Friday, November 30, 2007

Menu ~YUM~ and cookie recipes needed!

Here is a late menu for the week (which actually started yesterday). I am having back problems so my post will be short today. I've got a lot on my mind and would love to sit down and write all about what God has been showing me (I think my blog is in need of a God post!!). Maybe later tonight if my back is doing ok. It just seems to make it worse when I sit here at the computer! Here is the menu:

Minestrone Soup (Crock Pot), french bread
Spaghetti and salad
Italian Pizza Calzones, steamed veggies
Swedish Meatballs and lima beans, sliced fruit
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

We had the Swedish meatballs last night and I wasn't really a fan. Something about the sauce just wasn't good. I think I'll stick to stroganoff next time. One thing about last night though was that I had forgotten how much I love lima beans. Weird, I know! I rarely ever think about them though. They were so good (well, at least I thought so)! Tonight is spaghetti! Tomorrow I'm making soup for the weekend and then Monday we'll have Italian pizza calzones. The recipe is from Menus4Moms. The only change I'm making is that I'm using pizza dough instead of crescent rolls. It should make enough for Monday and Tuesday and then Wed being a church night will be soup and sandwiches! I'm gonna start baking next week and would love some tried and true cookie recipes. Please share some with me! :) I'm really wanting to make these!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I AM ~ Lesson 7

Below are this week's discussion questions. I think the biggest thing that spoke to me from this lesson is that we are inadequate but, Praise God, He isn't! God chooses to use His children, no matter who they are or what they do, to do His work. We can be a part of His kingdom work! From Moses, we can learn to just say 'Yes!' to God and leave the details up to Him! Click here to read this lesson from The Preacher's Wife online Bible study or go to the "I AM" icon on my side bar!

1. How would you answer the questions, "Who Am I?" Wow, that is a loaded question! First, I am a daughter of the King! I am a wife and mother. I am a daughter, sister and friend. I pray that I can be an instrument of God!

2. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt inadequate because of your lack of a 'tagline'? Haha.. yes! I don't even want to think about what my 'tagline' would be!

3. Do you have skills or position that you believe God could use mightily if only He would? No, I believe that He knows what He's doing! I need to always make sure that I am listening to Him though. I fail, He doesn't!

4. Have you ever lost a position or station in life you believe could have 'helped God out' with something He has asked you to do? Nope, I am learning more and more everyday that I just make a big mess of things when I try to help God! If you haven't lost out, do you perhaps feel you have to gain this in order to be useful to the Kingdom? No.

5. How are you with your dialogue vs. doubt conversations with God? Which does God hear most from you? I try to always acknowledge God's sovereignty in my life. He sees the big picture. He knows. That 2 word sentence is such great comfort! God knows! In doing this, I am trying to avoid doubt in Him and what He wants to do through me.

6. Do you believe God's Wonders become more wonderful if they originate in the ordinary? Any Scripture references come to mind? Isn't it amazing that God uses the ordinary to complete His great works! The first thing that came to mind... it being the Christmas season and all.. is Mary! He used an ordinary girl to carry His Son! Now, she wasn't ordinary as far as her virtues, I'm sure. But as far as her being an ordinary woman who had fears and uncertainty; she was definitely that!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The food saga... and a small ranting :)

I've been reading that toddlers are suppose to get about 1000-1300 calories a day. I'm always worried that Luke isn't eating enough so today I thought I would keep up with what he ate and approximately how many calories he took in. Here is today:

Breakfast: 8:15 am
Wholewheat Blueberry Waffle- 85
Kiwi- 56
6 oz juice- 100

TOTAL- 141

Morning Snack: 10:15 am
Mini box of raisins- 42
1/2 of a 100 calorie pack of cheese nips- 50


Before lunch total: 333 calories

Lunch: 12:15 pm
1/2 'chicken' nugget (they are soy chicken nuggets)- 24
1/2 c whole milk- 75
1/8 of a piece of whole grain bread w/ butter- 12
Total: 111
*He was actually offered 2 chicken nuggets, a slice of toast w/ butter, peas and milk.. but he didn't even touch his peas.

After Lunch Total- 444

Afternoon Snack: 4:00 pm
Oatmeal Apple Raisin Bar - 120
1/2 c of whole milk- 75
Total- 195

After Snack Total- 639

Supper: 6:00 pm
cheese toast (2/3 rds of it)- 130
1/4 c green peas
1/4 c grapes- 30
1/2 c milk- 75
Total- 263

After Supper Total- 902

Night snack: 7:30pm (He usually wants a little snack about an hour before bed)
1/2 100 calorie pack cheese nips- 50
1/2 banana-54
Total- 104


You would think that after 6 'meals' he would be getting enough calories!! The absolute minimum is 1000, so he is just above that. They (APA) say to multiply the height in inches by 40 calories and that's roughly how many calories the child needs. Well, Luke was 32 inches at 12 months, which was almost 6 months ago! 32x40 = 2800! I know most toddlers like to 'graze' and will eat more food if offered in small amounts throughout the day (which is what I am trying to do!!) The times he eats varies but most days it's about every 2 hours he's munching on something. I've tried giving him less for snack but then he just seems to be cranky because he's hungry! And I am trying super hard to make sure that what goes in his little body counts! Yes, I could give him 3 chocolate chip cookies and he'd go over his limit but that's not the nutrition he needs! He, as you can see, loves his fruits! He was offered peas twice today but only ate them at supper time. He does get some veggies in his juice... it's V8 Fusion... but don't tell him! I'm not sure how good he's eating.. but I think if I only ate what he eats I'm sure I'd lose some weight!!

