Christine’s Orange Chocolate Latte

Christine’s Orange Chocolate Latte

Christine’s Orange Chocolate Latte

Christine’s Orange-Chocolate Latte is absolutely fabulous!

Recipe for a delicious Orange Chocolate Latte…your taste buds will love this! When I drank my very first orange chocolate latte, I was sitting in a beach cafe with my daughter. Home from Spring Break at college, she invited me to taste her favorite drink. While the local coffee shop drink was delicious- it was not something I could drink often. Until I crafted my Orange-Chocolate Latte. Recipe below.

What I like most about the orange-chocolate latte is the blend of sweet chocolate with citrus. Years ago, before we had children, my husband and I visited a Paris Cafe. It amazed us how the espressos in this country are different from those we drink in America. Fabulous! With a twist of citrus, the espresso has an incredible taste to remember.

Back to the present, my daughter is coming home from college for a summer break. We agreed to recreate this latte at home. Because I have food allergies, I created something that works for my inflammation (dairy-free) and weight goals (no sugar).

But my friends…create what works best for YOU. Modify the recipe with whole milk 2% milk, soy milk, or oat milk. Because the syrups are so delicious, the milk is not the dominant flavor in this drink. Which makes it a perfect drink.

If you’re on a keto plan, add some whipped cream to the top. If you’re on Weight Watchers like me, add sugar-free Cool Whip on the top. Don’t forget the orange peel. It makes the whole thing come together. Make this at home for your next Bible Cafe Study!

Christine’s Orange Chocolate Latte

Unsweetened Almond Milk (frothed)

2 pumps Torani Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup

1 pump Torani Sugar-Free Orange Syrup

Double espresso pod

A bit of orange peel on top

As you can see this is a very simple recipe. When I made my Orange-Chocolate Latte, I found the syrups at Amazon. (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.) You’ll want the Torani Pump for the bottles. For my drinks, I use Nespresso Double Espresso Pods. Any pod or fresh espresso will also work.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Written by @BibleCafeCoach

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A Grieving Heart

A Grieving Heart

A Grieving Heart

I delivered sympathy cards to a frequent address: her heart.

Over the past two months,  I have prayed for a friend who lost TEN family members and friends to the stillness of death. With my thoughts and prayers, I delivered sympathy cards to a frequent address: her heart. And then, grief found me and pounded on my door. The stillness came first. Like stars in the night sky.

“You can’t see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears.” C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

At the beginning of grief, we start seeing what we missed. The regrets of being a better spouse, daughter, or friend will suddenly become mockers of the heart. They wound a soul already opened by grief.

God, please fill this grief with a soothing balm. In my grief, I need the voice of Jesus to guide me toward joy. He leads me to a quiet place beyond the Valley of Death. He shows me the distance to Heaven is a breath away. He reminds me His love is immeasurable, like the stars.

When I look towards my dark evening sky, I remember. Somedays, those stars are bright and twinkling, just like the person who passed away. There will be cloudy days, where my feelings take shape. They may appear in clouds of witness or clouds of despair. And both are heavenly. During the tornados of my grief, when it feels dangerous to me, Jesus whispers above the noise “Draw near.”

I am living for today when Jesus steps beside me in my grief. He anchors me to Scripture as a soothing balm. In the pages of my Bible, my heart finds a quiet place to rest.

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20 NIV

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I Accidentally Bought 25 Pounds of Flour

I Accidentally Bought 25 Pounds of Flour

I Accidentally Bought 25 Pounds of Flour

It was madness, this gift of bread!

The Time I Accidentally Bought 25 Pounds of Flour is a laughable memory. Let me begin my story by sharing the backstory. During the recent pandemic, I thought I was getting a great price for a bag of flour. My same-day grocery store had flour in stock and my regular store was out of stock. Because I placed my order online, I was unaware of the physical size of the flour bag.

The price for Miller Milling All Purpose Flour seemed great at $9.35. Until the delivery arrived on my front porch. As my husband carried in the groceries, I heard a snickering laugh. And then with amusement, we both realize what I had done. In “saving money” I accidentally purchased a 25-pound bag of flour! Restaurant quality.
This became a challenging problem for two reasons. First, the 25-pound bag of flour was too large for my kitchen cabinets. What will I do with this beast? Second, we were in quarantine and unable to entertain people at home. And so I needed to be creative with my 25-pound blunder.
Looking through my same-day bargains, I found 500 food prep gloves. It seemed they would now come in handy. Slipping my triple-washed hands into the food gloves, I divided up my flour into gallon bags. Then I started asking neighbors if they need a bag of flour. Many said yes!
Wearing my protective face gear and putting food gloves on my hands, I carefully placed bags of flour on their porches. Then I sent everyone a text message and identified the white powder in the bag. Embarrassing, as I was just trying to solve a storage problem.
Two days later, I get a text from a neighbor. “We made cinnamon rolls today, do you want some?” Of course, I said yes!
One more day, another neighbor. “We made lemon scones today, can I put some in your mailbox?” Well, yes!
At this point , I no longer had self-control over gluten (and inflammation). Pandemics will do this, I have since learned.
Soon I found myself baking my “pandemic bread” and delivering loaves to my neighbors. After a tree fell in a storm, I put pandemic bread on their porch. During a 2-day power outage, I delivered pandemic bread (baked in advance) to every neighbor for breakfast.
And when my college kid was driving back to her dorm, I placed three pandemic loaves of bread into her care package. According to her roomies, the home-baked bread was “fantastic!”

It was madness, this gift of bread!

