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“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!”- 1 Chronicles 16:8

Counselor Highlight: Lisa Butler


At McGuire Christian Counseling we are privileged to work with counselors who specialize in a wide variety of topics and are always looking to explore new possibilities. One counselor who is leading the charge into new territories is Lisa.

Specialties: Parenting, Marriage and Family Counseling

Lisa is one of the newest additions to the McGuire Christian Counseling family. Before joining MCC, Lisa worked with students and parents as a school psychologist for 17 years before moving to Missouri.  She recently obtained her provisional license in counseling and hopes to be fully licensed by fall of 2018.

Along with counseling, Lisa is spearheading McGuire Christian Counseling’s new nine week parenting series. Using Positive and Powerful Christian Parenting, a curriculum she developed, Lisa is excited to help parents gain the skills and strong foundation they need to help them create happy and healthy homes.

“God has given me a passion for working with parents and families.  My inspiration has come from watching family members thrive individually and collectively as they witness the power of healthy relationships and boundaries.”

Lisa’s favorite part of being a counselor is participating in the nature of the counseling process and seeing the face of contentment when a client feels success in his/her pursuit of wellbeing.

In her spare of time, she loves to spend time with her husband and two sons, playing basketball, whiffle ball, football and golf, camping, and watching movies.  One of Lisa’s favorite ways to relax is to curl up on our couch and watch Hallmark movies.  “I find it priceless when I can get my nine-year-old son to watch one with me.”

We are blessed to have Leslie as part of the MCC family and we are excited to see how God will use her to help families within the Springfield community.

God Bless,


5 Must Do Fall Family Activities

Visit a corn maze

  • This activity is a give in. While many people enjoy the spookier version of corn mazes, families can partake in this fun fall activity without fear during the day and simply enjoy the twists and turns the corn maze boasts on a crisp autumn day.


Roast Marshmallows

  • The best way to eat a marshmallow? Slightly toasted in between two graham crackers with a layer of melted chocolate, of course! This sweet treat is a fall staple for a reason. Very few things are better than biting into a warm marshmallow on a chilly fall evening.


Paint/Carve Pumpkins

  • We all like to make family memories, and a great way to do that right at home is by creating pumpkin art! While pumpkin carving is still a popular tradition, many families are switching from real pumpkins to artificial ones- enabling them to enjoy the pumpkins for many more seasons to come! You can purchase these faux pumpkins at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and other craft stores. They come in all shapes and sizes!


Make a “Thankful For..” List

  • With the holidays coming up and wish lists being thought about, it’s important that we remember that we are already incredibly blessed. Before filling out that order form to Santa, take a moment and meditate on your current blessings- name them one by one!


Make DIY Fleece Blankets

  • This is a fun new idea! Before family movie night, why not let everyone create their own blanket to snuggle up with on those chilly nights? This easy project requires NO SEWING! All you will need is two different patterns of fleece (let the kids pick out their own pattern for a little extra personalization!)- two yards for each, sewing scissor, and a four inch square template. Simply lay the pieces on top of one another. At each corner, using your 4 inch template cut out a square. Then cut strips along the fleece about 1 inch long. Fold the strips and cut a small slit in each then pull the strip through the slit and tug gently. Continue this the whole way around. Need more detailed instructions? Click the photo below!

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Fall is a wonderful time of the year. God’s handiwork is proclaimed in the changing colors and ombre tones. We hope we gave you some idea or inspiration to make make some wonderful memories with your family this fall.

God bless,


Reducing the Stigma: How You Can Help Encourage Counseling Clients

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MCC Counselor, Leslie, talks about how the stigma of receiving counseling may hinder your loved one from seeking the help they need, as well as, what you can do to help them overcome this worry.



“Needing Help, but not Wanting it.

The old phrase “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” may remind you of a specific stubborn person or may trigger anger inside from countless times of trying to get someone to stop or change. Family members and friends often find themselves angry or sad from repeatedly trying to help those close to them with emotional, mental, or behavioral problems. If you’re that family member wanting the other person to get help or to stop the destructive habit it may leave you asking why won’t they change, when it clearly hurts our relationship and their life?