Below is the Oatmeal Apple Raisin Bar recipe (but I will warn you.. they aren't that good! Very bland and not sweet at all!) But who knows there may be some mom out there who is like me and wants to give their kids something healthy! They are about 120 calories each. Next time I may add chopped walnuts to up the calorie intake for him. Oh and the recipe that I adapted them from says they freeze well.

Oatmeal Apple Raisin Bar
1 1/2 c quick rolled oats
1/4 c whole wheat flour
4 mini boxes of raisins
1/4 c orange juice
1 TBS honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c apples, shredded

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients together. Let set for 10 minutes. Spread mixture into an 8x8 baking dish that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is slightly brown. Cut into 12 bars while still warm.

Like I said, Luke liked them, and that's what counts! He even called them a cookie... that just goes to show that the poor child doesn't get real cookies very often! And while I'm on the subject.. I would like to add that at times, in my short span of motherhood, have felt the need to defend myself for feeding my child healthy foods.. and more so for not feeding my child unhealthy foods. But recently I was thinking about it and thought to myself, "How ridiculous Crystal!! You are his mother and responsible for him! If someone thinks you're crazy for being careful about what he eats (i.e.: taking good care of him} then who cares!" I should not have to defend why my son has never eaten a sucker (ok, so he has licked one on 2 different occasions but was never allowed to finish even half of it!), has only had ice cream twice, has never had a pop tart or a fruit loop! Yes, I am the mother who made low sugar carrot cake cupcakes on his birthday! I am the mother who gave her son 'dessert' baby food for Easter (he was only 10 months old!). My child is not suffering, I promise. His daddy even gave him a few M&M's the other night! Ok, just had to get that out.
BTW, I'm not trying to offend anyone who gives their children pop tarts or the like. Seriously!

Monday, November 26, 2007

For Just One Week...

I'm vowing to NOT eat sweets for one week. Seriously. I was doing so well until Thanksgiving! I had even lost a whole pound over the first part of November. But I'm sure that was totally bombed over the pumpkin pie and gravy that I ate (not together mind you, although it might be good.. on second thought.. nah....).
Ok, wish me luck. I have a sweet tooth the size of.. well, we won't even go there.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Is over.. :-(
I really intended to do a "What I am Thankful For" post Wednesday, but it just didn't happen! We were too busy! That's not really a bad thing though.. it just meant that we had a BIG Thanksgiving to get ready for! We had a great time with family over the span of yesterday and today... and of course we ate too much. But it wouldn't really be Thanksgiving without a little gluttony!
I am so thankful for so many things... but I think I will save that post for another day. I really try to make everyday Thanksgiving.

Psalm 100:4~"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."

Luke did get to meet Santa tonight and let me just say that it was not a warm and fuzzy meeting. Luke was terrified. I guess attempting to go to the mall and sit in Santa's lap is out of the question. I am not a fan of making a scene... and I'm afraid if I tried that, we would definitely have a scene!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving... we sure did! Oh, and my pumpkin pie was fabulous! ;-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

~YUM~ Recipe and menu (sort of)..

Since this week is Thanksgiving week there isn't much on the menu. We will be having dinner with family a few times and I'm sure will have leftovers as well to take home. Last week was a busy one so I just now made the last 'meal' from last weeks menu. I will post the recipe at the bottom. So here is our 'menu' minus Thanksgiving.

~ Shrimp Scampi over thin spaghetti, salad (seriously, this sounds fancier than it really is- it's Contessa Shrimp Scampi, some boiled noodles and salad in a bag. Woo Hoo!)
~ Frozen Pizza (another really difficult dinner)
~Tuna Salad Sandwiches (man, I'm outdoing myself this week), baby carrots w/ ranch dressing

Ok, so it's nothing spectacular, but it's easy! And that's what I'm looking for this week. I'm not actually doing a lot of cooking, not at my house anyway {I'll be helping my mom Friday}.. but just the hopping from house to house alone will be enough! Not complaining.. just saying I will probably have no desire to cook anything fancy schmancy.

The only thing I was actually requested to make this week was a pumpkin pie. And I don't even really like pumpkin pie. I'd much rather have a Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake (minus the nutmeg). My hubby loves pumpkin pie though.. and my mom has been craving one.. so that is what I will make. If I put enough whip cream on top it will probably be good. :) I'm also doing yeast rolls.. but really, I haven't even come close to attempting any kind of bread making... so they are frozen. I'll put bread making on my 'to-do' list. Seriously, I would love to know how.. The rest I will just be helping my mom with Friday. I know she's doing chicken & dressing, broccoli casserole, carrot souffle, something with sweet potatoes and creamed corn. I honestly don't have a clue what kind of meat we're having.. turkey or ham? Who knows... Anyway, here is the Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe that I made last night. So YUMMY and easy!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken, 6 servings

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 & 1/2 cups ketchup
3 TBSP brown sugar
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients for the sauce in the crock pot. Add the chicken and coat it well with the sauce. Cook on High 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours or until chicken is fully cooked all the way through. (I halved the recipe and cooked 3 chicken breast that were still partially frozen when I put them in. I cooked them 2 hours on high and then one on low and they were perfect. When we were about ready to eat, I took the chicken out and covered it with foil and then put the sauce in a uncovered pan to thicken. I just turned it on med low for about 15 minutes and stirred it often. The BBQ sauce is soo yummy.. kind of Asian inspired w/ the soy sauce & so good!)

