Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Flowers for Christ: A Woman's Ministry


Credits to Dang Dupale for this photo
Posted by a Facebook friend, Dang, this photo reminds me of one of my posts (The Birth of a Hobby) as a new blogger two years ago, where I featured about how I came to like plants. This hobby inspired me to get involved in the Exaltation Ministry in our church. Together with former church gardener, Raffy, I used to grow potted plants, water them every Saturday in preparation for the Sunday Worship Service. 

Through the years, however, changes in the volume of my domestic responsibilities no longer allow me to be involved in ministries that require my physical presence in church. At one time, I became church treasurer, a ministry which called for keeping track and recording of all church finances on top of counting tithes and offerings every after church services on Sundays.  A heavy responsibility eh!? 

At another time I became church secretary. This ministry entailed preparing minutes of all church meetings and publishing the weekly bulletin featuring prayer lists, announcement of events, activities, birthdays and anniversaries, reminders of flower donors, meetings, fellowships and many more. 

Today, my ministry involves acting as flower donor coordinator. As such, I make arrangements in behalf of brothers and sisters who pledge to offer flowers on Sundays. I place their orders to a nearby florist through telephone. I've been doing this ministry for several years now. Here's how I do it...

Before the end of the year, I pass around a piece of paper where brethren would write their preferred schedule of offering flowers. 

Then, I organize the given schedule of flower pledges and give reminders either personally or through the weekly bulletin. They are free to tell me how much they would like to pledge, as the Holy Spirit leads their hearts to offer.

My flower pledges guide. 
I use Microsoft Excel to make this flower pledge schedule. Then, I give an electronic copy of this to our church Secretary so that she could mention the names of the flower donors in the weekly bulletin. (Sssshhhh... the church Secretary happens to be my daughter so that makes things a lot easier for me! :) I could easily update her with additional flower donors anytime of the year!) She allots space for the flower donor reminder in the bulletin.
Every Saturday, I place orders for flowers to be delivered to the church. See the flowers we had last Sunday! 
Credits to Dang Dupale for this photo
I'm not good at remembering names of flowers but aren't they beautiful?!! Here are photo collages of other flower arrangements I was able to capture in the past.

Do you have a florist in your church? A flower donor coordinator? Oh, maybe you do the flower arrangement yourself? Well, whatever it is you do, may you give honor and glory to God for doing it.

 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might..."
-Ecclesiastes 9: 10

Here's praying that all the available slots be filled with flower donors for the whole year. 

Oh, wait, I almost forgot... thank you, Dang, for the tag. Tada!
Photos by Dang
And last... how would you like to share about your ministry in your own local church in the comment box below.

May we all have a blessed celebration of the season!
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Weekend Bloggy Reading

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Colors of the Yuletide Season: Sauteed String Beans with Spanish Sardines in Coconut Milk

The countdown is on... it's three days before Christmas! Everybody just seems so busy with last minute shopping. I see picture greetings of loved ones and friends on blogs I follow and on FB! Family pics in front of the Christmas tree, stockings hanging on the wall, more and more colors of the yuletide season. 

My last post entitled, "Colors of the Yuletide Season: Sauteed String Beans with Tuna" was inspired exactly by everything I see these past days and weeks. Towards the end of that post, I said next time I'll use coconut milk. And that's just exactly what I did! So here's another variant of the dish --- with coconut milk and Spanish Sardines!

                              
Ingredients:
2 tbsps olive oil from the Spanish sardines
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 piece Spanish sardines, flaked
2 bunches of string beans, cut 1/3-inch long
1 cup coconut milk
salt, ground pepper and sugar to taste
1 large tomato, sliced
3 pcs Spanish sardines

Steps:

  1. Saute garlic, onion and Spanish sardines in olive oil. 
  2. Add string beans. Simmer for 1 minute.
  3. Add coconut milk. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer until string beans are tender.
  4. Add tomato slices.
  5. Serve with 3 pieces of Spanish sardines on top.
I just loved how it turned out! My husband who hasn't been eating spicy foods lately was not able to resist it! If you like a more spicy flavor, you may add more sardines.


Another fast food idea! Go and try it now! Do tell me how it turned out! Enjoy your weekend!
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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Colors of the Yuletide Season: Sauteed String Beans with Tuna

Wow, I see red and green --- colors of Christmas anywhere! Looking at the photo I'm about to post here, gave me the title for this feature in an instant. Thanks to all the posts I read about the season... decors, gifts, food and all! 

Inspired by a dish I tasted in a conference I attended in Bali, Indonesia last month, I made a very simple dish for lunch today. I couldn't move on thinking of all the green string beans I saw on that large platter. Too bad, I couldn't get a shot of it while finding my way through the queue. 
So here's a very simple version of the dish. 

