Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jesus Loves Me!

When I was little, I sang Jesus Loves Me with the faith of a child. As I got older I stopped singing it since it was such a "kid song". When I had children, I sang it to them, still thinking it was a "kid song", but knowing that it was a song they needed to learn as part of our faith.

Now that I am older, I have changed my view on Jesus Loves Me. I think it is the most profound theological song I have ever heard. The simple message of Jesus loving me, the chief of sinners, is astounding and the fact that I don't have to know anything except that I know that Jesus loves me because the Bible says so...remarkable!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's All in God's Timing...Not Mine

As of this minute, we own our new home here in San Antonio and our "vacation" home in Little Rock! Why a vacation home in Little Rock? It certainly isn't me...there isn't enough to do in LR to want to have an extra house.

Up until just today, I have been doing just fine with having two houses. Mostly because my husband, Ben, has been so great about it. His normal "MO" would be to worry, scheme, keep doing more...but he is walking so closely with God these days, that Ben knows that God has a plan, even if He hasn't chosen to share the whole thing with us yet.

Today, though, it has been bugging me a bit and making me wonder just what God's plan is. It has been so clear that we are to be here and that the move was just what we were supposed to do, but this one piece of the puzzle isn't falling into place...why?

Then it hit me...I am not the first person God has done this to...I actually fall into good company. Remember Sarah and the promise that she would have a child? She had the promise, but it was years before the promise became a reality. Then I thought of David. He had been annointed as king, but for years after that we could still find him being the youngest son, keeping his father's sheep. Then he is chased by Saul who wants to kill him. Certainly it would seem odd, to me at least, that he would be annointed king and then still have to live his normal life for so long.

When would the child come? When would he actually sit upon the throne? When will our house sell? God's ways our not truer words were ever spoken. But I have chosen to place my trust and faith in Jehovah, the one true God. He did give Sarah a baby, Isaac. He did place David on the throne. And he will sell our house!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stripping Away the Layers

"Honey! Do you think I should shave off my beard and mustache?" my husband yelled at me from the bathroom the other evening. I was caught offguard since he has had facial hair for over fifteen years, except for a very short time when he shaved everything off after making a bit of a mistake while trimming his beard one afternoon, but he grew it back very quickly.

After asking why he would even consider such a big step, he explained that being in Military Ministry, he felt that, though he has the freedom to wear whatever he wants, it might be easier to not have the distraction of facial hair when speaking with military people. You can have a bit of a mustache in the mililtary, but it is all strictly enforced and so most people don't bother. I agreed that the freedom he has might not need to be flaunted and that he would never go wrong in shaving it all off and taking the high road.

Though the flaunting of our freedoms has enough spiritual applications...God has used this seemingly innocent event to speak to me about stripping away things that I might be hiding behind. I have discovered that I hide behind things in my life that allow me to stay in my comfort zone and not step out for God. I hide behind my activities with my family, children mostly. I hide behind my weight, though it sounds funny...allowing myself to stay at my present (over)weight keeps things from stretching out to far beyond the status quo. get my point.

I watched my husband strip away his facial hair...certainly after all these years it was security, you know..the known vs. the unknown, and he did it to be more effective in his ministry and witness for our Savior! What a witness to me!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What do a desk lamp and the letter "I" have to do with Jesus?

My husband and I were at a meeting this morning for a start-up ministry here in town. As part of the introduction to helping us see the need for ministering to veterans, we watched a short clip. The intro to the clip had the PIXAR symbol, the desk lamp, hopping over to the word PIXAR, and checking it out to see what it was. Interesting how a desk lamp can apparently exhibit emotions, but anyway...the lamp hops over and then jumps on the letter "I" and squashes it, and then, in effect, becomes the letter "I". I'm sure most of you have seen it.

Before the clip began, we were asked to see if there were any spiritual applications in the short movie. I saw this intro and immediately thought I knew what they were looking for...the lamp, representing the light of the world...Jesus...taking over "I" until you can no longer see me, but Jesus in me.

