Archive | August, 2013

Customizing Jesus

30 Aug

I heard someone say recently “My Jesus isn’t________!” (it was obscene, so I’ll leave out the actual words)  I was floored.  Not only was it shocking but completely Biblically unfounded.

Now, this just might of been a random person ranting and looking for validation for his lifestyle but I see and hear it more and more, people customizing Jesus.

How easy it would be to shop for a Jesus that embraces our sins and condones our lifestyles. Accepting that is doing favors for no one and actually it is depriving them of a real true Savior.

You can’t try on several Jesus’ until you find one that fits you just right.  He is one size fits all.

He is loving and merciful but He is also holy and hates sin.  Not just the “big sins” but all sin, it separates us from Him.

I know our society is quick to remind us that we should be seeking what makes us happy, because God is love, therefore He would want us to be happy.  So, as long as we are happy God is happy. Happiness, though, is so conditional and momentary.  That is not what God has in mind for you.  Being a true follower of Christ will give you so much more than that.  Really seeking the true heart of the Lord will find you seeking righteousness and that will lead you to joy.  Joy brings you peace and contentment because you’re in God’s abiding presence.

Jesus is for everyone. He came to give you everlasting life.  It is a free gift to all who accept it, but it is on His terms not yours.

Seek the Lord the creator of the heavens and earth, the lover of your soul and not the Jesus created by man.

To keep this from getting long winded, if you are wanting to know more about who God is click here for more information.

 

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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Meatloaf Muffins

27 Aug

What did you have for dinner tonight? I made for my family my meatloaf muffins. They take about 15 minutes to put together and you can customize them depending on the tastes of each family member (no whining when everyone can make their own). Use your favorite meatloaf recipe or you can give mine a whirl.

My basic meatloaf recipe is easy peasy-I start with 1 1/4 pound lean ground beef
and 1 small onion grated (using a box grater).
I add in about 14-18 crushed saltines (yes, saltines), 1 egg beaten, a few
splashes of milk, salt, pepper, and a little onion powder.
Mix Well.
This made exactly 12 muffins. From left to right-Row 1 topped with BBQ sauce
 and sliced onion. Row 2 made a well and put American cheese slices. I sealed the beef
 over the top and topped with ketchup and onion. Row 3 topped with ketchup and
 onion. Row 4 made a well and put in Colby-Jack cheese sealed it up and topped
 with BBQ sauce. Use your imagination! Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes and
 voila! Dinner is done! The meatloaf cooks through without drying out.
Here is what you get (American cheese stuffed topped with ketchup).
We serve ours with some mashed potatoes and salad.
What are your favorite easy go to meals?  If you’re a food blogger (or have a food blog you love) leave me a link in my messages, I would love to see what’s cookin’ in your neck of the woods.
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
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Good Intentions

24 Aug

Image“We are a culture trained to be a great starter but not a finisher”

-Beth Moore, A Woman’s Heart God’s Dwelling Place. Video session 9.

I am a gal filled with good intentions.  I daydream and plan loads of things, good things, and helpful things.  The problem is, is that they usually don’t come to pass.  I have purchased supplies to create beautiful things, and ingredients to cook delicious things to just have them collect dust and turn rotten.  I am by no means a mass collector of stuff, (I actually loathe clutter, even the secret kind) I am just a do it tomorrow person.

When watching the above mentioned video, my heart was deeply convicted.  Out of all I have learned and studied the past 10 weeks in this Bible study God decided this is where he wants me to focus a little more intently and seriously.

I seriously made the exasperated sigh generally reserved for teenage parental annoyance.  Seriously, of all things to call me out on You are choosing to call out my good intentions?

It brought me to a place that had me looking and praying long and hard as to why God was calling out this seemingly, insignificant part of my life.  Here is what I learned.  God wants me to make the most of my gifts and abilities.  By not following through I am falling prey to laziness.  Not just to my good intentions but to the most important parts of my life such as prayer, worship, wife, mother, homemaker, homeschooler, etc… I’ve looked over my life lately and see where my laziness as crept into every facet of my life.  Several verses came to mind but the one that really stuck to me was Proverbs 14:23, “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” 

So all my talk and good intentions is stealing my full potential of what God has in store for me.  It never ceases to amaze me that God longs for us to strive for righteousness and He uses, sometimes, interesting outlets to bring forth change in us.

I am always a work in progress but I am sure glad to know that God sees the value in me and puts forth the love and time to help me to be all He has created me to be.  What an awesome God we serve.

Has the Lord convicted you of anything recently?  I would love to know how God is working in your life.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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Homemade Corndog muffins

21 Aug

I have been inspired by many Pinterest recipes some with and some without success.  Here is my version quick, easy, and delicious.  Keep reading for the printable recipe.

This is all you need!
My lovely assistant is demonstrating putting the hot dog pieces into the muffin pan.
Cover each hot dog piece up with some batter and bake for 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                 Voila!   Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes to avoid them becoming a crumbly mess .  Was it a success?  Let’s find out…..                                                 Two enthusiastic thumbs up from my boy-o-boy.  He prefers it with no cheese.  As for my Mells?…..

