Friday, October 26, 2012

It's been awhile...

Evidently I'm not very good at keeping up with this blog.  It might be really long and have lots of different subjects/topics to make up for it so be prepared.


Vote for the person who will do the best job and/or most closely lines up with your convictions. Just make sure your convictions line up with the Word of God.  My husband and I will probably be voting for different people, and yet, both believe we are voting for the best (available and actually has a chance of winning) candidate. It's weird, yes.  But I take comfort in this - 

13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  Ephesians 4.

We are in a very small minority of couples that do not agree politically.  It is NOT fun sometimes, but we scream learn a lot from one another. It's challenging, and I look forward to the day when we no longer have to argue learn so much. :) Our goals are more often than not the exact same, however, the process of accomplishing said goals can take very different paths. We both seek God's wisdom. Maybe not as much as we should... But I have always believed that it takes differing viewpoints to bring about balance. 

And so my point - Be watchful that you are not being swayed only my men's arguments but by the Love of Christ.  Here's to hoping that we can all find what the Lord wants us to do so that there may be unity. 


  • Subcategory: Abortion:
 I have an incredibly deep compassion for those facing this decision today.  I truly believe that the Lord has given me a special burden for this. I believe that we should always strive to protect life, especially those that can't protect themselves. If it comes down to the choice of letting the either the mother or the baby die, I leave that terrible awful decision to the mother. Thankfully, this is a tiny percentage of all abortions. (I don't have the numbers right now.)

Recently there had been been much talk about rape as an exception.  One idiot (even if he had good intentions) said that it can be God's plan for a life to begin that way.  WRONG. So very wrong. No wonder so many people think God isn't a very nice guy. While I believe that life is precious, how many of us are pretty sure that sometimes we can take our lives into our own hands. God may have plans for our lives, but that doesn't mean they will automatically happen. This is especially true when a rape occurs. The rapist has decided that his plans are more important than anybody else's including God's.  If a woman gets pregnant as the result of a rape it's horrible, awful, and I don't even want to imagine it: but it isn't God's will.  He wants all babies to born into loving families. Rape is not His will; therefore, a resulting pregnancy is not in His will/plan.  There is still purpose for that child though, because God has plans for all His children! Just because the conception wasn't in His plan doesn't mean that He can't bring about great things in that child's life. He gave humans the ability to procreate, but sometimes that glorious process is abused. 

Now, attention Christians! I cringe at the thought of you standing outside an abortion clinic holding an "abortion is murder" sign and yelling at scared, confused women. I don't mind  your standing outside holding a sign as long as it says, "I will adopt your baby if you follow through with this pregnancy. I love you!"

Because if Roe v. Wade ever does get overturned, there are going to be a lot of women out there that will need you to be there saying that with arms open wide. 

Now imagine farther...  What if we could get to a place in this country (even the world) where it doesn't matter if abortion is still legal because? How/why?? Because no one is having them!! Because Christians are acting out what they believe in real ways, not just checking a box off at the polls every four years. 

The Bigger Picture:

I don't think we give God enough credit for all the greatness He can do through us.  I'm not even sure we have ever been taught about it. 


We have been given the right and the responsibility to act in Jesus' stead here on earth. Why? Because He's in heaven.  He gave us all the tools to be whatever He needs us to be to help others (and ourselves, frankly), but we aren't using them!! We sit around and complain that we're only frail, faulty, pathetic humans... Pathetic is right!! GET UP AND DO WHAT HE SAID WE CAN DO!!!

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2

This isn't some future event. It's in the past tense!!  I guess it could be some more convoluted crazy tense that no one has ever heard of - I'll ask my mom later. Point is, Paul is talking about something that we are - in a heavenly position of authority the exact same as Jesus!!!

Some of you may be thinking I'm nuts... Well I probably am, but that's not the point right now.  I'm writing only the truth here. 

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

And earlier in Chapter 1

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

We are to be Jesus to the people on this planet because we are "His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way."

I could spend a very long time talking about spiritual authority, and perhaps I need to, but today is not that day.

I blame the devil and this fallen world for disagreements, non-unity and the generally evil things that occur in this world.  But I also blame Christians for not realizing all that we have been given by the Lord to help the world overcome these things.  I'm preaching this to myself today too - I realize that I have not yet arrived.  I throw myself pity parties way too frequently. I wallow and eat too many potato chips and simply hope the world will be better without me having to get up off the couch.  Anybody else? 

OK, new topic.