Here’s Why

Researchers, Bromley et al. (2013), asked the same questions about why certain people do not want help regardless of needing it. They discovered people struggling with mental illness, who do not receive help, may worry about social stigma, or being labelled “crazy”. When asked how they felt about the stigma, participants explained that family members and friends were insensitive or misunderstood their problem. Participants clarified that people start treating them as though any behavior or problem was because of mental illness and began seeing them as inadequate. Although denial may be a reason someone refuses to change, this study showed feeling rejected by community was a major concern. This begs the question—how can community help reduce social stigma and stop treating those with mental illness as different?

Reducing Stigma

1Motivational Interviewing (MI) is one approach counselors use with clients that may feel labeled or stigmatized. Miller and Rollnick (2013) explain the purpose of MI is to “understand the life before you, to see the world through this person’s eyes rather than superimposing your own vision” (pp. 16). The helper strives to understand the person instead of focus on how he or she may be hurting others. The counselor or helper shows the hurting person they are worthy by trying to understand the person’s world—not judge or alter. A suggestion to adjust their life can be made only after the helper understands the hurt, builds trust, and identifies the person’s motivation for change. It is important to remember that helping people change means engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning with the hurting person. Miller and Rollnick (2013) suggest asking yourself these questions before trying to help someone change (pp.32):

1) Engaging: Am I being supportive and helpful? Do I understand their perspective?

2) Focusing: Do I understand their goals for change? Am I working towards their motivation for change?

3) Evoking: Am I pushing for change too fast? Could my loved-one be hesitant because they need more confidence or to see why change is important To THEM?

4) Planning: Do I have their trust and permission to offer information or advice? Am I staying open-minded to their solutions with a calm, listening nature?

Finding Support

9432-holding hand comforting_edited.630w.tnIt may feel as though I am not acknowledging the hurt you have experienced from repeatedly being let-down by that stubborn person. I would like to briefly address the turmoil families or friends may be experiencing; counseling or support may also help them after living with people unwilling to change. There are some support groups that may be available to hurting families such as Adult Children of Alcoholics, Alanon and Alateen, Celebrate Recovery, or National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Family Support Groups. NAMI researchers found that education workshops for families helped reduce personal stress and improve their ability to help relatives suffering from mental illness (Dixon et al., 2011). Although there may not be a workshop near your location—taking the initiative to research and educate yourself on the life-controlling issue is a step in the right direction. I recommend checking your local community’s hospital, library, or church for information about support groups because some provide meetings focusing on healing hurts or responding to anger.

Importance of Listening

ComfortingWords.600x600I hope this blog can help reduce the stigma of mental illness and enable family and friends to properly respond to others. In closing, I would like to highlight an important part of responding to resistant individuals—listening. Miller and Rollnick (2013) argue that listening is “fundamental to good communication” and “an invaluable gift” to bringing healing and change. The problem comes when someone superimposes their plans for change. This is not hearing the other person and trying to understand them—it is self-centered instead of other-centered.  Its helpful to keep in mind common barriers to good listening, such as:

  • Ordering or commanding
  • Warning or cautioning
  • Advice giving or providing solutions
  • Logically persuading or lecturing
  • Shaming or Labeling
  • Consoling
  • Changing the subject

(“Thomas Gordon’s 12 Roadblocks” as cited in Miller & Rollnick, 2013, pp. 49)

Sometimes our anger, sadness, or unforgiveness can make it hard to communicate with those who’ve wronged us. I suggest finding clarity by referring back to the true definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

I hope this encourages you in how to respond to those needing help, but not wanting it. Please, find a local counselor for personal support or check-out these links on possible community support: ”

– Leslie

Leslie is a Provisional Licensed Profession Counselor for McGuire Christian Counseling in the Clinton, Missouri area. To find out more about Leslie or to schedule an appointment, call 417-866-7773 or write to us on our Contact Us Page.

God Bless,


New Counselor: Jennifer Skavhaug

McGuire Christian Counseling is happy to introduce the newest member of the MCC family-

Jennifer Skavhaug

Jennifer received her Masters degree from The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Counseling. She also received a Bachelors degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity Bible College.

