Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Appropriate Scripture for Today's Economy

Matthew 6:25-34

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Storms and Very Special Thank You

Many of us are familiar with story of Jesus calming the Sea while on the boat with the disciples, but how many of us have actually stopped and really read this passage?

Mark 4:35-41

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Matt read this passage in our Connection Group Sunday morning, and I have been studying and pondering over it ever since. His big lesson was being prepared before the storm of life hits, and I was screaming to myself, "What if you are already in the midst of the storm!!!?" So begins my reading. You can find this passage in Matthew 8 and also in Luke 8; however, Mark paints a beautiful picture for us. While Matthew and Luke simply say that Jesus is asleep, Mark says, "He was...asleep on a pillow." This shows Jesus' fleshly-side tired from preforming miracles and teaching parables, but also his deity-side knowing all was okay. Now here the disciples are in the middle of a storm, there boat is taking on water, they think there is no way they are going to survive, and Jesus is asleep on a pillow. How many times do we get all worked up and say, "Jesus do you care? There is no way we are going to make it through this situation. How are we going to make it?" How many times does Jesus have to calmly remind us, "Have faith my child, I can see the whole picture. I will never leave you nor forsake you. It will be okay."

I know that this passage was for me this week. Thank you Jesus for working through Matt to remind me that even though I am in the midst of a storm, He is there reminding me to have "faith of a mustard seed". When we have faith, He shows us a little ray of sunshine to show us that is He is ever-present in our times of need. My ray of sunshine came from the Harris family this week. Yesterday after picking MG up from school we returned home to find the most precious package anyone have ever given me hanging from the front door knob. As soon as I drove up to the house, I knew what it was. You see, they knew that Mary Grace did not have a winter coat and that we did not have the money to go buy one, so they as a family lovingly purchased a coat for our daughter. Thank you Drew, Mandy, Alex, and Emma! God has used you in more ways than you know. For those of you in a storm, I hope this helped and for those who will be someday, I hope this passage comes to mind and can help you like it has helped me. I will leave you with a picture and a quote from my beautiful girl in her beautiful new coat.

She says, "Mommy, I like it and I can't feel the cold anymore!" She is so strong, she never mentioned once to us that she had been cold, and that her little jacket just wasn't cuttin it. God is good!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pictures in the Park with Alex and Emma

We had a wonderful day watching Alex and Emma while their Poppy was having heart surgery. We tried to stay occupied while Drew and Mandy were at the hospital. Oh, I should mention this did not occur today, but I have just now had to the chance to upload the pics to my camera. First we laid down for a rest while watching the new Tinker Bell movie. Then we went to the park, amazingly several of the pictures turned out really well. My favorite one is the first one (hence the reason it is bigger than the rest) because they are just being themselves! We finished the night with cheese pizza, a bath, and PJ's. We are glad that Poppy is home and doing better, and even prouder that the day went so well!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yes I am Alive and Kicking...

I know I have been missing for a while, but I am alive. The family has been stricken with the lovely stomach bug, and Abbz with bronchiolitis. They have all returned to a "healthy" status, and things are starting to return to what we like to call, normal. I really have nothing exciting to write about; so I will leave you with my latest gluten-free recipe.

Grilled Parmesan Chicken with Alfredo Sauce and Quinoa:
3-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and grated Parmesan Cheese

2 cups heavy whipping creme
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. tapioca starch (opt.)
1/2 tsp. salt

Coat chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese to taste. Grill chicken on prepared outdoor grill and cook until done (or until no longer pink inside). While the chicken is cooking pour whipping creme and tapioca starch (if using) into a sauce pan and mix together with a whisk. When well blended, add all of the other ingredients minus two crumbled bacon slices to the whip creme mixture. Heat until just boiling. Once the chicken is done slice on a diagonal.

To serve:
Prepare Quinoa as directed on box. Scoop as much Quinoa as is desired onto plate. Pour Alfredo mixture on top. Top this with grilled chicken slice, and a drizzle of Alfredo sauce. Garnish with crumbled bacon from reserved bacon and shredded Parmesan cheese. Can serve with bacon-wrapped asparagus on the side.

Although this recipe is "allergen-free" for us, it is really very delicious. Let me know if anyone tries it. Oh, and by the way, Quinoa is a grain much like rice, but packed with much more protein. I actually like it better than rice and I think it is much more flavorful.