Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spicy Chicken and Tortilla Soup

Oh my goodness is this a good one! I've also stolen many ideas for this recipe and combined it with a spicy, flavorful and satisfying bowl of tasty happiness. I used the tomatoes straight out of the garden and pureed it for a smooth broth. You're gong to love this.

1 whole chicken
4 green onions uncut
1 handful of fresh parsley uncut
5 whole garlic cloves
2 celery stalks
2 whole carrots
5 whole tomatoes
1/4 onion
1 7oz. can of  Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1 small bag of frozen corn
20.5 oz. can of black beans
2 teaspoons of cumin
4-6 chicken bouillon cubes
10 oz. can of tomato paste
1 cup of rice (optional)

Fixings: Tortilla chips, jack cheese cut into chunks, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.

Clean chicken and put in a pot of water with green onions, parsley, garlic, carrots and bring to a boil. Cover pot letting out some steam and simmer for at least an hour. Keep an eye on the water level. Remove chicken and vegetables.

After an hour with the pot still simmering, drop in tomatoes for about 15-20 seconds and remove with slotted spoon into cold water to cool. The skin and the hull of the tomatoes should come off easily. Drop the skinned and hulled tomatoes in a blender with the whole can of the Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (I like it very spicy, so if you want to turn it down, use less peppers) the vegetables (garlic cloves, carrots, celery, etc. from the simmer) and the 1/4 onion and blend until smooth. Pour the blend into the simmering stock.

Stir in the corn, beans, cumin, bouillon cubes to taste, and tomato paste. Strip the meat off of the simmered chicken and add it to the soup. Add rice if you like. Simmer for about another 20 minutes.

Serve in bowls and top it off with crushed tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of a lime wedge. I also love to top my tortilla soup with cubed jack cheese rather than shred it, so it will goo out on my spoon. Enjoy!

The Godly Home

The below links are a five part series of The Godly Family by Paul Washer.

Part 1 Audio Sermon  (58 minutes)

Part 2 Audio Sermon (86 minutes)

Part 3 Audio Sermon  (92 minutes)

Part 4 Audio Sermon (81 minutes)

Part 5 Audio Sermon (97 minutes)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

41 Evidences Of Pride by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

1. Do you look down on those who are less educated, less affluent, less refined, or less successful than yourself?

2. Do you think of yourself as more spiritual than your mate, others in your church?

3. Do you have a judgmental spirit toward those who don’t make the same lifestyle choices you do . . . dress standards, how you school your kids, entertainment standards, etc.?

4. Are you quick to find fault with others and to verbalize those thoughts to others? Do you have a sharp, critical tongue?

5. Do you frequently correct or criticize your mate, your pastor, or other people in positions of leadership (teachers, youth director, etc.)?

6. Do you give undue time, attention, and effort to your physical appearance—hair, make-up, clothing, weight, body shape, avoiding appearance of aging?

7. Are you proud of the schedule you keep, how disciplined you are, how much you are able to accomplish?

8. Are you driven to receive approval, praise, or acceptance from others?

9. Are you argumentative?

10. Do you generally think your way is the right way, the only way, or the best way?

11. Do you have a touchy, sensitive spirit? Easily offended? Get your feelings hurt easily?

12. Are you guilty of pretense? Trying to leave a better impression of yourself than is really true? (Would the people at church be shocked if they knew what you were like at home?)

13. Do you have a hard time admitting when you are wrong?

14. Do you have a hard time confessing your sin to God or others? (not just in generalities but specifics)

15. Do you have a hard time sharing your real spiritual needs/struggles with others?

16. Do you have a hard time praying aloud with others?

17. Are you excessively shy?

18. Do you have a hard time reaching out and being friendly to people you don’t know at church?

19. Do you resent being asked or expected to serve your family, your parents, or others?

20. Do you become defensive when you are criticized or corrected?

21. Are you a perfectionist? Do you get irked or impatient with people who aren’t?

22. Do you tend to be controlling—of your mate, your children, friends, those in your workplace?

23. Do you frequently interrupt people when they are speaking?

24. Does your husband feel intimidated by your “spirituality”?

25. Does your husband feel like he can never measure up to your expectations of what it means to be a good husband, spiritual leader, etc.?

26. Do you often complain—about the weather, your health, your circumstances, your job, your church?

27. Do you talk about yourself too much?

28. Are you more concerned about your problems, needs, burdens than about others’ concerns?

29. Do you worry about what others think of you? Too concerned about your reputation or your family’s reputation?

30. Do you neglect to express gratitude for “little things”? To God? To others?

31. Do you neglect prayer and intake of the Word?

32. Do you get hurt if your accomplishments/or acts of service are not recognized or rewarded?

33. Do you get hurt if your feelings or opinions are not considered when your mate or your boss is making a decision or if you are not informed when a change or decision is made?