I don't like Halloween.  I know, I know... sue me. If you do, well then I'm praying for your eternal soul. Just kidding. :) Seriously, this is a personal decision, but I'd like to explain it a bit further.

Fear. Good or bad? Some say, that we need a healthy fear, especially in children, so we don't hurt ourselves. 

Example #1: Teaching little kids to fear the stove so they don't burn their hands.  I remember exactly placing my open hand, palm down, straight onto the still hot as Hades burner on the stove as a child.  It was the front right burner to be exact. I can visualize the rings from the electrical burner seared into my hand.  I was young at the time, so this could be a borrowed memory from a cartoon or seeing Joe Pesci burn his hand on the handle of the house in Home Alone.  Either way, a trip to the emergency room (and thankfully a trip to Dairy Queen afterwards) taught me to be careful around a stove.  I still burn myself quite frequently, but that's just from accidentally grabbing the paper thin potholder I keep meaning to throw out when I reach to take out a dish from the oven. I learned my lesson the hard way, but I still believe there is a better way to teach your kids rather than scaring them. Help them to understand consequences of actions, not scaring them into inaction. 

Example #2: When my husband was little his grandmother, with good intentions, told him not to get too close to big trucks/semis because they could tip over and fall on him.  It seemed like this would teach him to stay away from big vehicles for perfectly understandable safety issues (they're big - he was small).  But here's what happened. More than once...  Standing outside waiting for the school bus, he would hear a big vehicle approaching. Being fully confident that it was a semi-truck racing towards him only to crush him when it fell over, he would run and hide, miss the bus and have to beg rides from nice neighbors. 

Was this fear healthy? No. It was instead faith that something bad would happen. Did you catch that? Fear is faith. It's confidence that something bad will happen.  Fear of a bear is faith in the bear's ability to rip you to shreds. Which is quite possible.  But faith in God's saving protection should trump fear. 

We are told to fear something though in Hebrews 4.

1 Therefore, while the promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear so that none of you should miss it. 2 For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith 3 (for we who have believed enter the rest)

And later,

9A Sabbath rest remains, therefore, for God's people. 10 For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. 11 Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.

God accomplished so much for us on the cross.  Not only have we been raised up to sit next to Jesus, we have been given a Sabbath rest to claim as ours. You've heard the phrase, "let go, and let God."  Same relative principle. It's not giving up, it's resting in the Lord.  We still have tasks to accomplish, but we have confidence that we can rest and let God accomplish things through us.  We are His body, but He is still the head. He needs us to move, but we move through HIM! We can rest in His power to accomplish what He commands us to do. 

Be afraid only that you aren't entering into His rest. That is it.  Everything else should be totally of faith (especially if we are truly resting in Him). 

Hebrews 10

38 Now the just shall live by faith

Galatians 5:6 (Different Versions)

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

The only thing that counts is faith working through love.

But faith which worketh by love.

I John 4

12 If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.

The righteous shall live be faith. Faith works by love. Love casts out fear. So why should we who are the righteousness of Christ (II Corinthians 5) have anything to do with fear (which has to do with torment)??

Should Christians watch scary movies?  You do what you think is right. But be fully convinced one way or the other.

Romans 14:23

everything that is not from faith is sin.

I generally choose not to watch scary movies.  I enjoy mysteries and suspense thrillers. (I have a date with Alfred Hitchcock this weekend.) But, especially modern, horror/slasher movies honestly just don't appeal to me.  Most are gross, bloody and full of coarse things I'd rather not subject my mind to.  Now, no one has ever been sent to Hell for watching a horror movie - that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about subjecting yourself to that feeling. You know what I'm talking about - a good fright. There's good fun and tomfoolery, but then there's truly scaring a person.  Just the same as pornography being generally accepted as deviant behavior, I believe anything that subjects our minds and emotions to something that is contrary to the Word of God should be avoided.  This is my opinion.  Disagree with me if you want.  I won't be offended I promise.  And my intent is not hurt anyone's feelings, I'm just expressing mine.

I don't want to get into pagan traditions such as carving pumpkins and bobbing for apples because I'd have to get into Christmas trees too....  For centuries, the Church has been trying to Christianize holidays.  Creating All Saints Day to coincide with All Hallow's Eve was in my opinion a bad move. It had really good intentions (I think there's a road paved with those somewhere...), but didn't really have the desired effect in the long run. WAY TOO OFTEN Christians seem too content to monopolize the world's ideas. We paint a cross on it and think we've done something really creative. We gladly deceive ourselves.  Halloween celebrations can be completely harmless and fun. Or at least seem that way.  Call me crazy (I'm sure some of you are), but putting a tombstone along the sidewalk, skeletons hanging from the trees, and giant inflatable grim reapers on motorcycles in my front yard doesn't really scream Jesus.  Do you think Jesus would have those in his yard??  Hold up a second. Let me go find my WWJD bracelet.....  Found it!! :)  Kidding.  Though I'm sure I still have one somewhere. It's cliche, but isn't it still applicable on occasion? 

