What Happens When We Stop Believing

There is no saint or sinner alive that can say they have never encountered trials and tribulations of some sort in this thing called life. In fact, often it’s those very difficulties in life that encourages most to seek a higher being. What the devil meant for evil against me, God meant it for good. (Gen 50:20)  While scripture is truth, and God can never lie, when we are in the thick of a storm it is easy to doubt that situation will lead to any good on our behalf when it looks and feels like it is leading directly to our demise. Unfortunately, often when we as Christians find ourselves in a hopeless situation we make a mistake that only leads to more uncertainty and doubt in our lives: we let go of God’s unchanging hand.

Recently, I found myself in this very circumstance. Feeling drained, and spiritually beaten up from a failing marriage, and an unfulfilling professional life, I took a break from the Lord. That sounds ridiculous as I write it. In my mind and heart I knew I still loved the Lord whole heartedly, but I just wanted to try to figure my life out on my own. At least that’s what I told myself. In actuality, I got impatient with the Lord. Things did not work out the way I thought they should have and I became fustrated and faithless. Even though I felt I was doing my due diligence as a Christian, I still got screwed! The nerve of me huh! Like God owed me something, other than the breath of life He exalted to me daily. Perhaps this is the very reason why the Lord warns us against feeling sorry for ourselves for too long: (A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov. 17:22). That sorrow I felt for myself lead to bad decision making. The trick of the devil is that once we let go of our King’s hand, the guilt we feel becomes the reason why we continue to shun away from Him.

While facing this period, I found it impossible to pray for myself. I felt my line of communication with my maker was disconnected and out of service indefinitely. I knew I was living for the world and therefore left myself open to the harms of this world. I knew any minute tragedy could occur. Yet, there would be no one there to console me or encourage me. This too lead me to feel even more overwhelmed. However, the few times I did find the strength to muster up a prayer (mainly for my children), I found they would be answered immediately. Huh?! If I knew better then, I would know that those answered prayers were Gods way of telling me, “I’m still right here”.

One night that my spirit became extremely weary, and tears poured, I picked up the phone and called a friend. Someone that was more than just a friend actually, he was my spiritual partner for over a decade, my husband. Although we faced and continue to face divorce, he was the only person I knew I could call, and would somehow understand what I was facing. I cried to him and confessed my sins, and my inability to seek God in this time. He spoke to me in a honest, and truthful way that only he could. No sugar coating what I had been doing. And he told me something that I will never forget: “God is speaking to you through your conscience.” I guess those words stuck to me because I had felt that God had stopped communicating with me all together. Yet, that did make perfect sense since it was my heavy conscience that kept me up at night and made me feel bouts of guilt to remind me I was not living right! My husband promised to pray for me. Something I needed, since I was unable to pray for myself. While our conversation calmed my spirit enough that I could get some rest that night, the next day I awoke and not much had changed internally. I had went about my life, the same as I had been for the last few months, living for the world.

One morning after getting off work from an overnight shift, I put an almost empty bottle of water I had been sipping on through the night in my work bag to take it home. Continue reading What Happens When We Stop Believing

Easy Christmas Meal: Stuffed Turkey Rolls and Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Every year the holiday season comes along, and I kind of get anxiety. There is so much pressure, especially on parents to create magical and wonder-filled Christmas memories and traditions, packed with perfect gifts, beautiful décor, and delicious elaborate meals.  Well just as the anxiety kicks in, I kick it’s butt by reminding myself that Jesus is the reason for the season!

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.(Luke 2:4-7)

A delicious meal is expected on a day like Christmas. But it doesn’t have to be one that is labor intensive. That’s why this recipe of Stuffed Turkey Rolls with Fresh Cranberry Sauce on the side is so perfect. You still get to experience all the flavors of the holidays we all know and love, but without all the hours poured into it.

Stuffed Turkey Rolls:

Boil about 4 cups or so of water.

While the water is boiling:

Chop red and yellow bell peppers (green too if you’d like), medium white onion, and about a cup of baby bella mushrooms.

Jesus + Food :: Stuffings Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Sautee over medium heat, until veggies are soft and wilted.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

In a medium size bowl, add the stuffings and pour the boiled water over it (not all, use discretion) until it is a soft but firm texture. Add the wilted veggies.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey RollsJesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Now lay 2-3 pieces of turkey slices next to eachother, and a spoonful of the stuffing’s. Roll the turkey slices up. Repeat until all turkey slices are finished. ( Whatever left over stuffing you have can be served on the side)

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey RollsJesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Homemade gravy:

In the same pan that the veggies were sautéed in add a cup or two of chicken broth. Bring to a slow simmer. Add a few spoons of flour while stirring rapidly to avoid lumps. Let gravy thicken some (adding more flour will yield a thicker consistency) and finish with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Jesus + Food: Homemade Gravy

Before placing the rolls in the oven, pour the gravy on top of each roll.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Bake rolls for about 20-25 minutes on about 350 degrees.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Fresh Cranberry Sauce:

Jesus + Food: Fresh Cranberry Sauce

In a quart pan, add a pack of fresh cranberry, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup white or raw sugar. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring often until the cranberries are jellied. Cool before serving.

