Archive | January 2016

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Hello blog readers! I’ve missed you for over a week, but God has been dealing very lovingly with me. I told Him I would write about the experience, and I pray it blesses one of you. It’s about forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:26-27 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”

Anger isn’t always a fit of rage. It’s not always an explosive argument. For me, it was a series of small offenses, that I didn’t immediately forgive. A sarcastic comment towards me here… A mean statement about me there… An act of rudeness soon after… Before I realized it, I was bitter about it. I was upset because I thought I had turned my cheek enough. And so, in my heart I switched from praying for help, to “forget you too.”

When there’s a foothold (anger) for the enemy, he’s not courteous about coming in. He doesn’t knock first, and he doesn’t waste time barging in. You recognize him by your emotions and thoughts. I was constantly reminded in thought of how this person has no right to treat me in such a way. I began to think back on all the times I forgave this person.. and all the times I tried to keep peace. I remembered many of that person’s faults.  I became the one giving the cold shoulder… blatantly ignoring, and counting another’s errors.

 

Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

I decided to visit a friend one night, who shared that she has been attending a class at her church. She told me the recent lesson was on forgiveness. She was excited about it. It touched my heart when she said “forgiveness”, because I knew God was offering me a lifeline. Before I left, I asked her to pray with me about some grudges I was having a hard time letting go of. Her prayer brought me to tears. God’s Holy Spirit led her, and she prayed in such a loving way, and asked for so many things that I needed – without me telling her I needed them. God is always ready to help us overcome.

The next night, the same friend sent me screen-shot pictures from the book her church was studying. The entire chapter was on forgiveness. I felt a rush in my spirit as I read it. I feel like I smiled through every word. It was like warm soup to my soul.

The next night, I went to bible study at my church. As soon as I sat down, the teacher said “Tonight’s lesson is on forgiveness.” I was like a deer in head-lights for a moment. He will supply all our needs. The lesson was full of love, and no ridicule. Here are some of the scriptures that were shared:

1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

On Sunday, the pastor said something that touched my heart. He said, “It’s easy to like someone when you don’t know much about them. It’s when we really begin to get to know one another that we need grace.”

I wasn’t offering grace. We don’t know what others have been through. Our job is to love one another, and be ambassadors of God’s Kingdom.

In my anger, I was no better than the person I was pointing the finger at. God allowed me to see that for a reason. He loves everyone. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24)

It’s amazing how God melted away the anger in my heart after I surrendered to Him, and welcomed His guidance. He’s Perfect in all of His ways. I thought I was doing so good! Praying, fasting, giving to others… then I let anger in over small, petty things. The enemy is crafty.

2 Corinthians 2:10-11 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

It’s easy to recognize what we consider “big sins”. Sin is all the same before God. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stay connected to the vine (Jesus). Stay prayed up. Read His Word daily. When we stay connected, we recognize better when something is coming between us and Him! We recognize our own sin. The enemy can never outwit our Lord and Savior.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

 

 

Purple Hull Peas Daniel Fast Recipe

Hello blog readers! I have a delicious recipe for purple hull peas that works if you’re doing a Daniel fast. You can use the same recipe for black eyed peas too. It takes about 45 minutes to make, or you can put them in a slow cooker in the morning, and let them simmer until dinner.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups purple hull peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped or minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 cup brown rice

(I put onion, cilantro and garlic in food processor together to chop them quickly and easily)

Prepare brown rice separately. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. Put brown rice in pot. Add 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to boil. Put heat on low and cover for 45 minutes.

Put beans in separate pot. Cover with water. (not too much water, just enough to cover beans) Bring to boil. Lower heat to low. Add chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salt, cayenne, and lime. Cover beans and cook on low for 45 minutes. Taste. Add sea salt if you like.

Pour beans over rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional). Enjoy!

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You can also put fresh guacamole on top of your beans and rice too. It tastes amazing. You can get the recipe for that here. (leave out the peppers if you don’t like spicy!)

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I post these recipes for those doing the Daniel fast — but mainly for those who are afraid to give fasting a try. Fear of not knowing what we’re able to eat can cause us to avoid fasting. If your goal is to grow deeper in relationship with God, fasting is a way that can help you. And there are foods and meals that taste great that you are allowed to have. Read up on spiritual fasting before you start a fast. Prepare your meals, or have a list of recipes ready for each day before you start. That might help you. And, don’t harm your body by not taking in any nutrients. He’s a good Father, and will never require you to starve yourself in a harmful way to be closer to Him.

I pray these recipes help you!

As you move forward fasting to God, I encourage you to meditate on His word daily.