I could talk for awhile longer, but I won't.  I don't like Halloween.  Feel free to like it if you want.  Maybe you'll think a little differently from now on though.  And then again, maybe not. 

Abortion and Halloween.  Betcha didn't think I had so much to say about them. Some of you are probably still wondering why I did...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Is it almost over??

At this moment, I'm referring to the heat.  It's HOT. But you probably know that. If you didn't, I apologize for interrupting your blissfully sweet ignorance.

The husband and I have been working on a project to help relieve some of the discomfort of being oustide.

Any guesses yet? How 'bout this...what needs a level surface??

Pics of finished project to come later. :-)

Projects are not easy.  (Especially when it's 105 outside...) Projects with other people are even harder.  Eighty-three differing opinions, and none of them even begin to cross paths. Whether it's building something or making life choices, there's really only one opinion that matters. 

Your wife's. 

Just kidding....well not

Seriously though, the only one that really matters is the Lord.  He knows how everything needs to work to accomplish all our goals. He has the blueprints. 

Doesn't it seem sometimes that He's trying to hide them from us?? I'm not the only one right? I think it's perfectly acceptable to say, "What's up, God? Am I just completely missing something???"

Chances are, yes.

Figuring out what that is takes patience, persistence, love, joy, peace,....sound familiar??  He has given us all that we need, but He isn't a magic genie in a bottle. Sometimes it takes time; and, yes, sometimes that really sucks. But don't give up!!  (I'm basically preaching to myself here.)

So when it's hot outside, and you just can't take it anymore, pull out the crockpot so you don't put anymore heat into the house.  Metaphorically speaking of course. *wink*

Don't give up.

Adapt. Live like you belong to the person who wrote the blueprints.  Or recipe in this next part.....


Did I mention it's hot?

I haven't turned the oven on in quite some time.

This morning I had to process some ground beef.  I pounded out several patties and froze them for burgers sometime later. I also decided to make some meatballs. :) I froze those too (uncooked - we'll see if that was wise).

But I had leftover meatball mixture....What to do?!?

Again the answer is...the crockpot.

Open a can of crushed tomatoes. Or whatever you have.

Add some spices so it doesn't taste really awful.

I used salt, pepper, a bit of sugar, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, dried oregano, and an Italian seasoning blend.  Nothing fancy, just stuff from my spice cabinet. :) 

This is my go-to spaghetti sauce recipe. I think it taste better than store bought. And cheaper too!  I usually dice a small onion and saute it with a few garlic cloves (chopped) before adding the tomatoes, spices and herbs. But you do whatever you want to do. Tonight, it's super quick, no extra heat in the kitchen, meatball night!!

Now stir everything up. Then plop in bits of the meat.  Yes, plop.  OK, you could roll them out and gently place in the pot. I plopped them.  In misshapen hunks of deliciosity. 

Now cover with sauce.

Put a lid on and enjoy! Well, I'd let it cook first. Just sayin'.

A few hours after I put this on I remember I had some mushrooms in the fridge. So again, I adapted my plan.  I sliced a few and through them in the pot too!

I wouldn't turn the heat on high for this dish, unless you were eating in a couple of hours. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Unless it's the hundred yard dash, err....  Once again (again), adapt.  Whatever you need.  :)

Now I have to head back home.  I'm thoroughly prepared to walk in the door and be greeted by not only the dog but the wonderful scent of supper! Yippy skippy!! (Think I should bring that back?)

Monday, July 2, 2012

When everything lines up....

Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, God is trying to tell you something??  Unplanned, Sunday school, the church service sermon and Bible study all had the same message yesterday.  At least to me.  Of course it wasn't the same exact word for word message, yet everything complimented everything else.  I'm not gonna get into all the details. That will be for another day.
The idea that was present in all things was this - focus on the Word of God.

Fill yourself with it, and it will overflow into your life and the lives of others.

If you see someone in need, it's probably because God has put them in your path for a reason.  Help them.  If you simply can't - acknowledge them. Let them know someone cares.

Now obviously, we can't possibly help/solve every problem we see or hear about. We'd run ourselves ragged....and quickly.  That's why we have to work together!