Jennifer has worked with her husband, a licensed minister, with the AG as a lead pastor, while working as a counselor. She has over 12 years experience working with children and their families.

Her passion is to work with individuals of all ages to empower and enable personal and interpersonal healing.

For more information about Jennifer, or to schedule a session, call (417)-866-7773.

J Skavhaug Photo2

God Bless,


Counselor Highlight: Leslie

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At McGuire Christian Counseling we are privileged to work with counselors who specialize in a wide variety of topics and are always looking to further and polish their abilities. One counselor that continues to persevere in her counseling career is Leslie.

Specialties: Adjustment Disorders, Anger Management, Substance Abuse, and PTSD.



Leslie has worked for McGuire Christian Counseling for almost a year. Before joining MCC, Leslie worked as a substance abuse counselor for two and a half years at the St. Louis Teen Challenge . Leslie now works as Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor with McGuire Christian Counseling in Clinton, Missouri.

Prior to becoming a counselor, Leslie worked as a residential director at Women’s Teen Challenge, a drug rehabilitation home. Here she recognized a need to have psychology and counseling training as many of the women struggled with comorbid diagnosis, a drug abuse and mental illness. This led Leslie to return to school and obtain her Masters of Science in Psychologic-Counseling.

Since obtaining her PLPC license, Leslie has worked with a variety of different clients from children to adults and families. Although her specialty is addictions, Leslie has assisted individuals with other life-altering issues such as depression, anger, unemployment, suicidal thoughts, separation from children, and grief from a loved one’s passing. Leslie also mans the Clinton division of McGuire Christian Counseling, helping those in Clinton, Missouri and surrounding areas.

Leslie’s favorite part of being a counselor is helping people realize their potential.

“I love to see the eyes of clients when they make connections between their thinking and behavior then it leading to life’s improvements. Seeing a “ah-ha moment” may be a small achievement like learning self-control in ONE anger situation or a big achievement like reunification with children after years of separation.  Regardless of the achievement, I believe its steps towards change and personal growth for clients.”

Outside of being a counselor, Leslie is an aunt- 11-times! Leslie’s nieces and nephews keep her busy on her off hours with T-ball games, playing Barbies, and any game that involves running, jumping, or spinning. She is an avid reader of many genres from Historical drama to modern novels, but she also loves being outdoors fishing or going on walks. Leslie grows spiritually by spending time with church friends at home Bible-studies. She often unwinds by journaling, reading her Bible, or listening to music.

We are blessed to have Leslie as part of the MCC family and we have enjoyed watching her grow over the past year. We know God will continue to use her to help heal those suffering in the Clinton area and we look forward to watching her continue to flourish where the Lord has called her.

God Bless,


McGuire Christian Counseling Open House

McGuire Christian Counseling is proud to announce our first OPEN HOUSE.


 MCC 2016 Saturday, August 12th, we invite you to join us here at McGuire Christian Counseling to tour our offices, meet our wonderful counselors, and find out more about how we are working to share the love of God with those hurting in Springfield, MO and surrounding areas.

Find out how McGuire Christian Counseling works, what services we provide, and ask questions. Also enjoy some snacks and the inviting atmosphere of our office.

Before you stop by, let us give you a brief history of McGuire Christian Counseling. IMG_0240

20170519_190614MCC started in 2008 with just one counselor, President, Aaron McGuire. As MCC did not yet have an office, Aaron worked with clients in the afternoon and evenings by going in home. As a one-man operation, Aaron would do all the billing, calling and scheduling. As time progressed God began to bless and, in 2009, he took a step of faith quit his full time job and went out on his own.  Aaron was able to grow and hire on counselors. McGuire Christian Counseling was then able to rent out an office in downtown Springfield. Over the years, MCC outgrew that location and moved over to our current office location where we have expanded to two different suites. We now have 10 to 15 counselors, 4 administrative staff and are helping anywhere from 200 to 250 clients a week.IMG_9823

We hope you join us Saturday, August 12th and let us show you the mission God has placed on each of our hearts.