We had the chicken with green beans (I buy frozen whole green beans and throw them in a pan w/ a little olive oil and a chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Let them cook until tender but still a little crisp!) and roasted potatoes.


Tomorrow is flu shot day. Yay. I could go on about the flu.. because I have actually had it.. Not just 'Oh, I've got some kind of flu' or 'Yeah, I've got the flu (when they have no real flu symptoms).' [seriously, you have no idea how much that gets on my nerves since I have actually had the real deal]... I was 'one of the lucky ones' as my doctor put it in March of this year, technically after flu season was over, to get the real FLU, Influenza Type A! I got tested and it was positive. I have never been so sick in my life! So, we are getting the flu shot tomorrow.. R has already had one so Luke and I are getting ours tomorrow. Ok, so I know there are worse things out there than influenza.. but thankfully (and I say that with all sincerity) in my life I haven't experienced them. I should get off this little soapbox of mine.. but just be warned.. don't tell me you have the flu.. unless you REALLY have the flu.. and if you do, it better be over the phone and NOT in person. Go get a flu shot! Sorry for the rant.. this ends my public service announcement.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I truly believe that God desires for His children to be happy, joyful and blessed. Let's not confuse this God-given joy with worldly happiness. Worldly happiness often involves money, fame, fortune, great career, material things, status, and even health. Don't get me wrong, many people who have these things are happy and sadly don't see their need for God because they feel they already 'have it all'. The only problem with that is they don't see that without God they will face eternal hell. (this is one reason why it is so dangerous to preach and teach 'health, wealth and prosperity') The Bible says in Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal."
As you can see there is a huge difference between the joy that God gives and what the world thinks 'joy' is. As I have said before being a Christian doesn't mean instant happiness and success. It doesn't mean bad things never happen. Things will not be perfect and rosy. Just a look at Jesus' followers in the Bible proves that because many of them were persecuted and martyred for their faith. Now.. joy and peace handed down from the Creator Himself....

Where do we get this joy and peace that "surpasses all understanding"? From putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Romans 15:13 says- "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." In our world today there isn't much hope without Jesus. In fact, if you know God's Word, there isn't any hope at all without Jesus. But with Jesus Christ we can 'abound {overflow} with hope'! And did you notice the word all in front of joy! What a powerful, yet so tiny, 3 letter word! Don't you just love it when you notice something like that for the first time!

There are so many people out there hurting. They feel like all hope is gone, they have no where to turn. They may have even thought God might be the answer but because of false truths that are being taught in so many churches they think that even that is a lost cause. Their dreams have been crushed along life's road and now they are just making it.. just getting by. How my heart breaks for those who do not have the joy of knowing Jesus Christ! I read something today out of my Breaking Free book by Beth Moore (which really inspired this whole thought process) that really spoke to me. Here is an excerpt out of Chapter 27 ~ To Life Happily Ever After:

"God surpasses our dreams when we reach past our personal plans and agendas to
grab the hand of Christ and walk the path He has chosen for us. He is obligated
to keep us dissatisfied until we come to Him and His plan for complete

Wow! That is the key! We forsake our plans and cling to Him. It's complete dependence on Him. Oh, but how we love our independence!! "I can do it all on my own, I don't need help!" I want to be so dependant on Him and that I can't move a step without His help! This is the key to joy! This is the key to hope everlasting and an abundance of peace, peace like a river!

I'd like to close out this little post with some of the key verses that Beth (notice how I act like she's my BFF) uses throughout this whole book.

Isaiah 61:1-3 - “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

I love the last verse! Jesus came to give so much to us if we would just take it! Comfort, beauty, joy, a garment of praise, so that we may be called 'trees of righteousness'.. planted by God himself for His glory! The *true* Christian life is not sad or boring! It's abundant and joyful, even in the midst of strife and pain there is true joy and peace! And that joy and peace is eternal!

Do you know Him?
I would love to introduce you to Him.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ramblings... and my little shoe lover!

It's late.. so I may ramble..
I've been learning a lot of things lately.. here are some of them..

  • Target sells Harry and David, Dark Chocolate Covered Bing Cherries!! They are expensive.. but so good.
  • My son is obsessed with shoes.. his shoes, my shoes, R's shoes... He wants to put them on as soon as he wakes up, even before he is out of his pajama's. His favorites are definitely the black rain boots we bought to go with his fireman Halloween costume. (see picture below)

  • I am too old to stay up past 12AM.

  • I will never undertand why my husband likes/wants to fold his t-shirts in a perfect square instead of just folding them normally. Who has the time to do that?

  • Putting your heart and efforts into something only to find that no one is really interested can be discouraging. This is when I just have to trust that God will work it all out.

  • If you have to think twice about whether or not the 'salad in a bag' is still good.. don't eat it!

  • True self-worth and perfect love can only come from God. People, even those close to you, will let you down. They are only human, so go easy on them! Praise God for His unfailing love!
Song of Songs 2:4 ~ "His banner over me is love."

