Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 10 comments

I could see it coming and I warned him, but he just wouldn't listen...

My grandson loves the water so he's always up for a bath and I just happen to have a great tub.  Being cast iron, I like the fact that it keeps the water warm for a good, long soak.  The little guy likes it because it's deep enough for him to splash to his heart's content without getting water all over Grandma's bathroom (or maybe that's another reason I like it...)

At nineteen months old, he's fascinated with anything that moves - switches to flip, levers to pull, buttons to push (which is how my phone came to "speak" Spanish), a kitty to "love", and his most recent discovery, handles to turn.

I told him not to touch them, but who wants to listen to some killjoy when there's something so enticing before you?  While he is too young to understand the wisdom of listening to someone more experienced, he's not too young to understand the word "No."  Still, he went ahead, grabbed one of the handles and gave me a cute little grin that said, "Are you going to do anything about it or not?"

Since it was the cold water handle he was grasping, I chose "not."  

Looking at me with his hand on the handle (and his head was directly under the faucet) he slowly pushed it up.  Instantly a shocked look appeared on his face as he was doused with cold water! 

I admit, I had to laugh at the look on his face as I quickly turned the water off.  And do you know what he did next?  Yep, he doused himself again.

And again!  I guess he's a slow learner like his grandma...

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. ~ Hebrews 5:11

Have you ever been there?  God tells you not to do something and you know there will be consequences for caving in to that temptation or cutting that corner or fill-in-the-blank, but you give in to your impulses and are rewarded with a shocking dose of reality.  

Then you do it again, thinking maybe this time it'll turn out differently.  I believe that's one of the definitions of insanity - doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome - but haven't we all been there at one time or another?

God has given us commands to live by but He's also given us free will, which is what gets us into trouble.  While He could intervene at any time, often He allows us to incur the natural consequences of our actions when we choose not to listen to His counsel.  We plead with God to remove the consequences, but without them would we ever learn?

Believe it or not, my little guy grabbed the faucet handle for a fourth time.  He looked at me, looked at the handle, looked back at me...and let go!  What my words didn't teach him, consequences did.  And the next bath?  He didn't even go near the faucet!

Lord, forgive me for the many times I've pushed ahead and did things my way rather than follow your instructions.  While the consequences are never pleasant at the time, I thank you that you love me enough to do whatever it takes to get me back on the right path.  Help me to be quick to learn so that I may deepen my relationship with You.


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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 4 comments

Tips for Tuesday

I found a great new recipe at the hospital cafeteria of all places!  This chicken smothered in sweet, sassy salsa was so delicious I made note of the ingredients and looked it up online when I got home.  This particular version came from Kraft Recipes.


2 - 11 ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup honey mustard
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (I couldn't find fresh so I used dried)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Mix all ingredients with the exception of the chicken.  Cover and refrigerate several hours, allowing the flavors to blend.  

Grill, broil or cook the chicken on the stove top about 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.  Top with prepared salsa. 

This sweet salsa was great on tortilla chips too!



I've been known to link up with: Frugal Fridays, Soli Deo Gloria, Inspire Me Monday, Titus 2sdays, Tell Me a Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Courtship Connection,Tutorials & Tips Tuesday, Into the Beautiful, God Bumps & God Incidences, Word-Filled Wednesday,Winsome Wednesday,Simply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Monday's Musings, Monday Montras, Funky Junk Interiors
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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 7 comments

How much are we influenced by what we expose ourselves to?  I recently read "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson, and in it he describes a very eye-opening experiment conducted by the psychology department of NYU:

   “One of the experiments involved a scrambled-sentence test.  The first test was sprinkled with rude words like disturb, bother, and intrude.  The second test was sprinkled with polite words like respect, considerate, and yield.  In both cases, the subjects thought they were taking tests measuring intelligence.  None of the subjects picked up on the word trend consciously, but it primed them subconsciously.

     “After taking the five-minute test, students were asked to walk down the hall and talk to the person running the experiment about their next assignment.  An actor was strategically engaged in conversation with the experimenter when the students would arrive.  The goal was to see how long it would take students to interrupt...The group primed with rude words interrupted, on average, after five minutes, but 82% of those primed with polite words never interrupted at all." Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker, p. 153

Photo courtesy of Fyreseeker777 and Photobucket

Did you realize that everything we see and hear is priming us either positively or negatively?  If the students were influenced to that degree after spending 5 minutes with scrambled sentences, how much are we influenced by an hour-long television show, a two hour movie, listening to a CD or playing endless hours of video games?  No wonder there's so much promiscuity and violence in our culture today!  It DOES matter what we expose ourselves to.

In His Word, God tells us what should be surrounding ourselves with:

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8

This is why it's so important to immerse ourselves in God's Word, especially in the morning.  By doing so, we begin to recognize His voice and are inclined to act the way He would have us act.  