I found a very cool app that reads the bible to you. It’s great to listen to after you read a passage to really meditate on it. I play it in the car too. It’s the Redemption app. There are lots of Redemption Church apps. The one I use is pictured below:

PicsArt_1451961245697

Just click on the Bible tab. It pulls up passages for each day, or you can choose which chapters you want to read or listen to.

 

Cucumber Grapefruit Salad Daniel Fast recipe

Hello blog readers! I have a very simple & delicious recipe to share that works if you’re doing a Daniel fast. You can throw it together in 5 minutes, and it’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner  or a snack. It’s a cucumber grapefruit salad.

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Wash cucumber and slice. Peel grapefruit and separate pieces. Mix all ingredients together. Enjoy!

If you’re rushing out the door, put everything in plastic container, shake and go!

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If you make it the night before, the flavors will fuse more into the fruit and cucumbers.

I post these recipes for those doing the Daniel fast — but mainly for those who are afraid to give fasting a try. Fear of not knowing what we’re able to eat can cause us to avoid fasting. If your goal is to grow deeper in relationship with God, fasting is a way that can help you. And there are foods and meals that taste great that you are allowed to have. Read up on spiritual fasting before you start a fast. Prepare your meals, or have a list of recipes ready for each day before you start. That might help you. And, don’t harm your body by not taking in any nutrients. He’s a good Father, and will never require you to starve yourself in a harmful way to be closer to Him.

I pray these recipes help you!

As you move forward fasting to God, I encourage you to meditate on His word daily.

I found a very cool app that reads the bible to you. It’s great to listen to after you read a passage to really meditate on it. I play it in the car too. It’s the Redemption app. There are lots of Redemption Church apps. The one I use is pictured below:

PicsArt_1451961245697

Just click on the Bible tab. It pulls up passages for each day, or you can choose which chapters you want to read or listen to.

Jesus, Take the Wheel…

Reblog from November 1, 2015.

Pray Hear Obey

I had the most supernatural experience this week with the Holy Spirit. I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out the best way to introduce the story, and coming up with nothing creative to say, I’ve decided to just tell it.

I visited– and joined — a new church this week: RainFire Church in Douglasville, GA. The Pastor, Joann Rosario Condrey, is an amazing woman of God who loves Jesus more than anything. I was drawn to her ministry after hearing some of her music on Pandora. The lyrics to “More Than Anything” pierced my heart, and caused me to look her up online. I wondered how she could read my heart in that song. Turns out, she’s a pastor, and she posts all her sermons online! I gave up on finding a church, after only finding what I considered “fluff” in the churches I previously visited. But, Joann made…

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The real Treasure

Hello blog readers! Powerball fever is sweeping the nation. The largest jackpot in lottery history is up for grabs, and millions of people are trying their luck at winning $1.5 billion dollars. It’s all over national news headlines. My state doesn’t have a lottery, and traffic is backed up for miles with people trying to cross state lines to buy tickets. There’s a one in 292.2 million chance for anyone to win…and it makes me think.

Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Every spiritual blessing. That’s what God has reserved for us. That’s better than a jackpot. That’s treasure.

Search for it as for hidden treasure. {Proverbs 2:4}

Who can take 1.5 billion dollars to heaven? If you win the lottery, I pray God blesses you through it.

I saw a story today about several people who’s lives went downhill after winning the lottery. They didn’t just go bankrupt. They died to overdose and early health ailments….They went to prison, became addicts, their families fell apart, ect. The money ruined them. I’m not saying money is evil. Money is needed to live, and operate businesses. God wants us to prosper. He is good!  The love of money is many people’s downfall. The worship of money is disastrous. Sometimes we don’t realize the worship of our own heart.

worship: reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I had a discussion with someone about the story I watched, and how the lottery ruined those people. Their response was “I’m willing to take that chance”.

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I encourage you to ask God to align your heart with Jesus’ heart. Take a chance on God’s promises. There’s no ‘one in a million’ chance He’ll make good on it. It’s a sure thing. His promises aren’t a gamble. We don’t have to split our reward with an office pool. We don’t have to cross state lines for Him. He’s real, and He’s so Good…. and He’s waiting on us to take a chance on Him. We’re promised victory.