My sweet love and his favorite shoes...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I AM ~ Lesson Six

I AM ~ Lesson 6 "West Side of the Wilderness"

This week's study was great! I thank God for the 'burning bush' moments in my life. Yet, I also thank Him for the times I've had to be 'decidedly content'! Every day is a journey toward greater closeness and likeness to the Father.
If' you'd like to read the lesson from today please go here. The "I AM" link on the side bar of my blog will take you to the entire study. Please check it out!

Here are this weeks questions:

1. How current is your God? Is he up to date on all your issues or do you have old hurts you still hold behind your back? I don't think I have 'old hurts'. Now, of course I still deal with some things from my past, mainly just attitudes I have about myself, but God is continuously working on me in that area. I have to remember that my worth is in what He thinks of me! I am constantly bringing things to Him and letting Him be present/current in my everyday life.

2. Has the enemy ever told you there are situations that are 'old news' that are better left stuffed down? Or perhaps because they were so long ago they can't possibly be affecting you now? Oh yes, things like to creep up on me! All of a sudden something pops into my head that I haven't thought about in years. I have to chose to either let it bother me or just bring it to the Lord and let Him handle it.

3. In the matter of established authority, does God truly reign in your life? Where are you when He calls your name? He does truly reign in my life! I desire to say "Here I am!" when He calls! I want to be listening closely to hear my name!

4. Do you ever feel God has forgotten you in your 'west side of the wilderness'? Sometimes being a stay at home mom I kind of feel like I'm always in the wilderness alone :-) ! I think it's important to remember that if we daily follow in His footsteps and chose to do His will, we are doing something great in the eye's of God. I know I have been at places where I felt like God was a billion miles away, but I can always see Him when I look back at the situation. Those are usually times of growth and change and sometimes it takes that to draw us closer to Him.

5. Have you ever experienced a time of cleansing where God has illuminated and rejuvenated you? If not, do you find you are in need of this now? Yes! And wow aren't those times awesome! I love how God shows up and out at just the right time. He knows what we need and when we need it. It's breathtaking to be in the presence of the Lord and truly experience it!

Monday, November 12, 2007

One crazy night...

One thing that I have learned about my son: he likes to be at home... especially when he is sick. I don't blame him though... when I'm sick, home is the only place I want to be. Here are the ramblings of our crazy night.

R had a youth event planned for last night. It was a conference sort of thing so I had planned a few weeks ago to go spend the night w/ my parents. My beautician lives an hour away so I have to plan everything out to get my hair done. So today being a holiday, my mom was off from work and she could watch Luke while I went and got my hair 'did'. Well, everything was looking up until Luke started running a fever Friday. No biggy.. maybe it's just a little virus and will be gone in no time... Saturday... fevers... Sunday... fevers... Despite better judgement, I went ahead to my mom's Sunday afternoon. I knew that R would be home late so I figured that I'd just go to my moms, spend the night and then she could go w/ me the next day to take Luke to the Dr. I do not 'do' Dr's visits alone. I did that one time and vowed to never do it again! I called my hair dresser and canceled... dark roots for a few more weeks, I guess. Like I said, he had been running a 102-103 fever since Friday. Tylenol and ibuprofen had been keeping it down and he had been acting like his normal self... playing, etc. He'd even been sleeping great. Friday and Sat. night I would hear him wake up.. but not cry... I'd go to check on him and of course he was burning up w/ fever so I'd give him something to get it back down and then rock him until I felt his temperature come back to normal. So, I figured Sunday night would be no different.
Boy, was I wrong. Luke was in the bed around 9pm... which is a little later than normal. I watched a little TV w/ my mom and then got ready for bed around 10:30. At about 10:45pm, I laid down and got out my Bible and Breaking Free book to do some reading. Seriously, at that moment, the crying started. I go check on him... he has no fever at all but my poor baby can't breath out of his nose! Bless his little heart! He was soo frustrated because he couldn't breath (and suck his paci at the same time)! My mom tried to help.. but my little man wanted his mommy! He was pitiful! Mom's got one of the vaporizers w/ the vapor stuff in it so we tried that (along with the vapor rub already on his chest).. but it didn't work.
He just cried.. and cried some more...
Let's watch a little tv.. didn't work.. Let's walk around the house.. didn't work... Let's drink some juice.. didn't work... More crying..
He was not consolable at all.
My dad, who had to get up the next morning at 4:30am, drove to WalMart to get him some Dimetapp. Yes, I'm a terrible mother.. I didn't bring it with me.. but then again, I hadn't needed it previously.
More crying.. I realized then that he was NOT going to go to bed. So, I made the decision at 12AM...
We're going home.
Me- "Luke, do you want to go home?"
Luke(in his best and sweetest 17 month old language)- "ome? ome?"
Me- "Yes, baby. We're going home."
Thankfully, since home is an hour away my mom decided to go with us. We loaded everything up as quick as possible and headed out. Seriously, as soon as we were out the door (while Luke repeated "ome, ome!") the crying stopped. He was definitely ready to go home.
About 30 minutes into the ride, Luke was out like a light... snoring, but completely out. He was soaking wet with sweat when we finally got home (around 1:15 am)... because his fever had broken. I laid him down in his bed. He slept like a baby until 9am!!
Note to self- never EVER go anywhere when Luke is sick.