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp ginger, sliced thinly
2 bunches of string beans, cut
1 tbsp shrimp paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 large tomato, sliced
3 tbsps left-over scrambled egg with tuna 

Steps:
  1. Saute garlic, onion and ginger in olive oil.
  2. Add string beans and shrimp paste. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Add tomatoes when string beans are almost done.
  5. Add scrambled egg with tuna before removing from pan.
Very simple and easy! You can make it in a jiffy! Next time, a cup of coconut milk, I believe, would make another perfect version!

A blessed Sunday to all!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gone for a while

"And I'm back like I never left."

I found the quote from google.com. Feels like I've been away for ages! I realize two months of silence could make so much of a difference... as if going some places without saying goodbye to friends and loved ones :( 

I'm so sorry for that... I really am... I miss you all and doing this terribly!!!! The truth is, the spirit has always been willing, but the flesh just felt so weak. Physically and mentally tired with office work for the past weeks, I still am, but somehow the one week respite from office work has given me a renewed ray of "hello-welcome-back-to-reality" perspective to finish targets before the year ends. Work goes on in never-ending cyclical routines... so vacationing from bloggerdome because of work just doesn't seem to be a valid reason at all! Oh, how I miss everybody, link parties and everything! 

So now, here I am, taking double strides and multitasking once again... with quite a number of surprises! :)) Yes, so stay tuned!!!! Meanwhile, have a great weekend, everyone!

Taken in Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia
I'm back to doing everything I used to, loving life as ever. - Donna Mills

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Hearty Duo on a Rainy Day: Fried Danggit and Tuna-Veggie Scrambled Egg

"Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain...," goes the lyrics of the song played on air on our way to church today (sssshhhh.... this is a late post). Sounds familiar? The DJ must have played the song popularized by the Cascades as the rain literally been pouring on and off for several days now. The weather has been so unpredictable after tropical depressions one by one visited our country.

On such a weather like this, I'm sure all my fellow Filipinos all around the globe who are fond of dried danggit (rabbit fish) dipped in vinegar wouldn't be able to resist having this on their breakfast table.


Served with Tuna-Veggie Scrambled Egg, the two made a perfect duo!

There was really nothing special about the scrambled egg except that I mixed some veggies (before they get spoiled in the veggie bin) with the canned tuna.   

Tuna-Veggie Scrambled Egg
Ingredients:
1 clove garlic, minced and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 small tomato, sliced
1 can Century Tuna flakes in oil
2 medium eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/2 small carrot, sliced
1/3 green bell pepper, cut into strips
pinch of salt and ground pepper 
1 tbsp leeks

Steps:
  1. Using the oil from the canned tuna, saute garlic, onion and tomato. 
  2. Add tuna flakes. Simmer for 1 minute.
  3. Add eggs and milk. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Scramble the mixture in pan.
  5. Add leeks and serve hot.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the brewed coffee, without which, my hubby wouldn't have enjoyed his hearty breakfast meal!


"...Oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter-patter, pitter-patter
Oh, listen, listen to the falling rain
Pitter-patter, pitter-patter..."
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tuna-Mango Dip for Nachos on a Lazy Day

Happy Saturday, everyone! Feeling weak after going home very late from work last night. Just had so much work to do anticipating that I wouldn't be able to continue working at home as my laptop is out for repair!!! Woke up late and groggy, went to the market just to buy some veggies and fruits. Good there were still left-overs from the simple birthday dinner my kids and I had two days ago. That saved me from cooking for lunch. Feeling relieved! 

My husband and I had late afternoon snacks with the kids. He said he will just end the day with fruits. So I prepared some mangoes and kiwi on the serving dish. While doing so, I remembered the pack of nachos I bought the previous week. Ayana Grace, my elder daughter, had been prodding me several times to open it but I told her I'm reserving it for some dips I planned to try. With my laptop out today, I don't have the luxury of time to retrieve the dip recipe I wanted to try from my FB page and Pinterest. Not much choice? What now? 
 

Okay, get ready... here we go... open the cupboard--- Take out the can of Century Tuna Flakes in Oil. Remove the tuna flakes out of the oil, slice half of the small piece of cucumber (I bought a piece from the market today). Dice the tomatoes and onions. I was about to mix them when I noticed that the mangoes I prepared earlier looked so inviting! Slice them further. Mix them all together. Oh yes, add a dash of salt, ground pepper, cumin and cayenne powder. 

Here's my DIY Tuna-Mango Dip for Nachos


Hmmm... sorry, I should have diced everything much smaller. But it seems nobody even noticed! :))

Here's a recap of what I just did.