34. Do you react to rules? Do you have a hard time being told what to do?

35. Are you self-conscious because of your lack of education or natural beauty, or your socio-economic status?

36. Do you avoid participating in certain events, for fear of being embarrassed or looking foolish?

37. Do you avoid being around certain people because you feel inferior compared to them/don’t feel you measure up?

38. Are you uncomfortable inviting people to your home because you don’t think it’s nice enough or you can’t afford to do lavish entertaining?

39. Is it hard for you to let others know when you need help (practical or spiritual)?

40. When is the last time you said these words to a family member, friend, or co-worker: “I was wrong; would you please forgive me?” (If it’s been more than a month, mark it down!)

41. Are you sitting here thinking how many of these questions apply to someone you know? Feeling pretty good that none of these things really apply to you?

© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hindrances To A Heavenly Life by Richard Baxter

Take 10 minutes to hear this timely word.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Teach Her Children-Raising Future Husbands

I'm praising the Lord that I had good tests from the doctor and I'm on the mend from a grueling 6 week bout with pneumonia. It's not easy being sick for so long and living with 4 males. In the midst of this illness, I became embittered at the lack of willingness from my husband and sons to help me with dinners, cleaning, etc. It seemed it was still expected of me, and like a good martyr, I went along with my normal duties with resentment and not getting the rest I needed.

At the midpoint I realized I needed help, so I asked my 15 year old how he would show love in a practical way to his future wife. I thought his answer was so honest, "To provide for her." I kind of teased him at first, but I also thought how wonderful it was to think how God wired him. I told him that providing for the family is definitely an important way to show practical love to his future wife, but what happens if she gets sick, and she is no longer able to do the things that need to be done? He really couldn't give me an answer. I would consider my teenage son Kyle to be one of the most sensitive young men I know, so I realized just then that men are wired by God's wonderful design differently, and I had to use my sickness as a teaching opportunity.

I simply told my three boys to help me around the house and gave them each a list. I was amazed at how well and how proud they were to step up to the plate with my household chores. Instead of watching me suffer helplessly, they felt empowered to help their mom get better. I was simply amazed at their positive and even masculine attitude.

How silly I was. I expected my men to pick up the slack and when nobody did, I thought they didn't care about me. How wrong I was. They are wonderfully different, and they need to be directed. For example, let's just say my husband had a small business and he fell ill. How would I like it if he just expected me to pick up where he left off with no directions? How would I feel if he thought, you see me do my job, why don't you just do it? What if he became angry with me because I was unable to read his mind and do what needed to be done? If he gave me a list or told me what to do, I would be more than happy to help him.

A while back, I made a basic housekeeping binder. I have a loose cleaning schedule that I do on my own. My guys need detailed instructions just as I would of I need to take over my husband’s job, so I added a "Sick Mom" tab. I also put in very basic recipes so they can do the grocery shopping, prepares meals the next time I get sick, because that is inevitable.  I can honestly tell you it will empower your husband and sons. It's also not a bad idea if you have daughters. My teacher's always told me a Proverbs 31 woman is always prepared. Unfortunately I learn the hard way.

While we're on the subject of being prepared for a sickness, I came away with one tip. Try and to double up on at least one meal a week to freeze while you're well. I wish I would have done this. My cholesterol went up just by eating more take out. It's important to make sure you're not only resting, but eating well too.

After waking up and verbalizing my needs, I was delighted at my husband and sons who really desired to be helpful all along. Even my two younger boys vacuumed and dusted with such enthusiasm. I've never been more proud of them. I remembered something I had forgotten, that men are very different. I expect them to be like me, and how self absorbed is that? I also used the opportunity to teach my boys how to love their wives and die to self.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recovering Biblical Womanhood - Paul Washer

"There is nothing more attractive than a woman who has this look of wisdom, and discretion, and nobility and simplicity." Paul Washer

As you can see, I'm a big fan of Paul Washer. I've met him at a meeting last fall, and he is just an everyday brother who loves the Lord and has devoted his life to serve Him. I believe God has raised him up to jar this generation out of our lukewarm sleep through his fiery sermons that have spread over the internet over the past couple of years. He is usually very intense and offensive to many, but in this sermon he is lighthearted and funny. I found myself busting out in laughter at myself throughout. I'm also convicted at my silliness and lack of obedience to God's commands as a wife.