I called the Dr at 8:30 am (when they open)... left a message and waited. Luckily, when Luke got up he didn't have a fever, which was great since that hadn't happened in 3 mornings. The nurse finally called me back at 2pm (GRRRR... I won't even get into that). She said that it was a good sign that his fever had gone down... and to keep him hydrated... and said that they would call him in something to help his congestion. I'm not sure it's working though because he still sounded VERY congested when I laid him down tonight. Truthfully, I was relieved that she didn't think he needed to come in. I despise the Dr's office... and I really feel like he's getting better. He did run a low fever tonight of 100 but, like I said, it hasn't been that low without medication for 3 days.

My Luke, he definitely knows what he wants, when he wants it! It's just horrible when he's sick! I feel so helpless when I can't 'fix' it! Luckily, going home was one thing I could do! I'm praying that was the worst of it and he will be better soon!
Speaking of all of this. It's 10PM and who knows what tonight may be like.

Missing Teen

UPDATED- Benjamin Stanford's body was found on Tuesday, November 13th in Georgia. Please keep this family lifted up in your prayers!

Missing teen from a high school near where I grew up. Just wanting to help get the word out. Pray for this family and young man.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

~YUM~ Recipe and Menu

Yes, this is a very late menu. But I had some 'serious' posts this week that were top priority. We've actually already had chili and the skillet sausage pasta. Luke has been sick so I haven't cooked in 2 days! The other 2 recipes will just carry over this week. I'll try and post the recipe for the sausage and pasta because it is SOO yummy. Look for it later!

We have had another busy week so I only planned 4 meals and luckily one was already made and in the freezer! This weeks menu:

Chili (from last week that I froze)
Taco Pie, Black Beans, Salad**
Skillet Sausage and Pasta, Salad
Crock pot BBQ Chicken, green beans, baked potatoes

The Taco Pie is an adapted recipe from Menus4Moms. I'm using beef instead of chicken. I thought it would be a good way to use up the rest of the flour tortillas I have left over from the quesadillas.We had quesadillas last week and they were yummy and so easy. Here is the way I do them:

1 lb chicken cutlets (about 4)
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4-6 flour tortillas
1/3 c water
extra virgin olive oil
shredded cheese (I used the Mexican blend)
sour cream

Sprinkle 1/2 of taco seasoning (1/4 of a packet) onto chicken (I also added some ground red pepper for some heat to the seasoning mix). On medium heat cook chicken in about a 1/2 Tbsp of oil. (You can use regular chicken breast but I love the cutlets because they cook so quick) Let brown on both sides and cook through, about 3-5 minutes per side for the cutlets. Remove from pan onto a plate to 'rest'. Wipe up any bits in the pan because they tend to burn. Add another 1/2 Tbsp of oil to the pan and saute onions and bell peppers on med heat until they are soft, about 10 minutes. A few minutes into the onion/pepper cooking use a fork and knife to shred the chicken. I shredded 3 cutlets b/c that was perfect for 4 quesadillas and saved one for a later lunch (you could use them all and get 6 out of it, instead of 4!). Add shredded chicken, remainder of seasoning and 1/3 c water to onion mixture. Cook for about 5 min on med-low. Remove from pan to a bowl and wipe down skillet again. Turn heat up to medium. Spray with cooking spray (or use a little oil). Place one tortilla in pan. Layer chicken mixture, salsa, and cheese on 1/2 of the tortilla. Fold over the other side to make a half moon shape. Let that side brown and then flip to the other side. You could layer the whole tortilla and just put another tortilla on top but this way is easier to flip. As you take them out of the pan cover with foil to keep warm. Serve w/ more salsa or sour cream. YUM!
Usually, R and I eat one half moon each so there are 2 left over for the next day. If you eat them the next day for left overs, it's best that you heat them in the oven because the tortilla does get kind of mushy. They crisp up on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven after about 15 minutes. Luke had a cheese quesadilla!

I believe....

I believe:

I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

I believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the same person; all three are one and the same.

I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin.

I believe that Jesus lived a perfect life and never sinned.

I believe that Jesus died on a cross and was buried in a tomb.

I believe that after 3 days, Jesus rose again and is alive today.

I believe there is a literal heaven.

I believe there is a literal hell.

I believe that the Bible is God's Holy Word. It is infallible, inherent, & perfect in every way. There are no mistakes.

I believe that we (humans) are born sinners.

I believe that we are all destined for hell because of our sin.

I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven.

I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross as payment for the sin debt of those who would believe in Him as Savior.

I believe that you must repent and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be saved from an eternal hell.

I believe that we are saved by God's grace and not works.

I believe that salvation is a work of God, not man.

I believe that there will be a supernatural working of the Holy Spirit in every true conversion.

I believe that baptism is the first step of obedience after coming to Christ; baptism does not save you.

I believe that we are called by God to come to salvation.

I believe that God is sovereign.

I believe that Jesus died for all sins and 'whosoever believeth' may come to him. Salvation is not for some, but for all. (John 3:16)

I believe that true Christians will have a style of life that lines up with God's Word.

I believe that no one is perfect, except Christ.

I believe that true Christians will strive to live a pure and holy life, which doesn't look anything like how the world lives.