Ingredients:
1 small can of tuna flakes
2 pieces tomato, diced
1/2 medium-sized onion, diced thinly
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
salt
ground pepper
cumin
cayenne powder
1 pack of nachos

Steps:
1. Drain tuna flakes.
2. Mix together tuna, tomatoes, onions and mango slices.
3. Season with salt, ground pepper, cumin, cayenne powder.
4. Serve with nachos and additional slices of mango and kiwi.



Now you may enjoy your movie marathon!
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Linking to:
Life on Lakeshore Drive

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Singing God's Faithfulness


"He placed me in a little cage,
Away from gardens fair;
But I must sing the sweetest songs
Because He placed me there.
Not beat my wings against the cage
If it's my Maker's will,
But raise my voice to heaven's gate
And sing the louder still!"


Photo from google
I am no singer. I mean, I don't have a golden voice. I don't sing solo (except when I was in gradeschool when my teachers in Grade 1 and Grade 4 made me sing in front of the class, and once for a graded activity in high school). I can read notes, though, and can very well recognize off tunes. And yes, I do like classical music!

Today, as I celebrate God's goodness in my life, I post this poem I read from my favorite devotional. As I write this, in my heart and in my mind, like the bird in the poem, I sing of God's faithfulness all through the 53 years He has blessed me with.

My husband posted a photo in Facebook with the birthday cake they gave me in advance last Sunday, and wrote this in the caption: 
"Count your blessings, name them one by one, 
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
INFINITE BLESSINGS IN THE PRIME OF YOUR LIFE!
"

Let me do just that. Count my blessings...

I sing for joy at the life He gave me through my parents
 
I sing of fond memories with family and friends

 I sing because of all the good things I learned in school


I sing for how He saved me,
I sing because I'm happy... I sing because He has set me free
I sing because His eye is on the sparrow, and that sparrow is ME!!!

Photo from google
Just like the bird in the cage I raise my voice to heaven's gate and sing the louder still. Not just today, but tomorrow, oh yes, by His grace, I always will!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Zucchini Bread Cups

Zucchini, zucchini, zucchini... I was introduced to zucchini by the famous movie, Ratatouille. I have already tried several zucchini dishes in the past which I have featured in my previous posts, Sunday's Cram, The Zucchini Magic and Go Green with Zucchini Carpaccio.

Today's feature is inspired by the Zucchini Tots originally posted in Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas, which I also shared in my Garden Chef's Needle and Pen Facebook page. 

See how I made these Zucchini Bread Cups for breakfast last Sunday. Instead of adding bread crumbs in the zucchini mixture, I used wheat bread slices as base.


Ingredients:

Olive oil
12 slices of wheat bread
1 cup grated zucchini
2 large eggs
1/4 medium onion, diced
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated quickmelt cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin cup cake pan with olive oil. 
  2. Grate zucchini. Squeeze off the excess water out of the zucchini. 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini, egg and onion. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. Remove the crust from all sides of the wheat bread slices. Flatten each piece using a rolling pin.
  5. Place a slice of bread into each cup cake slot, pressing each slice firmly down. 
  6. Fill each bread cup with a tablespoonful of the zucchini mixture. 
  7. Top with grated cheese.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops become golden brown.
Before loading the bread cups into the oven

Straight from the oven
Take a cup
So this is what hubby and I enjoyed for breakfast---
Zucchini Bread Cups for breakfast with kiwi and mango as side dish
Very easy, I dare you try it! I love the crunchy edges!
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Life on Lakeshore DriveWeekend Bloggy Reading
 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

L'amour @ 24

My name is Eve. Hear my story about how I met Adam... I mean, the Adam of my life. 

My friends used to tease me by asking, "Eve, where's Adam?" And I would answer them, "Oh, he must be there somewhere, sitting on top of the tree!"

That was more than 24 years ago! I never had the slightest thought that Adam would eventually come and get me! I was about to believe that I was endowed with the gift of single blessedness at the age of 28! I never thought I'd find him. Oooppps... erratum... I never thought he'd find me.

I remember our Pastor preaching on the ever exciting and favorite topic of single men and women in church, Love, Courtship and Marriage. Citing the verse, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matt 6:33), he said something like, "As you walk to serve the Lord, just fix your eyes above. If your God's best does the same, in His own perfect time, God will allow your paths to meet without both of you knowing it." Excited to discern His will, if indeed, He has reserved His best for me, I faithfully did what the Pastor said. Just continue walking and serving while looking on things above, fixing my eyes upon Jesus, prayerfully asking the question, "Lord, do you really have the best for me? Who could he be?" 

