend thoroughly. Add all dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into coffee cans filling them ½ full. Bake for one hour.

 

Doing Our Small Part…Even When It’s Through Fiction by Janet Ferguson

janetprofileWhile writing my third book, I attempted to tackle the vast subject of human trafficking in a small way. I researched a good bit about the horrific issue, and I was pretty overwhelmed by the enormity of it. How could I help or make a difference besides raise awareness in a fictional novel? The fall after I finished my first draft, our church announced our Christmas project. We were going to assist an organization called Touch a Life that helps trafficked and vulnerable children. They are an organization that was born of sorrow—parents who had lost their son needed to find a positive way to channel that grief. (If you want the full story read, Jantsen’s Gift.) Touch A Life’s website states that they “develops creative ways to bring healing and empowerment to those who are suffering, exploited, and at-risk around the world. We serve children in Ghana, Vietnam, and Cambodia.”

boys_ghana37Our church spent over a month looking at how the ministry worked. They provide a home and art therapy for the kids (as young as preschoolers) that are rescued from the dangerous job of diving down to untangle fishing nets. Our children and teens raised money along with the adults. God provided the resources through our members to support thirteen children who had been rescued from forced labor on Lake Volta in Ghana.

There are so many more children and adults that need freedom and support, but between my research for Tackling the Fields and this project I was reminded that God ultimately frees all the captives. We can partner with him to do our small part. Even if it’s one person, one child, one novel, one heart, one donation, one charity at a time.

tacklingfields-ferguson-ebookwebPaperbacks Amazon
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Tackling the Fields
Southern Hearts Series ~ Book 3

Cole Sanders is a changed man. The university quarterback questions his direction in life after serving on a mission trip in Honduras. Things that used to fill Cole’s ego seem empty after witnessing the developing country’s extreme poverty and the death of a precious child. The one glimmer of hope through his confusion is the fresh perspective he now has about his tutor, Audrey. She possesses something beautiful inside and out—something that might help him become the person he wants to be.

University senior Audrey Vaughn tutored Cole Sanders for an entire year and never imagined the popular quarterback would see her as anything more than a friend. After partnering with him on the mission trip, they are drawn together. And he appears to have changed for the better. To let Cole into her life, Audrey will have to overcome not only her brother’s distrust, but also the paralyzing fear still lingering from a past she’s tried to leave behind.

Cole can’t walk away from Audrey now that they’re back in Oxford. He’ll have to figure out how to keep her giant of a brother, a lineman on his football team, from killing him when the coach has his back turned. But can Audrey trust her heart to a player so similar to the one who stole so much from her in the past?

janetprofileYou can connect with Janet Ferguson, by clicking on the links below.

 https://www.facebook.com/Janet.Ferguson.author
http://www.janetfergusonauthor.com/
https://www.pinterest.com/janetwferguson/
https://twitter.com/JanetwFerguson
 
Faith, Humor, Romance
 Southern Style
 

Will Work For Food by Kim B. Teague

kim_teague-5x7The elderly man held the cardboard sign higher as our car pulled to the stoplight.

My friends and I had just come from a women’s conference at a nearby church. I sat in the backseat beside Eleanor, whose window was even with the man outside.

She looked at him, then her eyes darted to her purse. “I don’t have money to give, and certainly not a job. But I do have this.” Eleanor nodded to the loaf of banana bread she’d won as a door prize at the conference. Beaming, she leaned out of the car window and handed the loaf of bread to the man.

He stared at the wrapped bundle. “What’s this?”

“Banana bread—for you!”

A smile lit up his weathered face at the unexpected gift. “Thank you!” he called as the light turned green.

The elderly man wasn’t the only one smiling. Those of us in the car had just witnessed a God-ordained moment, a moment in which an old man received joy because of my friend’s generous heart.

Some time later, I experienced that same generosity in my own life. I was chatting with my co-worker Cassie during a quiet moment in our otherwise busy day. My daughter Bethany was a freshman at a university in the mountains of North Carolina, and the weather was turning cooler. Almost thinking out loud, I mentioned I needed to get a winter coat for Bethany since she’d be walking to class in freezing temperatures.

