My mother and two nieces came to visit me this weekend. I picked them up on Saturday, hoping beforehand to have made at least four out of six stops completed prior to picking them up from the train station. Well, I got three done. I had to talk myself down to the fact that I would have to make three stops with two little ones. It wasn’t that bad after all.
After all of the stopping and putting away groceries, we decided that it would be best to grill on Sunday after church. It rained overnight and Sunday morning. However, as the weather man predicted, the rain stopped at around 1:00 p.m. By 2:00 we were ready to grill.
Some of the highlights of my weekend were: 1) watching a two-year old dance and climb a flight of stairs with the look of joy on her face, 2) watching both nieces play with twigs and branches in the backyard 3) listening to 70s, 80s, and 90s slow jams, 4) watching movies, 5) baking oatmeal lemon nut and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with my niece, and 6) grilling for the first time since living here. I hope and pray that you had a simple, functional grace-filled weekend as well.
Here is the recipe for the Summertime Salad that I made on Sunday:
5 medium beets
3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons of minced onions
dressing of your choice
3 medium green bell peppers
6 to 8 mini sweet peppers
1 tub of mixed green salad
6 tomatoes cut into wedges or slices
Roast the beets for 45 minutes on 350, pouring olive oil and wrapping them individually in foil and placing them on a cookie sheet beforehand.
When they are done, allow them to cool off for 15 minutes and then peel off the skin with a towel.
Cut the beets into wedges.
Dump the mixed green salad into a bowl.
Dump the tomato slices or wedges into the bowl.
Dump all the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle the seasonings last.
There are times in life when we don’t know which way to go. During these times, if we seek the Lord, then our mission, our purpose, and his will becomes clearer. Of course, it also means that we have to still do our part. Our part involves intentionality, setting goals, and aligning our will with his. We also need wisdom discerning in whom we should confide God’s great revelation.
This poem was written as a reflection of some of the different ways in which God speaks to us. We like to put God in a box. We often forget that God has an infinite way of relating to us, and allowing us to hear his voice. When Elijah was in the process of running away from Jezebel, God revealed Himself to him. Elijah had put God in the box of coming to him in a “great and mighty way”. Instead, he whispered to him in the still, small voice. God knows what we need, and when we need it. He is a God who meets us right where we’re at.
He Speaks! He Speaks!
But where will it be?
In a message, in a song, or the birds in a tree?
Will it be in the coolness of the wind blowing at night?
Will it be in the calmness of the crickets singing in flight?
Will it be in the morning when the rabbits talk to squirrels?
Or the munks tunneling through grass, and the robins dancing a twirl?
Will it be in the waves that are splashing at the beach?
Or the smiles of the saints as they’re waving “Hi” to me?
Will it be in the sun that is setting in the sky?
Or the swans overhead that are reaching by and by?
When he speaks, will I hear him, same voice as before?
Episode 46: We Are All Qualified Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:10:38
We Are All Qualified Podcast Outline
Qualifications for Job Positions
Qualifications for Prayer Warriors
5:13-18We Are All Qualified
Being a prayer warrior is one job that doesn’t require a special set of qualifications. We don’t have to worry about God looking at our application, and going, “No, I am sorry, but your resume doesn’t meet the qualifications for our idea candidate. I will keep your resume on file for a year just in case something else comes along.” We are all broken. And because of this brokenness, we are in the perfect position for God to use us. The bible gives us one example after the other of how God used a bunch of mixed up, messed up Christians to do his work. What does the scripture say about the combination of prayer and broken people?
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:17-18, KJV)
These verses hone us in on knowing what the requirements are to getting our prayers answered: 1) willing hearts, 2) consistency, and 3) fervency (intense passion). Let us all be mindful of this as we prepare our resume for review.
Dear God, We thank you for giving us examples in your Word of how you used broken people like us to pray and do your will. Please help us to be consistent and committed when it comes to getting our prayers answered. You tell us in your word that if we delight ourselves in you, that you will give us the desires of our heart.
It is amazing how we are all are wired up differently, and with this wiring, we all have different things that take us back to childhood. For the last few nights, I have been taking a quick five minute walk in the neighborhood in order to get a whisp of the slightly cool, fresh air and to hear the sound of the crickets. These two things have been my favorite since I was a kid. They remind me of visiting my relatives in Memphis and hearing the calming effect of the crickets at night.
About a week ago, I was trying to decide what to make for dinner. My mind landed on the box of pasta that was still in the cabinet. I decided to jazz it up with my two favorite ingredients for most meals: spinach and diced tomatoes.
Here is the recipe:
Total Prepping and Cooking Time:
1 box of penne pasta
2 jars of tomato and basil pasta sauce
1 tablespoon of thyme
3 tablespoons of parsley
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of cut-leaf spinach
1/3 cup of quinoa
1/4 cup of oil
Boil a pot of water, adding the oil to the water to prevent the pasta from sticking.
Add the pasta and the quinoa once the water has started boiling.
While the pasta and quinoa are cooking, saute the spinach and diced tomatoes.
Drain the pasta and quinoa in a colander and dump them back into the pot.
Dump all the rest of the ingredients into the pot and stir.
Eat and enjoy!
Food for thought:
What foods do you eat, or activities do you participate in that take you back to your childhood? Would love to hear your comments!
Episode 43: The Big “D” Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:17:30
Have you ever been divorced? Do you know of someone who has been divorced? When you found out that this person was divorced, did you treat them differently? Today’s podcast is entitled, “The Big “D”, and that “D” stands for divorce. Click above to listen to the latest podcast episode.