Matthew 13:44-46 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

 

Pray with me

I want to share a dream I had last night with you. The old singing group H-town (from the 90’s) was in a room sitting quietly. I was there in spirit. They weren’t aware of my presence. In the dream, I was aware of another presence. The other presence was wicked, and it was plotting. The wicked spirit was aware of my presence, but I was unafraid. I was awakened by an audible voice reminding me of James 5:16.
This morning as I drove my son to school, I stopped at a red light..looked to the left and saw a minivan. Someone had taken their finger and written “H-TOWN” in the dust on the back of the minivan. As soon as I saw it, I remembered the dream I had last night.
I believe very much that God wants me to pray against any terror plots in Houston. It’s on my heart to share with you. Please say a prayer for the protection of the people living in Houston.. and for the plots of evil to fail against that city. The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective!
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2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

You aren’t without power

Hello blog readers! Today, I’d like to share a few things in reference to the growing number of terror attacks happening around the world. I won’t go into detail about the attacks, because there are many. But, I do want to encourage you. You aren’t without power.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Notice the scripture speaks directly to Christians…not terrorists. “If my people, who are called by my name…” That’s us.

This week in Sunday school, we had an open discussion on Acts chapter 9. It tells the story of Saul — one of the most feared persecutors of Christians of his time– on his way to Damascus.

Acts 9:1-2 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

Saul had every intention of hurting followers of Christ that day. He was literally hunting them…breathing murderous threats! Right in the middle of his wicked intentions, something very powerful happens. He has an encounter with Jesus.

Acts 3:3-5  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

Jesus did not ask “Why do you persecute my followers?”… He asked, “why do you persecute me?” 

It’s important to know that the church is the body of Christ — and Christ is the head of the body. Anyone who attacks the body of Christ, is also attacking Christ.

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Saul was very passionate about persecuting Christians . He believed he was doing the right thing. He was no different than ISIS. He was a terrorist. After his encounter with Jesus, Saul’s entire life changed. He was struck blind for days, and immediately after the scales fell from his eyes, he began preaching the gospel. He became Paul. It was such a dramatic, sudden change that Christians were unsure if they could trust him.

In time, Paul grew and was filled with Holy Spirit.  It’s important that I reference those verses to remind you of the power of the Holy Spirit. Although Saul had a wicked heart, God took his heart back. Paul eventually wrote most of the New Testament! He’s one of my personal favorite writers of the bible. God used him to demonstrate the power in changing ONE terrorist! Imagine what he can do by changing two, or three, dozens, or hundreds..

I encourage you to pray for God to take back the hearts of those who persecute Christ. We have the power to intercede!

The heart is a very powerful thing. The bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

(NLV) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

(ESV) Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Most of the terrorists who persecute Christians believe in their heart — like Saul — that they are doing the right thing, according to what they’ve been taught. If we, as believers give the Holy Spirit an invitation to take back the hearts of terrorists, we open the door for Him to do a mighty work. Pray for the scales to fall from their eyes, and that Jesus reveals himself to them. Remember how he changed a cold-hearted killer named Saul..and used Him for God’s glory. God was able to change Saul, and use him in a very powerful way after he had a real encounter with the very one he was persecuting. How great is our God!

The world is in need of prayer. We have the power to intercede on its behalf. God’s word stands forever, and He made a promise:

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

James 5.16

 

Coconut Curry Soup Daniel Fast Recipe

Hello blog readers! I hope your 2016 is off to an amazing start. If you started the year doing a Daniel fast, I have a recipe that you might like. It’s a little spicy, but if you don’t like heat, you can leave out the red pepper. It’s coconut curry soup, and very easy to make.

Here’s what you need:

  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (13.5oz) can coconut milk (regular or lite)
  • chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

STEPS:

Mix coconut milk, soy sauce and salt in a small bowl.

Place a different pot over medium heat.
Add olive oil, crushed red pepper,  curry powder, and garlic.
Cook until it makes a nice fragrance (about 20 seconds)
Add coconut milk mixture, and lemon zest
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat to low
Add fresh chopped basil leaves
Let flavors simmer for 5 minutes

You can eat the soup by itself, or over whole grain brown rice!

I post these recipes for those doing the Daniel fast — but mainly for those who are afraid to give fasting a try. Fear of not knowing what we’re able to eat can cause us to avoid fasting. If your goal is to grow deeper in relationship with God, fasting is a way that can help you. And there are foods and meals that taste great that you are allowed to have. Read up on spiritual fasting before you start a fast. Prepare your meals, or have a list of recipes ready for each day before you start. That might help you. And, don’t harm your body by not taking in any nutrients. He’s a good Father, and will never require you to starve yourself in a harmful way to be closer to Him.

I pray these recipes help you!

As you move forward fasting to God, I encourage you to meditate on His word daily.

I found a very cool app that reads the bible to you. It’s great to listen to after you read a passage to really meditate on it. I play it in the car too. It’s the Redemption app. There are lots of Redemption Church apps. The one I use is pictured below:

PicsArt_1451961245697

Just click on the Bible tab. It pulls up passages for each day, or you can choose which chapters you want to read or listen to.