I was quite proud of myself until I realized that they were looking for spiritual applications in the actual clip! HA! There were several in that too...but I think what God was showing me, was exactly what He wanted me to effect, He was saying, "Lisa, move aside and let me shine through you!"

So...I now have my marching orders....step aside! I want the only thing that people see when they see me is Jesus shining out at them.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas anyone?

I received this recipe from a friend of mine,Patty Marks, and loved it! After making it several times, I finally decided to add the Velveeta cheese to go with it. So, if you like it...thank Patty, if you don't...I'll take the blame. :)

1 chicken cooked and deboned
1 can evaporated milk (though in a pinch I have used any milk I have on hand)
1 onion finely chopped
1 stick of butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 pound Velveeta cheese cubed
1 can Rotel
20 flour tortillas

In a large pan, melt the butter and then add the onion. Cook until onions are clear. Add the soups, milk, Rotel, and the cheese. Stir often until smooth mixture. Add the chicken. Spray Pam in a 9x12 pan and then begin filling the tortillas. Spoon a small amount of the mixture into a tortilla and then roll up and place in the pan. Continue until pan is full or all 20 tortillas have been made. Pour the rest of the mixture over the tortillas covering them well. Cover the pan with foil (very important) and then cook at 350 for about 40 minutes. They just need to warm through since everything is already cooked. I take out about 5 minutes early and then cover the dish with grated cheese and put back in for the rest of the time.

I know it sounds a bit difficult, but if you have the chicken already deboned, it takes no time. I have also used cooked chicken breasts if you prefer that.

I hope your family loves it as much as mine does!

Just a come I will jump on this computer to post this recipe the minute a friend called to ask for it...but I won't share my faith even half that quickly?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Water for Thirsty Ground

I have been wanting a friend here. God had given me two such wonderful, Godly, encouraging women friends in Little Rock, and I have been desiring that here too. I know full well that the caliber of friends I had (still have) in LR will not be met in this lifetime, but something close would be great.

So...yesterday my kids and I were invited to the pool by a woman I have known for a while, from afar really. She has four kids the same ages and genders of my younger four (cool, huh?). She is Godly, and has gone farther than anyone anywhere we have ever been to make me feel welcomed, loved, and wanted here. At the pool, while our kids played, we talked about so many things. What a joy! My heart smiled and I was content with the world.

Fast forward to today...Hurricane Dolly hit the Texas coast and so we have received the rain without the destruction up here in SA. It has been so dry here...burn bans on...brown grass, dying plants...ground screaming for water, something to help provide life to a dying ground.

I began thinking that yesterday at the pool, talking with Amy, that I was like that ground. Finally able to soak up some life from a fellow believer....seeing that God has, at least for now, heard my cry for water and has provided! Praise the Lamb!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Applesauce Muffin recipe...YUMMY!

2 c. flour
3/4 cu. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375. Grease or line with paper cupcake liners a 12 muffin pan. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend. Add the egg, applesauce, and melted butter. Stir until blended. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake until puffed and a toothpick comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

These are very whole family, kids and all love them!

"Find my ent" and other things I yell at God!

My two year old son peers out at me while I am standing in the kitchen baking bread and he is watching a movie. He yells, "Find my ent!" Ent is his elephant that he was given at birth and has little stuffing left, but couldn't be more special to our little one. I, of course, am offended at his tone of voice with me and proceed to talk to him and explain that he needs to be the one to find ent (since it is his after all). He begins to get a quizzical look on his face like I am speaking another language and yells again for me to find his ent.

It begins to dawn on me that this must be what I sound like to God many times! Different "yells" at different times in my life, but basically the same thing. Right now, I am in the middle of the "find me a friend close to what you gave me in Little Rock!" yell. But at other times in my life, it has been the "find the money to get me that..." yell; or the "find people for me who really appreciate all I do!" get the picture I am sure.