When a neighbor called me “Florence Nightingale” for delivering bread to people in a storm, I knew I needed to stop. My reputation was exceeding my desire to make any more bread! And the gluten inflammation was making me swell up like a blowfish.
Finally, six months later, I used up my 25 pounds of flour. And so I humbled myself and bought a small 5-pound bag for my cupboard. Life seems to be returning to normal, again.

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In God’s Eyes Goliath is a Little Man

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In God’s Eyes Goliath is a Little Man

Jesus wants me to know the Goliath I face is not bigger than Him.

While writing in my journal I write these words: in God’s eyes Goliath is a Little Man. Jesus wants me to know the Goliath I face is not bigger than Him. A grasshopper, in fact. Small food. This view helps me remember to be mindful of what we eat. Sometimes, we devour a fear of our giants. It’s not Biblical food.

Something to ponder in your heart today: my giant is not your giant. What frightens me may not frighten you, because we see through a different lens.

The lens of our heart, mind, soul and strength.

“There we saw the giants… and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:33 NKJV

For example, when I see loss, you see opportunity. Perhaps when you see critical care, I see healing. Or sometimes when I see boots of spiritual strength, you see war. Our hearts reflect our giants. And the heart is deceitful.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV

As we spend time with the Jesus, we know His heart for people. We see tenderness in our moments of fear. Courage on the battlefield of our giants, becomes the grasshopper view. We see through His heart and by the power of the Holy Spirit. And so we are guided through Giantville to a place of rest.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 HCSB

Choose Jesus over giants. He is great and they are small.

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The Overwhelmed Plate

This meal was about to get very MESSY!

Having a coffee-cup conversation with a friend, we both remember seasons in life when we felt overwhelmed. As she shared her overflowing stress, I talked about a summer Bible study called “Overwhelmed.” It was the summer when I gathered for online Bible study and learned to clear my plate.

While leading this study on busyness, I took a dinner plate from my cabinet shelf for visual aid. On this plate, I put Post-It® Notes with each of my roles. I was busy mothering teens. And I was the leader of an international ministry. I was coaching authors “30 Days to Your Online Bible Study.”  Plus, I was running a social media company to supplement our bills. In addition to my four BIG roles, I cherished my role as a family member and friend.

Looking down at my dinner plate, I saw six descriptive identities for my life.
This meal was about to get very MESSY!

And so I took set of smaller Post-Ia t® Notes and started writing every task I was doing. Under the mothering identity, I stacked notes with cooking, shopping, laundry, cleaning, carpooling, entertaining, and paying bills. Repeating this, I created notes for everything I was doing.

Authors Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp from the Overwhelmed study warned me…and it happened exactly as they expected. My dinner plate became a banquet platter. There were just too many tasks.

I wondered, and then prayed “what can I delegate? What needs to “fall off” that plate so I can spend more time with God?
Maybe you’ve felt overwhelmed too?

Some of my friends picked up new roles during the pandemic. They were now home teachers, tutors, college-prep advisors, and medical “experts” in an emergency.

Some of my friends picked up caretaking roles, taking care of parents with dementia.

Others helped their adult children move into college dorms and away from home.

Some friends closed their small businesses and retired earlier than expected.

While there are reasons to feel overwhelmed, there are answers in the prayer room with God. These are seasons to seek answers by prayer. To ask the Lord what Askand tasks are valuable to Him. And then to shift those priorities, so we magnify Christ.

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Me Myself and Pride

Me Myself and Pride

Me Myself and Pride

 At the root of gossip is a stronghold of pride.

Earlier today I was tempted to share a shocking story where “I was right and he was wrong” but the Holy Spirit stopped me. As I reached for the phone I felt a tugging inside my heart. So I asked myself, “Does this honor God?”

I knew by sharing it, the story would become gossip. And the root of gossip is a stronghold of pride. Knowing this truth,  I resisted the urge to dial the phone and share my “victory.”

I’m beginning to realize how pride wounds others, not just the person carrying the stronghold. When I accepted immediate correction and spiritual redirection I saw myself delivered from the stronghold of pride.

Self-examination led me into the Scriptures and then deeper into my heart with prayer. As I dig into my past and look for attachments where pride took root it wasn’t difficult to find. I was the little girl with blond hair and blue eyes, getting verbal rewards for perfection and physical discipline for my many mistakes. In my innocence, I taught my brain that pride feels good and failure hurts. Whenever I wasn’t perfect, I was spanked… and it hurt. To avoid physical pain and emotional shame, I adopted the posture of pride.

We all know what the Bible says…pride comes before a fall.

While God is showing me I’m mostly delivered from a stronghold of pride, He will test my endurance. Sometimes He puts people into my life to mirror what I dislike in myself. When I gossip or take a victory lap because someone else has failed, the real loser is me. With the help of the Holy Spirit and great Bible studies, I’ve learned to slow down and practice self-control. Before I type a reply or call a friend, I’m anticipating how my actions look from Heaven’s view.

Even if nobody on earth knows, the authorities in Heaven know when I’m self-centered and walking by sight- not by faith.

The glory belongs to God in all things, not in me.

When we take someone else’s mistakes and measure them against our perfections, we are the ones Heaven sees as having a stronghold in need of correcting.

Pride leaches to our hearts like a blood-sucking parasite. Once rooted, we adopt a posture of ENTITLED. We decide we’re entitled to eat anything we want, buy anything we want, and do anything we want. It feeds the stronghold.

How are you breaking free from pride? What testing opportunities have you recently passed through? I’d love to hear from you today as we encourage one another to live a life of visible faith.

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