I believe that true Christians will have a burden for the lost and will desire to share their faith with others.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

As promised... a much needed second half..

As promised in my previous post, I want to speak about sharing the gospel with lost people without using the 'sinners prayer'. I've been discouraged by my husbands 'blog' responses (not the responses on my blog.. but ones from his) because I'm afraid there are many who do not understand where we are coming from. I think that maybe part of the reason is because the blog did not explain things fully and clearly enough. My sweet husband truly has a heart that desires to honor God with every ounce of his being. I know this because I know him. It hurts me that someone might think that he is misrepresenting the gospel message and changed everything about the way he believes. That is just not the case. He has a deep burden for lost people. He faithfully goes out and shares the gospel of Jesus. He faithfully urges men to repent in and out of the pulpit and put their faith & trust in Jesus Christ. He (nor I) definitely do not have the attitude of 'we'll just sit back and do nothing and let God do it'.... and leave people hanging without an answer. That is foolish and is not what we believe. Christians should be compelled to share their faith. It should be a desire to share. A Christian who does not share is disobedient. Sharing the gospel is not just telling the story of Christ but telling others how they can know Christ as well. I believe that Christ died for the whole world(John 3:16-17), so we should do our best to tell everyone we can.
There are many different programs out there that 'help' you share your faith. The one we are currently going through is the Way of the Master. The reason why I like it is because it uses the Law (10 commandments) to point out sin in a lost person's life. Until a person realizes they are a sinner and have broken God's Law they cannot be saved. After a person has been shown their sin and realized that God cannot let their sin go unpunished, then the good news of the gospel comes. What did God do so that we don't have to spend eternity in hell? He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins on the cross. He paid our sin debt. He took our place. We must show them that repentance and turning from sin is the first step in salvation. Like I have said before, a lost person must be broken (humbled) over their sin with godly sorrow (not worldly sorrow- 2 Cor. 7:10) to be saved. James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Explain that when we confess our sins, we will be forgiven (1 John 1:9). Secondly, a lost person must be shown that salvation comes by putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior of their life, not just 'believing' in Him; for even the demons believe (James 2:19). It's about surrendering your life to Christ.
Now, what a joy it is when after going through that you have someone who wants to pray and receive salvation! It's an amazing thing when God begins the supernatural work of salvation in someones life! It is definitely a work of God! What do you do then if you don't want to go through the 'repeat after me' type thing? Simply say, "You can pray right now! Confess your sins to God and turn from them. Tell God you are placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior of your life. Surrender your heart to Jesus. " Allow them to pray and then pray for them! Make sure they have a Bible and encourage them to read it & obey it (maybe suggest them to start in 1 John). Invite them to church or encourage them to get involved in a Bible-believing, Christ-centered church. And of course rejoice!!
Not everyone will pray to receive Christ when you share. Sometimes all you can do is share and let the Holy Spirit continue to work.... I believe that sometimes God has to really deal with people about their sin to get them to a place of repentance. Matthew 7:14 talks about entering the 'narrow' gate and that 'difficult is the way which leads to life'. That's why it's so important to give them the tools to know how to come to Christ and then grow in Christ. You never know who might walk away lost but and the Holy Spirit begins to deal with them when their head hits the pillow that night. I, myself repented and trusted in Jesus for salvation in my own bed... just me and God. You can read about it here.
Do I always share my faith in the same exact way? No, not exactly.. I may add illustrations or parts of my own personal testimony. It's important to let the Holy Spirit guide you in that. But the gospel never changes..
So often I fail in sharing my faith but I'm praying for a stronger burden for the lost. I pray for boldness.

Matthew 28:28-20- "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Where is the sinner's prayer?

Please make sure you read the UPDATE at the bottom of this post.

No, this is not a recipe or cute story about my son... believe me there will be enough of those to come. This is more important than that. Please read... this subject has become a huge burden on my heart and the heart of my husband. We want you to know...

Below is a blog entry that my husband posted on his myspace page. Over the past few months God has completely changed the way we look at the gospel message and the way the gospel is shared. No, the gospel hasn't changed, it never changes! Sadly though, the way the gospel is presented has changed. We truly believe that the reason there are so many in the world claiming 'Christianity' but living a life so completely opposite of Scripture is because of how watered down and 'easy' coming to Christ has become in the modern evangelical church. It's not Biblical and it's not the way Jesus did it.

More Biblical Evidence against the use of the Sinners Prayer

My question is for anyone who can answer (with a Biblical response) where the sinners prayer is found in the Bible. By no response, I am to assume you have no answer. In the Gospel of Mark the 10th chapter verses 17 -22, we see Jesus' encounter with the rich young ruler. This rich man comes to Jesus asking a question that many in the church have asked at one time in their life, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus does something Biblical, shocking, I know. Jesus takes the man through the commandments. When Jesus was finished the man said "I've kept all these from my youth". Jesus then says "One thing you lack, go and sell all you have and give it to the poor". Then the Bible says this man went away sad, because he had great possessions. Let's fast forward 2000 or so years into the future and put this same scenario into most modern day Baptist churches (I'm Baptist so I can say this). What would happen if you have this same man come to the front during the invitation? The conversation would go something like this:

Pastor- "Sir do you believe Jesus is who He says He is?
Man- "Yes."
Pastor- "Do you believe He died on the cross?"
Man- "Yes I do."
Pastor- "Do you want to invite Jesus to be the Lord of your life?"
Man- "Yes."
Pastor- "Well say this prayer and mean it with all your heart....".