Sermon here

To be Self Controlled: I Look to You

The last thing I want to do is come of as some expert or someone who has arrived. All you have to do is spend some time with me and you would find out pretty fast that this is not the case. One of my greatest sin is my lack of self control in many areas of my life. It all can stem from fear of man, not being focused, laziness, selfishness etc., but what it really boils down to is my unwillingness to recognise these things as sin and not depending on God and His word.

As I've grown older, I've struggled with weight more than ever. I need to lose 30 pounds. It's not a lot to some, but the weight hasn't  budge with exercise and various dieting for about 5 years. I will diet for a while, but fall drastically with binging. This cycle has been going on for some time and I get very discouraged with myself.

I dread going to the doctor because I know he is going to get after me for not losing the weight he told me to. I've done Weight Watchers many times, Atkins, South Beach, you name it; I've even tried a free online Christian weight loss program that really points to the sin of gluttony to no avail. I was discouraged by the legalistic regiments, and feeling dizzy from fasting and going on their "liquid days".

I heard a preacher recently mention that gluttony is the same sin in God's eyes as drunkenness. God freed me of drunkenness almost 18 years ago, so this really struck me. He challenged us to pray without seizing and asking God what to eat.  How little I really depend on Him in my day to day life.

Tozar said that, "Christians don't lie, they just sing them." At church we sang "I Need Thee Every Hour". Do I really need Thee every single hour including when I eat? The next time I sing this song, I want the lyrics to be true in my life.

 Below is a video about a woman who has struggled with weight her whole life. She's lost 80 lbs with more to go. She wouldn't of done it without her dependence on God. Get ready for some goosebumps.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Facebook and Other Social Networks

This is a wonderful link about social networks and how they can hurt people if we're not careful. I certainly have done my own share.

Alone With Jesus - Octavius Winslow

To be honest, I've been struggling with many things. This video encouraged my heart so much today. I hope it speaks to you too. Praise our Jesus for His loving embrace. Be alone with Him today.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Holy Offering to God - Paul Washer

If you don't have time to watch this sermon, I hope you just watch the first five minutes. Do we really believe the Bible is sufficient? What an indictment!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Perfected Tuna Casserole

I'm looking forward to autumn, and since we're on the subject of comfort food, why not add another traditional favorite. I took a little bit of my mom's, my past roommate’s, and my sister's recipes that I've stolen over a 20 year period, and developed the perfect tuna casserole. The gooey melted chucks of Swiss cheese is a twist that I couldn't believe I was missing for so long. I don't put crushed potato chips on mine, but go for it if that's your fancy.

1 (12 ounce) package egg noodles
1 cup cubed Swiss cheese
1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese
 1 cup frozen green peas
2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained
1 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon of celery salt

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Bring a large pot of  salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions until al dente; drain.

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix noodles,  1 cup cubed Swiss cheese, peas, tuna, soup, mayonnaise, and celery salt. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and top with remaining 1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven and remove cover for 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

...To Love Her Children: The Scattering of Seeds by J.R. Miller

All our thoughts, words, and acts are seeds. They have in them a quality which makes them grow where they fall, reproducing themselves. This is true of the good we do. The mother’s teachings enter the mind and heart of her child as mere germs; but they reappear in the life of the son or daughter, in later years, in strength and beauty, in nobleness of character, and in usefulness of life. Not only is this strange power in the mother’s words; her acts, her habits, her tones of voice, the influences that go forth from her life, are also seeds, having in them a vital principle. Where they lodge, they grow.

You never can lose your mother. She may die, and her body may be borne out of your sight, and laid away in God’s acre. You will see her face and hear her voice no more; no more will her hand scatter the good seeds of truth and love upon your life’s garden. But you have not lost her. Your mind and heart are full of the seeds which fell from her hand along the years. These you never can lose. No hand of death can root them out of your life. They have grown into the very tissues of your character. They reappear in your habits, your dispositions, your feelings and opinions, your modes of thought, your very phrases and forms of speech. You never can lose your mother; the threads of her life are woven inextricably into your life. ~J.R. Miller

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Spagetti Chicken - From the Pioneer Woman

I want to share some tried and true recipes that my family loves. With three growing boys (one being a teenager), my food bill is growing to max capacity. Not only will these recipes be delicious, but easy on the wallet.

This is the only casserole all my boys (including my husband) gobble up. The seasoning salt, and just a touch of cayenne pepper gives this dish the right amount of kick and flavor. It is my family's creamy cheesy comfort food of choice. I omit the pimentos, and sometimes I'll do shortcuts with a readymade rotisserie chicken I get at the store with canned broth. I often double up and freeze for those days I don't have time to cook. This is perfect for potlucks, or sending to a friend in need.