You do your part. You do what God tells you.  At the same time though, we have to believe and trust that God is telling the next person what they should be doing.

Everybody working together.  Some people are feet, some hands, some eyes, ears, livers....Get the idea?  We all have different parts.  BUT WE ALL HAVE PARTS!!

As Paul says, it is not works that save us.  Though according to James, without them, you claiming to be a Christian serves no purpose! Sure, you'll get to heaven.  But will you have brought heaven to earth?




 That's the point.  That's why we were created. God wanted heaven on earth.

He gave it us.
We gave it away.
He got it back.
He gave it to us again....

What have we done with it?

My challenge to you isn't see how hard and long you can cry over the misery in the world, it's to do something about it. Start with one thing.

Yep, one thing.

Talk to the cashier at Walmart who is probably having a worse day than you.  After all, he/she has had to talk to a LOT more people than you have.  Start small.  Pay it forward. Just help one. Then go help somebody else. :)

If you're like me, you've asked God to put somebody in your path to help.  When He does it though....well, have you ever chickened out??

I have never of course.

That might be stretching the truth.  Okay, so I just threw truth under the bus...happy?

The wonderful blessed thing about God is that is soooo willing to give us another chance.  That situation might be over, but He's got more!!

Listen to him.  Be moved with compassion.  Jesus got His name in writing for doing it.  :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Use Up Week

This week's menu has been based on what I can find in the freezer and/or pantry.  Night before last we had white beans and cornbread.  I had made a big pot of beans (complete with lots of ham pieces from a ham bone leftover from Christmas) a couple months ago, and I froze portions of it to enjoy later on.  That reason, and the fact that we didn't want to eat beans every night for a week and a half...  The cornbread was just cornbread.  I followed the recipe on the back of the bag of cornmeal.  (I may have chopped up a green onion to add to the mix.) I decided to fry it up in little cakes instead of one big dish.  Delicious and satisfying!  The perfect dunkers for a big bowl of beans.  :)

So last tonight I decided to get semi-fancy.  Risotto.

It's ok.  You can say it - risotto.

It's not scary.  It's delicious.

Especially when you add cauliflower.  Yum!!

What? Not a cauliflower lover? Leave it out.  I'll never know. You can substitute broccoli if you wanted.  Or whatever you veg you need to get rid of in your fridge.  Again, I'll never know.  My recipes are very, "add or take away whatever you like," because that's the way I cook.  This week especially has been solely based on what I already have in the house.  I had a bag of frozen cauliflower.

Ok, here it goes!

Again, it's risotto. Say it with me, "risotto."  Not scary or even very hard.  Delicious.

You will need the following items. Note this was for 2 people, but we do have a little bit leftover.

1 - 2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 - ? Garlic Cloves, minced ( I used 3, but I love garlic.)
3/4 cup Arborio Rice*
3 - 4 cups - Chicken Stock*
1 cup - frozen Cauliflower florets
1/4 grated Parmesan
3 Tbs Butter
Salt and Pepper

*Rice is normally a 2-1 ratio.  2 parts liquid to 1 part rice.  With risotto, the liquid evaporates more so you will need more liquid than just making a pot of rice.

Ok.  So those of you that know me, know that I don't really measure.  Anything.  Maybe if I'm baking.  Even then, yes, even then, I fudge stuff occasionally.  Maybe I don't have enough of something, so I use something else...You get the idea?  It is therefore really hard for me to write down exact measurements of what I used.  I used whatever I had left in the bottom of the rice bag.  I didn't measure it.  I just dumped it in the pan.

So here goes.  Chop up an onion.  I used a small one. Because that's what I had. Throw it into a skillet with some olive oil and salt.

Let it get yummy smelling. :)  Add some garlic.

A moment for the smell of garlic filling the kitchen.....ahh....ok.

Garlic should be properly honored at all times.

Let the onions get a little translucent and sweaty, then add the rice.

Ok, so here's my secret.  If you noticed in the picture of ingredients there were two kinds of rice. Arborio - traditional risotto rice.  And plain white rice.  Reason?  I didn't have enough arborio so I added some regular to the mix.  It worked out fine!  I would still highly recommend arborio or the like for a better texture, but the dish is still delicious with whatever you have.

Stir, and let the rice get a little toasty.

See the bits of brown?

Now comes the fun part. (And another secret due to lack of going to the grocery store...)  Before you add the very first ingredient, you should have a pan on the stove filled with chicken stock getting nice and hot.

