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Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Site

Just wanted to let you all know that I have started a new site. It was started just a few days ago and members are being added daily, so far. It is for women, so go check it out and join us. We will have discussions, share stories, confide in one another and share God's work in our lives.
www.allforchrist.ning.com

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More

I want more. More time, more love, more chocolate, more money, more...more...more. Never satisfied. However, the one thing I am wanting more of lately that is the most satisfying want I have ever had...(that's right...a want that is satisfied in the process of wanting) is more of God. I want more time with Him, more of His love, more of His revelations, more of hearing His voice, more of His direction, more of His peace. So many things I am wanting from Him and seeking and waiting on and I have to say that this is the best and most wonderful want I have ever experienced.
I want to be for Him even an ounce of what He has been for me. I would love to help others, show others His grace and mercy, bless others with His help, be successful for Him. I want to love my husband more for Him, love others more for him, help others more for Him, give of my money and time more for Him and for it to bless Him and glorify Him.
I am so thankful that I am at this point in my life where I have discovered a want that is satisfying and fulfilling!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hitting Home

A guy named David received a parrot for his birthday. The parrot was fully grown, with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive or rude. David tried hard to change the bird's attitude and was constantly saying polite words, playing soft music, anything he could think of to try and set a good example.
Nothing worked. He yelled at the bird and the bird yelled back. He shook the bird and the bird just got more angry and more rude. Finally, in a moment of desperation, David put the parrot in the freezer.
For a few moments he heard the bird squawk and kick and scream. Then suddenly there was quiet. Not a sound for half a minute.
David was frightened that he might have hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out onto David's extended arm and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I will endeavor at once to correct my behavior. I really am truly sorry and beg your forgiveness."
David was astonished at the bird's change in attitude and was about to ask what had made such a dramatic change when the parrot continued, "May I ask what the chicken did?"


I was in line the other day at a store, already running a little behind and cutting the time I had to be somewhere really close. It was raining heavily and I knew that I would have to drive slower. Before I had even left my house I prayed for God’s hedge of protection around me as I traveled because the roads were slick and the rain was coming down hard. I had to make an unexpected stop and this stop was going to put me heading to my appointment in an opposite direction than normal. As I stood in line waiting and waiting I grew agitated. It was finally my turn in line and with a sour attitude, I handed my money over to the clerk. By sour attitude, I mean, I didn’t make eye contact, impatience was probably written all over my face and I was a little antsy. I try to always smile and say hello to each person I encounter each day, but today wasn't one of those days. As I was leaving the clerk smiled at me and said “Please drive safe out there” I instantly said “you too…OH! I mean, thank you”
The reason I said “you too” is because I was expecting the normal “have a good day” which produces the same “you too” response each time. Two things happened at that moment.

#1. It came to my attention how aggravated I was minutes before his concerned departing phrase and how silly my irritation really was. It wasn’t his fault there was a line a mile long and he was doing the best he could.

#2. It really touched me that this person who might not ever see me again was concerned enough about the weather that he wanted me to remain aware and careful so I would be safe.

So in a better mood; no longer concerned about being a little later than usual, I got in my car and thanked God for the reminder to “drive safe out there.” It also came to my attention that maybe my having to wait ordeal was God answering my prayer to “keep me safe while I was on the road" by keeping me from something unforeseen.
I found out later that God had answered my prayer. As I was closing in on my destination, I came across the aftermath of a horrible accident. The entire backside of this vehicle was strewn across the road and you could literally see the interior of this vehicle that had hydroplaned and collided with an oncoming vehicle. The accident had happened less than 10 minutes before I came up on it. The same amount of time I had to wait in line.

I prayed for the passengers of the accident and thanked God for hearing me and asked Him to forgive me of my earlier impatience. No one seemed majorly hurt and I was thankful for their safety.
My husband even knew I had to go that direction that morning and him being a firefighter, he has a radio that scans police and EMS activity so he heard the call. As I was pulling in to my destination my phone rang and it was my husband. I answered the phone saying “It wasn’t me.”