  Public Open House flyer

God Bless,


5 Activities for the Perfect Springfield Staycation

With school right around the corner, children are trying to soak up every last bit of summer left. At McGuire Christian Counseling, we want to help you create lasting memories with your children that they’ll recall, not only throughout the school year, but throughout their lives as well.

We have comprised a list of five fun activities to finish off summer vacation without having to leave the comforts of the Springfield city limits!


Chesterfield Indoor Aquatic Center

2511 W Republic Road
Springfield, MO 65807

Enjoy some time at the pool without the hot Midwest sun beating down on you. The Chesterfield Indoor Aquatic Center is free to members of the Chesterfield Family Center and only $6.00 for children and $8.00 for adults of the general public. The pool is open Monday through Thursday from 1 pm to 6:30 pm and features a large water slide that takes riders on a quick loop outside the Center windows before landing them back into the indoor pool!


Sky Zone Trampoline Park 

2765 S Kansas Expressway
Springfield, MO 65807

As children, before video games, apps, and Netflix, we spent our summers outside playing in the backyard; and one of our favorite activities was jumping on the trampoline– but we never had anything like this! Take the classic summertime activity to a whole new level at Sky Zone. This interactive indoor park has areas lined wall-to-wall with, what else, trampolines!  At Sky Zone, visitors are able to free style jump, launch into a pit of foam, and participate in fun group attractions, such as, Ultimate Dodgeball and Skyslam. Pricing is determined by the amount of time you would like to jump.



Zenith Climbing Center

3534 E Sunshine Street, Suite 3
Springfield, MO 65804

At McGuire Christian Counseling, we are all about activity this summer and encouraging kids to get out and play! Zenith Climbing Center is a great, out of the box way to get your kids active. The Center has both classes and day passes available. Let your kids interact and climb with children their own age, or stop by as a family. Day passes for children are $12.00 while adults are $15.00. Mom or Dad need to recharge from your busy day? Massage Therapy is also available.



3700 S Glenstone Ave
Springfield, MO 65804

Now, our next pick might be a little out of the ordinary for a staycation destination, but after all that activity, everyone is going to need a bite to eat, right? Chick-fil-A on Glenstone not only offers the delicious menu you know and love, but also hosts fun family events as well! Join them every Tuesday for Kid’s Connection and every Thursday for Family Night!  Did we mention they have a play area for the kids? Let them refuel before they head out for more summertime fun!


Movies at Founders Park

330 E. Water Street
SpringfieldMO 65806

After your busy day, your kids will want to relax (and you probably won’t be far behind them), and what better way to do that than with a movie? Check out Movies at Founders Park every Friday and Saturday, now through August 26th. Enjoy free admission and recent release or classic movies in the open air in a new age kind of Drive-In. You can find the movie schedule here!


While summer may be ending, the fun doesn’t have to. We hope we gave you some fun ideas the whole family can enjoy right from your own hometown!

God bless,



A Different Ending



MCC Counselor, Andy, discusses how life can throw challenges our way, however, with God’s help we can write a happy ending.



“I love stories.

seeking-the-lightAs far back as I can remember, I’ve loved the feeling a well-told story creates inside me. It doesn’t matter if I’m reading it or watching it or hearing someone tell it. I was reading full-length novels by about nine-years-old. I enjoy the feeling of being swept away into a world bigger than mine. Jesus taught in stories, so I like to think he is fond of them too. Stories surround every part of our lives. I’m mostly a fiction reader so my love of stories comes from novels, but stories are everywhere. Books. Songs. Movies.


I believe we’re all stories in the making. Seasons and chapters. Years and years of ink and words on heart pages. And just like book stories, our lives usually come with some conflict and struggles to overcome.

Unfortunately, we get stuck. We hit a bad chapter and rather than pushing on and rising above, we sit down and collapse (or maybe we’re put in a situation where we’re forced to). We repeat the pain over and over, trying to solve it. We lose perspective. We give up. And so the last sentence on the page is one of pain. Regret. Fear. Anger. Disappointment. Seemingly unending sorrow. And while conflict is necessary for a good story, there will be no redemptive value to the story if it ends in tragedy.