Cassie thought for a moment, then smiled. “I have a coat that might fit her. My daughter can’t wear it yet, so Bethany can use the coat until my daughter needs it.”

Cassie lived in public housing, and over the years she had raised sixteen children. Yet, she was willing to trust me with a coat her own daughter would one day need. Her loving, generous spirit humbled me.

God taught me two important lessons from Eleanor and Cassie. The first is to embrace the opportunities He presents to us. Consider Proverbs 3:27,28: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.”

Cassie heard of my daughter’s need for a coat, and she offered one she owned. She didn’t wait until her children had outgrown it. Likewise, when Eleanor saw a man who was hungry, she seized the opportunity to meet that need. And she did it in the seconds before a traffic light changed! How many times do we wait for the time to be more convenient and miss the blessing in front of us?

The second lesson God taught me is to give what I have and trust Him with the results. Even though I’m sure Eleanor would have loved to offer a four-course meal to the elderly man, she had only a loaf of bread. But she gave what she had.

Think about the feeding of the five thousand recorded in the Gospels. John 6:8,9 state: “One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”

We can sympathize with Andrew, can’t we? Sometimes we look at our limited resources and think, “How can this help?” And we may be tempted to give nothing at all.  But Andrew, along with everyone else that day, witnessed how Jesus multiplied the tiny lunch into more than enough for the crowd to eat and be satisfied.

He can do the same for us. When Jesus touches our offering, He works wonders! His power and resources are never limited. Because of God’s abundant grace, He will give us an abundance for every good deed.

Let’s not miss the wonders God will work when we trust Him. May we embrace the opportunities He gives. And may we do so with hearts like Cassie and Eleanor.


About the Author:

Kim Tekim_teague-5x7ague is pursuing a life-long dream of writing. Her first book, The Secret of Jenny’s Portrait, has just been released by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. In this Christian suspense novel, a lovely portrait and a shocking discovery put faith to the ultimate test.jennys_portrait

Kim’s passion is to portray characters who, in the midst of life’s struggles, journey to a deeper trust in God and His amazing love. Kim is married to Barry, senior pastor at Brices Creek Bible Church. They enjoy spending time with their grown children, walking on the beach, and taking care of two dogs and a cat. Visit Kim’s website at www.kimteagueauthor.com. The Secret of Jenny’s Portrait is available at Amazon.com and Kindle. Click on the book cover for an easy link to Amazon.

Greater Love by Gabrielle Meyer

Gabrielle Meyer
Friendship is something that continues to amaze me. As I type this, I have only been home from the ACFW Conference in Nashville for thirty-three hours and I’m about to return to the airport to pick up two friends who were at the conference with me. They flew to their homes in Texas and Arizona, did laundry, went shopping, made meals, accomplished a week’s worth of work, kissed their husbands and children goodbye, maybe slept for a few hours, and are now on airplanes jetting their way to my home in Minnesota.

Why are they doing this? Because my first novel will release on September 1st and they are coming to my release party to celebrate.

True friendship. It’s a powerful force to be reckoned with. I’m reminded of John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” In many ways, they are laying down their lives this week for me. They are coming two days early to help me prepare, and they are staying three days after to visit and brainstorm our upcoming projects (one of which I need a lot of help on!). They are putting their busy lives on hold just to be with me. That’s amazing.

I’m honored and blessed to be on the receiving end of friendship this week. I know the sacrifice my friends are making to be here, and I know the sacrifice many other friends are making to come to my party. They are traveling from all parts of the state (and nearby Iowa), they are rearranging schedules, volunteering to help, and genuinely happy to celebrate this milestone in my life and writing career.

There have been countless other times in my life when my friends have laid down their lives for me in practical and realistic ways. When I had my twin boys and they brought meals to my home for the first two weeks. When I’ve had sick children and they’ve come over to take care of the healthy ones. When I’ve been laid up with a neck that went out and they did my grocery shopping. When I had a tight deadline and they critiqued my story. When I’ve needed a shoulder to cry on, an understanding ear to listen, and a smiling face to share my joy—my friends have been there for me.

I thank God for my friends. They bless me with riches beyond compare.

