Holly Furtick

Recipe… Coconut Flour Pancakes

So we are doing this eating and exercise plan as a staff.  The plan is very simple: no grain, no sugar (real or artificial except for stevia), exercise every day.  I found a decent alternative for pancakes… coconut flour pancakes.  Now these pancakes are not low calorie (and if you are on fit/fat40, you can’t put syrup or honey on them), but they are super high in fiber and they taste pretty good.

A lot of grocery stores are now carrying coconut flour, although it can be hard to find.  I actually saw it at Food Lion the other day.  And if you are not in the mood to go on a wild goose chase, you can always buy it from Amazon.  The flour also makes a great non-bread breading on chicken.

I have tried 2 recipes.  One that uses milk, and one that uses applesauce.  I am going to give you the recipe with milk because I thought they were easier to flip and basically tasted the same.  I got this recipe from a blog called, Nourishing Days.  I did not change any of the ingredients (Except I used 1% milk, not raw milk or coconut milk.  Raw milk is actually not legal in NC, and I didn’t have any coconut milk.)

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk (raw cow’s or coconut both work)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey or a pinch of stevia
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • coconut oil or butter for frying
  • blueberries or banana slices (do not add to batter)

Preheat griddle to medium to low heat.  I have an electric skillet I like to use.

Mix everything together except the flour.  Whisk until blended and bubbly.

Add flour until blended.

I like to put about 1/2 teaspoon of butter on each spot on the pan where I will put a pancake.  Once melted, spoon about 1/3 c of batter onto the melted butter.

Add blueberries (or chocolate chips) or bananas onto the batter side of each pancake.

After about 2-3 minutes, flip the pancake.  Cook for 2-3 more minutes and enjoy!

A few notes…
These pancakes are NOT easy to flip.
These pancakes are not very pretty, but they do taste good.
Pancakes are difficult to tell if they are done.  I pretty much guess.
If you would like to try the recipe that uses applesauce instead of milk, it is here.

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out Mark’s story….

Dear Pastor Steven,

I am a fairly reserved person so I’m not sure why I’m writing this other than I feel that God is calling me to do so. My family and I have been attending Elevation for about a year and a half now.  I can honestly say that I have never felt closer to God, a feeling shared by my family.

Your sermons have had such a tremendous impact on my life. I’m writing now to let you know how much Elevation Worship, and the other incredible musicians that you have had at Elevation, have impacted me. Given the recent success of the album Nothing Is Wasted, I wanted to share my gratitude with you.



Last September, the same week that you released your book Greater, my dad passed away. I have often times thought of you, and prayed for you and your family, knowing that your dad is also ill. Your book was such a comfort to me that last week that I was with my dad as it kept my focus on God and how great He is. At that time, I had also recently downloaded Israel Houghton’s album Jesus At the Center. Had it not been for you bringing Israel Houghton to Elevation on many occasions I would have probably never heard of him, and most certainly never ended up with some of his music on my iPod. The night that my dad passed away I repeatedly listened to his song Your Presence is Heaven. HIS Presence was definitely with me and I am certain that Jesus accompanied my dad to heaven that night. I could feel His comforting presence all around for me as I prayed for our Heavenly Father to ease my dad’ s pain. 



The power of music that comes from Elevation Church continues to comfort me and drive me to do Greater things in my life so that I may give glory to God. My running playlist is filled with music from Elevation Worship and Isreal Houghton. I always run further, stronger and with greater purpose when I listen to them while I run. I’m sure that there are more than a few people that drive by me that think I’m a little crazy as I have my hands stretched to the sky giving praise to The Lord. 

Please keep encouraging others to find strength in The Lord through the music in your church. The power of your music has greatly impacted my life and I’m hoping that it will have a similar impact on others.

Faithfully,

Mark

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Mind Reader

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

I memorized this verse when I was a little girl. And up until the other day, I always thought of it as a verse that was asking God to show me my sin. But the other day the phrase, “know my anxious thoughts,” jumped out at me.