It has been said that divorce is worse than death. There was a time when the word divorce was taboo. Older television shows reflect these ideas. When children mentioned that their friends’ parents were getting divorced, they were shushed by their parents, and/or the parents came up with an excuse as to why Johnny or Susan couldn’t play at the neighbors’ house anymore. They were outcasts.
Prior to getting divorced, I heard
someone use the phrases “It’s no big deal.
People get divorced every day.”
This is true. However, what is
also true is that you don’t have people lined up to tell you the real impact
from divorce. Divorce leaves lifelong
effects in every area: financially,
emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, etc. Basically, there is no table left
Grief experienced from divorce can be
draining. With this pain, you must
grieve the loss of the marriage, the loss of the family as a unit, and then
grieve that part of your identity that is being taken away. There is no magic formula for the intensity
of the pain or the amount of time that it will take to heal. My grief so far tends to run in spurts. The grief might be off and on all day for
three weeks, and then there is a month break before it starts up again. I have had other women tell me that theirs
was every day for two hours for the length of anywhere from two to five years.
There are some individuals who have
gotten divorced because of severe abuse that has gone on for years. In Malachi 2:16, we are told, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for
one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye
deal not treacherously.” (NASB)
It is possible for God to heal marriages from
any situation, even the ones listed above.
However, sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that one person can
fix the whole marriage. As individuals,
we can only do our part. We cannot be
the Holy Spirit for others. I am a
planner. I like organizing, analyzing,
and figuring things out. I thought that
if I could just do A, B, and C, things would be fine. If things weren’t getting better, it was
because I hadn’t figured out the right formula yet. Satan led me to believe that I was responsible
for the entire relationship.
He led me down the path of
dishonoring God, and disrespecting myself and children “all in the name of
love”. The best thing that we can do is
pray and ask God for wisdom and discernment, and then in turn get professional
help for ourselves. It is easy to pass
judgment upon others who are considering divorce. However, the truth is, only the individuals
involved in the marriage are aware of the severity of the situation. I stayed in a toxic situation for twenty
years. Thank God for Him getting a hold
of my heart and mind. We can pray the
same thing for others whom we know of that are walking in this path.
We thank you for your word to go to
when we are unsure, and don’t know where to turn. Please help us to help others by sending them
to your word and prayer when it comes to decisions about divorce. We also pray that we would not pass judgment
upon others when they are going through divorce because we don’t know the whole
story. Only you do.
Episode 40: Get Out Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:13:10
Get Out Podcast Outline
When to Get Out
When did Joseph Get Out?
is one of those things that can sneak up on you out of nowhere. It helps us to
get a bigger sense of the difference between seeing and looking at something.
Back in the day when I was caught up in my shopping madness, I would see
something in the store after I had purchased everything I had already planned
on buying. Then, I had to go over to take a closer look, and then I ended up
back at the register, spending way more money than I planned. My time of escape
was right after seeing it, getting out of the store quick, fast, and in a
hurry. This is often how it is with temptation. We ignore that small window,
and then it’s too late.
word gives us example after example of this happening, while we are in our
minds going, “No that is not going to happen to me.” Even now,
because it was a stronghold in the past, I am constantly having to be on guard
when Satan tries to get me over to the looking side. All the feelings that were
back then come rushing back as a warning.
Corinthians 10:11-14 says:
These things happened to them as
examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the
culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing
firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
No temptation has overtaken you except
what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be
tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also
provide a way out so that you can endure it.
When did you find yourself “missing the message” because you were in a rush? How did it make you feel? What happens when you slow down so that you can take in what seems to be the smallest of moments? These missed messages can be God’s time with us if we allow him the opportunity.
Episode 38: Grace and Truth Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:09:57
Would you consider yourself a person of grace and truth, or a person of just truth? What is the difference? Find out by listening to today’s podcast to see what happens when we have one without the other. Remember to catch up on last week’s episode here first.
Relationships are hard. It doesn’t matter whether it’s family,
friends, or coworkers, it can be challenging. One thing about relationships is that they
require time, energy, grace, and love.
When disagreements arise, and they will, we can be so intent on wanting
to be right, that we can damage the relationship even more.
God tells us in his word: “And
you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32,
NLT) We shouldn’t be foolish, and pretend that the truth doesn’t matter. When
we ignore the truth, we train our minds and bodies to slowly downplay the cues
they tell us that signify something is wrong.
Only applying the truth can also bring in legalism. Because God gives us grace, we are able to
extend grace to others. Only applying
grace without truth and boundaries leads to being taken advantage of, an out of
control situation, and the other person constantly pressing the envelope to see
how far they can go. “Then we will no
longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind
of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will
in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head.” (Ephesians
individuals in my own life who have hurt me dearly. I cannot ignore the revelation of truth that
healing has brought me. At the same
time, if I focused only on the truth of these situations, it would make my
heart bitter. The truth is, we are all
broken individuals, and since we are all broken individuals, we all have sin in
our lives. If it weren’t for God’s mercy
in eliminating certain people and things from my life, I could very well have
gone down that path. Offering grace and
truth to people doesn’t mean restoration of the relationship. It could mean grieving what is no longer
there, acceptance, and the ability to move on.
We thank you
for the relationships that you have blessed us with. We pray that you would give us discernment
when it comes to applying grace and truth in difficult situations. Please help us to understand that we are all
broken individuals in need of a Savior.