Monday, February 28, 2011

What Kind of Net Do You Have?



Today, I was reading in Luke 5:4 where Jesus says to Peter, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”  In this particular passage, Peter obeyed Jesus and threw his net into the deep waters, the same waters that he had just spent all night trying to catch fish with but was unsuccessful.  However, to his surprise- his net quickly became full of more fish than he could handle alone.  After experiencing this remarkable situation, Peter left his fishing career and immediately followed Jesus. 
Although, I am not a fisherman, I too have a net to help gather disciples for God with.  God has given me both physical and spiritual gifts to throw out and capture the hearts of men with.  Some of these might include my gift of exhortation (encouragement), writing and speaking talents, or just simply- my love for Jesus.  Better yet, I am a mother, who can train up younger fisherman for God, helping them with their nets. 
 What kind of net do you have to fish with today?   How can you use your net to bring in an abundant catch for God’s Kingdom?  It might be just a simple word of encouragement, sharing some time with someone or using a specific talent God has given you to change a life for Him. Whatever it is, be willing to let down your net; you never know what kind of fish you might catch!  Have a great weekJ.
           

Monday, February 21, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Are You Sleepy?


“Rise, let us be going” (Matthew 26:46) 
            Have you ever depended on someone to do something for you and they failed to?  In this particular passage of scripture, Jesus, needed His disciples to pray for Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but instead they slept.  How disappointed He must have felt that at such a crucial time hours before His death that His own followers failed Him.  However, Jesus didn’t get angry and start lecturing them about their failure, instead He said to them, “Rise, let us be going.”  Jesus went about His business like nothing happened and He expected His disciples to do the same. 
            Sometimes in life we have a difficult time doing this, especially when we failed at something important.  It is human nature to dwell on it and not want to move past it quickly. There are times when an opportunity has presented itself and we didn’t take the chance to seize it, instead we failed to act.  It doesn’t matter what happens in life, God wants us to move on and not look back.  He is a God of second chances and then some.  Jesus basically instructed His friends to get up and let’s move past this because there were still things left to do.  So often we allow out setbacks or failures steal from the future.  We need to follow the example Jesus set and move on with life and not look back. 
            Are there places in your life where you have fallen asleep?  Have you allowed your sleep to keep you drowsy and without action.  Maybe today you can choose to wake up and rise from that place of rest that has kept you down.  There is still a life out there waiting for you to take hold of!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Comfortable Boat


Ever have of those moments where you feel like you don’t have what it takes to make it? As I was faced with a task the other day, I thought of Peter from Matthew 14:22-29 where Jesus was asking him to come out of the comfortable boat he was in and to walk on water. “Hello- me walk on water? Please! I would much rather sit here and you come to me, Lord.”  This would have been my response!   Unfortunately and thankfully God doesn’t work that way.  He requires for us to leave our comfort zones and be stretched into new places that require his help. Faith requires action at times. You can’t get from point A to point B without taking some steps to get there, right? In this scripture, Jesus tells Peter to come to Him by way of deep water.  The word come in Greek is eparko, meaning to help or aid. Jesus knows that Peter will need his help to walk on those deep, raging waves and He is more than willing to aid Him in the process.
            It is no different for us when Jesus is telling us to get out our boat of comfort. He knows we need help and He is willing and able to do in us far more than we could ever imagine. However, it starts with making  the decision to walk towards Him for the help. What is keeping you in the boat of comfort today?  My prayer is that you won’t look at the impossible but rather the possible as you make your way out of the boat and tread those waters of fear and anxiety that may be keeping you back. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Get Up, Take Your Mat and Go Home!"



                Matthew 9:9 says, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”  When I read this verse the other day, I laughed to myself as I thought of myself  so many times laying on aerobics mats and only wishing that the class instructor would’ve said those words to me! Believe me, I wouldn’t have hesitated to leave! 
                However in this case, Jesus was talking to a paralytic man after he had just healed him.  Immediately, the man got up and went home.  No hesitation took place just simple action of his faith. He believed he was healed --he walked!  How many of us would have doubted and come up with questions or excuses on why we couldn’t just walk away? Our minds would have tried to bargain for reasons why we couldn’t do what Jesus just asked us to.  Have you ever doubted Jesus?  Are you without faith? Is God asking you to do something that seems impossible for you?  
                 So many people today fail at having the faith to believe Christ at His word. Our doubts toss us around leaving us feeling beaten up, helpless, unable to stand- never mind walk in faith.  Instead, we would rather lie on a mat and accept our circumstances.  Doesn’t Jesus want more for us then to spend life on a mat paralyzed? What does your mat represent today? What things are keeping you moving from it? Jesus wants to heal you so, “Get up, take you mat and go home or wherever the Lord would ask you to go!”

Monday, February 7, 2011

Come Visit Me!


Hi Everyone!
This week I am writing for my other blog, Encourage.Empower.Extend., so come visit me there and I will be back here next week!
We are talking about love and what that entails for our lives to be meaningful and enriched by its power.
 Click on this site and join me this week until I return next week :  http://encourageempowerextend.blogspot.com/

Hope to see you and have a blessed week!