I read the above joke today and it reminded me of my situation. I think at times the Lord convicts us of our thoughts and actions in ways that get our attention. We can become so centered in self and need reminders that it really is not about us all the time. And I think now that I will just have to remember that if I need to wait a little longer than I want to, that maybe God wants me to wait for a reason....whatever that reason may be.
And He confirmed that truth for me when listening to the radio and a topic on waiting in long lines was being discussed. A caller said that she no longer gets irritated while waiting and instead sees it as a blessing in disguise because maybe the Lord wants to her wait for a reason. It really hit home.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Something Different

I want to take a moment to do something different with my post today. My devotionals are usually about what I have felt God has told me through Bible Verses or Lessons. Today, I would like to ask those of you who are not Christians a few questions.
This is not intended to be done in a condescending tone. I am asking these questions with a sincere heart and with genuine intentions. I would like to know your honest answers and any feedback that you have. You may complete this one of three ways:
1. answer silently and send no response
2. answer via the comment section (which may be done anonymously)
3. answer by sending an e-mail to butterflyblue1116@yahoo.com

I want to get to know what you think about eternity- please remember I do this in a gentle manner.

Answer the following questions:

1. Do you have a Christian Background?
2. Would you consider yourself to be a good person?
3. Do you think that you have kept the Ten Commandments? Which are

a. Thou shalt have no other gods before me- Have you let money, sex, drugs, beauty, social status, etc. motivate and establish your meaning of life?
b. Thou shalt not worship any graven image- Is God the one true God in your life? Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God... Exodus 20: 4-6
c. Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain- Have you ever cursed and used God’s name along with the curse?
d. Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy-Have you ever worked 7 days straight? Do you set aside time to remember God?
e. Honor thy father and mother- Have you always obeyed your parents?
f. Thou shalt not kill- Have you ever hated anyone? By God’s standard, hate is murder. “Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” 1 John 3:15
g. Thou shalt not commit adultery- Have you ever looked at another being with desire and lust in your heart? By God’s standard-“But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.“ (Matthew 5:27-28)
h. Thou shalt not steal- Have you ever stolen anything…ever…even if from work?
i. Thou shalt not bear false witness- Have you ever lied? White lie?
j. Thou shalt not covet- Have you ever desired someone else’s spouse, home, vehicle, job, family?


4. So, if you have ever stolen – what does that make you? If you have ever lied, what are you called?
5. If God were to judge you based solely on the 10 commandments would you be found innocent or guilty?
6. Based on the answers to these questions, if you were to die right now would you go to Heaven or Hell?
7. If you answered Hell- does that concern you?
8. If it concerns you, what are you going to do about that, if anything?
9. Do you know how you can achieve eternal life with God in Heaven?

Think of it this way- If a judge were to let a person who there was NO doubt – not even a 1% chance of innocence- go free who was a murderer, rapist, etc…would that be fair? No.
If we choose to not accept Christ and run from our ways, God will judge us fairly.

But, there is amazing, wonderful, awesome news!!!!!!!!

You don’t have to spend eternity apart from God. God became a man to destroy eternal death by sending His son, Jesus-to die a gruesome, cruel and unjust death for you and me to have a way to Heaven and eternal life. No one is perfect. Every person who is a Christian right this moment has violated some if not all of the 10 commandments. However, by admitting you have sinned and asking for forgiveness and by recognizing Jesus is God’s son and confessing that He is the ONE and ONLY God, you can be freed from your past and have a future that is powerful and meaningful. God is no respecter of persons. He loves every one of us with an everlasting love. His grace and mercy provides a way for peace and joy beyond measure. He is a loving God who wants to have a relationship with you. He will not turn you away- no matter what you have ever done.
Being a Christian will not mean you won’t ever sin or that you are instantly made perfect. No one is nor ever will be perfect; except God. However, by accepting Him and turning from your past; by acknowledging Him as God, you will have His compassion and understanding to cover your imperfections for eternity.
If you decide to give God your heart all you have to do is pray. Just admit to God you have sinned and ask for His forgiveness. Confess to God that you recognize Jesus died for you to have a way to be with Him when you die. Accept Him in to your life.
If you choose to do this and/or have any more questions please contact me at butterflyblue1116@yahoo.com

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Do you have an ark?

My pastor said in a Sermon two weeks ago that Noah had three questions for God when God told him to build an ark.

Question 1: What’s an Ark?
Question 2: What’s a flood?
Question 3: What’s rain?

