June 21, 2011

Faith That Saved Us

A friend asked me to create a cake for her son's first birthday party with the theme of Noah's Ark. As I was looking at all the ideas for cake designs on the internet, getting way to excited by all the possibilities and heading toward something complicated, I noticed that most of these cakes were done for baby showers. This brought to mind a question; why do we as an American society love to adorn our new delicate child's room with reminders of the most violent month in our world's history? A time when God had so much anger at his own precious creation that he made a very hard choice to drown us out along with every other living creature. My Bible has 1,042 pages of scripture and on page 5 I find this story. I don't know exactly how much time had passed from when Eve took that first bite (end of page 2) to when that first raindrop fell on day 1 of 40, but common sense would tell me that our ancestors quickly lost control in sin. To our children we teach this story at a very young age sharing with them God's promise in the rainbow to never flood the earth again. But I think there is something more going on in this story.

Let's look at Noah, a man of faith. Genesis 6:9b describes Noah as "a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God." The next sentence tells us that Noah had three sons and lists their names. One man chosen to survive along with his family and this is all we know about him. It doesn't seem like enough of a description, or is it? There are two powerful words in that first sentence to describe any sinner: righteous and blameless. The next sentence sums it up, "Noah walked with God." What do people say about you?

I don't know if the world we live in today is as infested with sin as it was at the time of the flood but I do know that each of us has a choice to walk with God or not. Noah was probably an outcast in society. Someone to poke fun at (especially once he started building that ark in the dessert over a span of 100 years!), someone without friends but plenty of enemies, someone who was lonely, desperately wanting to fit in somewhere, someone with a heart who wanted God more than anything the world had to offer. Noah was willing to put everything on the line to follow the Lord God. Noah was the only man of his time who would. He was a man of unwavering faith; a true servant of the Lord. Noah's faith saved him and his family from destruction. God loved Noah.

Much like Noah, our faith is what saves us today. Our faith in Jesus Christ means the difference between life and death. You either have it or you don't. There is no gray, no middle ground, you're either in the boat or out drowning in the floodwaters. As you walk through the daily grind of life as a sinner, what choices will you make? Will you choose to walk with God striving to become just like Jesus, blameless and righteous? Or will you conform to the world, drowning in sin? Jesus himself reaches a strong arm out of the boat willing us to reach out and grab on obtaining life! The choice is yours: have faith and live, or live in the world and drown.

We teach our young children the story of Noah, not because of all the fuzzy cute animals, but because we want them to grow up with faith like Noah. Faith so strong that they will do anything the Lord asks of them and walk firmly in his ways all of their life. We don't want our children to be the one's outside the boat drowning. We want them safely inside, sitting next to Jesus.


A Party For Noah!

My friend Julie had so many great ideas for her son's first birthday, that I wanted to share them with you. She kept the party simple and homemade, though you would have thought it took her hours to put together! Here are a few of her ideas to get you started on your own Noah's Ark themed party!

Julie had plenty for the kids to do while they waited impatiently for cake and presents! At the coffee table, they could create their own ark using animal stickers and a pre-cut ark.

Little book and animals stations were set-up around the designated party area. Baskets were filled with books about animals and Noah's Ark with plenty of stuffed toys to act out the story. 

As kids played and became thirsty, they could visit the rainbow drink bar and pick a flavored drink. 

Of course, you can't have a fun drink without a fun cup to put it in! Clear cups reveal the beautiful colors of the drink and a homemade sticker with the party theme adds a personal touch to the front. Grab your favorite Noah clipart from the web and print them onto sticker paper to create your own!

Cake time! For this party, the cake was quite simple. This ten inch round cake is surrounded with silhouettes of animals topped with a rainbow and a silhouette ark. Inside the cake is another touch of God's promise! Apply a rainbow of colors to the frosted middle layer of the cake to give each guest a taste of the rainbow.

Inside the cake is another touch of God's promise! Apply a rainbow of colors to the frosted middle layer of the cake to give each guest a taste of the rainbow.

While little hands wait for cake, keep their hands occupied and tummies full with other fun treats! Goldfish crackers floating in rectangle paper containers are a grab and go snack that is sure to keep your little animals happy!

A one year old's party isn't complete without a cake just for them! A gumpaste giraffe sits on top of a six inch round cake. Around the cake is the name of the birthday boy with animals cut-out of each letter to match the invitations. Add a rainbow, making each letter a different color.

Let the smashing begin! 
Note: always remove sculpted figures from your child's cake. Many contain tooth-picks for support and small, hard to chew pieces become chocking hazards.