Have you ever had one of those days where your thoughts were just running wild with anxiety? And you knew your thoughts were so ridiculous that you shouldn’t even voice them to anyone? Being anxious like having a voice screaming in your head while you are trying to concentrate on having a normal day.

But how comforting to know that God knows my ridiculous, anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:2 says, “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” And God is the One who can calm them. When I have these moments, I have to ground myself. I have to stop and remind myself who I am, and to borrow from my husband’s teaching, I have to remember whose I am.

I think anxious thoughts offend God because it is as if I am saying, I don’t trust God. I am a child of God, called by God. I am empowered, through His grace, to be an amazing mom, and wife, and pastor’s wife. He knows my anxious thoughts and He wants me to trust Him with them. Just like 1 Peter 5:7 say, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

 

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Recipe… cheesy baked kale

We are doing an eating and fitness challenge on the staff of Elevation.  The plan is called Fit/Fat40.  It is a plan to get fit, and loose fat in 40 days.  The diet part is simple.  No sugar (real, natural, or artificial), and no grains (bread, rice, corn, quinoa etc.) that’s it.

Now, I know kale chips are no new thing, and everyone seems to be raving about them.  I have a hard time jumping on the bandwagon.  I prefer my chips to be made from corn or potato.  Just sayin.  But I finally found a way to eat kale chips… with cheddar cheese (here is the original recipe and picture)!!

Here’s what you do…

-Rinse and dry 2 bunches of kale
-Shred the kale and pull from the stems and ribs.  Discard the stems and ribs.
-Spray 2 cookie sheets with olive oil spray
-put the shredded kale on the cookie sheets, spray the kale with olive oil spray
-salt the kale
-top with shredded cheese

Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes.  Watch for burning.  Burned kale tastes really bad.

Also, I have made several updates to some of my favorite recipes (sorry for those of you on Fit/Fat40, you’ll have to wait)…

Crockpot Oatmeal
Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu
Healthy(er) Chocolate Chip Cookies 

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Monday Morning Commentary

This weekend we continued our series, God’s Will is Whatever, a series all about God’s will, based on the verse, Colossians 3:17.  So far my husband has taught us that if we walk in His ways, we will be in His will.  Then we learned that to know God’s will must view everything through the window of God’s word.

This weekend we learned that God’s will is like a can of paint, the value is in the application.  In other words, you have to DO it!  My husband told us that we can study God’s will, we can debate God’s will, we can deliberate over God’s will, but until we actually DO what God has told us to do we won’t see God move in our lives.  God doesn’t show us His will so we can know it, he shows it so we can do it.

And then the deepest level of knowing God’s will, and doing God’s will is in desiring God’s will.  God wants me to want to do His will.  And as I grow in my relationship with Christ, He moves me out of the duty, and into the desire.  My husband said, “Delight produces desire and desire will produce decisions that duty never could.”  God’s will is not about will power, it’s about delight.

This has been such a powerful, practical series.  I hope you will listen to or watch this it.  It was so good!  You can catch it today on the Elevation Network and later in our archive.  Have a great Monday!

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out this story….

Addie joined the eGroup I led.  She was not like the rest of our group. Most of us were in our late 40-50′s, but Addie was a young 30-something nurse & Zumba instructor. She and her 2 year old son had just moved back into her parents house to get on her feet. She came to the first meeting clearly mad, hurt, and broken. I thought by her attitude that someone made her come. I later found out that she decided to return to church to help get her life back together.

She was forced into a rough lifestyle of drugs and abuse at the hands of her spouse. She had a front row seat to a life she would never chose for herself and especially not her son. When we met, her husband had just entered rehab. As the weeks passed, Addie began to open up and share her story. At first, she was rough, and honestly, as a leader, I thought the other members would shy away from her. I thought they would say, “we’ll pray for you, throw up a quick one, and do it again the following week”.  Never to put feet to their faith.

