Summertime Salad

summertime salad, family, food, healthy eating, recipes, katina horton, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living

Background Story on Summertime Salad

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.

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Summertime Salad Photo by Katina Horton

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:

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 10 radishes
  • 1 tub of mixed green salad
  • 6 tomatoes cut into wedges or slices

Directions

  • 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.
  • Enjoy!

God bless,

Katina

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Direction

direction, decisions, life, poetry, poem, poet, choices, Habakkuk, vision, purpose, lamp, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, healing

Background on the Poem “Direction

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Photo by Matthew Henry

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.

I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the ramparts. I will watch to see what He will say to me and how I will answer my reproof. Then the LORD answered me: “Write down this vision and clearly inscribe it on tablets, so that a herald may run with it. For the vision awaits an appointed time; 

Habakkuk 2: 1-3

Direction

Listen- to every word that I say.

Vision-making it plain, don’t you sway.

Write it-on your heart and your mind.

Do it-all in wisdom and my time.

Show it-to your siblings, the believers.

Hold it-From the wicked, the deceivers.

He Speaks

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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.

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Picture by Sarah Pflug

He Speaks

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?

Or will it be with great trumpet?

All of that, and Even more!

God bless,

Katina

Episode 46: We Are All Qualified

interview, job interview, prayer qualifications, qualifications, emotional health, spiritual health, mental health, self-worth, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, hope, Our Father

Episode 46: We Are All Qualified
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interview, job interview, prayer qualifications, qualifications, emotional health, spiritual health, mental health, self-worth, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, hope, Our Father
Photo by Matthew Henry

We Are All Qualified Podcast Outline

  • Job Interviews
  • Qualifications for Job Positions
  • Qualifications for Prayer Warriors

Show Notes:

Scripture Reading James 5:13-18   We 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.  

In your name we pray,  
Amen

Pasta with Spinach & Quinoa

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Background Story for Pasta with Spinach & Quinoa

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.

pasta with spinach and quinoa, healthy living, healthy recipes, diced tomatoes, food, eating, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, blogging, lifestyle, choices, lunch, dinner, vegan, vegetarian, friends, fun, outside, adventure, katina horton
Photo by Katina Horton

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:

45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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”

Episode 43: The Big “D”
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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.

divorce, psychology, family life, marriage, trust issues, healing, brokenness, healing our brokenness, podcasting, podcast, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, family law, spiritual health

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 unturned.    

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)

Others have gotten divorced as a result of extramarital affairs:  The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made

at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.   And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matthew 19: 3-9)

 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.

Dear God,

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.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Embraced

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Are you feeling alone? Do you long to be embraced? Do you know that being embraced by God is the best comfort that we can have? This poem deals with just that.

Embraced

Embraced by His Love.

Redeemed by His Blood.

Enthralled by His Spirit.

Sanctification-

No need to fear it.

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Photo by Nicole De Khors

John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Reunion

El Roi

Episode 40: Get Out

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Episode 40: Get Out
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Get Out Podcast Outline

  • Dissecting Temptation
  • When to Get Out
  • When did Joseph Get Out?
katina horton, simple functional grace-filled news, simple functional grace-filled living, podcast, healing, brokenness, Joseph, running, temptation
Photo by Sarah Pflug

Show Notes:

Get Out!!

Temptation 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.

God’s 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.

1 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.  (NIV)

Missing the Message

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Photo by Patchanu Noree

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.

God bless!

Katina

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Photo by Patchanu Noree

Episode 38: Grace and Truth

katina horton, psychology, emotional health, mental health, physical health, healing our brokenness, boundaries, legalism, wanting to be right, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living

Episode 38: Grace and Truth
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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.

Grace and Truth Podcast Outline

katina horton, psychology, emotional health, mental health, physical health, healing our brokenness, boundaries, legalism, wanting to be right, valley of grace, simple functional grace-filled living
Photo by Pegleess Barrios
  • Dissection on Relationships
  • Applying Grace
  • Applying Truth
  • The Marriage of Grace and Truth

Scripture Focus:

Ephesians 4: 14-15

John 8: 32

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 4:14-15, BSB)

There are 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.

Dear God,

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.

In Your name we pray,

Amen