Maybe you make it past that. Maybe you start to heal. Maybe you start owning your story and take it in a different, healthy direction. Or maybe you just cover it all up and move on. Whatever the case, here’s the problem: we want to forget that old stuff. We want to ignore or discredit or explain those hurtful chapters away. And for good reason. Those chapters caused us pain and we’d rather pretend they don’t exist.


But is that the most beneficial thing?

You wouldn’t be who you are today without those plot twists, whether they were pleasant or not, whether you chose them or not. I’m not defending that terrible thing that happened to you. I’m not explaining away what must be very real pain. I’m not saying there aren’t consequences to poor decisions. I’m not even saying that where you are now is great. But… you have a choice here. You can ignore it; you can pretend it didn’t happen. Or you can acknowledge that it was real and it changed you. You can let it break you or you can accept that it transformed you into who you are today. You don’t have to stay where that painful chapter ended. But in order to move forward, we have to look at the whole story in context.

This is you.

All the broken, all the whole. All the scars, all the open wounds you’re still trying to clot. All the beautiful poetry… and all those chapters you’ve tried so hard to edit or delete.

And this is Jesus loving you. As you sit at that table with Him, the notes and maps spread between you. When He asks you not to hide. When He asks you not to erase or reroute the pencil marks that track your travels. When He asks you not to cross out or cover up those destinations. When He reminds you that setting those pages on fire will not change the story.

But He can. He can change it. You and He working together. The story isn’t over yet.

Let’s look at the life of Joseph in Genesis for a minute. His brothers betrayed him. They decided to leave him for dead, then changed their minds and sold him into slavery. He worked hard in a stranger’s house, only to be accused of an act he didn’t do and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. His grief went on for years. Trial after trial after trial. Pain and misunderstanding and dreams slipping through his fingers like sand. Decades without explanation or answers. And for what? Well, for an entire kingdom to be saved, it turns out. That’s right. 2ntwq6pJoseph chose to take the pen in his hand and write a story he could be proud of. He chose to wrap all his painful experiences together and make them a place where he could feed the mouths and hearts of others. He was perfect for the job because he USED the stuff he had been through to lead and heal. You can too. You can take that place of pain and make it a ministry. Now, let me be clear — I’m not saying God made this thing happen to you so you’d grow up. But I DO believe God can bring good out of the worst.

As a writer and a fellow human being who’s been through some “stuff,” I believe in plot twists. But I also believe that Jesus can take whatever pain you’ve been through and make it your ministry. Why do you have a job where you help others? Because you personally know what a relief that feeling is. Why do you love being a physical trainer so much? Because you know how much of a coping skill it is for you and want to share it. Why do you want to be a father or mother figure to those kids? Because you never had one. Your greatest pain might just be the place you heal others the most. I believe that’s what we’re supposed to do with our stories, turn them into a place of restoration for other people. You get to decide whether you stay in a place of emotional destruction or grow into the maturity of helping others. And you might be at a place where you need to partner with a therapist to heal.

Plot twists are unavoidable. heartThey might be positive or negative. But let’s be real—some of them HURT. Remember that Jesus has never left your side. He sees all the pain. None it of is wasted. Not a single step. Not a single chapter, line, or word. Jesus is a Redeemer, and He can redeem everything He touches. The story doesn’t stop here. You can write a different ending. There is hope.

And hope is a powerful pen.”



Andy is a Licensed Professional Counsel and MCC’s Assistant Clinical Director. To find out more about Andy or to schedule an appointment, call 417-866-7773 or write to us on our Contact Us Page.

God Bless,


Counselor Highlight: Andy



At McGuire Christian Counseling, we are privileged to work with counselors who specialize in a wide variety of topics and are always looking to further and polish their abilities. One counselor who has continues to rise within MCC is Andy.



Andy has been a licensed counselor for two and a half years, recently advancing from a PLPC to an LPC. Counseling naturally called out to Andy as he has always been a natural listener. As a teenager, friends would confide their struggles in him. After taking an Introduction to Psychology class in college, Andy’s fascination with psychology grew.

During his time as a counselor, Andy has found that his favorite part about being a counselor is getting to his client’s unique life stories.

