Out On A Limb.

Father in Heaven, I pray this view point is pleasing in Your sight and be acceptable to Your people. Bless these words Father and take them where they need to go. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

The table is set for each of you so let’s chat. Hope you all are well and having a good week so far.

 

I did some reading in the gospel of Luke and parked myself on the story of Zacchaeus It’s found in Luke 9:1 – 10.

 

We read about this man named Zacchaeus who is… well… short. He is “small in stature”. He has heard of this man, Jesus but has not met Him or even seen Him. So when he, Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector (AKA, chief sinner) wants to find out who Jesus is, he tries to seek Him out. But alas, when He comes to town, the crowds are simply to much for Zacchaeus to see over. Remember, he is short. I can imagine him standing on tip-toe, jumping up to see over the heads of those crowding around Jesus, maybe even crouching down to  try and see through the legs of the crowd.

 

After many attempts to see Jesus, Zacchaeus gets the idea to run on ahead of where Jesus is and climb up in a tree to get a better vantage point. Scurrying up the Sycamore and scotching out on a limb, he looks down at the crowd now and scans it for Jesus. The Savior approaches and stops just under the tree and looks up. This man, this chief sinner who has never met Jesus makes eye contact with Him and Jesus calls him by name. But He doesn’t stop there… He tells Zacchaeus to come down from the tree because He has plans to dine with him at his own house.

 

I can just see the stunned expression on Zacchaeus’s face. Mouth hanging open and eyes wide open, he scurries back down the tree and ushers Jesus to his house. They exchange words and Zacchaeus vows to repay anyone he has wronged financially and follow Jesus from then on. This story lends itself to my canvas like imagination.

 

Allow me please to take just a smidgen of liberty with this story. Suppose you were Zacchaeus. You are short and disliked by all who knew you. You felt the pressure of this dislike and the inferiority of your stature. Maybe this is even why you have chosen the career path of being a tax collector. A”feared” tax collector. This… this career move will surely bring you respect. But yet… yet there is something missing. You begin to feel an ache in your heart. A void that seems to have no end. You have heard of someone that could offer you something that would fill that void. A peace that surpasses all understanding and you want to find that someone.

 

You have also heard that this is a righteous man and you honestly have no business rubbing elbows with anyone righteous… or so you’ve been told after inquiring about this person. You feel incredibly small in spiritual stature. This person you’ve heard of is headed this way but the crowd is surrounding Him and shouldering you out of the way. Spiritually pushing you out of the crowd and making it impossible for you to “see” Jesus. Have you had this happen? Feeling as though the crowd… those who are spiritually “taller” then you feel, making you feel as though Jesus can’t or won’t see you because you are a chief sinner? Jesus won’t see you or can’t see you because you need to grow in spiritual stature?

 

Friend I’m so sorry that someone made you feel that way! That’s not Godly. But don’t miss what came next. Zacchaeus happened to locate Jesus right near a tree that God created and he was able to use it to see Jesus over the crowd. God will “plant” something or someone for us to lean on to rise above the crowds and help us see Jesus. Don’t let what others tell you, crowd out Jesus from your life. You don’t have to be a spiritual Paul Bunion for Jesus to see you. He already sees you and knows your name. No crowd is to big for Him to lose you in it. He can pick you out and call you by name.

 

Use the proverbial trees God provides and rise above the crowds to see Jesus. He will come to your house and dine with you too.

 

If you have already climbed your Sycamore and gotten above the crowds and found Jesus, consider being a tree for someone else. Help them rise above the crowd and see Jesus. Take them out on a limb to see Him.

It’s Foodie Friday! (Creamy Italian Crock Pot Chicken)

This has quickly become one of my families favorite dishes. It can be served over egg noodles like a stroganoff or as the main attraction with some delicious sides of onion red skins and salad or whatever your favorites are…

 

Creamy Italian Chicken

 

6 to 8 frozen chicken tender loins or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (according to your family size)

 

1 8 oz. block regular cream cheese

 

1 10 oz. can cream of chicken soup

 

1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix

 

Place frozen chicken in crock pot. Pour in soup and cut or break up cream cheese into chunks over the chicken. Sprinkle on Italian dressing mix. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours, depending on how hot your crock pot cooks. That’s it!

 

You can shred the chicken and serve it over noodles or add your favorite sides. It’s so easy and so good. Hope you like it!

I just had to share this with yoou…

Hi all! I had something I wanted to share with you and I just couldn’t wait until next week

 

Twenty-eight years ago, I was in a place of abuse and fear. I left that place but not without scars. Figurative and literal scars. I still have memories of that place and time but not nightmares, thankfully. The literal scar I bare is a significant hearing loss in my left ear.

 

My abuser took hearing from me and coupled with my blindness, I had to readjust my life… again. Many of you remember that I recently had surgery to hopefully regain SOME hearing that I had been robbed of. I had my final appointment today to check the success of the surgery.

