It’s Foody Friday!!!

This side-dish can be purchased in the box form but it is easy to make and you control the ingredients. It’s a comfort foo for sure!

 

Garlic Parmesan Pasta

 

1 lb. pasta of your choice (we like shells or spiral)

 

1 8oz.  wedge fresh Parmesan cheese

 

1 8oz. ball fresh mozzarella cheese

 

2 1/2 cups milk

 

1/2 stick butter

 

2 heaping Tbl. flour

 

1 – 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or salt

 

1 tsp. onion powder or salt

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Shred the Parmesan cheese and cut mozzarella into cubes. In dutch oven, boil pasta as label directs. Drain. In another large sauce pan, pour in milk and add butter. Simmer on medium heat until butter is melted. Sprinkle in flour and stir constantly with whisk for about 3 to 4 minutes. Begin adding in cheese a quarter at a time. Continue whisking melted cheese and adding in remainder of cheese until all is melted. Add in the onion and garlic powders or salts and blend well. Return pasta to dutch oven and pour cheese sauce over pasta. Mix well. This is a big pot of ooey gooey comfort food. Goes great with meatloaf or burgers or chicken. Sooooooooo Good!

 

I Didn’t Hear You…

Father in Heaven, I’m so thankful You hear our prayers. I’m grateful Your ears are not subject to a fallen world. Go before these words Lord and fill our ears and hearts. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Hi there and welcome to my table. I’ve had an experience this week that I’d like to share with you all.

 

For many years now I’ve had a fairly significant hearing loss in my left ear. This would be a big inconvenience for someone under standard circumstances, but for a blind person… it’s rather detrimental.

 

I’ve been to see a specialist this week to find out if anything can be done to repair the damaged bones in my ear that is causing the hearing loss. I learned with some mixed feelings that it can indeed be rectified.

 

The mixed feelings are a result of this:

 

First- It’s surgery. I’ve had surgery twice and my reaction to anesthesia is a little difficult to deal with. I get very emotional and evidently come out of surgery crying. Not from pain but from some strange interaction with the medicine. My emotions don’t want to play nicely with the chemical substance.

 

Second- it has a down time of about a month before I can resume normal everyday activity. Then two months of total hearing loss in that ear (this will be in conjunction with the down time). It will be packed and need time to fully heal before the doctors can remove the protective packing. Then the inner ear will have packing as well which will dissolve on its own. This will take an additional month to heal and get back whatever hearing I’ll be able to get back. It is likely I’ll get back about eighty percent of my hearing. Praise the Lord!

 

Thirdly- No hearing for a blind person, even in just one ear is completely life altering.

 

I will be functioning off of a single ear to navigate most of my world. I’d be dishonest if I said that was only a little unnerving. Balance is off, perception is off, awareness is off… everything is just off. The funny thing is, I knew I had hearing loss but I just adapted to it and life went on. I didn’t really think about how my life could be made easier if I had my ear repaired thus restoring my hearing.

 

Have you ever thought about our spiritual hearing? Our ability to hear Gods’ voice?

 

It really makes me think about my spiritual ears, how I have just adapted to only hearing God sometimes. About how I question if I’ve heard God correctly.

 

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says ‘today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’.”  (Hebrews 3:7-8)

 

Oh, how many times have I heard His voice and hardened my heart.

 

God whispers “Your husband would like you to tell him you appreciate him.”

 

I reply “He knows that already God, I don’t have to say it again.”

 

God whispers “Your children need encouragement from you.”

 

I reply “But they didn’t do what I asked them to do last week. they don’t need encouragement; they need to listen.”

 

God whispers “You should call that person I’ve laid on your heart to call.”

 

I reply “I don’t have time right Lord. I’m trying to write something that will impact people for You.”

 

I wonder if the doctor can operate on my spiritual ears too. I think I’ll ask the “Great Physician” to do this job.

 

I want to hear the Holy Spirit more clearly. I want to hear Gods instructions for my life. Even if it takes three months of prayer, taking it easy from my everyday spiritual activity, letting my spiritual ears heal, to be able to gain back my spiritual hearing, then Lord help me to do just that.

 

I’ll let God pack my ears with His word. I’ll let His words block out all other noises. I’ll let His words muffle the enemies lies of “you’re not capable of reaching other people for God”.

