A Spiritual Infection

Father in heaven, I pray You place Your hands over mine as I type these words. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Hello and welcome back! If you happen to be new… welcome to my table and you will find a place for you here every week when you subscribe and get my posts in your in-box. You will also get a recipe each Friday! So let’s dig in!

 

I went to a follow up appointment after my ear surgery to find out how things are coming along. The doctor took out the rest of the packing…

 

OK let me just pause here and give you a visual; she pulled out what she could with tweezers, then she pulled out the rest with a tiny vacuum. A VACUUM! In my ear! Uh, I’m not sure I, as a writer, can find the words to describe that feeling. I caught a little glimpse of what a dust bunny way under the couch who has been busted and now is being pursued must feel like! The audio was whistley and rather uncomfortable but not exactly painful. I’m glad the packing is out now and I don’t have to have my brain potentially sucked out!

 

So on with my progress…

 

She had some medical students in with her and I became the proverbial lab rat as it were. Everyone was very professional and courteous. However they took turns peering into my post surgical ear and seeing what an infection looks like on a prosthetic implant. Oh boy… an infection.

 

Here is where the spiritual connection comes in. I have to confess to all of you, my dear valued readers, that … I simply brought on the infection myself. I’m not proud of this fact but I feel a spiritual lesson is to be had in this for me, and I’m hoping for all of us.

 

I was given very simple but specific instructions to use the prescribed ear drops twice a day for the six weeks until I saw the doctor again for follow up. I am TERRIBLE about remembering to take a prescription. I have not yet figured out why. I do all the tricks like putting it where I will be sure to remember it, setting an alarm on my phone, taking it before bed, taking it as soon as I get up… all the tricks. I just can’t seem to remember or rather make myself stop what I’m doing to take it.

 

Inserting prayer request here…

 

I didn’t do what the doctor said and now I have an infection. Have you ever known what it was that “the Great Physician” has prescribe for you to do, but for whatever reason, you’ve not followed His instruction? Did it result in a spiritual infection? I’ve been there.

 

After directly going the opposite direction of what I knew without a doubt was Gods plan, I experienced that spiritual infection. I couldn’t seem to connect with God, I had a multitude of things go wrong during that period of time, I couldn’t get my spiritual footing.

 

I needed my heavenly Doctor to prescribe the Antibiotic to heal my infection. This antibiotic was following His plans even when I think I know better. Even when I think His plans aren’t necessary for my spiritual growth and over-all health.

 

Matthew 9:12  “But when He heard it, He said, ‘those who are sick have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.'”

 

Friends we are all sick and in need of a physician. We will be in need this side of eternity. We live in a sin sick world and we need The Great Physicians prescriptions to keep us from getting infected by the negativity and gossip and slander and character assassination and all other manner of sickness that goes on around us.

 

God prescribes in His word our daily dose of what we need and if we will follow His instructions, we have far less chance of getting that spiritual infection that the enemy desires to inject us with. Just as the doctor knew what I needed to use daily to ward off infection, our heavenly Doctor knows infinitely more what we need to ward off spiritual infection. Take His prescription daily and follow His instructions diligently.

 

In short… follow the Doctors orders.

 

Now I will be faithful to use the ear drops my doctor prescribed and clear up the infection. The good news is that she is confident the infection will clear up and I’ll be on the road to better recovery soon. Your heavenly Doctor is just waiting for you to fill the prescription. Be confident that His medicine will clear up any infection and put you on the road to recovery. Let the healing begin.

 

 

 

It’s Foodie Friday! (Twisted Green Bean Cassarole)

Happy Foodie Friday Y’all! Thanksgiving is only two weeks away! Yikes, things are moving faster every year. Have you begun Christmas shopping yet? I actually have a few people completely done already.

 

Well I have a new twist on an old favorite for Thanksgiving and I believe I have shared it with all of you before but it would have been before the recipes were shifted to the new “Foodie Friday” series. I thought I would share it with you again here and tell you how I tweak this for my own Thanksgiving dinner.

 

Twisted Green Bean Casserole

 

3 cans green beans, drained

 

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

 

2 cups sour cream

 

1 can cream of soup of your choice such as: celery, mushroom, onion, asparagus, etc.

 

4 oz. buttery round crackers

 

1/2 cup butter melted

 

1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, stir together sour cream and soup (with no water added), I usually use the cream of onion. Stir in green beans and frozen corn. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Crush crackers and mix them with the melted butter. Sprinkle on Swiss cheese over entire top of casserole. Spread on cracker mixture. Now here’s the twist on the twisted green bean casserole… You could absolutely go ahead and bake this for about 20 minutes and it’s as yummy as can be. But to save on oven space on turkey day, I place the mixed casserole in the crock pot and sprinkle the cheese on the top in the pot. Then spread the cracker mixture on as well. Cover and turn on low until you are ready to serve dinner. It will need to be on for a couple hours but you don’t need to watch it or take up precious oven space. I am making this dish this year to take to my in-laws for the big day. We alternate years with my husbands family and mine. This year it’s dinner at his mom and dads house. Where will you be this year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take those thoughts captive!