 

Waking earlier then I needed too, I readied myself for an hour and a half drive to my appointment. My husband and I arrived and were promptly taken to the “sound booth” where the Audiologist would check my hearing. “Hi, I’m Linsey and I’ll be performing your hearing test this morning.” she said cheerfully. Palms sweaty, I sat patiently while she placed the necessary equipment on me for testing. Plug like ear phones were placed snugly in both my ears and the audiologist stepped out of the booth and into her sound room. Speaking to me through the ear phones, she had me repeat a series of words and had me inform her when I could hear different beeps at various frequencies.

 

She then switched to testing only my post surgery ear and continued the beep test along with various levels of background noise. I listened… responded appropriately… and waited.

 

Linsey returned to my booth and said “there has been significant improvement and the doctor will go over all of it with you.”

 

No real indication of what “significant” meant. My hearing had been so bad that anything would have seemed significant. I sort of held my breath until meeting with the doctor. Returning to the waiting room, it was only minutes before we were called back again.

 

Sliding into the exam chair, I wiped my palms on my jeans once again. The doctor entered and we shook hands. “how do you think your hearing is doing?” she asked. Letting out a short breath, “I think it’s better, but… I don’t know.” I clumsily replied.

 

“OK, well let’s have a look at the ear.” she instructed while turning my chair and retrieving her scope. She informed me that everything looked great and had healed up perfectly. While I was grateful for that, I wanted to know the level of hearing I had gotten back.

 

She pulled out the chart of my test and, because I couldn’t see it to read it, she showed it to my husband while explaining it to both of us. She gave a short lesson in what all the numbers meant and what to look for. After learning this information, she said the words I’ll never forget!

 

“your hearing is perfect.”

 

I blinked, a little dumbfounded. I had been told that I would get back about eighty percent of my hearing and now she is telling me that it’s perfect? I’ve regained what had been taken from me!

 

Now there are some very high pitched frequencies that are still at the same level that I heard them in the pre-surgery time. But these are not frequencies we need for everyday life. Voices and regular sounds are not at these frequencies.

 

Friends I want you to be encouraged by what God has done here. I’m not someone who throws the word “miracle” around loosely. However, I feel that this has been a miracle! A skilled surgeon told me how much hearing to expect to regain. But the “Great Physician” decided the final outcome!

 

I know this isn’t a life saving surgery or cancer free diagnosis, but it is life changing for me. I feel as if I have gained just a little more independents. God has given me more then was expected. If you are facing something right now that you are hoping for a particular answer, you just might get more then you expected. Hope in God and wait to see what He does!

 

Thank you all for the prayers you have offered up for this surgery and it’s outcome. They worked! Blessings to you all and see ya tomorrow!

 

 

 

How’s that New Year’s resolution coming along?

Father in Heaven, may these words come from You and not me. May You have all the honor and glory. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Hello friends! Pull up your chair to the table and let’s talk honestly here. How have you been doing on your New Year’s resolution? Did you make one?

 

I know we talked a little about a word for the year and even an “unword” for the year. But honestly I can’t tell you that I made an honest to goodness New Year’s resolution of the traditional kind. I’m not very good at keeping them. I kind of feel like it goes against my nature to commit to something with that long of a time frame. Not that commitment is a problem for me over all… just that it seems overwhelming to commit to something for an entire year.

 

It seems to be a common resolution to lose weight or spend more time with family or read through the bible in a year and these are all great and obtainable goals. But what if, instead of making them New Year’s resolutions, we make them New “Day’s” resolutions?

 

Paul says in the book of 1 Corinthians that he has to die to self daily…

 

1 Corinthians 15:31 “I assure you, believers, by the pride which I have in you in your union with Christ Jesus our Lord I die daily. I face death and die to self.” (Amp)

 

Each day we have to surrender our lives to the Lord, it’s our choice to do this. It’s a new beginning each and every morning. That is God’s gift to us! Starting new every single day.

 

I believe I can handle a New Day’s resolution better then one for the entire year. it’s bite size and offers grace. If I didn’t meet my goal to drink more water one day, I’m not tempted to give up for the whole rest of the year because I get to try again tomorrow. If I have not written the word count I wanted to in a day to stay on track for the year, I can get back to it tomorrow and not have to make up for what I didn’t do the day before. If I carry (my unword for the year) old hurts and feelings around with me on a particular day, I can hand them over that night and start new the next day.

 

Do you see the pattern here? There isn’t the feelings of failure for an entire year in mid January that could potentially set the tone for the rest of 2020 when we make the choice to have New Day’s resolutions.

 

Failure is a tool the enemy uses to discourage and shame us. But God offers a new beginning EVERY… SINGLE… DAY! Don’t fall into the trap of the mid January bust and assume the rest of the year is a failure. Accept God’s gift of daily renewal and grace. What will your New Day’s resolution be today… tomorrow… next week? You get to choose one for every day. Start one today then start again tomorrow. Let me know how it’s going and I’m praying we all will make New Day’s resolutions. Blessings to all of you and Happy New Day!

It’s Foodie Friday! (Home Made Pancakes)

Happy Foodie Friday all! The weekend is upon us. I love me some home made pancakes on a Sunday morning. I know there are many boxed mixes to choose from but there’s nothing like home made right?