While most of my dorm mates would prod me into socializing to meet people by attending parties, as a single lady, inspired by Matthew 6:33, I found it more fulfilling to serve in my own capacity. How? Well, I found my ministry in serving tables and washing dishes before and after lunch fellowships on Sundays; in assisting married ladies as they cooked for lunch (praying that the rice would cook perfectly fast when we cook for a second batch); joining the Visitation Team to share God's Word from house to house in various neighborhoods and communities. I also attended Bible studies and enjoyed the fellowship of young people, single and married men and women in our church. As I kept myself busy in the work of the Lord, little did I know that God, in His own perfect way, was also preparing Adam to meet me.

Ehem... Adam? Oh yes, the Adam of my life, God's very best for me! A new member in church then, he became involved in the school ministry as full time teacher. We didn't know each other at first, but God had His own special way of allowing us to fellowship and know each other better. 

Truly, God works amazingly in the lives of His children! We may not realize how He works miracles and wonders, simultaneously in the hearts and minds of men, but He does. He did... for Adam and me! And when He works, it couldn't go wrong. He works so perfectly, nothing can thwart His plan and will, defying physical disabilities (I sustained a fracture one week before our wedding day) and seeming constraints. All praises and glory to Him who specializes in making everything beautiful in His time that Adam and I could only succumb to His will, that is... to be united together in the bonds of matrimony, one perfect day, 24 years ago... such happiness!

Oh, by the way, Billy is his name. 
Bound to start life anew together
Through the years
A blessed Sunday to all!
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Fluster BusterLife on Lakeshore DriveWeekend Bloggy Reading
 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Cookies with Dates and Almonds

The heavy monsoon rains intensified by the tropical storm these past few days resulted in suspension of government offices such that the working members of the family had no choice but to stay home. Time to rest, bond together around the table, while doing some social networking, or in front of the TV to get some news updates on the extent of the damages caused by the flood, if not watching a movie. 

With the whole family at home, I had to think of what to prepare and serve on the dining table. Good thing I had a number of dishes lined up, waiting to be experimented on. I started the showcase with Mushroom Tortilla which I featured early this week. Click here for the recipe.

In the evening, I tried for the first time Jill's Banana Oat Cookies
Original recipe from Jill's Simple Daily Recipes

I was so attracted at her cookies which I found in one link party that I had it pinned!I don't like raisins and shredded coconut very much so I used dates and almonds instead. Wow, my family loved it! Ayana Grace doesn't like nuts but she gave the cookies a thumbs up! I also gave some to a friend who gave me the dates and almonds. :)  

I wasn't able to take good photos of my experiment after they were cooled. Just straight from the cookie sheet.
 Thank you, Jill, for sharing your recipe!
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Moshi is crying, rain is coming!

Ever since I started blogging, this is the first time that I am featuring Moshi, our family's dog. It's time you meet Moshi, our 10-year old Labrador-Golden Retriever-look-alike pet. 

 

He sings to the tune of Selecta Ice Cream each time the ice cream vendor passes by. He can sing, yes, but he can also cry, cry and cry out loud!  
Asking permission that he be allowed in
 
 Get to know Moshi a little bit more...

His first call is to alert us in the morning when it's time for him to pee and a little after eating to poop, that is, if nobody is around to anticipate his personal needs. He would also cry when he senses that rain is coming, or when he would like to sit or sleep on his chair but it is out of his reach, or when there's lightning and thunder and certainly without a doubt, when fireworks start to explode during Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Most often Moshi wouldn't pooh on any wet space in the garage. In my post yesterday, I mentioned about the southwest monsoon enhanced by a tropical storm that brought heavy rains. This nonstop downpour for the past three days has left our garage wet, so wet that Moshi has been crying incessantly.

The rain still came on and off today, though not as heavy as the past two days. After feeding Moshi his breakfast, I patiently walked him around the open garage until he was able to do his thing.  With the rain starting to pour, he attempted to run back to his corner had I not pulled on his collar. Well, just like yesterday, it was worth the wait after all! Yeah, patience indeed is a virtue, as it took me almost 30 minutes standing there outside, just watching and following his every movement with an umbrella (lest we both get drenched in the rain), whispering to him once in a while to hurry, as I had something brewing in the stove inside.

Just awhile ago, I heard his cry again. You guessed it right, it's raining! I peeped thru the window to see the chairs out of position. I went out to fix his sleeping carpet on the chair but he wouldn't use it. Guess where he preferred to lie down instead?


Oh there he is... underneath the chair with a newspaper for his mat. Do keep still and give us a quiet night tonight, okay? Back to work tomorrow after the two-day holiday and a two-day work suspension due to the storm. Does that call for a 
 or a 

 
  ??????
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