Vegetarian Mexican Rice and Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.

  • ½ large, sweet onion, diced small.

  • ½ large red bell pepper, diced small.

  • ¾ cup carrots, shredded.

  • ¾ cup corn, frozen.

  • ½ cup peas, frozen.

  • ½ 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed.

  • 1 cup cooked rice, brown.

  • 1 teaspoon cumin.

  • ½ teaspoon salt.

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground.

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper.

  • 2 green onions thinly sliced.

  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro finely minced.

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice.

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, add the olive oil, onion, and cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes, or until it begins to soften; stir occasionally.

  2. Add the bell pepper, carrots, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender; stir occasionally.

  3. Add the corn, peas, beans, rice, cumin, salt, pepper, optional cayenne, stir to combine, and cook for about 2 minutes or until warmed through; stir occasionally.

  4. Add the green onions, cilantro, lime juice, stir to combine, taste and check for seasoning balance and add additional salt, pepper, cumin, etc. if desired.

  5. Serve immediately.

Only God truly can look after us

The people of this country are suffering. They are suffering so badly right now. And there’re feeling desperate because there’s nobody looking out for them.

However, only God truly can look after us.

Romans 10:13 tells us: For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But wait! As Romans 10:14 tells us: How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

If you read this and do not know what God has done for you, read John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Help someone in despair, share this message.

Grilled Chicken with Pesto Pasta and Roasted Tomatoes

I recommend ALWAYS roasting some tomatoes and adding them to your pesto pasta dish.
This was fabulous!
I had some three week old tomatoes so I decided to use them.
Homemade basil pasta with pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a Parmesan Romano blend.
Grilled seasoned chicken and toasted French baguette!
Some extra pesto to put into the freezer and Charles was aggressively taking possession of the leftovers. When he does that then I know it was a fabulous dish!!
Pesto Pasta with roasted Tomatos2

Love Came Down Once – And Love Will Come Down Again!

Love Came Down Once – And Love Will Come Down Again!

Love Came Down

As we celebrate Christmas and Jesus’ birth, we must not just look back at that day and that event.  We must look forward to when Jesus will come again.  We need to understand the purpose of his birth, his suffering and death, and his coming again one day.  There was a clear purpose and that purpose was driven from the expansive love that God has for every single person!

His love is expansive – “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19

Jesus is love – “We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19;   We can live a life of loving others because of His love for us.  He went first!

When we didn’t deserve his love, he still lavished it on us – “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”-  Romans 5:8;   “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Prophesy is documented and preserved in the Bible

God’s word is truth and God is a promise keeper.  So just as prophesized in the Old Testament Books of the Bible, Jesus came to save the world.  And just as prophesized in the New Testament Books of the Bible, Jesus will come again!

The Old Testament – Love Came Down Once – Prophesy Proved True!

Born in Bethlehem  “But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”  (from eternity) Micah 5:2

Born of a Virgin  “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14

From the line of Abraham  “And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.”  Genesis 22:18

A descendant of Jacob “I shall see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near, A star will come out of Jacob a scepter will rise out of Israel”.  Numbers 24:17

Called out of Egypt  “When Israel was a child, I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son” Hosea 11:1

The New Testament – Love Will Come Down Again – And It Will Prove True!

Just as prophesized in the New Testament – Jesus (Love) coming down again

Jesus said

“For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”  Matthew 23:39

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes”.  1 Corinthians 11:26

“At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.”  Mark 13:26

Additional scriptures

‘After this I will return and rebuild” Acts 15:16

“God is just……This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful Angels.   2 Thessalonians 1: 6-7

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and flowing their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is the ‘coming’ he promised?  Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanted anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 2 Peter 3: 3-13

To prepare for Jesus’ return, we ought to be striving to live Godly lives – check out my articles A Life Devoted to God .  And also my article The Trinity, as the Holy Spirit definitely can help you achieve this since we are born with imperfection with our hearts are bent toward selfishness and sin.  But God gave us help through faith in Him.  Thank God!

What Child Is This?

To know Him is to LOVE Him! Praise and honor to the The Father, Jesus Christ The Son, and Holy Spirit.

“This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭7:22-28‬ ‭ESV‬

Love Came Down – But There Was No Room!

There Was No Room – Love Makes RoomNo Room

Bethlehem didn’t make room

While they were in [Bethlehem], the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Luke 2:6, 7)

Why do you suppose that there was no room for them in the inn?  Was there really no room inside?  Could they have possibly made room by moving things around or removing something that wasn’t necessary at the moment?  Was it an inconvenience for the hospitality staff?   Did a woman answer the door? Could a women turn another woman away that was in labor?  Who was it that suggested they should go deliver the baby in a manger with the livestock?

Jerusalem didn’t make room

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  (Matthew 2:1-3)

Why do you think that King Herod and all of Jerusalem was disturbed?  Do you think perhaps it was because they were confused about having two Kings in their life?   How would they determine who really was King?  Some say you cannot serve God and money or you cannot serve God and yourself.  You must choose.  And each of us make this choice each and every day.

Who made room for Jesus? 

  1. The shepherds were able to make room due to their humble place.
  2. The Magi were able to make room due to their faith.

The shepherds lived a life of simplicity, they had lots of space, probably not a lot of stress.  They were living very humble lifestyles.  Humble doesn’t mean impoverished- that’s not required to be humble.