Jesus + Food: Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Serve with a dinner roll, like this one, and there you have it a simple, but delicious Christmas dinner. And the best part is after you prepare this meal, you still have time to reflect on this glorious day, and the true purpose behind it.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Ingredients:

Stuffed Turkey Rolls:

1-2 lbs of honey roasted turkey, sliced thin

2-3 boxes of stove top stuffing’s

1 Onion, 1 Red Pepper, 1 Yellow Pepper, and 1 cup babybella mushrooms

Homemade Gravy:

Chicken Broth

A few tablespoons of All Purpose flour

A pinch of salt and pepper

Cranberry Sauce:

A bag of fresh cranberries

1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup Orange Juice

1/2 cup sugar of choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple But Delicious: Spicy Jalapeño Tuna Melt

Some nights you just want a simple, but delicious non labor intensive meal.  Cooking a full meal every night can be overwhelming, and just impossible, when you are completely depleted.

However, we don’t have to throw caution all the way to the wind, on those lazy/tiring nights. Sandwiches are perfect solution to dinner options for these sort of nights.

Who doesn’t love a warm, and tasty tuna melt. Especially one peppered with jalapenos!!! The key to a good tuna melt for me is perfectly toasted bread.

Jesus + Food :: Tuna Melt

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
(Matthew 17:20)

For the Tuna:

o 4 Cans of your favorite brand tuna (preferably in water, not oil)
o ½ Mayo (with Olive Oil for healthier option)
o A dash of salt and pepper
o 1 onion diced very small
o 1 jalapeno (half diced, the other roughly chopped)
o A squeeze of lemon

Combine all these ingredients in a bowl.

Grab a couple slices of your favorite bread, and add a little butter to the outter sides.
Spread about 2 generous scoops of your tuna, then add a slice of American cheese, and a few pieces of the roughly chopped jalapenos.
On a small portable grill (like the Foreman Grill), place the sandwich, and grill until cheese is well melted, and bread is toasted golden brown.

Serve warm, with a side of chips or salad.
Jesus + Food :: Tuna Melt

Enjoy, and be blessed!!

Lemony Garlicky Crunchy Chicken

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. ( 1 Corinthians 13 )

Why fry, when you can bake. Chicken that is.

Sure nothing can ever replace the crispy crunchy factor that we get from good ole fried chicken, but lets be honest, fried chicken is not healthy. Not even a little bit. However, when in the mood for flavorful crispy chicken there is a way to have your chicken and eat it too.

This recipe for Lemony Garlicky Crunchy Chicken is full of flavor, and is rather finger licking good.

Preheat oven to 380 degrees

Start with about a pound of cleaned, skin on chicken thighs

The key item needed here is a elevation rack ( I use one like this) Place the rack on a baking sheet. This allows for the oils and water to release from the chicken, making it more crunchy as it cooks through.

Jesus + Food :: Lemony Garlicy Crunchy Chicken

Now it’s time to add your flavor to the chicken. I spice the skin and under the skin well, and also turn each thigh to spice the back as well.
Jesus + Food :: Lemony Garlicy Crunchy Chicken

The spices I use are pre made:

Jesus + Food :: Lemony Garlicy Crunchy Chicken

However, you can achieve the same with the following:

o 1 tablespoon sea salt

o 1 tablespoon garlic

o 1 teaspoon thyme

o 1 teaspoon Course Black Pepper

o A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Now dash a little olive on the chicken, and place in the oven

Bake for about 1 hour or until the skin is crispy and chicken is cooked all the way through.

Jesus + Food :: Lemony Garlicly Crunchy Chicken

I served mine with a side of broccoli, and baked sweet potatoes!

Enjoy, and be blessed!

Simple but Delicious: Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

I love oatmeal.

Not the bland, gooey stuff that most of us hated as children. No, I am talking about well spiced, properly sweetened and thoroughly cooked through oatmeal. The kind that almost makes you forget you’re even eating oatmeal.

Jesus + Food :: Cinnamon Raisin OatmealOn a cold winter morning before taking on a below zero icy freeze, loading up on a nice warm bowl of oatmeal is just what the doctor ordered. And speaking of doctors orders, oats, which are chuck filled of dietary fibers, have been known to lower high blood pressure, and reduce risk of heart attack. After all, the bible tells us of our bodies:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

And it is a blessing to start our daily glorification with a wholesome and delicious breakfast, like this Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal:

Jesus + Food :: Cinnamon Raisin OatmealIngredients:
• 2-4 cups fresh steel cut oats
• 1 cup almond milk
• ½ cup whole milk
• 1/3 cup evaporated milk
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon (or more if you like)
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• ½ -1 cup water
• Raw Brown Sugar (Amount based on your sweetness preference)
• ½ cup raisins

Instructions:

o In a quart pan, add all liquid ingredients (except evaporated milk)
o Add spices, and vanilla, then stir
o Add Steel Cut oatmeal
o Place over low-medium heat, stirring often
o After the Oats are softened and thickened lower heat
o Add evaporated milk
o Add sugar and raisins
o Allow to thicken a bit more
o Remove from heat
o Serve immediately, while warm.

Enjoy, and be blessed!

Jesus + Food :: Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,. (Exodus 23:25)

It’s that time of year again. Cold and flu season has arrived.

What soothes the winter blues better than a nice warm bowl of chicken soup. Especially homemade chicken soup. I live for a chicken soup made with fresh ingredients, and lots of love poured into it. From the carrots cubed to perfection, to the spices added to bring about just the right balance of zest to liven up the sickly taste buds. My recipe for chicken soup is one that I adapted from my mom and dad. This is the soup I would get as a youngster to bring my flu, or cold ridden body back to full functioning state. I have sort of made it my own by making a few simple adjustments. This is a hearty soup, and also freezes well if done properly. So make plenty and enjoy with a few crackers, rice, or alone.

Jesus + Food :: Chicken Soup for the Soul

Ingredients:
Continue reading Chicken Soup for the Soul