I’d love to know when you’ve experienced the receiving end of friendship.

About the Author:

Gabrielle MeyerGabrielle Meyer lives on the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing stories inspired by real people and events. Gabrielle’s first novel, A Mother in the Making, releases with Love Inspired Historical in September and her second novel, A Family Arrangement, releases in December. You can connect with Gabrielle on Facebook, Instagram, and her website at www.gabriellemeyer.com.

About the Book:

A Mother in the Making
Matchmaking with a Mission 

Practical, steady, levelheaded: all qualities single father Dr. John Orton expects in both a governess and a wife. But his children’s temporary governess Miss Marjorie Maren seems set on finding him an impractical woman to love…despite his plans of marrying solely for convenience. Nothing could be more exasperating to the handsome widower—except his increasing interest in Marjorie.

Vivacious and fun-loving: that’s the kind of bride the reserved doctor needs. Before Marjorie leaves to pursue her acting dreams, she intends to match him with a suitable wife candidate. Yet growing affection for her four charges and their dashing father has awakened a new hope—that she might be his perfect bride. But can she convince her employer to take a chance on love and claim real happiness before it slips away?

From Africa to the Omni

Last week I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference hosted at the elegant Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/nashville/property-details/gallery

Photo courtesy of Chris Mayhew

A week early, I’d stood in the schoolyard of an African village and measured the arms of women, infants, and children for malnutrition to verify the eligibility to receive a vitamin supplement. As I measured, I prayed for the child’s health, while mothers probably prayed her son or daughter would qualify for the vitamin supplement. Can you imagine wanting your child to be considered malnourished?

The culture shock of returning home from Africa is always a challenge, but my head spun as I sat in the five star hotel banquet room with a filet mignon on my plate and remembered one child in particular who was limp when I measured his arm. Most of the women and children we met were healthy, but I can’t forget the few who were not. Another team will visit in September. I pray they will find healthier children.

Photo courtesy of Scott Hudson.

We’ll never have enough food to distribute, nor enough medicine to heal the sick in Africa. But we can share the living water, the bread of life, with everyone and give them the hope of eternal life in heaven. That’s why I go to Africa and I have to focus on that mission or I’ll become discouraged.

On my drive home Friday evening from the Omni, I took the wrong exit off the parkway and ended up in a neighborhood that made me uncomfortable. A group of teens stood under a streetlight and yelled at me as I passed. It didn’t take long for me to turn around and return to the parkway. A week earlier, I’d walked through an African village, surrounded by Muslims, and I felt completely at ease.  But here, at home, fear clutched my heart. What if, I had treated the young men who yelled at my car the same way I treat the people in Africa. What if, I’d rolled down my window and said, “I’m a Christian, and I’d like to tell you about Jesus.”  I pray for the day I’ll be a bold witness wherever God leads me. The lost are all around us. I pray that all Christians will rise up and share the gospel. “So that we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.’” Hebrews 13:6

Blessed in Africa

If I had to use one word to describe my recent mission trip to Niger, Africa, it would be blessed.  For weeks I worried about being stranded in Istanbul for two days. We had sixty-five minutes to make our flight connection and if we missed it, the next plane to Niamey would be two days later. We made it to the gate in fifteen minutes. The Istanbul airport is huge, chaotic and bustling with people. I consider this feat a miracle. When will I learn to trust Him completely? “Depend on the Lord; trust Him, and He will take care of you.” Psalm 37:5.

Our plane circled the Niamey airport for an hour due to a thunderstorm and the Muslim man sitting next to my sister asked her to hold his hand and the two prayed together. It’s unusual for a Muslim man to touch a woman not a relative, much less to ask her to hold his hand and pray. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44.