This would also be the time to pull out that bottle of white wine to add the onion/rice mixture.  I didn't have any, so I didn't use any.  Once again, making do with what I had on hand.  :)  I would add anywhere from 1/4 - 1/2 cup of wine if you so desire.  Basically just enough to cover the rice.  If you don't have any wine, just start with the chicken stock.

Ok, another confession.  I didn't have chicken stock either.  Well I do have some homemade stock in the freezer. But thawing it seemed like a lot of work.  Besides I'm saving it for soup. :)  So, yes, I used a bouillon cube. I know, I know!! The MSG!! Oh, the humanity!!  But it added yummy flavor and salty goodness, and it was what I had.

Now to the "chicken stock."  Add a ladle full to start with.

It gets super bubbly, super fast.

See?  Now's the time for stirring.  Some people may have heard that you have to stir and stir and stir and stir to make risotto.  Simply not true.  Yes, some stirring is required, but what dish doesn't have stirring? Stir till you can scrape the spoon across the bottom of the pan, and the liquid doesn't immediately come rushing back to cover it.

Time to add more "stock."  About 2 ladle fulls at a time should do it.  Add stock, stir, let the liquid cook out and absorb into the rice, add more stock and repeat.

About 10-15 for this part.  

During this time, I added the frozen cauliflower to the pot of stock (I'm just going to pretend I used real, quality homemade stock at this point - indulge me.) so it could cook while the rice did the same.  Add some salt to veg here to make sure it has enough flavor when added to the rice.

(You could also roast the cauliflower if you were using fresh to bring out it's yummy taste even more then add it at the end.  Toss with a little salt, pepper and olive oil and roast at at least 400 degrees till it's golden brown.  Maybe even add a couple grates of fresh nutmeg.  Sounds weird? Nope. Scrumptious.)

With the last addition of stock, add the cauliflower.  I tried to smash the pieces some so you get little bits all throughout the risotto.  

Once the majority of liquid has been absorbed, and the rice is nice and tender, it's time for the good part.




Yes, I use grated parm from a can.  Why? Because it's cheap.  That's pretty much the only reason.  It's way cheaper than a hunk of the real stuff.  But by all means, if you have the real stuff - use it!!

Ahh, the good part.  This will transform you dish from rice to risotto.

Throw in the butter and parmesan.  And stir!!  Whip it practically. As you're stirring (vigorously - just be careful not to throw it everywhere), you will see this amazingly creamy texture start to form.  It will only take about a minute.

You will be left with a creamy, beige-y, lumpy looking mess that tastes divine!! My husband kept going back all night for bites.  What a delicious way to eat your vegetables!!

I served this with a piece of broiled tilapia.  Why?  Because I had two pieces of tilapia left in my freezer. So that's what we had. :)

I used some Mrs. Dash, a tiny sprinkle of parm (I don't care if you're not supposed to eat fish with cheese...), and a spray of Pam. A light, healthy protein to go with the not so light risotto. :)

Place on tin foil.

Place in broiler.  (My broiler is the bottom drawer of my oven.)

Takes about 5 minutes in mine.  Cook til it's done!

 Now enjoy this wonderful meal!  (Sorry for the hasty plate presentation - I was hungry.)

A special thanks to my deep freezer for always being there for me.  Also my pantry, I couldn't have done it without you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I've been accused of being "one of those" people when it comes to posting about food.

"Oh, you made a delicious meal, and you're now proving how superior your cooking skills are to mine?? Job well done. Congrats."

So yes, I will own it.  I am one of those people. A dear friend keeps asking when I am going to start a food blog.  So yes, this blog will contain food, but a little bit of everything else too.

I love food!! A little too much sometimes...  But more than that I love cooking and sharing with others.  My husband seems to be OK with it.  :)

I also love God.  With all my heart!! My relationship with Him is what sustains me.  My heart is for all to know and understand the precious love of Christ!  I think Paul mentioned something like that...

If the Christian life isn't one where Christ is present in all areas, then I don't see the point. I think James mentioned something like that...

Just living in our own little bubbles won't make a difference for much of anybody in the world.  Including ourselves.  Let's pop the bubbles and step out! Hopefully this blog will be a glimpse into my life as I try and live it the best I know how.

I don't want to seem prideful (I'm so awesome...I'm going to blog about it!!); I just want to be honest.  Because how else will we learn from one another if we are not??

God is for us having happy, whole lives.  A life of faith.  I'm sure I'll be discussing more and more what that means.  Hint - It isn't just wishing and hoping...

But for right now I will end this introductory post.  I leave you this picture of something exciting happening in our side yard.  More to come!!  :)