Father in heaven, may these words reach our hearts and minds in just the way You want them to. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Baby it’s cold outside! It’s only 8 degrees where I am. So pull up a chair and let’s gather together here at the table and get warm. Grab a hot drink and let’s chat.

 

Do you find yourself dwelling on a negative thought or two or a thousand? Maybe something isn’t going right at work. Maybe your spouse has done something that made you upset and you just can’t seem to let it go. Maybe your child hasn’t made the kind of choices you would like them to. Maybe someone has been overly critical of you or your family.

 

Whatever your situation might be, it can bring with it a host of negative thoughts that will (if we let them) plague us all day and all night. Have you been there?

 

I have had a situation that has been doing just that, plaguing me for far too long. Although words can definitely hurt us, often times more then those proverbial sticks and stones, we have the choice to take them captive and lock them up. I have been pondering and pacing, wondering and worrying, grousing and groaning about a particular set of events that have gone on for quite some time. A person who has made me feel… not so good. A situation that has sometimes kept me up at night. Words that have given me stomach pains. You know what I mean right?

 

I talked with trusted friends who I knew would give me spiritual and biblical council. I complained to God about it. I shared with my husband my feelings about it. But I felt very recently, God whisper something to me in such a gentle but sort of heartbroken way.

 

“I wish you thought about me as much as you think about that.”

 

Ouch. I had done all the human responses to a circumstance but I hadn’t taken my thoughts captive. I just have been letting them run roughshod over my spiritual life.

 

 

2   Corinthians 10:5  “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

 

You see all the arguments the enemy wants to make for why we should be continually angry at or about someone or something, will be destroyed when we take our thoughts captive. Negative thoughts are only in OUR heads, therefore they are only hurting us. They only keep US up at night, they only give US a stomach ache, they only make US short tempered…

 

Our energy needs to be put into our family, our ministry, our relationships, our jobs…

 

When these negative thoughts tried to push open the door of my mind, I just reminded them that they were no longer welcome and asked God to help me place my mind on more worth while things. Things like what good friends I have, what an amazingly loving husband I have, how my adult children still want to go to church, the ministries God has asked me to carry.

 

I want to do a variation of this that works for my circumstance but I think a blessing box is a great tool to keep our negative thoughts captive. When we are dwelling to much on a particular hurt, we go to our blessing box and pull out one of the many slips of paper we have placed in it with our blessings on them, and remind ourselves of the positive things in our lives. I’m such a crafting nut that I love the idea of hand making our own personalized boxes and even making an “on-the-go” version to keep in our purse or car or desk. Will you make one with me? Let’s be intentional about taking those negative thoughts captive.

 

It’s Foodie Friday! (Creamed Pearl Onions)

Hi all and happy Friday! Here we are at the table to share something to put on the table for our Thanksgiving gatherings.

 

This is something that my Mom makes for a few different holidays and it’s the only time of year I get them 😦

This is a traditional English dish and since half of my family is English… it fits!

 

Creamed Pearl Onions

 

cream sauce –

2 Tbl. butter (the real thing)

 

1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

 

1 cup milkonions

 

2 Tbl. flour

 

3 to 4 Tbl. Parmesan cheese

 

Melt butter in sauce pan, add flour, salt, and pepper, whisk  continuously. Pour in milk gradually while whisking. Cook until thick and smooth on medium heat. Stir in 3 to 4 Tbl. Parmesan cheese. Add 1 jar pearl onions, drained. Heat on medium low for about 15 minutes or until heated through.

 

I look forward to this side dish on Thanksgiving day. It brings back all the turkey days of yester-year. Hope you can find a spot on your table for them.

 

 

Who keeps tying tin cans to my car?

Father in heaven, my prayer is for all of us to read these words and glean from them some wisdom about ourselves. In Jesus name, Amen

 

Well here we are for some more table talk time! I hope your week has been pleasant. It’s been a week full of blessings for me as my son has been invited to speak at my church and I’ve also been invited to speak there in a few weeks. Though I won’t go looking for such invitations on my own, I’m honored to speak for God wherever He calls me and allows me too. I’m not going to seek it out because I never want to mistake Gods calling for my own effort.

 

So let’s talk about the old days for a moment…

 

Do you remember the days of people tying tin cans to the back bumper of a newly-weds car? It was designed to draw attention to the happy couple as they drove away into their future lives together.

 

If you happened to be on the sidewalk on one such day, you would here the CLANG CLANG CLANG of all the cans rattling on the ground as they were being dragged by the car.

 

On-lookers would stop and turn their attention to the automobile responsible for all the racket. Then realizing that it was a new bride and groom, people would be more tolerant of the noise.

 

However I would guess that if the newly-weds were to drive around the same block several times, the on-lookers would quickly become can snippers. The incessant clatter would simply be too much.

 

The sentiment was thoughtful but after a mile or two, even the happy couple would get annoyed and… out would come the scissors.

 

Do you sometimes feel like the negativity in your life is like those tin cans after a mile or two? Maybe on some level the annoyance started out to be a nice gesture, but has now become something you just want to find a way to cut loose.

 

Now I’m not suggesting to cut loose your job, marriage, friendships, church members, etc.