The Magi were likely men with means and wealth. Remember they came with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  It was their faith that created the humble space to desire to follow Jesus.   The journey was probably several months long, into the desert—it’s wasn’t a vacation hot spot they were heading to for sure!

Remember these two examples of “those who made room for Jesus”.  It wasn’t about what they had on the outside, it was about what they had on the inside – Jesus looks at the inside – at the heart!

 Jesus made room for us

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:5-8)

When we were powerless (fearful, lack of faith, living in sin and guilt, heavy burden, without strength to deliver ourselves), God made room for us.  You see we couldn’t all fit into heaven, not the way we were with the sin we were carrying.  But God did not turn us away because there was no room!  God made more room through His sacrifice.

It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:26)  

God made room for us by moving things around – getting rid of some stuff.  God took away our sins so we could fit!   God is the justifier who took care of our sin (he removed it) and then welcomes us in!

We should make room for Jesus and others

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1, 2)

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evilBe merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36)

You see, God could have saved us in a second, but instead he sent a child to allow us to decide in our own heart of hearts which King we are going to follow.   Do we have room for Jesus today?  Do we make space for him each day?  When everything cannot fit, we must decide to set some things aside, change some things, or give up some things.  It will costs us—-a sacrifice just like it cost Jesus.

When we look around at others that are suffering, people that are feeling down and weary, can we make room for them?   Can we take some time out of our busy days to lend a hand, say a kind word of encouragement, or thank them for their service with a smile?

God Bless you today as you ponder on these scriptures and these words during the Christmas Season!   You can also check out some of my other articles that may help you consider how to make more space for Jesus and others in your life.  Look for “A Life Devoted to God” and also “The Trinity” as the Holy Spirit definitely can help you find some extra space!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setting Intentions To Love

Love God Love Others

Setting intentions in our hearts and in our minds to love others as we gather together for Thanksgiving.

As we prepare for the Holiday season and time with our families and friends, it’s typical to wrap up a few last items at work, run to the grocery store to buy the essentials, then turn to our family favorite recipes to begin prepping for that special meal.

But, what if we took a moment before we start that sprint to prepare ourselves.  To fill ourselves up first to be our best and give our best to those we love the most? To take a few moments to set our hearts and minds with intentions to love on others throughout this special time regardless of any situation or circumstance that may arise.

Love, the first and greatest commandment—we all need and desire to be loved.

Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus replied; “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself”.

Fill yourself up with love first.  Recognize how much you are loved by God who created you in his image. Special and unique.

1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

Romans 5:5 “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us”

Because God’s love is so powerful, we can love others.

Guard your heart

What does it mean to guard your heart?  To me, it means setting the intention not to take things too personally and to acknowledge that everything good comes from God. Do not look for validation, acceptance, or unconditional love from anyone else.  There is not one of us that is perfect and we all make mistakes along the way.  Be forgiving, as God has forgiven us first!  When we don’t guard our hearts, we are leaving an open door for hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and impacted or severed relationships.  The evil one loves this and it gives him a stronghold.  Don’t do that!

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

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ask the Lord to help you guard your heart and do not allow yourself to get sensitive in the circumstance.  Focus on his love for you, the fact that his powerful love enables you to love others (regardless of their actions), and not change your behaviors based on their behaviors.

SALSA VERDE TACO SOUP

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Salsa verde taco soup made with fresh tomatillos, peppers, green chile, brown rice, and ground beef. This is a fabulous way to enjoy those abundant tomatillos from my summer garden.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes        Yield: 2 Servings
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes        Total Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 12 ounces tomatillos, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 2-5 hot peppers  shishito/padron/jalapeno
  • 3 1/4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup long grain brown rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime plus wedges for serving

EXTRA’s FOR THE GARNISH

  • 1 small avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • chopped cilantro to taste
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a medium size saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onions, and garlic.  Cook until meat is no longer pink.
  • Add the salt, chili powder, and cumin. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatillos, peppers, and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil  then and add the rice. Reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer and cook the soup,  stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender.
  • While the soup simmers prepare the garnish. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with a fork until it’s broken down. Add the lime juice, cilantro, and salt and stir to combine.
  • When the rice is tender, add 1/2 tablespoon of chopped cilantro and juice of 1/2 a lime and stir. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream and guacamole.

Herb-Crusted Flank Steak with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

This is a classic and flavorful dish accompanied with green beans.

Ingredients: (2 servings)

Steak

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ ground black pepper
  • 8 – 10 once flank steak
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Tomatoes

  • 2/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 6 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 6 pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. For steak: Mix first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Place steak in glass baking dish. Brush steak with olive oil. Rub with herb mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
  2. For tomatoes: Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Season tomatoes to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  3. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Transfer steaks to cutting board. Cover with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Cut steak across grain into ½ -inch-thick slices. Arrange steak slices on large platter. Spoon tomatoes with juices over steak and serve.

Greek Lemon Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

A healthy recipe to enjoy flavors of Greece.

Ingredients: (2 servings)

  • 1 large, sweet potato
  • 1 chicken breast boneless, skinless (8 – 10 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small lemon sliced (optional)
  • Parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ᵒ F.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes in ¼ to ½ inch slices and then cut in halves.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, oregano, turmeric, salt, black pepper, and chicken broth. Whisk to combine.
  4. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a 9” x 9” baking pan. Place the chicken breast over the sweet potatoes and pour lemon mixture on top. Top with lemon slices.
  5. Roast in oven for 55-60 minutes. Top with chopped parsley and serve hot.