I was a new eGroup leader and clearly underestimated these Elevators. These “church ladies” embraced her. Some helped financially, some gave her son gifts, one member took her in, and Addie lived in her basement for a few weeks.  They all prayed for her! We watched this broken soul lean into God and us. First hand we witnessed His healing power over this family. We watched our Sun Stand Still prayers come alive.

Fast forward 2 years. Rehab worked. Her husband has FULLY RECOVERED and has a wonderful job. They moved to Tennessee and have made a great life! They have worked hard to restore a marriage that was a certain divorce, and now they are living happily ever after. Today their fairy tale got a little sweeter as they welcomed  baby Ellie into the family! God is Good! God is Good! 

Thanks Elevation for eGroups! It was such an honor to be a part of something God orchestrated so beautifully! Our group didn’t just change Addie’s life, but every member involved!

Tina

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Where He meets me

I love the story of Jesus’ resurrection.  Of course I love the part about Jesus conquering death, that is unarguably the best part of the story.  But recently I have been thinking about the women.  The first people Jesus chose to reveal his resurrected self to was a group of women.

Have you ever wondered why?  It could be that He knew the women would spread the news the fastest.  Like how if I want to spread the news about something I tell my friend Nicole.  She has this uncanny ability to find out a piece of information and spread it.  Jesus would have definitely wanted her to be at the tomb.

Maybe it was because he knew that particular group of women would obey without question.   Women are doers.  Matthew 28 tells us that they went to the tomb to prepare Jesus body with spices and oils and an angel appeared to them and told them Jesus was alive and that they needed to go and tell everyone.  And so they did, even though they had yet to actually see him resurrected.

The best part is in verse 9.  It says, “As they went, Jesus met them, and greeted them.  And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him.”  Sometimes I think God waits for me to obey before he meets me.

I think that God should meet me when I am in the act of reading my bible or worshiping at church.  The truth is, He doesn’t always work that way.  Sometimes he waits until after I have left church and I start obeying what I learned to meet me.  And then all a sudden, in the midst of my everyday, mundane life activities like driving my kids to school, or even in the midst of a conversation with a friend, He whispers something to me.  Maybe a small reminder, or an inclination to pray for someone, or just an, “I love you,” or an, “I’m proud of you.”  Or my most recent, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.  It matters to me.”

I need to stop being discouraged when I read the Bible and the Words don’t jump off the page at me.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes, God just wants me to obey before I have “seen” Him, because it takes a bit more faith.

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Monday Morning Commentary

This weekend we continued our series, God’s Will is Whatever, a series all about God’s will, based on the verse, Colossians 3:17.  This week my husband explained that the revealed will of God (God’s Word) illuminates the concealed will of God for my life.

As he walked through the story of Jacob in Genesis 28, he explained that God’s will is most often revealed to us in 3 different ways…

  1. Influence of others.  God can use the voice of the right people to tell us what to do.
  2. Life situations.  Advantages God has given us to leverage as well as limitations God wants for us to embrace.
  3. Leading of the Spirit.  The desires and emotions God puts in our hearts.
He then explained that we must take all 3 of these avenues of determining God’s will and filter it through the lens of God’s Word.  Because God’s will is never contrary to His Word.

The message was so powerful.  I feel like I just too all the life out of it as I put it into words.  I hope you will listen to or watch this message so you can get the full effect of how great it was.  You can catch it today on the Elevation Network and later in our archive.  Have a great Monday!

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Life Change Inbox

It’s Friday and time for another Life Change Inbox! Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 that our lives are living letters written so that God might be glorified. People often write in to Elevation and share the work God is doing in their lives through our church. When I read these stories, I am reminded that we serve a powerful God who still works miracles in the lives of everyday people. These stories inspire me to keep giving, keep serving and continue praying for those who are far from God. I hope they will do the same for you.

If you have a story you would like to share, email us at amencorner@elevationchurch.org

Check out Steve and Lisa’s story….