Attending a church service in a remote village that held fast to the gospel when the missionaries left was one of the highlights of my trip. We don’t know who first visited this tiny village, but a missionary I will call John Smith stumbled upon them and now visits regularly to teach them more. More than fifty people attended the church service and stayed all afternoon for more training while the children learned Bible stores and colored outside. “So then brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions, which you were taught, whether by word of mouth of by letters from us. 2 children_coloringThessalonians 2:15.

girl_workingThe women of Africa always touch my heart. They work from before dawn until dark gathering water, cooking over an open fire, cleaning, and caring for children. A baby is usually strapped to a mother’s back as she works. We are always treated as honored guest and welcomed to sit in the best chair if they own a chair. A mat is also pulled out  for us to sit on. These women and men show respect and listen to our testimonies as we share God’s plan for salvation. Many people fear visiting a Muslim country. The people wandering the aisle of my local Walmart scare me more than the people in Niger.  All the people I met in the villages were kind and generous.  We have many things in common, especially that we want to spend eternity in heaven. Unless something drastic changes, most will die never having heard the name of Jesus. I pray many more will answer the call to go to Niger so that all may be saved. Don’t let fear stop you.

What a blessing to be allowed to travel to Africa again. I am the most pitiful of missionaries and I often wonder why God has allowed me to be a part of his plan when there are so many more qualified. An example that will make you laugh out loud is a picture of my tent. When I purchased an air mattress for camping, I had no idea of what I was buying. The kids in the village got a kick out of seeing the size of my twin mattress grow higher and higher. It wouldn’t fit inside my tent, so I placed the tent on top of it. I might have floated away during the rainstorm. Believe me, if I can travel to Africa, you can probably do it too.

For those of you who prayed for our team, THANK YOU. Everything went smoothly and our team had a spirit of unity and love.

If you ever have the opportunity to join a foreign mission team, I hope you will grasp it with joy. I’m always reluctant and just like Gideon, I ask for signs. God never lets me down. Even though I am inadequate, He supplies me with everything I need. I can’t do anything without God. It is He who will reap a harvest.

BibaThis is a photo of me with one of the best blessings of my life. She is my Sister in Christ who interpreted for me, cared for me and treated me like royalty. I won’t  post her name for fear of persecution. I cannot imagine the number of people who will be in heaven because of the seeds she and her family have sown. Of course it is God who will reap the harvest. Pray for her health and safety and that God will continue to bless her and those she loves.

Maybe the reason God calls me to go to Africa is so more scales will be removed from my eyes.  I pray God will help me bless others as he has so generously blessed me. I am a weakling, but He is strong.   “So that, Just as it is written, Let him who boast, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31.

 

 

Jealousy—Biggest Obstacle to Friendship among Authors by Mary Ellis

Mary_EllisWriters often create characters with some rather profound lessons to learn. If we’re smart we can learn those lessons along with them. Working in the competitive world of publishing, I often struggle with ego and pride. Authors are as ked to blog and Facebook, tweet and pin, to draw attention to their books and ultimately to themselves. Available slots on publishers’ lists are shrinking and will continue to do so. So what does that bode for authors who are also friends?

Jealousy and envy are deadly pitfalls that every writer must grapple with. Human beings are naturally wired to be envious. We spend much of our lives jealous of something or someone. As children, we yearned for a brand new bicycle or a trademarked Barbie doll if Grandma could only afford a knock-off. As we grew older we turned green if a classmate received a new Mustang for their birthday. Women have often coveted longer, curlier, or straighter hair, or to be taller, shorter, thinner or more voluptuous. Males aren’t immune to those emotions either. My husband envies men who still have thick heads of hair.

When couples get married, they strive for a new set of goals: a house with more bathrooms, a bigger yard, or a better school system so their children will excel. We might think ourselves content until a neighbor starts living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Then the green monster rears its ugly head.

As I get older, I’m no longer envious of possessions. A larger house means more to clean, while a bigger yard means more lawn to mow. I am content with my current home, car and financial circumstances. But as writers we’re subject to a different type of envy: so-and-so receives a contract with a huge publishing house, a five-book deal, several award nominations, or lands on a bestseller list. Once we attain that list, then there’s the top position to strive for. Does this sound familiar? I battle the monster by not reading reviews and not checking my numerical placement on lists. But I assure you, this is an ongoing battle.

