How To Build a Strong Prayer Life

What is your pray life looking like?

That is an important question, in this day and age that we live in. There are a million awful things occurring around us daily, and the question begs, how do we survive any of it, without a strong prayer life?!

We don’t.

Constant communication with the Lord is the only way to see our way through. But it’s not enough to be in constant communication with the Lord, what’s more important is to be in meaningful communication with the Lord. Building a strong prayer life to me, entails understanding that I am not just talking to the Lord, but that He is also talking back; and being present in mind to quiet myself enough to listen/feel for His words.

Personally, I am in a place in which I am trying my best to build a strong prayer life. Along the way, I’ve figured out some key factors that may help someone else on a similar path:

  1. Schedule your time with the Lord: We schedule everything else in life; classes, work, activities, and more. However, our most important daily appointment is with the Lord Himself. Honor that time you have scheduled for you and your Master, and protect it.
  2.  Timing is everything: My heart tends to be more full in the morning, my mind tends to be clear in the morning, and my inner peace tends to surface most in the a.m hours. Therefore, I try to schedule my time with the Lord around that time.
  3. Find your position:  I like most, have knelled to pray since I have been praying. I still do, but I also find peace in sitting and talking to the Lord with my arms extended out and turned up, ready to receive the Lords peace. That position, makes me feel like a well, ready to receive the flow of abundance.
  4. Clear your head by speaking the issues out loud: I like to think of prayer as a moment to release all my trash. So often we find it hard to pray because we have too much chatter going on in our minds. Speak to the Lord out loud about those issues, just so we can purge them from our minds, and come forth to the Lord with a clear mind. A cluttered mind will not hear the Lord. Therefore, release yourself of those thoughts, and put yourself in a position to hear with your heart the words of the Lord.
  5. Approach with a thankful heart. We all have problems. And a lot of times problems brings us to prayer. However, that doesn’t mean we must allow those problems to overshadow our willingness to be thankful and grateful for all things. Therefore, find time in your prayer life to extend a heartfelt thank you to your Father. There is always something to be thankful for.
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How To Harness Peace Amid Turmoil

Sometimes life can be over bearing. All that can go wrong, usually goes wrong all at once. It can be too much for any one person to take on.  It is in these times that we need Jesus the most. However, it is also at these times, that we may lose sight of our way and fall wayward. In the midst of turmoil there are some very specific, yet simple things that we can all do to ensure we hold on to our peace, despite the chaos

  1. Remember, this too shall past. Keep in mind, although you may feel like you’re facing a new thing,  this is not your first rodeo. You have gone through worst, and survived. What makes you think this is any different?
  2.  If He did it before, He’ll do it again. Same God right now, same God back then!! God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His ability does not shrink, or lessen. Therefore, the mountain you face is no more complicated a task for Him than any other thing you have experienced.
  3.  God is not a one time trick pony show. He is the beginning, the middle and the end. He has the power to turn our unfortunate circumstances into a blessing in a matter of seconds.
  4.  Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Scripture never lies. Worrying ourselves sick through the night is never going to bring resolve or peace to our circumstances. So rest, quiet your thoughts, and reawaken with a renewed spirit and energy.
  5.  There is no testimony without a test. Know this, you are not going through this season for no reason! There is a greater purpose that will be realized. You just gotta make it thru the storm. Just remember when you see yourself to the other side, share your story, as a reminder to others in the thick of their own storm.
  6.  Embrace the mess. Our trials and tribulations teach us more than our victories and triumphs do. We rarely recall the win, but always recall the feeling of failure. There a reason for that. Those failures are bookmarks of our lives of a time when we had growing pains!
  7.  Mediate on your mission. Mediation is a relaxing mental exercise. Purging the thoughts that afflict us during meditation can bring light to our dark situation.
  8.  Have Godfidence. Know you serve a mighty God. Don’t limit Him based on your limited faith, or wavering self confidence to overcome your issues. Your hands may be tied, you may be down to your last, you may not have a fight left, but remember- God is still GOD!!!
  9.  Hold on to your joy. I believe nothing gives the Lord more joy, than to see us smiling, and being kind to our fellow man, despite what we may be facing.
  10.  Pray and  Be still.  When you have done all you can do to fix it, prayed all you can pray, just sit, be still and wait on the Lord.

 

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Motivation Monday: When God is taking too long…..

God's Perfect Timing

 

What is a dream, but a promise from the Lord?

A great quote I read the other day sums up the human experience on dreaming so very keenly:

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – The Alchemist

One of the most useful skills that the Lord equipped His children with, in  my opinion was the ability to look into our selves and formulate dreams, hopes and aspirations. All of which, if properly motivated, bring us closer to God. It is through our strong desires, the things that tug at our heartstrings that bring us closer to not only God, but also God’s promise.

After all, that is the point of it all isn’t it?