Dill Fries Daniel Fast Recipe (with homemade ketchup)

Hello blog readers! I have another recipe to share if you or your church started 2016 doing a Daniel fast. I like to share these recipes to encourage you and others who may be on the fence about fasting. Worrying about what to eat on a fast might discourage someone from committing to giving it a try. The rewards are too great to pass it up because of worry. I want you to know you can have (and enjoy) delicious foods. Knowing this allows you to focus more on eating spiritual food while fasting.

Today, I have a recipe for dill fries with homemade ketchup.

Here’s what you need for the fries:

  • 2 Russet Potatoes (if you’re cooking for more than one, cook 2 potatoes for each person)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed

STEPS:
Put potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.
Only boil for 5 minutes!
Drain..let cool for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven at 400

Cut each potato in half (the long way)
Cut each half into 1/4 – 1/2 inch fries (the long way) — this depends on how thick you like them

Spread fries on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Flip them or toss them around to make sure they’re covered  on both sides.

Mix salt, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika in a bowl.
Sprinkle spices on top of fries (both sides).

Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with dill weed.
Add sea salt if you like.

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If you want some ketchup with these, you can make your own very easily. Store-bought brands have added sugars and preservatives that don’t work on a Daniel fast. This ketchup is 8-year-old kid and picky eater approved. 🙂

Here’s what you need for the ketchup:

 

  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder

STEPS: 

Mix everything together!
Refrigerate if you like it chilled, or enjoy right away.

I also posted a recipe for hummus that tastes great with these fries. You can find that recipe by clicking here.

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As you move forward fasting to God, I encourage you to meditate on His word daily.

I found a very cool app that reads the bible to you. It’s great to listen to after you read a passage to really meditate on it. I play it in the car too. It’s the Redemption app. There are lots of Redemption Church apps. The one I use is pictured below:

PicsArt_1451961245697

Just click on the Bible tab. It pulls up passages for each day, or you can choose which chapters you want to read or listen to.

 

 

 

Your Prayer Isn’t Forgotten

Hello blog readers! Have you ever prayed a prayer, and felt like God never answered it?

If the answer is yes, I believe this article will help you understand why you haven’t seen your prayer come to pass.

If you follow this blog, you know that I recently started a garden. I never thought twice about gardening. I woke up one day, and had a strong desire to have a garden. I knew God placed the desire in me, and I’m so thankful. I get so much joy from it. I’m growing herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees at the moment. (lots of fruit trees from seed)

A few days ago, I saw a post on Facebook from Victoria Osteen about prayer.

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After I read her post, I was reminded again why God wants me to have a garden. By giving me a garden, He’s given me a visual that can strengthen my faith spiritually.

I can physically see the progress of a seed growing roots, to sprouting a stem, to growing leaves. It takes time! My trees are only a month old, and are nowhere near bearing fruit. But because I can physically see them growing, I know fruit is on the way!

God wants me to have that kind of assurance about the spiritual seeds I’ve planted!

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

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Watching trees grow from seed helps me understand that just because I haven’t seen a certain prayer answered, that doesn’t mean it will be unanswered or forgotten. Fruit trees take years before they bear fruit! That doesn’t mean it will take God years to answer every prayer. But I have to be willing to wait on Him… no matter how long it takes.

Water your spiritual seeds (prayers) with faith..and God will make them grow in His perfect timing.

If there’s something you’ve been waiting on God for, never lose faith in Him.

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

I encouraged someone recently to plant a lemon seed. You can do the same thing. Water it, nurture it, and watch it grow over time. It will help you understand that although you may want lemons now, it takes time for a fruit-bearing tree to mature. It doesn’t go from seed to fruit overnight. And, when you think of the prayers you’ve prayed, look at the physical tree that you planted and remind yourself that a harvest takes time.  As Victoria posted, be patient and you will inherit God’s promise!

Hebrews 6:11-12 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

 

lemon tree

(I suggest growing lemon trees because they grow easily in the part of the U.S. where I live. You can plant whatever tree grows well in your area)

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PS –  I learned a few things from Victoria Osteen’s post, including the importance of not being ashamed or afraid to share the gospel. The Holy Spirit reminded me of things, and revealed things to me about my own spiritual journey through her post!

As Christians, we are the body of Christ, which means we need one another to be fully functioning. And, we need each other for encouragement. I’m thankful for those who openly share the word of God. It’s refreshing to see light in a world full of darkness.  We have to do our part. How can we expect God to convict the hearts of the lost if they never hear His Word? Ministry is something every child of God has been instructed to do.

I pray this blog blesses you, and encourages you to share the good news with someone…anyone!

Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

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