As a thank-you and special treat for the small guests, each child was sent how with these adorable treats! Baby jars filled with colorful M&M's were topped with a magnet animal. Around each jar is a repetition of the invitation and a picture of the birthday boy. What child wouldn't want to go home with these!

Enjoy your next Noah's Ark party and telling your children of one man's amazing faith in the Lord!

June 13, 2011

Fondant Candle

For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
Psalm 18:28

You will need:

Fondant in white
Fondant in yellow
Cutting mat
Sharp knife
Gumpaste ball tool
Wax paper
Sugar glue or pipping gel

Start by rolling white fondant into a log to desired width. This candle is 3/4 inches thick. On the cutting mat, cut the roll into logs your desired candle height. This one is 3 inches tall. Set your logs aside.

Take a small chunk of yellow fondant about a teaspoon for the above size candle. Roll the fondant into a ball and the begin to taper one end with your fingers into a tear-drop.

Using your ball tool, make an indent in one end of your white fondant logs. Adjustments may need to be made to the edges of your candle at this time also.

Set your candles and flames on wax paper to dry overnight.

On decorating day, get a small amount of sugar glue or piping gel on your brush and apply glue to the indent created on your candles. It's okay to add a generous amount. Anything that spills over looks like candle wax dripping.

Add your flame to the candle pushing it gently into position.

Your candle is ready to be positioned on your cake or can be left upright to finish drying.

Click here to see this technique used on a cake.

June 7, 2011

Light to the World: A look back at the year in PWOC

I like to keep my posts short and sweet, but today I would like to share more of my heart and experiences. Bear with me and a promise a treat at the end!

Three years ago, on June 26th, I stepped off a plane onto foreign soil and took that first step on the most amazing journey of my life. On that day, God began to transform me from a lost soul to his beloved daughter with property in the home Christ has build for us in heaven. Our tour here on Okinawa has been life-changing. This is the place God brought me to save me.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1

Part of my journey here with the Lord has been to serve in Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC). What a blessing this group of women has been! These women were the ones to encourage me along in my faith, loving me when I only spouted off things of the world and gently guiding me to the truths of Christ. I remember that first year I was at PWOC three years ago. I looked at the board members, particularly our group president and spiritual life leaders as being these amazing godly women. They walked the walk and they talked the talk. Would I ever be like that? As I continued along in my faith, filling my intense hunger for God with His word, I was given opportunities in women's ministry at church and later to plan the spring retreat for PWOC. The fact that God has asked me to plan two retreats those first two years was a complete surprise! And boy did he use it to teach me how to look at him for help! And help he did! My faith continued to grow.

Last year I was approached by a member of PWOC and was asked to serve as spiritual life. What?! First of all, I'm far too young, on top of that I've never even lead a Bible study so how was I supposed to pick the studies and be a leader for Bible teachers and then there was the fact that I was only saved for about that last year! I was not mature enough! Despite all my fleshly reasons not to, God called. He and I had a chat and he won (he is God after all!). I accepted. This was going to be an interesting year.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope. Then you will call upon me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

The day came for executive board members to be announced. As we were standing chatting together I looked around and asked were our president was. She is after all an important piece to this puzzle and I was anxious to meet her! My dear friend Tamara, the one who asked me to serve, looked at me and said, "we don't have one." What?! She then explained that they were going to install an incomplete board and that when God sent us a president we'd install her then, but in the meantime my position was the one to fill those shoes. (see paragraph three again) What was God thinking?!

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.

Isaiah 60: 1-2

For six months I had the awesome pleasure of leading this amazing group of women whom I admired, respected and looked up to. Completely humbled that God even thought me strong and capable enough to serve in these capacities I walked on as he had asked trusting him as my only guide. Walk with me he did. The road was paved and I followed it. It wasn't always easy, there were many days I would cry over the challenges that were before me and the struggles of leading other women. I made plenty of mistakes and hope I have learned from them.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 31:8

In October, God sent us our president. He was so sweet to give me the clarity that this was the woman he was calling to serve the women of PWOC for the remainder of that year and into the next. My journey serving in two capacities had come to an end and I was given more time to focus on spiritual life and all the other things God had for me. In the end it was hard to let go. Harder than I'd like to admit. It took faith in this woman that she could lead and did not need my help and it took me letting go and knowing that God has a plan bigger than me.

