Monday, September 29, 2014

Sweeter: Jesus Is a Lion

We know the phrase: Lion of the Tribe of Judah. But have you ever stopped to think about the fact that our Heavenly Friend is a Lion?

He's a Lamb, too, of course; but we know that part pretty well. It fits the man represented in most of our modern portraits of Him: a gentle guy with white-white skin and girls' hair, who blesses little kids, teaches good morals, and passes out free lunches. A meek and mild lamb, somebody who is entirely safe. But is that Who Jesus is?
“Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"
"Safe?" said Mr Beaver Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”
Jesus was okay with danger to Himself. Why? Because looks are deceiving, and He knew His Father had everything under control! I'm sure the Cross looked awful, but He could endure it by looking at the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2).

It's time we learned to be okay with danger and unpleasantness, too. Psalm 84:6 says that when God's people pass through the valley of Baca, we make it a well. So the not-so-nice parts of life, the parts that make us say, "Why?" - God intends for those very parts to become wells from which we find refreshment. When we embrace the valleys, passing through them instead of searching frantically for some way around them, then we can actually learn the lessons God has for us. And one day, either here or in Heaven, we will thank Him for those very valleys!

What valley does He have you in right now?

Sweet: Mint Chocolate Cheesecake

For the Crust -

  • 16 oz crushed vanilla wafers, processed to a fine powder
  • 2 tbsp butter melted

For the Filling -

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (2 boxes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 extract 
  • 6-12 drops green food coloring

For the Ganache -

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1. For the Crust - Process wafers in a food processor or blender. Melt butter. Pour into a large bowl and add butter. Stir to mix and combine well with a fork. Pour into a greased springform pan and press on bottom and up sides to create the crust.

2. For the Filling - In a stand mixer, cream sugar and cheese. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add vanilla and then eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl after each egg addition. Add Creme de Menthe and stir to combine and until color is consistent. Pour filling into springform pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until center is set. Let sit to cool completely. Place in refrigerator for 12-24 hours. When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan and release the cheesecake. Top with ganache and serve.

3. For the Ganache - In a heavy bottomed saucepan over low to medium heat, bring heavy cream just under boiling. DO NOT LET BOIL OVER. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips in a bowl and stir to melt chips. Let sit for 5 minutes and spread over cheesecake. Slice and serve. The cheesecake can be refrigerated with ganache if you prepare ahead of time.