 

I am however, suggesting to cut loose the feelings that make the CLANG CLANG CLANG in your situation.

 

Perhaps a co-worker has stepped on your toes one too many times; CLANG CLANG CLANG!

 

Maybe your spouse has been far too unappreciative; CLANG CLANG CLANG!

 

It could be a family member or friend who has, yet again, criticized your ideas; CLANG CLANG CLANG!

 

We have to be in prayer about these issues because if the enemy can be successful in “getting our goat”, then he will continue to use the same method.

 

1 Peter 5:8  “Be sober minded, be watchful, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

 

If we let all the negative tin cans clang so loudly that we cannot hear Gods calling on our lives, the enemy will most certainly devour us. It is time for us to begin carrying those proverbial scissors and snip off those cans one by one.

 

If someone at work has taken over your project, be the inclusive one who says “hey I’ve noticed you have a big interest in this project, how about helping me with some of it?”

 

If your spouse seems to not notice your efforts, you could snip a can by responding with “I love that I can do so many things for you as my partner and I’m glad you do them for me too.”

 

If a friend or family member is overly critical of something you want to or have accomplished, you could respond with “well there you have your plan if you decide to do a project like this.”

 

We have to have boundaries put up to keep out the “roaring lion” or he will make a meal out of us. God desires to protect us from that lion.

 

I hope these words give all of us the scissors to start snipping those cans free from our lives. Instead of hearing CLANG CLANG CLANG… let’s begin listening for the SNIP SNIP SNIP!

 

Maybe you could even print off a picture of some scissors and put it in your bible in 1 Peter 5. Hold fast to God and He will shut the mouth of the lion!

 

 

It’s Foodie Friday!!! (Thanksgiving sides)

Hi all! We have now entered into the month of Thanksgiving! I’d like to do a month long series on favorite Thanksgiving day side dishes.

 

As I share recipes, I encourage all of you to comment and share your faves as well. We all have different traditional desserts and staple sides so let’s do some exchanging huh?

 

I’m going to start with the staple side of sweet potatoes or yams. Just use however many potatoes or yams you will need for your turkey day event. Add in:

 

3 Tbls. brown sugar (feel free to add more if you need to punch up the sweetness)

 

about 1/2 cup maple syrup (just the kind you would use on pancakes)

 

about 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

 

1 to 1 1/2 sticks butter (the real thing)

 

These measurements are based on a fairly large group of people. Say 20 to 25 friends and family. Just adjust as needed. You will prepare these like you would mashed potatoes. Cook your potatoes or yams and when they are soft and still hot, add in your ingredients and blend with an electric mixer.

 

A trick to keep a few things warm on the big day is to plug in and heat up your electric skillet/griddle. Just put it on a fairly low temperature like 200 degrees or so and set your heat safe dishes right on top of it like a warming tray. This was a tip from my mother-in-law.

 

Do you all make yams or sweet potatoes?

 

 

Whatkind of make up do you wear?

Father in heaven, I pray this will be a time of growth for all of us. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Come on in and have a seat friends! It’s good to have you here at the table. I dare say this weeks post may relate to women more then men, but I think we all can glean from it.

 

This week at my in-home book club, we discussed a particular chapter in Whitney Capps book, “Sick of Me”. She refers to a time in seventh grade that she got a zit. Normal for most seventh  graders, but she pointed out that she NEVER got zits. So well known was this fact that when she did get one, it really stood out to her peers. One day at the lunch table, a particular girl noticed said zit and announced in a VERY loud voice, “Oh my goodness! Whitney you’ve got a zit right on your chin!” as she noticeably pointed directly at the offending red mound on her face.

 

Whitney was of course mortified and ran to the bathroom to inspect her preteen conundrum. Evidently no amount of make up (which she had not started wearing yet) would cover up this champion of a zit.

 

We at the book club discussed how we sometimes use “spiritual make up” to hide or cover up certain sins or just things we know we need to change. This might look something like taking on various positions at church to look extra spiritual. It may look like staying away from church all together to avoid people asking questions we don’t want to answer. It may look like working lots of over-time to be to exhausted to focus on anything we might need to tweak in our lives.

 

What ever shade of blush, powder, or lipstick we might choose, it will not hide or cover up the bright red mound that needs proper attention and appropriate cream to help it heal.

 

Whitney points out that often times using make up, not only doesn’t help, but can even draw more attention to the unwanted zit. If we try to cover up what needs proper attention for spiritual growth, we can end up doing the exact opposite.

 

Like the school mate in the lunch room, God already knows about our zit before we do. He isn’t interested in being our cosmetologist, but He is interested in being our dermatologist.

 

God wants us to apply the zit cream, AKA; His word, and heal the zits in our lives. Like getting rid of an infected pus pocket on your face,  can be a little painful to heal. However when it does… your spiritual complexion will be glowing! No make up needed!

 

Allow God to point out the zit and show you how to heal it so you, as well as others, can see Jesus in you! I want others to see Jesus in me too. Not my Foundation or eye shadow. Will you pick up the wash cloth and zit cream and let God give you a shining glowing complexion! I’ll be in the dermatologists office right behind ya!