God told Noah there was going to be a flood over the whole earth and he needed to build an Ark to God’s specifications: An ark that was three stories high, the length of about 36 tennis courts and approximately 1,500,000 cubic feet of free space. When God told Noah that there would be rains coming so heavily that it would cause a great flood to destroy the earth, Noah did something that was very difficult to do. He took a step that most Christians profess they take, when in reality we don’t.
Since it had never rained on the earth prior to the flood, what Noah did for God was spectacular and he did these two things for the 100-120 years it took him to build the ark.

He had faith and he trusted God.

What Noah did, God tells us to do in Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Now think about this for a second. “Lean not on your own understanding” If Noah had leaned only on what HE knew to be true and what HE had already seen with HIS eyes (Faith is the evidence of things not seen) then he would have never built that ark and his whole family, along with every animal aboard the ark would have been destroyed.

Trusting God and having faith is not easy, at all. I am sure there were days that Noah was like…you can bring the rain any day now, Lord…people are looking at me funny!!! However, he pressed on and trusted God would one day bring this -rain stuff- that He promised.

We are conditioned to believe only what we see with our eyes and to only understand that which we can touch, feel and know to be real and true. Humans have a tendency to want to be in total control of every area of life or to even have someone to blame when things don’t work out. I believe that is why people react bitter, angry and confused when natural disasters occur. The knowledge that we can’t control everything in every area and in each second of our lives is a thought that doesn’t set well with who we are.

The reason it is difficult to trust in God and believe in His faithfulness completely is because it takes courage, faith, hope, and surrender. We have to let go of what we cannot control. We have to leave our futures, our health, our thoughts, and our needs in God’s hands. Since we can’t predict the future of our employment, or the economy, or our health or even the day we die; we have to learn to give it all over to God. God knows what is best for our lives and we have to believe that He will never give us more than we can handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
And despite the fact that we will worry at times or that unpredictable events occur, there is good news for those who believe in Christ Jesus. 1 Chronicles 28:20 says “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” and no matter what troubles we may face, trusting and believing in God gives us a greater reward than we could fathom.
2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us that our troubles are achieving for us an eternal good that outweighs the bad. That is because when we give our troubles to God and we trust His word from beginning to end and accept His promises for us, it shows us that we truly have a relationship with Christ. The best reward having that relationship provides is an eternal place in Heaven beside Him and our Father. But while we are here, it provides a peace that passes all understanding when worry, doubt, and fear try to steal our joy. So when life hands you unexpected problems or when you worry over what tomorrow may bring, pray and ask God to remove the doubt and replace it with trust..pray for as long as it takes!!!!! Even if you aren't seeing His answer for years!! (I promise it won't take 100-120 years for Him to get back with you) *wink*
Ask Him to take away the fear and bring to you His peace. And remember these three things:

*He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)
*Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:16)
*And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

We could all stand to have even a little bit of Noah’s faith and trust. If we stay in God’s word and trust that He will take care of us (even when we don’t feel Him present) then when those major floods in our lives rise up, the relationship of trust and faith that we have been seeking and building up with God, will be the “ark” that saves us from drowning.

Monday, January 4, 2010

How to clean your home more effectively in 3 steps

When you are effectively trying to clean your home there are a few steps you can take to ensure it is done properly and efficiently without becoming overwhelmed. Whether it is deep cleaning or tidying up that you need to accomplish, here are three easy steps to help make your job less stressful.

1. Clean prior to cleaning.

Scan the house for “out of place items” and put them away. Carry a trash bag with you to empty the bathroom or office trash and pick up any tissues, magazines or newspapers lying around that need to be discarded. Grab the dirty glass from your beside table and throw it in the sink. Pick up the shoes from the kitchen floor and put them in the closet. Fold the blankets lying on the floor and put them away.

Note: when you are doing the scan through it is easy to become sidetracked---DON’T. For example, those shoes you are carrying to your closet reveal the bed needs to be made. Don’t do it yet…wait! After all misplaced items are put away you may begin the cleaning process.

2. Get ready for duty.

Get out all cleaning supplies you will need to clean your entire house and place them according to the job. This may consist of dust rags and cleaner that needs to wait for you on the coffee table. Or, it may be the Bathroom cleaners that need to be placed on the bathroom sink. Get all cleaning products, brooms, mops, and vacuum cleaners and lay them out. Once you have all items carefully laid out in each prospective room, it eliminates the time you will have to spend searching for each product between chores.

Note: Getting a cleaning bucket organizer with a handle that can travel with you from room to room shaves minutes off your time. Like this:

Or use an old mop bucket.