 

There are many things to add to this for flavor choices…

 

Pancakes

 

1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

 

3 tsp. baking powder

 

2 Tbl. brown sugar (you can use white if you prefer)

 

1/2 tsp. salt

 

1 beaten egg

 

1 cup milk

 

2 Tbl. oil (or maple syrup; the secret ingredient)

 

a splash of vanilla

 

Add all the dry ingredients together in medium mixing bowl. Add the egg, oil/maple syrup, vanilla, and milk and stir with wooden spoon. You want the batter to be a little lumpy so don’t over mix. Here’s where the flavor additions come in…

 

Feel free to add to taste, things like:

 

cinnamon

 

mini chocolate chips

 

bananas (smashed)

 

peanut butter chips or regular peanut butter

 

canned pumpkin pie filling

 

apple pie filling

 

blueberries

 

strawberries

 

etc.berries

 

Really anything you think of that goes great with pancakes could be added, the sky is the limit!

 

Stir all this together. Heat an electric griddle or skillet and spray with cooking spray. I use a 1/3 cup measure and scoop some batter and pour it into the hot pan. Cook until you see small bubbles forming on top of the pancakes. Flip over and cook for just a bit, it doesn’t seem to take as long on the other side. Cook until golden. Remove from pan and place on a platter. Repeat process until all your batter is used up. These freeze very well. Spread on some butter and syrup and maybe top with some powdered sugar. Yummy!

 

I hope you get a chance this weekend to make a big stack of these for your family or friends and sit around the table together. Just double or triple the recipe accordingly. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

The most important part…

Well, after reading my post over again, I realized I didn’t put in the most important piece into my writing…

 

The Bible verse!

 

Luke 10:40-42 says “But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she went up to Him and said ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, But one thing is necessary, Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken away from her.'”

 

Jesus instructs us here in this verse that time with Him needs to come first. He recognizes that Martha’s responsibility is important and needed. But before fulfilling those responsibilities, she needed to spend time with her Lord.

 

My apologies for leaving this out. I never want to leave out the word of God. His words are far more important then mine. Blessings to all of you and if you have enjoyed what you read here, would you consider sharing it wherever you happen to land on social media or forwarding it to a friend on your Email list? I desire to grow this ministry and you can help do that by sharing what you read here. Thank you so much. See you on Friday!

My date was a no show.

Father in Heaven, may these words have the impact You desire them to have. May they bring a gentle conviction for each of us. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Welcome to the table dear friends. Pull up a chair and get comfy with a hot beverage. I’d like to paint a picture  with words if I may…

 

Imagine if you will, that you have planned a date of sorts. This could be a special date with your spouse or a very dear friend. You have been looking forward to this date for quite some time.

 

You have decided to make it an in-home get together for two. You’ve planned the meal from the main course of oven roasted chicken, seasoned baby red skin potatoes, maple glazed carrots, and home made rolls.

 

You’ve gotten out your best china and serving pieces, crystle glasses and sparkling grape juice. You’ve set the table using your finest linen table cloth and matching cloth napkins. Candles are lit and you have dressed for the occasion. Everything is ready and the food has cooked perfectly and has been placed on the table in beautiful bowls and platters. All that remains is the arrival of your special guest. table food

The clock chimes the hour that your date is supposed to arrive. A smile forms on your face in anticipation. You watch out the window for signs of your special guest. The minutes are ticking by… not here yet. You check the food once more and pour the juice into the crystle goblets. You return to the window certain you will see headlights any moment. 

 

Lights come into view and you smile again. Then suddenly they pass by without stopping. Your smile fades. You check the clock. It’s now twenty minutes past your date time. You check the food… the juice… the window. Nothing. Forty-five minutes late now and you are so disappointed. Your phone chimes with a text message… it’s your special guest that you have prepared for and have been waiting for.

 

“Sorry, can’t make it, I’m to busy”

 

“What?” you say aloud. You have done so much to get ready for your time with that special person. Don’t they understand how much you wanted to spend time with them? Don’t they care how much you love them? Don’t they get how much preparation went into this time and how long you have wanted to share this time with them ?

 

Oh dear friends… Jesus has done so much preparation for us to spend time with Him. He sets the table everyday for us to come and spend special time with Him.

 

So often the demands of life take our minds to stress island and then threatens to leave us there. We are a multitasking society where taking time to rest and be with the one who loves you so desperately, is seen as unproductive.

Jesus has everything we need to be our most productive without the trip to stress island.

 

Taking time with Him each day fuels us for the day and offers so much more then any amount of multitasking. Jesus desires to have date time with us. We are His special someone that He is watching for, the one He has prepared the special feast of His word for, and the one He has set the table for. Will you meet Him there? Let Him be the one you mark your calendar for, the one you guard your time with. He is prepared and just watching out the window for you. Consider your time with Him as of the upmost importance and guard it well. Meet Jesus at the table for your date. Don’t be a no show 🙂