Book Review: God’s Good Design

ggd-265God’s Good Design: What The Bible Really Says About Men and Women by Claire Smith is an excellent addition to the study of the roles of Christian men and women.

Being a child of the 60’s my own feminist views were shaped by the world at that time.  Being a Christ-follower and desiring to live according to ALL of God’s design for my life I am interested in what Claire has to say on the subject of this ongoing gender debate.

For me, as a lay-person, this book reads somewhat like a study-text and that is good.  It took me longer to read it than I had planned because of the thought-provoking nature of the work. Claire systematically works through the main biblical texts that touch on the role of women: 1st Timothy 2, 1st Corinthians 11, 1st Corinthians 14, Ephesians 5, 1st Peter 3, Genesis 1 – 3, and Proverbs 31.  As she tackles the hard-to-understand scriptures she breaks down the arguments for and against in the simplest of terms. Without offering excuses or apology she carefully outlines what the Bible has to say about men and women.

She hits the nail on the head as she says, “One of the fallacies of much feminist ideology is the belief that for two people to be equal, they must do the same thing. There is an assumption that you cannot have differentiation and hierarchy without also having inferiority and superiority of dignity or worth.   But you can, and this is what we find here and elsewhere in God’s word.”  I will add my own “Amen!”

Claire’s study divides into two main discussions, that of the roles of men and women within the church, and within the home.  As recent as this last week I joined in a discussion with other women who were questioning what the Bible actually says Christian women should and shouldn’t do within the confines of the church and home.  Thanks to reading this book I have a clearer picture of God’s plan for my life and I am able to share that more effectively.

As I finished the book I realized what an excellent job she did thoroughly tackling this tough subject and yet not writing an “in your face” sort of study.

I highly recommend this book for men and women on either side of this debate.

Claire Smith trained as a nursing sister and worked in oncology and palliative care, before studying theology at Moore Theological College. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband Rob. They have one adult son. They attend St. Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral. Claire is a writer and women’s Bible teacher, and has a PhD in New Testament Study.

My thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Strawberry Trifle Dessert – It’s Not Too Late for Easter

strawberry trifle

Easter is Sunday and you may have planned your dinner menu for weeks.  Or then again you may be surprised that it is here already!  I saw this dessert on Facebook and I have made a similar version many times.  It is so quick and easy I decided to share it now if you are looking for a last-minute, make-it-fast dessert that is absolutely, finger-licking, delicious!  (I always dip my finger into the whip cream, don’t you?)

strawberry trifle ingred
A trifle is a dessert made with cake, fruit, custard, and whip cream.  This dessert fits that description perfectly! My sous-chef helped me by making the angel food cake, but a store-bought cake works fine.

strawberry parfait ingre

The cake is torn or cut into small pieces.  I made sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding, thawed some frozen strawberries, and used Cool Whip for the whipped cream.

straw parfait 3 singles

The trifle can be layered with cake, strawberries, pudding, then whip cream.  I like to fold the whip cream into the pudding and use the mixture as one layer, which is what I did for these individual parfaits.

This takes only minutes to make and needs refrigerated for at least 4 hours or even better, over night.

straw trifle down
Happy Easter and Sweet Blessings!

strawberry trfle single

Strawberry Trifle Dessert
Prep time
Total time
Let Them Eat Cake!! Low cal, low fat, loaded with the fresh taste of strawberries and cream.
  • 1 Angel food cake
  • 24 oz. Container frozen strawberries, sliced with sugar added, thawed
  • 3 cups Vanilla pudding, instant, cooked, or sugar-free, fat-free
  • 16 oz. Container of whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
  • Fresh strawberries to garnish
  1. Tear angel food cake into small to medium size pieces
  2. Mix 3 cups of vanilla pudding with 12 oz. of Cool Whip, leaving 4 oz of Cool Whip for topping.
  3. Using a large clear glass bowl, or individual parfait glasses, begin layering cake, strawberries, and pudding/cool whip mixture.
  4. Continue irregular layers, filling the bowl.
  5. Top entire dessert with solid layer of reserved Cool Whip. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries.
  6. Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12

Easter Dinner Recipes

Rice Kris Bunny
Do you serve an appetizer before Easter dinner?  I never do because there is so much other food and I hate to get full before the feast even begins! (Also because I have NO will power!) If you are looking for an appetizer check HERE in my RECIPE file and you will find a list of appetizer ideas.