Dear Pastor Steven and Elevation staff,

Why is it that sometimes giving to God can be filled with doubt and apprehension?  Intellectually, we know all our material possessions and money are blessings from the Lord, but sometimes it can still be hard to increase our giving.  In 2012, Lisa and I decided to take Pastor Steven’s challenge to give the full tithe to Elevation and increase our monthly giving to 15%.  During the Banner Years campaign, we were excited to give the largest single donation check we have ever written to the Banner Years campaign.

We also had an underwater mortgage that was keeping us from being able to sell our house.  Analyzing our income, it was going to take approximately 3 years to pay off the loan deficit.

We could not think of a better place to invest our money than Elevation where every week people far from God are being filled to Life in Christ.  We love Pastor Steven’s heart as he keeps the focus on the LOVE of Jesus and Holy Spirit as the true and powerful life changers.  My walk with the Lord is closer, marriage healthier, and less sin-entangled than ever before – thanks to Elevation.  Thank you Pastor Steven for “keeping it real” and preaching Truth in a way both church and nonchurch goers can relate to. The friends we bring to Elevation always enjoy their experience and many have started a relationship with Jesus.

If I stopped here, I think this would still be a good praise report.  BUT, here is the “rest of the story”…  Amazingly, due to unexpected revenue and gifts, a few days ago we paid off the significant mortgage deficit which will allow us to put our house on the market.  Upon writing this praise report, I realized that our loan deficit had been 8 times larger than our Banner Years offering.

The number 8 – where have we heard that that number before:):)?!?!

In humility and awe, we want to thank and praise the Lord because there is absolutely no way we could have paid the loan deficit by ourselves in 3 months.

We truly look forward to seeing what God is going to do in our new Elevation Church in 2013 - a new beginning in year 8 !!!

Sincerely,

Steve and Lisa

P.S.  A couple  weeks ago at the Uptown campus, I was sitting next to two very sweet ladies - VIP’s - that heard about Elevation at the woman’s homeless shelter.  I enjoyed our conversation and hope they felt loved and appreciated for joining the celebration.  It is so cool to go to a church where people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds can meld seamlessly in worship together.

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Fashion file… It’s a cinch?

This past weekend at church I wore a maxi dress with a wide belt.  Abbey looked at me and said, “You dot your seatbelt on Mommy?”

Wearing a belt is really hard to do.  BUT, contrary to popular belief, they are not just for skinny people.  Here are a few ways you can wear a belt…


First off, you do not have to wear a belt on your true waste.  You want to put the belt around the smallest part of your body, which for most of us is right under our bust (warning: if you are well endowed, you should know you will look even more, well, endowed).

 

 

 

 

Here’s a belt over a cardigan.  I think the key here is to wear a thinner belt.  This also works with a classic cut cardigan.

 

 

 

 

This is a belt over a loose fitting shirt.  This gives your outfit more definition and can be used as a pop of color. This look helps you not look so slouchy and more shapely.

 

 

 

 

The belt over the blazer look is cute but honestly, quite uncomfortable.  A buttoned up jacket can be uncomfortable enough as it is.  Seems like you wouldn’t be able to move if you added a belt.  I would not recommend this look.  However, the belt under the jacket, I think, would look just as good.

 

 

 

 

This belt is actually in the belt loops.  Imagine that.  If you attempt this look, make sure your shirt is not so fitted that you get a muffin top.  The jacket over makes this not so harsh.

 

 

 

Here are a few belts with dresses.  If you want to know how to knot a long belt (like in the 2nd picture), go to pinterest.  There are many examples.

 

 

 

 

 

It is always fun to accessorize your maxi dress with a belt.  Sorry the picture got cut off.  Can you notice how high her belt is?

 

 

 

 

Last we have the belt over the short skirt.  A very cute look.

 

 

 

 

It is a good idea to wear a short necklace, or no necklace at all when wearing a dress. The bigger the belt, the smaller your necklace should be.

Don’t over think this whole belt thing.  If it looks good and it feels good, wear it with confidence, even if one of your kids calls it a seatbelt.

 

 

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