3. Make sure your chores flow easily.

Going from one task to the next will help to move the process along more smoothly if you take it one step at a time. For example, If you are cleaning your kitchen first, begin by unloading then loading the dishwasher, next you may wipe off your counters. Once that is done, sweep your floors to rid them of the dirt already there and the crumbs that may have fallen after you wiped your counters down and finally, mop your way out of the room.


Note: Start with one room at a time and stick with it! Clean that first room thoroughly before heading off to the next!!!!

Cleaning your home is not fun when you have other things you would like to be doing, but knowing how to organize and move efficiently through each room when cleaning your home will ensure a cleaner home in a shorter amount of time. Follow these steps the next time you clean and you can thank me later ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Boredom Struck

When I am sick, I looooooove food. Of course, I loooooooove food every single solitary day!! But, when I am sick all I want to do is eat and eat is all I want to do. I have been on a kick lately of eating fettuccine Alfredo like three times a week...no lie! It is because it is warm and yummy and I am lazy lately.
But while I was in one of my "thinking about food" moods, I thought I would share with you guys some of my favorite comfort food recipes. Sit back, relax and enjoy! (However, because I am competitive with my food and who eats it and who gets recipes, I usually leave one thing out of the recipe when I share...which is usually that one thing that I personally added to it to make it better) HOWEVER, I promise that even with a missing ingredient you will LOVE how it turns out.
Here are a few:

Mac & Cheese:

5 cups cooked Macaroni
5 tbs. butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2.5-3 cups milk (depending on how dry it looks after all ingredients are added)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cottage cheese

Preheat oven to 350

Cook Macaroni noodles according to package and drain. Place noodles, butter, S&P, milk, mozzarella cheese and 3 cups cheddar cheese in a casserole dish. Mix egg in a bowl first and then stir into mixture. Cover with foil and cook for 45-50 minutes. Uncover and add remaining cheese to top. Bake uncovered another 15 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Easy-Breezy Baked Spaghetti

Thick Spaghetti Noodles (cook according to package per serving desired)
Beef(if desired; I cant have red meat cause my tummy won't let me so I omit)
*One can of Ragu Traditional Sauce
*One can of Ragu Parmesan and Romano Sauce
3 tbs. butter
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles according to directions (Brown and drain beef, if desired). Mix all above ingredients along with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese (**for the sauces...depending on how much you are making, you may only use a half-jar of each sauce for this recipe) and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Serve with bread.

Tilapia with Capers (salmon is good in this recipe, also)
* This recipe does not have exact measurements because I "eye" them all...just adjust to your liking.

Tilapia or Salmon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Fresh Lemon (1/2 lemon for each fillet)
Capers
Tin Foil
Butter

Preheat Oven to 350
Tear as many strips of Tin Foil as you have pieces of fish. Layer ingredients in this order... Tinfoil, a small slice of butter on tin foil, then a small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then fish, then salt and pepper (just enough to cover top of fish), then squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon on fish (1/2 lemon for each fillet), add 1tsp. of capers on top of each fillet. (You can also thinly slice lemons and place one slice on each fish before baking and instead of using the lemon juice from the lemon...just buy the juice and use it so you can save your lemons for slices for decoration)

Wrap each fish in the tinfoil and lay about an inch apart in a casserole dish. (Pour a little water in bottom of dish so tinfoil won't stick to pan...just enough water to line bottom...make sure fish isn't floating) Bake at 350 (salmon for about 20 minutes depending on thickness...but the salmon is best grilled for about 15 -20 minutes in the tinfoil).Bake the Tilapia at 350 for 15 minutes or until white, tender and flaky.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
1 package strawberries
1 package blackberries
1 package raspberries
1 can pineapple (small can)
4 kiwi
2 tbs. (heaping) apple jelly
1 Package of flour tortillas
Butter Spray
Cinnamon

Process all fruit in blender
take 2tbs. apple jelly and microwave 45 seconds and let cool
Mix jelly in to fruit when jelly is cooled

Spray flour tortillas with butter spray, cut in slices with pizza cutter in to triangles (to look like chips), sprinkle with desired amount of cinnamon, bake chips at 375 for 8 minutes or until crisp.
Serve with chilled fruit salsa and enjoy! (Great summertime recipe)

So there you have it...just a few of my recipes that are yummy! Let me know if you try them out and what you think.