“I’m a very story-centric person. Stories are woven into every part of our lives. I want to know more than just who you are. I want to hear the experiences that shaped you. I want to help you connect the dots as to how those experiences influence the way you handle things today. And then you and I can walk through the healing process together. We can start a new chapter with new words. There’s a Sara Groves song that has these lines: ‘Every heart has so much history. It’s my favorite place to start. Sit down a while and share your narrative with me. I’m not afraid of who you are.’”

Along with learning people’s stories, Andy considers it an honor to see his clients make progress and grow. “I love the light they get in their eyes when they realize that, partnered with Jesus, they can make it. I have the privilege to witness living, breathing miracles sitting on the couch across from me.”

“Counseling provides me the opportunity to use the gifts God placed inside me. I’m at my best when I have the opportunity to encourage and walk alongside clients as they process life’s ups and downs.”

In his free time Andy continues to enjoy stories. Along with reading, his favorite genre is fiction, Andy is also a writer. He is currently working on a couple of his own novels. He also enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors, however, he also enjoys the Lord of the Rings series and battling his friends in Mariokart as well.

We are blessed to have Andy as a part of the McGuire Christian Counseling family, and we look forward to watching him help others write new chapters in the life stories.

God Bless,


In Blog

4 Quick Last Minute Fourth of July Snacks

Tomorrow is the birth date of the great country so many American’s call home. Tomorrow, 80% of these Americans will be participating in either a barbecue, picnic, or cookout. With all that preparing, cooking, and grilling, who needs the added stress of creating elaborate treats for before and after meal snacking?

Below we have listed four quick and easy snacks you can make in no time before your guests arrive!



Red, White, and Blue- On a Stick!

This super easy snack requires only 4 items- strawberries, bananas, blue berries, and cabob skewers!

  • Simply cut the strawberries into fourths and slice the bananas.
  • Slide fruit onto skewers in the pattern of the stars and stripes!


American Flag S’mores Dip

This yummy recipe was found on The Decorated Cookie blog and combines USA pride with one of summer’s favorite snacks

  • Just dip moistened marshmallows in red, white and blue sprinkles, let dry, then cut in halves.
  • Grease a baking dish then pour in chocolate chips.
  • Arrange the colored marshmallows on top of the chocolate chips to look like the great ol’ American flag.
  • Back in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes at 450 degrees F.


Fire Cracker Cake Pops

What’s the 4th of July without firecrackers? While everyone might not enjoy the pop and smoke of traditional fireworks, all your guest will get a kick out of these tasty renditions of the iconic holiday activity! For a more detailed recipe, check out the She Knows blog.

  • Using one box of white cake mix, add in 4 egg whites, oil, water and sour cream and mix. Once mixed, devide the batter into 3 equal amounts and add red and blue food coloring.
  • Spray three bread pans with cooking oil and flour the bottom of each. Pour colored batter into separate bread pans- each color should get its own bread pan- and back at 350 degrees F for 18-23 minutes.
  • Once baked and cooled, separate cakes from the bread pans and use a small circle cookie cutter (or anything small circular utensil you have!) to cut out circles from each cake.
  • Using a jumbo straw (like the ones you get for smoothies or Boba drinks) remove the centers of each mini cake. (Keep the red and blue pieces to use to keep the candy in later.
  • Use a small portion of the red cake to plug the bottom of the fire cracker, with frosting, “glue” the white cake on top of the red, and repeat with the blue cake.
  • Pour Pop Rocks down the center and plug the top with a portion of the blue cake.
  • Add a 1 ½ inch piece of black licorice rope into the top of the cake pop.


Star-Spangled Rice Crispies

Another classic American snack with a patriotic twist. Find more pictures at the Blooming Homestead blog.

  • Melt butter and marshmallows in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir in between until melted.
  • Separate the marshmallow mixture into three separate bowls and add red and blue food coloring.
  • Add rice crispies to each bowl and stir.
  • In a buttered cake pan, begin to layer your rice crispy mixture. Allow a few minutes for each layer to set up before adding the next.
  • Once all three layers are set up, use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out your treats!

We hope these quick and easy recipes help to ease your 4th of July. We pray everyone has a fun and safe holiday.

God bless,


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