When I say get closer to God, I don’t mean that in the physical sense (although some may have that privilege), I however, am referring to that sweet spot in life, in which we are in alignment to our maker, and feel His presence and peace within us. That undeniable feeling that you’re doing exactly what you’re suppose to do, with this gift called life.

Yes, I believe that awesome feeling of fulfillment and utter contention is God manifested into our spirit.

Dreaming, hoping and aspiring in life is a direct lifeline of life itself. In times of doubt the hope of something better, can be a life saver. However, there is also that part of us that needs validation that our dreams are not just wishful thinking. We need answers, we need to see it. And fast.

What happens when we try to rush God’s hand? What happens when we try to get God on our timing instead of conforming and adjusting to His beautiful timing?

In summation, we fail.

There is no such thing as God taking too long. God’s timing is always perfect. The key is in what we do while in wait.  A dream planted in our hearts by the hand of the Lord, will never wither and die unless we are careless keepers of that dream. Being in constant communication with the Lord, through prayer and meditation, will ensure we are taking the right measures to realize our dreams and His promise. Also, having enough faith to know just as Abraham did that once a promise is spoken from the Lord, mountains will move (remember this) to see that promise come to light.

It doesn’t matter what stands in the way, all that matters is that God has undoubtedly already made a way!

 

Be blessed dreamers.

 

 

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Dinner: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

What feeds your spirit?

Nature feeds mine. Basking in God’s creation always rejuvenates my spirit, and reawakens the child like being within me.

I’ve  always been inspired and intrigued by the beauty that surrounds us here on earth. Often, I think if God made it so our natural eye can capture such beauty; just imagine the beauty we have yet to see. This concept of unseen beauty creates such hopefulness and ease no matter what I may be facing.

God is the original and greatest artist. In fact there would be no art if not for God’s creating hand:

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.- Isaiah 64:8

I love using colorful veggies and fruits (some of the Lord’s  most artistic effort) to enhance my recipes taste and visual appeal. JnF: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Dish

For this yummy dish, of Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake, I used a mixture of  sweet bell peppers, garlic and onions to bring out the flavor of the sweet Italian sausage and well seasoned chicken breast.

Chicken is a dinner staple. But who are we kidding, it gets boring. This recipe mix things up just a little, but is definitively not too labor intensive (I for one, don’t like to spend too much time preparing a meal).

Start by boiling about a box of rigatoni to aldente. Set aside.

Clean about a pound of thin cut chicken breast. Seasoning liberally, with salt, pepper, garlic power and I used a little sazon Spanish seasoning also. Throw a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan, and cook the thin chicken breast until cooked thru.

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Then, cut a pack of sweet Italian sausage into small pieces.

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Then, chop your bell peppers, onions and garlic.

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Saute the chopped sausage and veggies in a medium fry pan with about  a teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, until veggies are wilted and sausages are cooked.

 

Once chicken is cooked, set aside,  cool and cut into cubed bits.

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Now in a lasagna pan, add the previously boiled pasta. Mix with your favorite brand of marinara sauce, or if your feeling ambitious, scratch make your own.

Now load in the sausage, veggies and chicken breast, and stir slightly.

J n F:: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Top of with half a cup of mozzarella cheese.

Throw in the oven on medium to high heat for about 20 minutes, so all the flavors can marry.

Remove from oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before cutting into.

Serve with a simple side salad.

J n F:: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Enjoy and thank you for visiting;0

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When Jesus Says ‘Yes’……

JnF :: Yes

A ‘Yes’ from God, is not the same as a ‘Yes’ from man.

When Jesus says ‘Yes’, mountains move to be in agreement. Seas part to be compliant. Man and all else falls in line, like it or not.

When Jesus says ‘Yes’ it is echoed into the past, present and the future- all at once.

No one can bend a ‘Yes’ from God to meet mans needs (try as we might). A ‘Yes’ from the Lord, will not renege, change it’s mind, or destination. Once spoken it will stand on it’s own, and all will either shift to it, or away from it.

One ‘Yes’ from God can denounce a million no’s from man, in a matter of seconds.

A ‘Yes’ from God is filled with definitive purpose and intention.

A ‘Yes’ from Jesus is not always an answered prayer. Sometimes an unanswered prayer is just as powerful and meaningful as an answered prayer. More to the point, a ‘Yes’ from Jesus, is not always the answer we go to the Lord for.

However, no matter our reluctance to obey the Lord’s ‘Yes’, remember His spoken word will sway the universe, and shift the atmosphere to suit His will.

I for one, often rely on good ole logic to steer me through life. However, God doesn’t always operate under logic. Sometime when God moves, He moves in a way that man can not explain away. He moves in a way that is not rationalized or marginalized within the limited parameters of the human conscience. This, I believe is to remove the guess work out of His work!