I learned so much this past year and grew in so many ways. Spiritually, my new life in Christ has taken off! I learned when God is speaking and when it's my own flesh that wants something. My desire went from wanting to do God's will but not knowing what that was, to knowing and doing it. I have begun to seek the Lord daily when I first arise, sinking into a favorite spot and into his word. My husband and I have grown so much closer despite much time apart. When he's home we grow together during family time after dinner each night, reading together through scripture and discussing what God is doing. Afterward we pray together. The Lord has certainly given me confidence there as well by forcing me to pray openly with a microphone in front of a group. Prayer is such an important way we grow together and personally with our Father. It's basic communication resulting in a personal relationship with the Holy of Holies Himself!

I have been so blessed by the women of PWOC and what the Lord has done in me the past three years. I am in awe that he thinks enough of me to ask me to serve his people leading them to his son. I am humbled before our God that he called me. Little me. As I step away from work before others, I am looking forward to what God's will is for me next! Grounded in him, I can do anything and I know his plans for me are not small and are for the glory of his kingdom! I am honored to be a servant of our Lord.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

Learn more about PWOC here at:

Passing the light onto Heidi, our new Spiritual Life leader, while Terri, our
amazing group President looks on.

Our theme for this year in PWOC has been shining our lights, which is Christ shining through us.  As the year with this theme has ended, the Lord was so sweet to present me with the opportunity to design and make a cake for our board installation ceremony. Serving in leadership, you form a strong bond to the organization and those who are in it. It seemed fitting that I could share my God gifted talents with them today in the form of cake for my last Tuesday serving as Spiritual Life leader. This is currently my favorite design! God jumps out and becomes real to me through art and this one is simply HIM! I would like to share with you it's meaning:

The candles around the cake represent each one of us who is saved and living a life for Christ.  When Christ is alive and active in us, he radiates through us resulting in something like light. People see that we are different. People see a light in us that does not come from the world. They see how we act is stressful situations, who we give praise and glory to, what words come out of our mouths. Our lights point to someone that can give the same hope and salvation that was given so freely to us: Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

On top of the cake sits the world, which is held in the scarred hands of Jesus. He is the one that brings salvation to the ends of the earth. We are but a mere vessel that is used to complete his works. We give testimony to his great love and might, but he is the one that holds us all together. 

Written around the cake is Isaiah 49:6b, "I will make you a light to the nations, so my salvation can spread to the ends of the earth." This is where I could see that this design was not my own! I designed this cake about a week and a half before it was due. Two days before, my friend emailed me with this verse to put on the cake, which was what she was using for the installation program. Only God himself could come up with a plan so perfect! 


Click here to learn how to make a fondant candle.

June 4, 2011

Princess in Christ's Glory


1. a daughter of the sovereign or of one of the sovereign's sons.

(Jesus Christ) "he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see."
         1 Timothy 6:15b-16a

2. A nonreigning female member of a sovereign family.

"In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will."
        Ephesians 1:5

3. any attractive or outstanding woman.

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
        Proverbs 31:30

Cupcakes Fit for a Princess

1. Print off a a crown image. Be sure to resize it to fit your cupcake.

2. Cut out image.

3. Gather your supplies:
Round container covered in wax paper to wrap your crown around while drying
Died fondant
Dusting pouch for cornstarch
Rolling pin
Cut-out template
Gumpaste tool with round ball ends
Exacto knife
Cutting mat

4. Add small amount of Gum-Tex to fondant.

5. Knead to mix in Gum-Tex.

6. Liberally dust cutting mat with cornstarch.

7. Roll out Gumpaste to an eight or quarter inch depending on your preference.

8. Position template on top of gumpaste carefully, holding down while cutting around with an exacto knife.

9. Using a gumpaste tool, create round indents on each point of the crown for the jewels.

10. Using the larger ball on your tool, make an oval shaped
jewel in the center of the crown larger than the others.

11. Wrap crown around a wax paper covered, round container.
I found McCormick spice containers worked the best for the size crown I wanted.

12. Place container with crown on a cookie sheet to dry.

13. Once crown are dry, add shimmer with gold luster duster mixed with 1/4 tsp of vodka.
Place finished crowns on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper to prevent crowns from sticking.

14. Use another color of luster duster mixed with vodka to paint on jewels.

15. The center jewel can be the same color or different.
I decided to paint all of these jewels with a ruby red colored luster duster.

16. Allow crowns to dry completely overnight before moving or handling.

17. The next day, you are ready to assemble your cupcakes!
I filled a 16 inch pipping bag with a 2D Wilton decorating tip to ice my cupcakes.
To create the piped look I wanted, I opened up the prongs on my tip to stick straight up.
Piper your frosting in a spiral pattern starting on the outside edge working your way in and up to the center.

18. A few sprinkles give these a fun touch!

19. Carefully add crowns pushing them gently into the frosting.

20. Finished cupcakes ready for little princess and princesses to enjoy!