 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Place to Rest



Having to move all the time in the military can be daunting at times.  It can be stressful emotionally and physically.  It is especially hard for our young children or even for us when we have found great friends whom we love and don’t want to leave.  Sometimes, it is a sacrifice to give that all up when the next set of orders are staring back at us and telling us - Go!
            This morning in my family’s devotion time, we read from Matthew 8:18, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  I stopped and pondered that for a moment and realized how true that was.  Jesus had the perspective that His true home was not in any physical dwelling but rather a spiritual one where he could rest daily.  He knew His mission in life was to travel to wherever His Father sent Him sharing the gift of salvation.  He kept things in perspective and knew that this His places of rest were just temporary  physical ones and that one day His greater home would be with His Father in Heaven for eternity.
            So, I pray the next time you get frustrated or impatient with where this military sends you that you will consider that even Jesus at times had no permanent place to rest His head.  He trusted God with the places He went and knew that God would continue to provide all He needed until He was home for good! Allow God to build your home with Him in His presence daily and find your rest always trusting in Him as you sacrifice your life in the military.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Busted!



So there I sat, gripping the steering wheel, feeling guilty and wishing that I had not just challenged the police officer in front of my oldest son.  I swallowed hard feeling humbled as I turned to him to apologize for my less then best example.   I explained to him my mistake in allowing my frustrations (my flesh) to get the best of me.   I was wrong for speaking harshly to the officer that just handed me a speeding ticket even if I didn’t agree with his final judgment.  After all, He was just doing his job and there were no excuses for my poor behavior.  My mouth was filled with my size 8 ½ foot and there was nothing I could do about it.  I felt like a hypocrite because everything I have always preached to my son about being humble, not arguing and not making excuses was just being thrown back in my face- I just did.  Ugh!  My humble pie did not taste good!
                However, I had a choice to make.  Would I humble myself and make matters right and show my son the proper way to handle making a mistake or would I just blow it off and hope he would forget about it.   Although, I knew I wasn’t going to forget about it.   Ironically, all week   I had been trying to memorize James 1:19 that says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  I guess I failed this test or maybe the test was still in progress. Hmmm…
                It was obvious that I was embarrassed and   I prayed this up to the Lord over the next couple of hours of what He wanted me to do with it.  The cost of the ticket didn’t nearly hurt as much as  my pride did .  I thought of Titus 2:7 that says, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.”  So, I decided to call the law officer that cited me my ticket and apologize for my harshness.  I felt this was a great teaching opportunity to teach Justin what to do when you have made a mistake- humble yourself.  Although, I may not have set the best example from the start, God still gave the grace and wisdom to make it right. This is what I love about God, His grace is always sufficient!  My prayer is that Justin will see my humility as a parent and learn from it. Most of all that he will see that I am not above reproach.
                In what way can you humble yourself and be an example for your children or for those around you today? How can you show integrity to your kids?  As parents and human beings, we won’t always be perfect, but as Christ’s children we will always have mercy and grace made new to us daily as long as we choose to walk in humility.  Teach your kids by example and use both your good and bad ones because in the end, God will use them all for His glory!

Touch Down Recipes- Sure to Please!




It's Super Bowl season again!  It's time to make those men in our lives happy by serving them a snack filled feast to keep their spirits high and their stomachs full! Here are just a few of my favorites I love to serve each year to my sports fans-Enjoy!


Kicking Sausage Dip  (All Recipes.com)
Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh, ground pork sausage
  • 1/2 pound fresh, ground spicy pork sausage
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
Directions
  1. In a large skillet, brown sausage. Drain excess fat.
  2. Cut cream cheese blocks into small cubes. Place the cream cheese, tomatoes and sausage into a slow cooker. Heat over a medium heat. Stir continually. Serve as soon as cream cheese melts completely.

Stuffed Italian Jalapenos  ( Food Network Recipe)

Ingredients

  • 15 jalapenos, preferably red, cut in 1/2, seeded and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 pounds mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups mascarpone or cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set a rack in the middle of the oven.
Place jalapenos on a sheet tray and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn broiler on medium.
Heat the oil in a medium saute pan. Add the sausage and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and cook to soften for about 5 minutes. Remove and place in a large bowl. Cool to room temperature, then add mascarpone, and Parmesan. Mix ingredients thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.
Place approximately 1 tablespoon of mixture into each jalapeno half, and top with 1/2 teaspoon of mozzarella cheese.
Place the sheet tray of stuffed peppers in oven and broil until mozzarella cheese melts.

  
Buffalo Chicken Dip 
Ingredients
> 2 packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Large Packs)
> 1 Bag (1 lb) of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
> 2 Cups of Franks Red Hot
> 1 Cup of Bleu Cheese Dressing
> 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
> 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken or 2 large cans of chicken(this is easiest!)
> 2 bags Tostitos "Scoops"
  Directions: 1)In a bowl combine the following ingredients:
  Cream Cheese
  2 cups of the hot sauce
  1 tsp cayenne
  1 cup dressing
  1/2 of the cheddar
  Blend lightly; use a hand mixer to blend
  2) Cook chicken by grill or pan frying, when chicken is cool either pull it, food processor, or dice it. OR use canned chicken(Easiest)
  3) Combine the chicken with contents of bowl and lightly mix until fully incorporated. 4) Place contents of bowl into casserole dish. Top with second half of cheddar, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.Serve with Tortilla chips! Enjoy:)