Who is wrong here? I can assure you of one thing, it's not Jesus. How come Jesus did things completely different than it is done today, yet today we call what is done in most modern evangelical churches His work? When God is nowhere near the place because of the hypocrisy that is involved in church today.The Bible does speak of this "modern day evangelism" method. In 2 Timothy 4:3-4. "For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables." Do you know what is so scary about this passage? These "fables" sound like truth, because they will be said by a preacher in "Jesus' name". In closing I pray that if you go to church and you hear the 'say this prayer' gospel, you would question where that comes from? I believe that true Christians want to follow God's way and not mans. Seek the truth out.

By the way, you can't use Romans 10:9-10 ( 'that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation' ) as your scripture to support the sinners prayer. Paul is talking to the church in Rome, a group of believers who were being persecuted for their belief in Christ, not lost people. It goes like this: back in AD 60 when the book of Romans was written, the custom of that day was for the Roman citizens to sprinkle incense on an altar and say 'Caesar is Lord'. If you didn't say that Caesar was Lord than you were killed. A Christian couldn't do that because only Jesus is Lord, saying otherwise would have been (and still is today) a sin. Paul was saying "Jesus is Lord, even if it cost you your life". Also Revelation 3:20 ( 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.' ) isn't talking to lost people either. John is speaking about the church at Laodicaia, the "Lukewarm Church". Jesus is wanting the church to Let Him come in. Jesus isn't knocking on a lost person's heart asking if He can be Lord. HE ALREADY IS LORD, HE DOESN'T NEED YOUR PERMISSION!!!! Jesus wouldn't knock on the door, He would knock the door down. Don't make Jesus out to be a beggar, He is King of King and Lord of Lords.

So, how do you share your faith or lead someone to the Lord without the sinners prayer? Well, I'm glad you asked. I'll go into more detail about that later. Until then check this out.

I've got a Walk Away the Pounds DVD calling my name...

Updated: So, it seems, that maybe I should clarify a few things. Please here my heart in saying that I (we) am in no way saying that everyone who has said a sinners prayer is lost. That would be ridiculous! There are tons of people who God was dealing with and they meant every word of that prayer. I absolutely believe that God supernaturally saved them! I've just recently come to realize that the modern methods of reaching lost people and presenting the gospel is not the Biblical way that Jesus did it. I truly believe that if the gospel was shared the way Jesus shared it there would be more *true* conversions. Should we not follow in Christ's footsteps in every way possible? This can be a hard thing to swallow... I mean of all people, I know! Like I said previously, this is something new to me as well. With all my heart I never want to lead people astray in the way I live or share Christ. I will share something personally from my life about this and then I will leave it alone. Before all of this "sinner's prayer" stuff came about in our lives I began to deal with this on my own... here it is:

When R and I first came to our current church he had a big youth night planned as his first youth service. It was awesome. There was about 40-50 students there. We were blown away. Well, at the invitation time several students came forward. I took 3 girls with me to council with. I went through the gospel and then got to the sinners prayer part and led all three of them in the sinners prayer. After the service I was talking to R and said, "I am so uncomfortable in leading someone in a sinners prayer. Not because I can't do it.. or can't share the gospel.. just because it doesn't seem right. I feel like they should say their own prayer. They don't need me to tell them what to say if they really want to get saved." All of a sudden God just started revealing things to R and I about this and to our pastor as well. I just knew deep inside something wasn't quite right. When I hurt R's feelings I don't need someone to write me an apology and then go and recite it to him, why should we have to do that with God? When people are truly convicted and broken over there sin, repentance just comes naturally. I'm praying hard for the Holy Spirit to speak to hearts through this....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Baby and a King...

Guess what I did today? Got out a Christmas CD!!! I didn't really do it on purpose but I'll often look through my cd's while Luke is napping and play one while I clean up. So, today I did the same thing and came across the Christmas is Jesus CD from the Christmas program we did at the church where R and I met a few years ago. I LOVE this CD!!! (BTW, I just did a search and apparently you can't get it anywhere... had a few but that's it!) Luke and I were out this morning at Hobby Lobby and of course all of the Christmas decorations are out. I just thought it was fitting that I listen to some Christmas music! I turned it up loud enough that I could hear it over the running water at the sink and just had a great time! I'm sure this will not be my last Christmas post either.. I mean we have 48 days until the Big Day! All of the songs are awesome and really tell the gospel story... I mean the Christmas story is a BIG part of the gospel story! But as I began to sing, tears started to flow... I held it back as best as I could while I washed dishes but as I walked into the laundry room to put a wash rag in the dirty clothes I just couldn't hold it much longer. I just had to stop for a moment and Praise Him (and have a little crying spell too!)! I was just overflowing with adoration... I told myself how silly it was for me to try to hold back those tears! Why should I not take the time to just cry and thank Jesus Christ for coming to this world to save me! I wrote not too long ago about how Jesus humbly came to this earth to reach us.. but I don't think most people really get it. And I know I will never totally get it until I meet Him in all His glory. Then, I will really know what He left to come to this earth.
The Christmas story.. it really is an amazing story. The God of heaven sent His Son. He came to earth as an infant to be my Deliverer. Can you imagine that baby in the manger. We all know how tiny and sweet newborns are... Can you see Mary as she looks her son over and counts His ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes (as all mothers do)? Can you imagine His little nose and rosy red cheeks. Mary's heart will want to burst with love as she wipes a tear from his tiny face. She'll wrap him up in a swaddling blanket and lay him down in a manger full of hay... Jesus Christ, a little baby. That precious little baby is a King.. the King of kings!