What are you exposing yourself to?  Is it something you'd watch, listen to or read if Jesus was with you - because if you are a Christian He IS with you.  If you're not sure, why not ask God to reveal to you what you're taking in that's not pleasing to Him?

Lord, forgive me for being unaware of how much I'm being influenced by what is going on around me.  Help me to be discerning as to what I expose myself to and enable me to reject what is not pleasing to You.  Draw me to Your Word, that I will more and more reflect You in all I do.


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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 2 comments

Tips for Tuesday

I managed to make it through the holidays without eating too many sweets, but when my favorite seasonal ice cream went on sale, I couldn't resist picking some up.  The only thing better than Peppermint Stick ice cream is Peppermint Stick ice cream with homemade hot fudge sauce! 

This recipe has been a favorite of ours for many years.  It's not too thick and not too thin, makes a good sized batch and tastes fabulous!  It only takes basic ingredients, so you may even have them on hand. 

1 stick PLUS 3 Tablespoons of butter or margarine
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3 cups sugar
13 ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Melt the margarine or butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once melted, stir in cocoa powder.  Add the sugar and the milk, a little at a time.  Stir in vanilla.  Cover and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool before serving. 


I've been known to link up with: Frugal Fridays, Soli Deo Gloria, Inspire Me Monday, Titus 2sdays, Tell Me a Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Courtship Connection,Tutorials & Tips Tuesday, Into the Beautiful, God Bumps & God Incidences, Word-Filled Wednesday,Winsome Wednesday,Simply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Monday's Musings, Monday Montras, Funky Junk Interiors
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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 17 comments

When my husband had his recent heart surgery, I spent a lot of time hanging out at the hospital.  One long day was broken up by an unexpected visitor.  It was a volunteer coming around to deliver flowers.  That was a good thing.

Except she didn't have any flowers on her cart because there was a nurse on my husband's floor who is severely allergic to the plant that was sent to him.  That was a bad thing.

Normally the people in the plant room would have refused the plant and sent it back where it came from, but since there was no one in the room at the time the plant was just dropped off.  That was a good thing. 

It was also a good thing that the volunteer chose to see if there was someone who could receive the plant on my husband's behalf, because there I was.  I welcomed the opportunity to stretch my legs and followed the volunteer through a labyrinth of hallways and into a staff elevator where the woman, her cart and I were joined by two food service personnel each pushing a large cart towering with food trays headed back to the kitchen.  One more tray and I don't think we would've fit!  Down we went to level A, where again we wove our way through hallways filled with support staff busily going about their business.

Finally we reached the plant room, empty but for the most gorgeous poinsettia plant I've ever seen.  With its leaves sparkling with gold glitter, I had to touch it to see if it was real. 

It was! 

My guide now led me back up to the main floor where once again I gained my bearings.  Now on my own, I made my way through the lobby, down the hall (which always feels like a wind tunnel), up the stairs, along the skywalk and into the parking ramp where I'd parked my car.

Every day I came to the hospital I seemed to get a parking spot farther from the last.  Being someone with memory issues, that was a bad thing.  Thankfully, I remembered I was parked in an odd aisle because it was labeled with two different levels.  The end I parked on said level 3, but the door to the skywalk at the other end said 4. After a little searching, I found my car and gingerly placed the plant in it. 

Since it was December in Michigan, I was in a hurry to get back inside because I'd left my coat back in my husband's room.  Despite my rushing, I noticed an older woman in the ramp looking frustrated.  I stopped to see if she needed any assistance and she told me she knew exactly where she parked because it was in section B4 (before).  That was a good thing, but despite knowing where her car should be, she couldn't find it. 

I could tell she was worn out, so I asked her to describe her car to me (she didn't know her license plate number) and I walked down the row of cars to look for it while she waited.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find it either.  While I was looking, she wandered into the next section over.  Now she was getting tired, frustrated, and we were both freezing. 

Suddenly, I remembered the odd aisle I was parked in and wondered if she had done the same.  I looked over, and sure enough, there was an aisle above where we had been looking that was split between 4B and 5B.  She couldn't see the signs but took my word for it and spent her last bit of energy making her way over with me.  As soon as we got close, she spotted her car!

"It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." ~ Philippians 2:13

She kept thanking me, saying she didn't know what she would've done if I hadn't been there.  I took the opportunity to tell her that it didn't have anything to do with me, but everything to do with God.  I'm amazed when I think of all the events He orchestrated to get me into just the right place in the parking ramp at just the right time and gave me just the right experience to help this woman that was at the end of her rope. 

Father, You never cease to amaze me.  Thank you for caring about our lives, from the major events down to the little things like a misplaced car.  I pray for the woman I met in the ramp, that she would be overwhelmed by Your love for her.  


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