 

The hearing loss I have is a result of abuse I suffered at the hands of someone who told me many lies about my self-worth. My spiritual hearing has been damaged from someone else who has told me the very same lies.

 

Friends don’t let the voices of the world determine your worth! Jesus… the creator of the entire universe, died on a cross for your worth. No one can value you more then God!

 

Muffle the enemies lies with Gods healing word. Pack your spiritual ears with His word and let the healing begin!

It’s Foody Friday!!!

Here is a favorite of mine, and my daughter loves it too…

 

Salsa Chicken Foil Packs

 

Chicken tender loins (unbreaded, you will need 2/pack)

 

2 cups chicken broth

 

2 cups instant white rice

 

1 cup corn

 

1 red bell pepper chopped

 

2 Tbsp. butter melted

 

1 tsp. oregano leaves (dried is fine)

 

1/2 tsp. salt

 

1/4 tsp. pepper

 

1 cup salsa

 

1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, mix rice and chicken broth together. Let stand for 20 minutes. Add corn, chopped red pepper (optional items are: onion, black olives, or any other colored pepper). Lay out sheets of foil, large enough to make a pack, Spoon on 1 – 1 1/2 cups of the rice combination onto the foil. Lay tender loins on top of rice combo. Spoon on 1/4 cup of the salsa. Fold over edges of foil to make a pouch. Place packs on cookie sheet and bake about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully open packs. Sprinkle on mexican cheese and close packs. Place back in oven and bake an additional 5 – 10 minutes.

 

This is such a simple meal for those rushed nights and there is very few dishes to wash. This is always a plus for me! Hope you enjoy and leave me a comment when you try them and let me know how you like them. Enjoy!

 

 

I need a skin graft

Father in heaven, I pray these words You have given me reach those You want to reach, including myself. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

I hope you all are comfortable here in your seat at the table. Let’s lift our forks and dig in, shall we?

 

I would like to take you back in time, about thirty-five years or so. I was in seventh grade. (yeesh!)

 

It was a normal school day and nothing out of the ordinary had happened… yet.

 

I was walking the halls with my friends and probably waiting for lunch and recess. All of a sudden, here comes my mother walking down the hall towards me. That’s almost never a good thing, to have your parent show up at school in the middle of the day. Not unless they were bringing you an arm full of balloons and a big tray of cupcakes all the while singing happy birthday with the marching band behind them.

 

But alas, this was not the case since my birthday is in October and this was in the spring.

 

I asked my mom what she was doing there and she replied that she was picking me up early because something had happened. Immediately I became alarmed. Stepping away from my friends and closer to my mom, I asked with panic what had happened.

 

“Your dad has had an accident.” she said.

 

The statement hung there for a moment as my mind flashed on a girl named Julie, who earlier in the year had gotten picked up from school by her family because her dad had had an accident.

 

She didn’t return to school for some time as I’m sure her grief was overwhelming after the funeral.

 

“What happened?” I asked with a trembling voice.

 

She explained the whole story as we drove to the hospital. I will share it with you here…

 

My father worked in the shop in a particular department and while walking through another, he noticed a machine was making a lot of noise and didn’t sound right. Walking over to the machine he tried to assess the situation and how he could fix it. Even though this wasn’t his normal department, he knew how these machines were supposed to operate.

 

This hunk of metal was designed to melt plastic for certain car parts. It had been shimmying and jolting because the temperature was more then two times hotter then it was supposed to be. He began trying to get the temperature lowered. It seemed as though the machine didn’t appreciate being told what to do.

 

After the explosion, many people rushed to my father who was now lying on the floor writhing in pain. Unsure of how much of his face was covered in the 700 degree plastic, all anyone knew to do while waiting for the ambulance was to put cold towels on his face to try and stop some of the pain and burning.

 

Walking into the hospital, I was frightened at what my dad would look like with such a severe burn to his face. I never saw his face after the burn as he was wrapped pretty tightly from his hair line down to his collar bone.  He was in the hospital for a little over three weeks. It was difficult for him to eat or brush his teeth. The plastic had burned all the way through his cheek and had damage to the inside of his mouth. Being a man and prone to whiskers growing, he had to shave over the highly sensitive area and that was always painful. I struggled to watch my dad go through all of this, but I was thankful I could visit him in the hospital and not the cemetery. My mind often went to Julie.