I have experienced a few painful ‘Yes’ from the Lord. My logic, my good sense, even my Christian sense, made me believe that His ‘Yes’, was surely a mistake. God is perfect, and makes no mistake. Personally, I have had to overcome and accept those hard “Yes” from the Lord.

When He takes a loved one too soon (in our eyes), or hardens a spouses heart against reconciliation in a marriage, or allows a disease to overcome a healthy body, those are the types of ‘ Yes’, we don’t look forward to receiving from God.

 However, what I have learned through accepting those though yes (albeit slowly, and sometime reluctantly) is that the Lord is in control of EVERYTHING. We may not always understand His reasoning. We may not even always agree with it, but we will bow to His “Yes”. Our lives will conform to His will.  

And if you give it some time; endure the excruciating pain of failure, lost, or whatever has defeated you, you will meet the promise: all things work together for the good of those that love God. (Romans 8:28)

I encourage anyone receiving a less than welcoming ‘Yes’ from the Lord to remember to love. Overcome the questions in your heart by loving yourself through the pain. Know also, that you were created by the creator of love!

With love, and blessings:)

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Breakfast: Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

Having a morning ritual is key to having an effective day.  When I rise, my first thought is thankfulness! I lay for a moment and just thank God for waking me up, and ask Him to give me the fuel I need to face my day, and overcome any barriers that the day and the devil may throw my way. If I have time and the spirit hits me, I’ll even get in the word a little bit and do some meditation.

One morning ritual I have tried very hard to keep, is eating breakfast. We’ve all heard it before; the warning that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, it’s also one of the easiest meals to forgo; either because we’re rushing out the door, or if your anything like me, you’re just not hungry so early in the morning.

We can compare breakfast to the word of God. It’s very easy to forget to dwell in the word, until our spiritual selves become so starved that we begin to consume any and everything that we think may fulfill the spiritual void.When we skip breakfast, how often do we find ourselves so hungry by noon that we are make very bad choices in our food intake for the entire day!

The next time you choose to forgo breakfast, just remember Jesus ate the first meal of the day, therefore so should we!

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.- John 21:12

Since my issue for breakfast is usual time, I choose to make some yummy breakfast options ahead of time and freeze them away. This go round, I went for something I never made before, but always wanted to try. I call it Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins. 

Disclaimer: While writing this post, I am actually practicing a vegan diet (as best as I can), however I made and ate this recipe days before beginning my vegan venture 🙂

You Need:

Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

-A non-stick muffin tin
-However many Eggs you’d like to make (I made four)
-Shredded Parmesan Cheese
-Scallions
-Red Peppers, Yellow Peppers, and any other veggies you’d like to use
-Salt and Pepper

Start by chopping your selected veggies.

 

Then crack your eggs and pour one egg per muffin tin. Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there layer your veggies. Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

Then top off with the shredded parm cheese.

 Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place it in the pre heated 385 degrees oven. After about 20 minutes remove from oven. The top should be slightly golden brown.

 Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove from muffin tin, and serve or freeze for another morning.

Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added a little corn beef hash to ours, and cut multi grain bread into tapas triangles and served hot while the cheese was still gooey!!! With breakfast like this, you won’t want to skip breakfast ever again.

 Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

Enjoy and be blessed!

 

 

 

 

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Spicy Shrimp and Plenty Green Sautee

I love shrimp. Honestly. I really enjoy most shell fish, especially in warmer months. In my unprofessional opinion shrimp really is great when it comes to taking on flavor. A simple marinade for a short period of time goes a really long way.  My go to flavor for shrimp is butter garlic. Yum, at just the thought. However, I thought this time I would try a spicy garlic flavor, and opt to leave the butter out.

Before, we get into the recipe details, let’s talk a little Jesus! As I mentioned shrimp is delicious and it takes on flavor and seasoning with very little effort. For all intents and purposes, I’d say that that makes shrimp very useful. I can’t help but to wonder how easily, we (God’s children) take on the things of this world by which we are exposed to. Are we easily flavored by the world?

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

It’s important to remember the purpose and intent by which we were created. While shrimp was created to be an enjoyable dish to tickle our pallets and satisfy our taste buds, humans were created I’m sure with a far greater purpose. Which is why we have the ability to choose what flavor we take on. Will we choose to walk in the loving, kind ways of Jesus, or be influenced and colored by this cold world. The next time you face adversity, keep that in mind.

To go along with our flavorful spicy shrimp, we’ll go with what I call “Plenty Green Sautee”. And when I say plenty of greens, I mean plenty! Packed with all sorts of vitamins and mineral, this sauté is a perfect side dish.

Start by de-shelling and cleaning about 2 lbs of Shrimp

Jesus x Food:: Shrimp

Now grab a few plugs of fresh garlic. Peel them and chop them. Grab a medium yellow onion and do the same.
Jesus x Food:: garlic

Jesus x Food :: Garlic and Onions Chopped

And now, my favorite part of cooking: Creating a spice. I love this part because this pretty much determines the taste of the dish. I went with some salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and seafood seasoning.