Lately, I’ve been envious of the ability to write faster and thus, have more time for relaxation. I might not covet a mansion in a gated community, but show me an author who breezes through deadlines while maintaining a social life and my vision clouds a greenish hue. I am making progress. I joyously celebrate the accomplishments of my peers, including those I will never achieve. But if a writer turns her book in early, while redecorating her kitchen and learning to speak Mandarin, she had better keep the last two details to herself.
Mary_EllisMary Ellis has written twelve novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, Magnolia Moonlight, is part of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, from Harvest House Publishers. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net or https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

Magnolia Moonlight3Here’s a little bit about Magnolia Moonlight. When a preacher takes his own life, the congregation is quick to believe rumors, but his widow knows this was no suicide. When Price Investigations scratch beneath the surface, they discover Reverend Dean was a victim, not a thief.  They uncover an elaborate pyramid to bilk millions from non-profits, thousands of miles from where no one is whom they appear to be.

#MagnoliaMoonlight

 

 

Our African Mission Trip Schedule

africa_team_2016It’s hard to believe the African mission trip we penciled on the calendar in March 2014 is days away. This is a picture of everyone on our team except Melanie. My bags are packed, weighed, and stored. Each team member is allowed to check in two 50 lbs. pieces of luggage and carry on the plane one 16 lb. bag.  Any extra luggage space is used to deliver supplies to the missionary families living in Niger. Food takes up the most weight, but it’s a necessity. We’ll be camping for five of the eight nights so I packed an air mattress and folding chair. Bible school supplies also take up space, but we’ve learned that it’s fun to visit an African market to buy cookies and snacks for the children in Africa. market

A trip like this isn’t inexpensive but our church family and community are supportive. We hosted a fish fry fundraiser last week to help pay for our supplies and thanks to my Sunday School class providing deserts and another church member donating ten lbs. of white beans, we cleared over $3,500. The most money we’ve ever raised at a fundraiser is $1800.  I feel this is another affirmation from God that we are to go and not worry.

In case you’re wondering how we’ll spend our time, see below our schedule.

Day 1 and 2: Leave for Atlanta Noon. Flight departs Atlanta 10:00 pm and
arrive 23 hours later.

Day 3: Morning – Breakfast and orientation. Afternoon – Souvenirs & Market Shopping

Day 4: Morning – Pack for village. Afternoon. Travel to village A and set up camp.

camping2Day 5: Morning – Attend Church Service. Afternoon. Evangelism training with adults &
Children’s Day Camp.

Day 6: Morning: Men farming with believers. Women Children’s Day Camp. Afternoon: Return to Niamey.

 

Day 7: Depart 6:00 am for Village B. 10:00 – 4:00 Women/Children’schurch
Malnutrition Clinic. Return to mission compound.

bible_schoolDay 8: Travel to Village C. Evangelism training all day. Show the Jesus film Camp.

 

Day 9: Evangelism in villages(s) 10:00 am travel to Village D. 2:00 Children’s Day
Camp. 5:00 Evangelism Training. Camp.

parachuteDay 10: Children’s Day Camp. Overnight in Village D.

Day 11: Women/Children’s Malnutrition Clinic. Morning. Afternoon depart for Mission
House, Pack and catch midnight flight to USA.

Day 12: Arrive home.

Please keep our team in your prayers. Pray that we will remain healthy, safe, and there will be a sense of unity and love among us as we are tired, hot and dirty. Pray that God will prepare the way. Pray that God will soften the hearts and minds of those who hear the name of Jesus and that His sheep will hear His voice. Pray for a bountiful harvest. We covet your prayers. And so I invite you to travel with us. Please cover us with your prayers and be one of the most important parts of our mission team – a prayer warrior. Thank you.

A Hard Row to Hoe

This summer has been unusual in that it’s rained almost every day in June and July. One afternoon in June, it poured 4 inches in less than an hour, which led to flash flooding and part of our road being swept away.  A new bridge is still under construction. As a result of the excessive rain, I’ve not been unable to weed the garden and I’ve lost the battle.  It reminded me of a time in my childhood when the weeds almost overtook our tobacco crop because of wet weather. Losing the cash crop to weeds was not an option. We called this task, “chopping out tobacco.”AdobeStock_99823358_WM

I remember those long, never-ending rows, filled with thick grass, almost choking the plants. Mama and Daddy both had full-time jobs, plus garden and farm work, so chopping out tobacco usually fell to me and my three siblings.  But on this occasion, the weeds were so fierce it took all of us. Daddy sang as he worked. If one of us got to the end of our row fist, we’d help the next person until everyone finished together and started a new row together.