                                                                                                                                                  

She gives it two thumbs and two toes up! She prefers hers with cheese.
Like it spicy?  Add some chopped Jalapenos to the batter.  Want it more meaty? Go ahead and add more hot dog to each cup.  Have fun making it your own!
 
 This recipe is economical, healthier than the fried alternative especially if you use turkey dogs.  It is quick, and easy enough the kids can help!  Makes a great on the go meal.   Thanks for visiting!
~ Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
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He Sees You

19 Aug

glowing cross

As you begin a new week and you’re feeling the days are mundane and daunting remember…..

To the tired mama’s who watched the sun rise trying to rock a baby back to sleep-He sees you.

To the husband who works tirelessly to support his family but feels unappreciated at home-He sees you.

For  the toilet, tub, and floor that need to be cleaned again-He sees you.

For the person sitting in the exam room wondering how they are going to handle this diagnosis-He sees you.

To the teen mom who is watching all her friends pack and leave for college-He sees you.

For the weary parents who are praying for a miracle-He sees you.

For weary children struggling, caring for their aging parents while caring for their own children-he sees you.

For the single moms wondering how to make your paycheck stretch even further-He sees you.

To those who feel weary, tired, and broken-He sees you.

Our Heavenly Father sees and loves His children.  You’re not alone, Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged”.  God is there, with you.  The enemy’s whispers will fill you with doubt and his lies will make you feel like a failure but stay strong and courageous.  The Lord is your peace (John 14:27) ,stronghold (Psalm 27:1), and your comforter (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). 

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

15 Aug

There is something about the words strawberry and cheesecake that just makes my day. So imagine my delight on a recent Pinterest pin-fest that I came across this little gem. So in my usual fashion I decided to make my sweet and sometimes brave family guinea pigs once again. If you are interested in this recipe keep on reading.

This and love is all you need.
Add the yogurt, cool whip, and pudding mix into a bowl and mix well. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
If you made it the whole hour-pat yourself on the back. Add all sliced strawberries, bananas, and marshmallows. Mix well.
Just for the sake of “science” I dished two little scoops on the plate. Portion 1-NO crushed graham crackers. Portion 2-With crushed graham crackers. So what’s the verdict?……..
  Two enthusiastic on camera thumbs up and three off camera thumbs up.   No graham crackers was the winner.

We really enjoyed it and it couldn’t of been easier!  It is best when served fresh . If you would like a little crunch-go ahead and get wild and add some crushed graham crackers on top.

Recipe:

12 oz whipped topping (Cool Whip)

3.4 oz box cheesecake flavored pudding ( don’t add the milk)

3-6 oz strawberry yogurt

1 lb fresh strawberries, sliced

3 bananas, sliced (do this right before serving to prevent browning)

Miniature marshmallows (I used 1/2 the bag)

Thaw whipped topping if frozen.  In a large bowl stir together whipped topping, yogurts, and pudding powder. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.   Wash and slice strawberries.  Before serving add strawberries, bananas, and marshmallows.  Add crushed graham crackers on top if desired.

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~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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Can you Relate?

13 Aug

For much of my life my weight determined my quality of life.  What I mean by that is, the heavier I was the less social I became. I would whole myself up hoping to  just become a name without a face. I would slowly draw away from the circle so it would slowly swallow up my gap.  I would become a whisper and a wonder.  I truly felt my self worth was wrapped up to what the number on the scale dictated.  With curtains drawn tight I spiraled into a pit of self loathing.

I have spent my whole life in a death spiral of one crash diet after another. Those consuming diets that steal all your thoughts and leave you watching the hands on the clock tick, tick, tick, ever so slowly waiting for the miserable days to pass. When a diet would finally stick, slowly the sun would begin to shine and I would again emerge vibrant much like a caterpillar breaking free from its cocoon.  Life was mine to enjoy once again.  I would seize every opportunity until it was time to repeat the cycle again.

I really needed proper perspective in order to reclaim my life and find joy regardless to what the scale said.  Psalm 139:4 says, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.  If God’s works are wonderful than so must I be. I am God’s workman, created to do good works, which Christ prepared in advance for me (Eph. 2:10). How am I to follow Christ if I am unable to allow His will on my life?  I must recognize the voice of the enemy when he is whispering his sweet lies in my ear and remind him that I don’t walk of the flesh but of the spirit (Romans 8:1).  For God has plans for me to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11).  Do you see, there are no conditions to that.  He doesn’t say I will prosper when I am 110 pounds, He says I will prosper because He says so! I  just have to be a willing vessel for His love and goodness.

Being at a place right now where I would normally hide, I am pushing myself to keep letting the sun shine on my face.  Letting God work through me for His glory. I am grateful that God’s grace is given to me in abundance.  I pray for victory!

Can you relate?  I would love to hear from you!