■2 cups Cooked Chicken
■3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
■2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
■2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
■1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper
■1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
■1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
■2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
■1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
■1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
■Salt And Pepper, to taste
■1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Boil 1 whole chicken or cut up fryer for one hour and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, (Don't forget to save 2 cups of broth) combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Posted by Ree on September 5 2009

For more detailed instructions, go to the Pioneer Woman link.

Use Simplicity in Sharing the Gospel

John Charles Ryle [1816-1900] was a prolific writer, vigorous preacher, faithful pastor in England, husband of three wives (widowed three times) and the father to five children.

It is a certain fact that deep reasoning and elaborate arguments are not the weapons by which God is generally pleased to convert souls. Simple plain statements, boldly and solemnly made, and made in such a manner that they are evidently felt and believed by him who makes them, seem to have the most effect on hearts and consciences. Parents and teachers of the young, ministers and missionaries, Scripture-readers and district visitors, would all do well to remember this. We need not be so anxious as we often are about defending, proving, demonstrating and reasoning out the doctrines of the Gospel. Not one soul in a hundred was ever brought to Christ in this fashion. We need more simple, plain, solemn, earnest, affectionate statements of simple Gospel truths. We may safely leave such statements to work and take care of themselves. They are arrows from God’s own quiver, and will often pierce hearts which have not been touched by the most eloquent sermon. ~ J.C. Ryle

Monday, August 1, 2011

To Be Sober Minded: What Kind of Woman Am I?

A few years ago, I received the below list of wisdom from an older woman who got it from her older woman. When I taught Titus 2 a few years back,  many people who I would invite would say, "I don't want to be a doormat!" God does not call us to be such a thing. When I read the women of scripture, there was no woman of God that I would call a "doormat".  I've known women who are notorious doormats and they can be very manipulative with their loved ones by being the family martyr. I can see how many women will run from submissiveness because of the distortion of it being modeled perhaps from their own mothers. They are just as self seeking as an outright contentious woman. I can be both those women at times more than I realize. Here is a list of "The Doormat Woman", "The Contentious Woman" and "The Sober Minded Woman of God".  I've gleaned so much from this list over the years and it never seizes to convict me.

The Doormat Woman:
  • Motive: People Pleaser
  • Heart Attitude: Fear and Guilt
  • Rights: Doesn't feel she has any
  • Responsibilities: Feels responsible for everything and everyone
  • Emotions and Self Control: Highly emotional, prone to fear and self-pity
  • Love Relationships: Being accepted is more important than being loving and truthful
  • Needs: Lets needs and feeling of others rule over her life
  • Discernment: Only wants to see strengths, not weaknesses in others
  • Dealing with Shortcomings: Overly disappointed when sees weaknesses, often devastated
  • Truth: Afraid to be truthful for fear of angry consequences
  • Submission: Misunderstands submission
  • Power: Feels powerless and intimidated
  • Offense: Stuff offense - stays unresolved

The Contentious Woman

  • Motive: "...unto self"
  • Heart Attitude: Resentful
  • Rights: Recognizes rights and demands them
  • Responsibilities: More concerned with rights than responsibilities
  • Emotions and Self Control: Highly emotional and prone to fear, resentment and anger
  • Love Relationships: Being right is more important than being loving
  • Needs: Preoccupied with her own feelings and needs
  • Discernment: Only sees weaknesses
  • Dealings with Shortcomings: Critical and judgemental when weakness is revealed
  • Truth: Offers truth through blaming and demands change
  • Submission: Resents and rejects submission
  • Power: Wants her own power
  • Offense: Is quick to be offended

The Sober Minded Woman of God

  • Motive: "...unto God"
  • Heart Attitude: Cheerful and willing
  • Rights: Recognizes rights and lays them down
  • Responsibilities: More concerned with responsibilities than rights
  • Emotions and Self Control: In touch with feelings, but not controlled by them
  • Love Relationships: Being loving is more important than being right
  • Needs: Listens carefully and is sensitive to the needs of others, but not ruled by them
  • Discernment: Sees both weaknesses and strengths, but accepts person
  • Dealings with Shortcomings: Edifies, encourages and strengthens when weaknesses show
  • Truth: Offers truth and petitions out of love
  • Submission: Embraces submission
  • Power: Focuses on God's power and her own powerlessness
  • Offense: Slow to be offended, willing to admit and resolve it when it occurs