“…consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24
It’s so easy to dwell on what’s not right, with ourselves, with others, with life.
Right now, let’s consider what great things He has done for us.
* We are loved by God, not because of who we are or because of what we have or haven’t done, but because we are reconciled to God – we can approach Him as a friend, through His gift to us of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
* He has given His Spirit to be our guide.
* He has given us His Word to be our GPS…I know I‘d be lost without it.
Let’s consider these things, and praise Him for the past, and trust Him for the future.
Karen O'Leary is the the Program Manager at New Beginnings. She has her BA in Bible Theology and her Masters of Divinity. She has 8-years of experience as a Social Director at a non-profit organization helping those in crisis with financial assistance, brief supportive counseling, and being a spiritual presence in their time of need. In her free time Karen enjoys reading, cooking and traveling.
As a part of the New Beginnings' program, we participate in family traditions including having a group meal over the holidays. Everyone brings a homemade dish to pass for the entire group - as we all know, WELS people love their potlucks! This provides an excellent opportunity for the mothers at New Beginnings to learn new cooking skills, as well as try new dishes.
We were so excited about the dishes made this year, that we would like to share them with you.
The main event - WHat's Thanksgiving without turkey?
Our Executive Director, Brianne Hansen, has made the turkey for our Thanksgiving Dinner for 2 years. I suppose it is tradition now. We usually have about 15 people at our Thanksgiving Dinner, and a 15 pound turkey is just about perfect!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set aside.
Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Pat dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, shallots, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pieces of butter in the turkey cavity.
Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Take the turkey out of the oven and let rest for 20 minutes.
Slice the turkey and serve.
the necessary (and delicious) sides
Okay, so let's be honest. Thanksgiving isn't all about the turkey - it's about the bird's friends! Here are some outstanding recipes made by our staff and residents that will leave your guests wanting more.
The terrific part about these recipes is that not only are they the traditional, and completely necessary sides for any Thanksgiving celebration, they are also HOMEMADE completely from scratch! Even the cream of mushroom soup in the green bean casserole was created - no need for canned soup here, people.
Are you dying for the recipes? After tasting these dishes, I know I was! For your tasting pleasure, I have included them below:
green bean casserole
Our Resident Supervisor, Eden Ehlers, created this green bean casserole recipe from scratch. Boy, was it worth it!
Baked "Fried" Onions
Green Bean Casserole
Our Program Manager, Karen O'Leary, made cranberry sauce this year. As we know, cranberry sauce is a hallmark Thanksgiving day side, and ....it is one of my favorites!
In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools
THE BEST DRESSING...EVER
When I say the best...ever, I mean it. This dressing is the best...EVER! Our Outreach Manager, Christina Pritzlaff, made a recipe for dressing that was passed down by her mother. Hopefully it was not meant to be a family secret because we have to spread this love around!
Follow the directions on the bag for preparing the stuffing. Add the chicken broth to the bacon and sausage grease to make the full amount required for the stuffing mix. We are just substituting some of the broth with the grease. Cook the fresh veggies in a pan with the butter and add it to the stuffing mixture.
More tasty sides!
CREAMY MAC & CHEESE
One of our mothers, Shaneka, made a classic Southern macaroni and cheese dish! It was one of our favorites. Shaneka always does an outstanding job making dishes for group dinners!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9"x13" dish. Boil macaroni until tender (about 12 minutes) and drain. In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, cheese, milk, and eggs. Add salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared dish. Bake until golden and bubbly, abut 30 minutes.
Savory garlic mash
One of our mothers, Kim, made crockpot garlic mashed potatoes! Who knew that you could make mashed potatoes in the crockpot? They tasted great!
Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Add potatoes, thyme, garlic, butter, and chicken broth. Cover and cook for 5 hours on high. Add heavy cream and use a hand mixer to blend the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
What we have all been waiting for...dessert!
Thanksgiving is simply not the same without a stunning dessert! Peach cobbler is not only beautiful, but delicious too.
Melt butter in 9"x13" pan. Mix together flour, sugar, and milk. Pour mixture into plan. Spread peaches (including syrup) around the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, until crust turns golden brown.
See below our chefs!
“But in your heats revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” - 1 Peter 3:15
So, what is hope? According to dictionary.com it is: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
This means that we trust God will take care of us and that everything (whether good or bad) will work out for what is best for us. Note that it will work out for what is best for us, not necessarily how we want it to work out. Once again, why do we have this hope in God?
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31
The Lord will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. – Psalm 121:7-8
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. –Matthew 11:28
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. - Romans 8:25
I could go on and on about what the Lord promises to us. There are definitely more in the Holy Scriptures that I could share with you. As you can see, we are promised that He will take care of us.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galations 6:10).
A Resident's Perspective
Life At New Beginnings