Jesus x Food:: spices

Now add that generous amount of spice to your Shrimp.

Jesus x Food :: Shrimp

Also, add some of that garlic that we chopped earlier and also a chopped Jalapeño for heat!

Jesus x Food :: Garlic and Jalenpenos ChoppedNow cover and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile…..

Jesus x Food :: Garlic and Onions Chopped CookedIn a medium to large skillet add a few drops of olive oil over medium heat. Then, add the previously chopped garlic and onions.

Now pile on the greens. Asparagus, Green beans, Spinach, and kale. Yum!!!

Jesus x Food :: Plenty Green SauteJesus x Food :: Plenty Green SauteBring to a tender sauté. Be sure to season with a little salt and pepper while this green goodness is still cooking, so it can take on the seasoned taste.

Once the greens are tender, add a little homemade Italian dressing:

Jesus x Food :: Italian Dressing

Now it’s time to grab those Shrimps and heat another skillet with a few drops of olive oil, and add the Shrimp.

Jesus x Food :: Cooked ShrimpCook through for about 20 minutes on med heat. Add a little water about 5 minutes into cooking.

And now,

Jesus x Food :: Finished ShrimpEnjoy! A simple, yet flavorful, healthy dish.

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Word Of The Day: #Peace

It’s no secret we live in an era, in which information travels at the speed of light.  Whether it’s a socio-political up rise from half way across the world, or what your neighbor’s having for dinner on #MeatlessMonday, getting the latest “news”, is as easy as refreshing your social media feed. However, in all the noise/information buzzing around us constantly, finding peace can be a trying task onto itself.

Unless we have tapped into what God has intended for us regarding peace.

What we must keep in mind, is that peace is not a thing to be acquired. The gift of peace already lives in us. Getting to that peaceful inner place, may be easier for some than others. However, with practice and patience we all have the ability to find it.

Some may call it meditation, others may just call it quiet time. However you refer to it, peace is vital in connecting with our spiritual selves and more importantly our maker.

In Mark 4:39 we see how Jesus speaks to the wind , and it gives us definitive direction in getting to our own peace:

And He arose, and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Command your chaos to cease, and  simply be still.

 

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Word of the Day: #LOVE

Never forget just how much the Lord loves us all.

If you’re a parent, you can somewhat reason with the sacrifice the Lord made to offer His one begotten Son, Jesus Christ as means to show His love towards us.

Today, and everyday remember just how much the Lord loves you. He loves us all enough to never leave our side, no matter what we may have done.  He loves us enough to pull us up, when we are down. He loves us enough to always offer an olive branch of forgiveness, and an abundance of grace to walk us through our guilt, or pain.

Never forget you are love, by the creator of love!

God So Loved

 

 

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What’s For Dinner: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice and Grilled Veggies

Perfect harmony.

When two or more subjects are working for a greater good, or enhancing experience. We see examples of this all through the bible. In fact, scripture reminds “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name (Matthew 19-20)”

While, a harmonious gathering in the name of the Lord is beyond powerful, preparing a meal that comes together in great harmony, each piece complimenting the other is also quite magical. That’s exactly the case with these Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies.

I start with these fresh ingredients:

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Cornish Hens:

Cornish hens are small variation of your regular size roaster chicken, and therefore tend to be much more supple, and flavorful. A nice blend of spices and seasonings go a long way. I added a blend of salt, pepper, garlic, garlic herb, and thyme together in a bowl, and mixed all together for my tasty rub.Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

I was sure to get the entire hen, including under the skin, and the back part as well. Before spicing the hens, I clean them (like I do all poultry), and cut them down the middle breast. Place each hen bone side down.Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesI then place the hens in the oven uncovered and cook for about 1.5 hour, or until skin is golden and meat is cooked through.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Asparagus Spanish Rich:

I simple purchased a box of yellow Spanish rice from one of my favorite brands, to save some time. However, for authentic Spanish rice try this recipe. I followed the directions for cooking my rice, as per the box. Meanwhile I chopped a handful of asparagus and onions. In a small pan I added some olive oil, and sautéed the asparagus and onions.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesOnce the veggies were tender, I added them at the top of the rice, which was still cooking. After the rice cooks through, mix the asparagus in.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Grilled Veggies:

Few things in life are more delicious then perfectly grilled fresh veggies. The yumminess is unreal. For this recipe, I pulled out our countertop grill, but it can also be done stove top. I chopped up Zucchini, Red Peppers, Yellow Pepper, and Onions. I then seasoned the veggies with a dash of salt and pepper.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesOnce, the delicious Cornish hens are done, it’s time to start plating this meal.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Enjoy, and as always be blessed.

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