 

The weeks and months past and my dad slowly made progress. It was now time for surgeries to begin. He had some procedures already to surgically remove the melted plastic and small pieces of shrapnel that had been embedded in his face. Now it was time for skin grafts.

 

They would take skin from his hip and graft it to his face. We joked that we could call him “butt face” now and not get in trouble! Ha.

 

The idea, of course, was for the skin to eventually fuse together forming a seamless unification over time. It was successful as we are now more than three decades down the road and no one can tell he had been so badly burned. The skin didn’t argue about being grafted on, it simply obeyed and took on the cells of the skin that was naturally there.

 

The seems connected to each other so tightly that you could no longer tell what was once skin from somewhere else and what was already on his face.

 

This is how I want my relationship with Jesus to be!

 

I want to be so tightly connected to Him that no one can tell where He leaves off and I begin. Or where I had begun and He took over.

 

Romans 11:19 “Then you will say, ‘branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.'”

 

There are many who once believed in God but then chose to go their own way. Then there are those who didn’t know God but then came to know Him. For those who reject Him, it’s like that skin that got burned, it no longer wanted to adhere to my dads face. It needed to have new skin grafted on. That skin held firm and clung to my dads face.

 

I need a grafting too. I need the things of my life that don’t want to adhere to Jesus to be removed and new things to be added. This will make it impossible for anyone (including myself) to tell where I leave off and Jesus begins. I want such a tight relationship with Him that my seems cannot even be detected even by me.

 

My desire is to have all of Jesus grafted onto all of me. I don’t even want anymore of my own skin. I want His only.

 

Oh Father let my life be a grafting of You onto me. Let it not be seen where You leave off and I begin.

 

Is this your prayer too?

 

If I hadn’t told you this story and you met my dad… you would never have known what happened. I want whoever I introduce to my heavenly Father to never be able to tell where He leaves off and I begin. Shall we all keep this in our prayers?

 

 

I have a prayer I’d like to offer…

There has been much going on around us lately that has been on my heart so heavily.

 

The earthquake in California, wayward children, unequally yoked spouses, deaths and losses, financial instability, caring for aging parents and the list goes on…

 

Will you join me in this prayer just now?

 

Father in heaven, we have many requests to bring to You tonight. Lord we think of those who have been victims of the California earthquake. We are so thankful for those who are safe but we want to lift up those who have suffered. Father many have been misplaced from their homes. They have lost all of their belongings. Possibly loved ones and or pets. Father this devastation is likely to be long lasting so we pray for patience and renewal. Lord much more then the earth itself has been shaken.

 

Father many of us have children that have chosen paths that are unhealthy or destructive. Lord we pray that they will return to You. We may have taught them Your ways and now they are determined to walk their own way. Lord we ask that You make them restless in their own choices. Give them no peace about their decisions. Father if they have strayed to far for us to reach them, we pray these sheep have ears to hear the Shepherd.

 

Lord we may have a spouse that does not share our love for You. We ask for Your guidance in how to lead them along the path to Your grace. Help us to be gentle in the leading Lord, just as You have been with us. Give us the tools we need to help cultivate that relationship and help them to have open hearts to hear Your truths.

 

Lord we may have aging parents that we are caring for. Father we ask for You to give us patience and endurance as we lovingly care for them as they once did for us. Provide proper assistance Lord and if need be, provide the financial means needed. Help us to care for them with dignity and grace.

 

Father we may have a loved one battling a terminal or debilitating illness. Maybe it’s  a disability that is life altering. Lord we pray for guidance to help them but not belittle them. Give us wisdom to know when to help and when not to. Grant us patience and forgiveness as they travel this challenging road.

 

Lord we may be feeling fear or frustration over the loss of a job or death of a life-long dream. Help us to know Father, that You are in control and have the ending already planned out. Help us to trust fully in Your plans for us to spite our disappointment. Your ways are higher then our ways so help us to cling to that knowledge. Take away our fears and give us eyes to see Your provisions.

 

We bring all this to Your throne Father along with any other requests. We pray all of it with confidence in Jesus Holy name, Amen.