Daddy would say, “Just keep your head down, don’t give up, and before you know it, you’ll be at the end of your hard row to hoe.” And he was right. There are seasons in life when we all have a “hard row to hoe.” I’ve learned that this is the best time pray. One favorite passage in the Bible comes from Paul, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9.

Lately, I feel as though I’ve had a hard row to hoe. I’ve suffered a minor health issue, signed a contract to write ten devotions with a deadline, had over three-hundred children registered in our summer reading program, and I’m planning a mission trip in a few weeks. With the latest coup in Istanbul, terror attacks in France and Germany, I’ve lost more than one night’s sleep. For a brief instant, I considered cancelling my trip to Africa, but as I prayed about whether to stay or go, a song from my childhood Bible School days played in my head, “Onward Christian Soldiers.” I whined to God. But I don’t want to be a soldier.

Then I remembered Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.” Luke 22:42-43. What if Jesus had said, “No” to what God asked of him? None of us would have hope. Surely I can live in difficult  conditions for a week. After all, He suffered and died on the cross to redeem me.

Please keep our missionary families, the national believers and my Africa team in your prayers. We will be travelling to a remote area, camping where temperatures might reach 120 degrees during the day with a low of 90 at night. We’ll be teaching a Bible School for children. These same children might someday be asked to join the terrorists. I believe the best weapon against terrorism is the love of Jesus. We’ll also be training national believers how to evangelize. I feel strongly that the window is closing and someday in the near future, we will not be able to travel to this remote area. But if we teach the national believers how to become fishers of men, then God’s kingdom will continue to grow without the American missionaries’ support. Africa_a Please pray that they will not grow weary. Pray for the missionary families in Niger and the national believers. They are the ones who truly have a hard row to hoe. The national believers are often persecuted, and rejected by their family and friends. Many of the Songhai who we will be seeking have never heard the name of Jesus. Thank God for the missionaries who have left family, friends and the comfort of an easy life to share the ‘Good News.’  Pray that they do not grow weary. We are simply going to support their efforts. I know in due season, God will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Thank you for your prayers and support. #africanmissions

Lila’s Blackberry Cobbler

blackberryBlackberries are in season on our farm and it’s been fun introducing my five-year old grandson to the adventure of berry picking. One of my earliest memories is following my mother with my three siblings into the thicket to pick blackberries.  I’m sure I never collected enough to cover the bottom of my bucket as I ate almost all of my pickings. Somehow, Mama would gather enough berries to make a cobbler and several jars of blackberry preserves.  If I close my eyes, I can remember the taste of her blackberry cobbler filled with gooey sweetness.

Lila3Sadly, I don’t have Mama’s recipes, but my son has always claimed that my sister’s mother-in-law Lila Ray Dodd makes the best blackberry cobbler. It’s his favorite dessert. Lila is a wonderful cook, and she’s generous and kind as she agreed to share her recipe for blackberry cobbler with me and gave me permission to share it with you.

But before you can make this delicious dessert I suggest you make a treasured memory. Grab your child, grandchild, or borrow someone’s little one, and introduce them to the adventure of blackberry picking. I used three cups of berries in my cobbler yesterday and I baked the dessert in a 12 x 6 oblong, clear, three quart glass baking dish.

blackberry_cobblerIngredients

3 cups blackberries
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 stick salted butter
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk

Directions

Rinse berries and add 1/3 cup sugar and stir until all berries are covered.
Place berries in the bottom of a clear baking dish and make sure they are spread evenly.
Slice butter into thin slices and cover the top of the berries with the butter.
Mix 1 cup self-rising flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk and stir until the batter is smooth.
Drizzle the batter over the top of the pats of butter/berries.
Gently shake the dish to evenly distribute the batter and berries.
Bake in oven at 350 degree for 45 minutes or until top is brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy!

I like to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on my cobbler.