Most of us have our own traditional main dish for Easter so I didn’t include any in this pictorial list.  Here are some of my favorite sides including some not-to-miss desserts!

twd fin pulla sliced breadFinnish Pulla Braid (As good for Easter as it is at Christmas!)

Jamesons Lemon BreadJameson’s Lemon Bread  

make-ahead-pot-1Make-Ahead Potatoes – a must for a busy Easter day, make the potatoes the day before!

sweet potato casseroleSweet Potato Casserole

corn puddingCorn Pudding

green bean bundle platedI realize Green Bean Casserole is the traditional go-to for holiday dinners but these little Green Bean Buddies are so fun AND delicious!

Squash-Casserole2-500x375Southern Squash Casserole

Are you ready for a few dessert ideas?  Let’s go …

banana pud adrianBest-Ever Banana Pudding!

Banoffee Pie 2Banoffi Pie – a caramel and banana delight!

Spring Coconut CupcakesSour Cream Coconut Filled Cupcakes – fun springtime dessert!

rice krisp eggs half trayRice Krispie Easter Egg Treats

lemon icebox single tablclothLemon Icebox Pie

HELP ME!  I can’t stop drooling over recipes for Easter.  I hope these have given you some inspirational ideas.  If not, check out the RECIPE page for zillions more!

In the meantime, please tell me – what is on your menu this Easter?

~Easter Blessings, Catherine

Romans 1:4-5 And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. (NLT)

Fresh Strawberry Cake for Easter Dinner

strawberry cake singleGoing to the hair dresser’s is an event for us.  My sous-chef dish-washing mom has hair that grows at an alarming rate. Many people envy her beautiful thick silver hair.  To her it just means getting it cut every three weeks!  We have two friends that live in nearby towns and they also go to the same hair dresser every three weeks.  The calendar is set and every 3 weeks when we gather – it’s a party (or a gab session to be exact.) Hairdressers Carissa and Ginger are busy cutting hair while the rest of us meet, greet, catch up and we always talk – food!

strawberry cakeCarissa, who has a softer than silk southern voice, asked me if I had made the strawberry cake recipe from the Tennessee Home and Farm magazine. I told her I saw the recipe but hadn’t made the cake.  She laughed and said she actually made it — a cake from scratch, which brought laughter from the rest of us.  Carissa is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and business woman.  Rarely does she have time to bake — let along from scratch! She went on to say her family loved it and she was already planning to make it again. Now I paying attention!  Immediately Carissa stopped the shampooing, cutting, blow drying and sent me a text with the recipe attached.  Yes, she had it stored in her phone. 🙂

bowl of strawberries
Strawberries are in season in Florida and California.  Most places in the country we can buy shipped-in fresh strawberries.  Run, don’t walk to the store and buy some.  You are going to want to make this cake for Easter dinner.  Or supper the night before or lunch the day after.

strawberry cake batter

DO NOT worry that this looks like pink pepto bismol!

strawberry mashedstrawberry frosting

The cake is dense and moist, packed with flavor and crowned with a frosting made like butte cream but loaded with fresh mashed strawberries.

strawberry cake full pan

Your dinner table with be pretty in pink this Easter!

strawberry cake finished

~Easter Blessings, Catherine

John 11:25-26     Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (NIV)

Fresh Strawberry Cake for Easter Dinner
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sweet, yet tart, dense and moist, this made-from-scratch cake will be a family favorite for years to come!
Cake batter
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup fresh strawberries, mashed
  • 1 small box dry strawberry jello
Strawberry Icing
  • ½ stick butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup strawberries, mashed
  1. Mix all cake batter ingredients and pour into a greased 9" x 13" pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  3. While the cake is baking, make the icing.
  4. Mix together all icing ingredients until smooth. Add powdered sugar and strawberry mash to your desired consistency. Mix well before adding more sugar or strawberries.
  5. Once cake is cooled, spread the icing on the cake.
  6. Store the cake in the refrigerator. The cake is best when chilled for at least 2 hours before serving. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.
This recipe may take longer to bake, depending on the type of baking pan and oven used.
The frosting can be runny because of the strawberry juice. Add powdered sugar as needed to make a medium-thick frosting.

Adapted from recipe by Karen Norton, TN Home and Farm
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