 

I hope this prayer was of some comfort to you. I will pray for any other requests that show up here in the comments or you can private message me on Facebook or Instagram. Blessings to you all.

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

Well here we are on the first “Foody Friday”.

 

I thought since many times at the start of a meal, there is an appetizer, that we might start with that? So you will need:

 

Large mushrooms (which ever type you prefer)

 

Bacon bits (artificial or real… your choice)

 

Shredded cheese (your favorite. Swiss is delicious or any kind of smokey flavored cheese is wonderful but it’s really up to you.)

 

Diced onion (you could also use scallions)

 

Remove stems from mushrooms and wipe mushrooms off with a damp paper towel. Sprinkle in a pinch of the shredded cheese. Layer with pinches of bacon bits, onions/scallions. For garnish, you could sprinkle on some parsley.

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place mushrooms on cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Serve warm. Make as many as you like!

 

Hope you enjoy this appetizer!

ALRIGHT… WHERE IS HE?

Father in heaven, may the words written here be pleasing and acceptable in Your site. In Jesus name, Amen.

Welcome, welcome everyone grab your seat at the table and let’s dig in.

Have you ever found yourself in a trying situation and wondered if God saw it happening?

Have you ever gone through something heart-breaking and questioned where God was in all of it?

I think we’ve all been in those moments. Probably more then once. I know I have.

A loss of a job… “God are You there?”

The unexpected death of a loved one… “God can You see me at all?”

Your dream just doesn’t seem to want to come to fruition… “God don’t You care?”

The child you’ve raised to know the Lord is now making choices that leave you drying your eyes. “God how can You let them just walk away like that?”

I’m sure you can fill in all sorts of blanks here. We want to “feel” that God is very near when tragedy strikes. After all, aren’t we told in Gods’ word that He is an ever-present help in time of trouble? (Psalm 46:1)

But then there are those times that we just bask in His nearness. We feel His presents and just glow with His love evident on our faces. We boast of His blessings in our lives and sing His praises loud and proud.

In those moments, we forget how we had questioned His presents in times of trouble. We share with others how we simply bring our problems to the Lord and give them all to Him in complete trust that He will work everything out for our good.

Then trouble strikes and… there we go again.

Do you remember the terrific Fall special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”?

It is by far my favorite holiday special of that season still to this day.

Here is poor Linus sticking to a belief in something that everyone thinks he’s foolish to believe in. Ever-faithful to her commitment to Linus, Charlie Browns little sister Sally wants to show her support.

After learning what it is Linus is waiting for in the pumpkin patch, Sally wants to share in his faithfulness and wait right along with him. So, there the two of them sit waiting. Linus shares his belief with Sally and she is skeptical but trusts her pumpkin patch partner and waits patientlyAfter some time passes, the gang of friends happen by the leafy over-grown patch and mock the pair of pumpkin dreamers for waiting on something they can neither see nor touch. Sally jumps to Linus’s defense and shouts to the crowd “He’ll be here” (referring to the Great Pumpkin) “You can bet on that! Linus knows what he’s talking about… Linus knows what he’s doing!”

After the gang is out of ear-shot, Sally whirls on Linus and shouts at him “ALRIGHT, WHERE IS HE?”

Isn’t that how we can be with God? I know I have. I sing His praises and tell of how He answers prayers. I defend Him to those who mock Him and declare that He is always present and sees all things. I rebuke those who claim He’s not real. But when tragedy strikes, I’ve found myself asking “ALRIGHT, WHERE IS HE?”

Friends one of the things that we must cling to is that we do not have to “feel” Gods presents, to “know” God is present.

As the verse in Psalm 46;1 promises that “God is our strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”

We can be assured that He does in fact see all things and knows all things. He hasn’t lost track of you my friend.

When we are hurting in those times of trouble, be comforted that God, like a good parent, is holding us and rocking us and telling us He is there.

Can’t you just hear Him saying, “Shhh,Shhhh… it will all be OK, Daddy’s here.”

When we feel tempted to doubt, hold on to the words you speak on Gods behalf when others question His goodness. Remember that He is near even if it doesn’t feel like He is. He loves you and will be near to you when you call on Him.

Let these words from Sally be the ones that echo in your mind… “He’ll be here, you can bet on that!”