How many of us often think, “If only they would just do what I tell them!” How many of us become angry and frustrated when others try to control us, but we never do anything about it? Listen to some helpful tips on today’s podcast episode, “Do What I Tell You”.
Episode 63 Podcast Outline
What is control?
What is intentional control?
What is unintentional control?
How did King Nebuchadnezzar deal with his pride and control issues?
What are the two things lying at the root of control?
Thoughts for the week: What will we do differently to make sure that we are not trying to control others? What are we going to do differently to make sure that we are not the victim of the spirit of control?
Background on Almond Cookies-Lately, I have realized that baking and cooking does the same thing for me that writing does. First, It helps to open up those creative and healing juices. Secondly, it helps me to see the unending possibilities of connecting certain things together.
When you are writing, one thought can connect to five other thoughts, and then, in turn, inspire you to a Holy Spirit-infused bible story and revelation. When you are cooking and baking, one ingredient can get the wheels turning to the possibilities for other ingredients. And with me, this starts the whole beginning of my concoction madness.
Within the last week, I have baked over 120 cookies. It was therapeutic, as I was using my hands, measuring, adding a dash of this and that. And then at the same time, praying that everything came out fine.
I finally tried out my “head idea” of making almond cookies. Of course, as you know me, I added oatmeal of course. However, these Almond cookies turned out so “almondy”, and of course, that isn’t a word, that you don’t even notice the oatmeal. The slivered almonds added a nice, extra crunch to the cookie.
A week ago, I made the recipe again. However, I substituted the slivered almonds for pecans just to try out something different. I promise you, they didn’t disappoint.
Here’s the recipe:
Yields about 24 cookies
Almond flour -1 1/4 cup
Oatmeal – 1 1/4 cup (Rolled Oats give a chunkier look and feel!)
Brown sugar – 1/2 cup
Almond Extract- 1/2 teaspoon
Slivered Almonds- 1/3 cup (Can also substitute with pecans!)
Almond Oil- 2 tablespoons
Almond milk- 3/4 cup
Flaxseed Meal – 2 Tablespoons
Mix all of the above ingredients into a large bowl using a whisk
Use a small cookie scoop to make the balls, making sure that you press the side of the bowl with the cookie scoop to get any excess liquid off
Place scoops on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets
Bake at 330 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.
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?
About a year ago, I was looking out of the
kitchen window, and I thought that what I was witnessing was a bird
fight. Instead of it being a fight, it was more like bullying.
Bullying among two birds. One robin decided that he wanted the other
robin to leave the grass. (Granted there was more than enough room for both of
them.) The second robin (victim) tried to stay there.
However, the first robin (bully), continued
to peck him. The second robin went over to the bird bath to relax
there. And what do you know? Mr. Bully came over there and pecked
him until he left that area. Eventually the second robin flew into the
happy face tree (someone literally drew a happy face on the tree itself) and
stayed there for a while. This made the bully very happy.
In the spring, I saw several birds in the
backyard after it rained. No one had the bullying and victim title.
They were all scavenging for food after it rained. They knew that there
was more than enough to go around.
God revealed something to me in that very
moment. Sometimes we are like the two birds from a year ago. We
feel that we are not satisfied until we are the only star. We feel that
there will not be enough of God’s grace, goodness, and mercy to go
around. We think we have to fight in order to get the blessings, or there
won’t be enough.
Other times, we are like the birds from the
spring, realizing that there is more than enough, God is the one who owns it
all, and is running it all.
The earth is the Lord‘s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalms
Even with whatever talent it is that he has
blessed us with, he has to tell the door to open and to close. Some of us
will be blessed with a lot, and some of us will be blessed with little. However, when we realize that there is more
than enough for everybody, then we can look to God, rather than other people to
receive the blessing.
“O my people, listen as I speak. Here are my
charges against you, O Israel: I am God, your
God! I have no
complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt
offerings you constantly offer.
But I do not need
the bulls from your barns or the goats from
your pens. For all the
animals of the forest are mine, and I own the
cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird
on the mountains, and all the
animals of the field are mine. If I were hungry,
I would not tell you, for all the world
is mine and everything in it.
eat the meat of bulls? Do I drink the
blood of goats? Make thankfulness
your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows
you made to the Most High. Then call on me
when you are in trouble, and I will rescue
you, and you will give
me glory.” (Psalms 50:7-15, NLT)
We thank you for the gifts that you have blessed us
with. We pray that you will help us to realize that we don’t have to
worry about being threatened by anyone else, because you have blessed all of us
with different gifts/talents that are unique to us. Please help us not to
compete, but to work together for your glory.
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!