So though I have matured spiritually over the years, I am still a two year old at heart screaming at my Father to do things for me. The amazing thing is that just as I took my little guy by the hand and gently took him upstairs for the two of us to look for ent together, God is always gently answering my prayers (screams...rants) and walking beside me until we "find" whatever it is I am currently looking for.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another recipe and various thoughts...

The recipe is for a great quick dessert that looks like you've really worked hard! They are cookie-esque treats called "palmiers".

You need:
one box of puff pastry sheets
cinnamon sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 400.
Thaw out the puff pastry sheets and roll them out until the lines from the folds in the package are mostly gone. (Just a couple of rolls with rolling pin) Sprinkle the cinn/sug mixture liberally over the whole rectangle. Fold the two sides in to the middle and then repeat with the mixture. Repeat the folding procedure and this time it will look more like a tube. Sprinkle the mixture again and then fold over. Cut from the ends of the tube in 1/4 inch slices and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes! They are amazing and look as though you are a trained French pastry chef.

So for my various thoughts....I started homeschooling my kids and I am so excited about this school year. I bought a curriculum that I can do with Rainey, Kally, and Darby. It is focusing on geography and praying for people groups all around the world. How awesome is that? I love starting early so that we can take off later and I know that we have already been working.

I was talking with someone the other day who isn't really for homeschooling and thinks that not everyone is cut out for it. I must say that I was getting a bit irrate, which I tried desperately to keep from her! Who is more "cut out" to teach my children than I am? Who loves them and wants the best for them than I do? Why would I give that sacred privilege to anyone else? I must say that Ben and I used to say that we homeschool a year at a time, but I think somewhere over the last 14 years of doing it, our thoughts have changed. We are doing this until God tells us He wants us to do something else.

Another various thought...God provided this cool square trampoline for our kids when we moved here and they are on it everyday! What a complete joy to watch them out jumping, flipping, and playing on there....the four little ones all go out there together and just play. Certainly warms my heart.

Last various thought...Ben is working from home and I had really been stressing about this because he tends not to like noise...(hello! we have five kids and homeschool! a bit noisy) and likes "his space". I had really been lifting that up, as well as several of my friends, and God has certainly answered! We have all gotten used to Ben being home, but not really home and he doesn't even seem to hear the noise. Isn't our God awesome?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brisket Recipe

So...I was given this terrific recipe a while back and I find that I am using it more and more, especially when we have company. Ben even asked for this for his birthday dinner. So I thought I might share it with you. For you who know me, I always share my recipes, because I am given all of them from others. I like getting new recipes...especially when they are as easy as this is!

you need:
brisket (untrimmed of fat)
Dale's steak sauce
soy sauce

Place the brisket in a pan sprayed with Pam with the fat side up. Mix 1/2 cup of Dale's and 1/2 cup of soy sauce and pour over the brisket. Cook at 200 degrees for 8-12 hours.

How easy is that? I have put it in the oven before I go to bed even and it works great! Usually I get up early and put it in and then we have it for after church or it's ready for company. You can't get any easier and my family thinks it's yummy. With the extras, we make sandwiches, or cut it up into little pieces and cook it in BBQ sauce and then have it over baked potatoes, or you can have it on a salad. One 15 pound brisket makes about 5 meals for our family of 7!


Friday, July 18, 2008

I have finally come into a new era!

So I have done it! I have created a blog...I am quite proud of myself...figuring this all out, putting pics in...and getting a layout. I must say thank you to Ashley Sumners for telling me about this and how easy it is! THANK YOU Ashley (soon-to-be mom)!

I have been so inspired by the gals in Little Rock, you know who you are. You have shown me this new world and though it is to let y'all know what's happening here, it is mostly for me to be forced to remember to take pics of my kiddos and then create this journal. (Don't know that my children will care so much later, but they can look later if they want to.)

So, we have mostly unpacked and are feeling like we are beginning a new adventure. God hasn't been silent about what He is wanting from us here either. Very helpful for me, let me tell you. We are eager to begin on this new path, but sad at the same time to leave our old familiar path that was very comfortable to walk upon. So we begin again.