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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Homemade Pizza

11 Aug

I know, I know- 5 dollar pizza and a slew of other pizza joints are just a phone call away-but why buy it when you can make it?! My family loves making their own little personal pizzas. I like to gather a lot of toppings and watch them create their own masterpieces! We did this recently and had ourselves a carpet picnic while watching Elf and the kiddos can’t wait to do it again! I promise yeast isn’t as scary as it sounds;) I hope you enjoy!

This is all you need to make dough: 3/1/2-4 C of flour (bread flour will
give you a crispier crust, all purpose will give you a chewier crust). 1 Pkg.
dry yeast, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 2 TBSP olive oil, 1 1/2 C really warm water
110 degrees (run water on wrist water should be just shy of hot feeling).
You gotta wake your yeast up! I used 1/2 of my warm water, the sugar,
and the package of yeast. Give it a quick stir and let in proof for about 10
minutes. This is what it should look like. Bubbling over with happiness.
Add 3 1/2 C of your flour, salt, oil, remaining warm water, and yeast mixture to a large bowl
or in my case my stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, mix all ingredients
well in large bowl and then turn out dough on a well floured surface and knead
until smooth like a baby’s tushie and elastic-when you stretch it long it
shrinks back quickly to its previous size. Takes about 5-10 minutes. If you have a stand mixer-just throw
all ingredients in bowl and using your dough hook mix about 5 minutes. The results should be the same
as with the hand kneading technique.
Oil a large bowl and place the dough in it and brush the top of the dough lightly with oil.
Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and it will need to nap for about 1 hour or until
doubled in size.
*If dough is too sticky knead in the remaining 1/2 C flour.

                                          Punch down your dough, literally, and turn out on a flat surface.
                                                  Divide dough accordingly to your family. The kids’ pizza dough was
                                                  measured about baseball size (2 of those) and hubby and I split the
                                                  remaining dough in half. Work the dough into whatever shape and
                                                  thickness you want.
                                                  *Preheat oven to 500 and if you have one preheat your pizza
                                                    stone. Baking pan works fine too!

                                          Lay out your ingredients and let your family have fun creating thier
                                                   own pizza.

                                          Getting ready to bake!

                                          About 15-20 minutes later-it’s ready! See, happy faces and sweet memories!

Ta da! Easy Peasy!
I hope you enjoy!
Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
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Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Grocery Store

9 Aug

praiseI found myself alone in the car today.  I was feeling a little sorry for myself-Stressed at the first week chaos of homeschooling and all the little things that come up in life.  I won’t lie, there were tears.  Oh poor me tears.  Self consuming tears.  Selfish, life isn’t fair tears.  But then, something funny happened.  God showed up in a song and it changed my heart.  A song I’ve heard a hundred times, but today the words came to life.

It got me thinking about how very blessed we are to live in a country where we are free (for now) to share our thoughts and opinions, to disagree, to think freely, to dress as we please, to go where we please, to eat what we please and to worship our God freely and openly without fear.  This is normal life to us.  We don’t really appreciate these freedoms until we are reminded that life isn’t so everywhere else.

I know many friends who came here seeking a safe place to lay their heads.  Coming from places so volatile that all they can mutter about it is that they are blessed to be here. Perspective is the greatest humbler.   So I will shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth (Psalm 100:1) and  I will do it without fear, for I am a blessed American woman!   Here is the song that changed my attitude http://youtu.be/_MbcYyOsF50
A prayer for you:
Thank you God for blessing me with being a woman, wife, and mother here in America.  Thank you for the blessing of clean water, abundant food, education, and medicine regardless of money.  Thank you God for the freedom to worship you wherever and whenever we choose- free from persecution.  Lord, I pray for the people who live oppressed persecuted lives. For the people who live in fear and without hope.  Lord, somehow someway touch them and deliver them from the bondage.  With praise and thanksgiving to you, my mighty, loving King.

How is God working in your life? I would love to know.
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

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Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

7 Aug

I know in a bid to make healthier food choices many people are jumping on the low carb wagon. I saw a similar recipe online and tweaked it to suit my families taste.  Keep reading to see their reaction and to get a printable recipe.

What you’ll need.
In a large skillet heat butter and oil.
Caramelize the veggies

Remove pepper shells from oven and pour out excess water in each shell.

 
Place a slice of Provolone cheese at the bottom of each pepper.
(One left cheese less for my son who sometimes doesn’t like cheese)
Fill each pepper with filling.

Top each with another slice of Provolone.

 Place in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes and voila! Cheesesteak
                    stuffed peppers. And the verdict is………………..

Thumbs up for the cheese less wonder.

And an ‘eh’ from the Broukie Bear. Hubby really liked it but he missed
the bread.  I really enjoyed it and I will be making this again!
*Prebaking the green peppers allows them the chance to become a little more tender but it also allows some of the moisture to cook out. This prevents it from being mushy and soggy.
*Salt draws moisture out of the onions and mushrooms and waiting to salt the veggies at the end of cooking allows the veggies to caramelize quicker.
I hope you enjoy!
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
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