You are my King.
You are the Lamb.
Lion of Judah, the Seed of Abraham,
The Holy One, God's Only Son.
You are the King of who I am.
(Tanya Goodman and Michael Sykes)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Housewife Quote.. love it!

I came across this today and had to post it. So true...

"Whenever I get one of those questionnaires and they ask what is your profession, I always put down housewife. It’s an admirable profession, why apologize for it? You aren’t stupid because you’re a housewife. When you’re stirring the jam you can read Shakespeare." [from The Private World of Tasha Tudor]


I love vinegar!

One thing that I love... that I don't think I mentioned on my '26 Years' post is vinegar & baking soda. I absolutely love them! Besides the fact that you can cook/bake with them they are awesome to clean with! I mean vinegar is CHEAP... and I love cheap! Well, let me correct myself, I like to be frugal. That sounds so much better, doesn't it? You can buy a gigantic bottle of vinegar and a big box of baking soda for $5 and you can clean just about everything in your house with those 2 things. Not only are they cheap but they are sooo much healthier for you and your family! Let me tell you a quick story about how I came to realize this whole vinegar thing....

My son was probably around 7 months old. He was not quite crawling yet but he was getting close. I was doing my normal cleaning while he napped (which is what I should be doing now!). I was working on the hall bathroom. Well, I had just wiped down the toilet with some kind of spray (I can't remember if it was windex or clorox clean-up), my next step was to sprinkle the common green powdery stuff in the toilet and let it sit and do it's work. So, I did that and walked back to the laundry room to see what I needed to do there. After 5 or 10 minutes I went back to the bathroom ready to scrub and flush. Well, when I walked in I noticed a foggy, smoke like substance rising from the toilet bowl. I was immediately freaked out! I flushed the toilet, while holding my breath and ran out of the room. After the fan in the bathroom had ran for some time I went back in a wiped down the toilet with a wet wash cloth. What did I do next? Went straight to the computer and began looking up healthy cleaning alternatives!! I also looked up what can happen when things like I had in my cleaning supplies mixed and it can be serious, deathly serious! I just kept thinking, what if Luke had been up.. and was crawling.. you can never be too careful with that kind of thing!

I threw away tons of stuff after that day and went out and bought me a few spray bottles (they're like 0.99 cents!), vinegar and baking soda. Here are some of my everyday uses:

  • 1 spray bottle filled with half vinegar and half water. (I also later bought me a bottle of lemon essential oil and mix a few drops of it in the bottle when I mix it up. I got my oil from Florapathics. I got a sample of the lime essential oil too and it smells great!). I use this the most. It's great to clean counters (bath and kitchen), mirrors, windows/glass table tops and even mop the linoleum/tile with. I have a swiffer and instead of buying the expensive refills, I just spray my vinegar mix on the floor and mop with the swiffer. It works great.
  • 1 spray bottle with straight vinegar. This is great in the toilet, bath tub, cutting boards or mopping as well. I use straight vinegar to disinfect and help keep mold and mildew away. Here is a good article on how well straight vinegar disinfects. To clean the tub I sprinkle it with baking soda and spray on straight vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. Then to scrub it I mix in a little water from the faucet and it makes a paste w/ the baking soda. With the toilet I spray the bowl down w/ vinegar, especially under the rim and then come back and sprinkle w. baking soda... scrub, flush and your done! Straight vinegar also keeps mold from growing on your plastic shower liners. After I scrub the tub I spray the shower liner (and along the edge of the tub where it meets the tile and nasty stuff likes to grow) down w/ vinegar and just leave it. The smell of vinegar isn't the best but it disappears after a few hours of drying.
  • Add 1/2 c of vinegar to a load of towels at the rinse cycle to help get rid of any musty smells. You can also sprinkle baking soda on musty smelling clothes when you first put them on to wash to help get rid of odors.
  • I use vinegar to clean out Luke's cold mist humidifier. I add about 1/2 c vinegar plus water and shake, then wipe down the other parts with straight vinegar to help keep mildew and mold from growing.
  • If I'm out of lemons (by the way lemon juice is also a natural cleaner but I haven't actually tried anything with it yet) for the garbage disposal, I sprinkle some baking soda down the drain then flush it with a cup of vinegar. After the bubbles subside flush with hot water.. then cold water. Keeps nasty smells away!
Now, I will admit that I do keep a bottle of Clorox in my laundry room. It is used very rarely but I do have it. I also have a bottle of Clorox clean up under the kitchen sink for when I'm cooking with raw meats, especially chicken! I know vinegar kills bacteria.. but for some reason I just have to use Clorox on raw chicken juice. (Ew, I know) In my mind salmonella is like the plague.

You can do a Google search on vinegar/baking soda uses and it will give TONS of different uses. These are just my most commonly used ones.

Ok, speaking of cleaning... I have some of that to do!