October 19, 2016

The Bible on Trial?

For every piece of evidence you find to validate the reliability of the Bible there is information that contradicts it. But doesn’t that happen with many issues in life? I truly believe that whatever we hold near and dear to our hearts, due to our particular circumstances, is what tends to influence our decisions and convictions.

Let’s take vaccinations, prescription drugs, or how you discipline your children as examples of such topics… If you’ve never had a child who has been diagnosed with a learning or behavioral disability, you might not relate or understand a parent’s opinion on vaccinations. If you or those around you have never experienced adverse affects of a taking medication, you might not feel so opposed to taking or trying new medications. If you have children who are wonderfully behaved and excel academically, you might not be able to relate to parents who struggle with children who have behavior issues or who don’t do to well in school.

Take the time to research and find out for yourself what the Bible is…  The best way to do that is to actually read it.  There are hard facts and proof that the Bible is what it says it is… I could give you tons of sites to visit and people to speak with that would stand behind what "I" believe. But it's not about me. You could come back and give me just as many sites or people who will contradict me. Do the research yourself… Ask questions… Don’t just run to the first person who will agree with you or tell you what you want to hear. God created each of us and it’s what makes every one of us special and unique. There is a basic understanding between right and wrong, at least for most of us. And don't forget just like God uses people in our lives as tools to reach us, satan does the same thing and can use people in our lives to make us feel inadequate, unloved and will make you second guess yourself, your beliefs, and your decisions.

Food for thought... in school we are taught "History".  We learn about everything that existed and that has occurred over time and believe it and trust it, simply because someONE said it happened and it's real.  Why do we believe our teachers, professors, and history "books" without questioning or doubting the information?  It's the same thing with the bible, isn't it?  Why do we question and doubt this amazing gift of hope and life? 

As I mentioned you can find just as much information to support or oppose what you already believe, but I love the way Ravi Zacharias explains it to someone in the audience at a speech he gave at the University of Illinois... "Why someone should believe that the Bible is the Word of God."

Is the Bible the Word of God in Seven Minutes

I know at the end of the day I have my maker and almighty Father in heaven to answer to… How about you? Do you spend countless, angry moments in judging those who believe or don't believe?  Remember…. We shouldn’t judge each other, and… God is the only one who can and will.  Matthew 7:1 states "Judge not, or you too will be judged"...  I think it's safe to assume that all believers and non-believers alike will agree with this statement.

I am BLESSED that God chose me, so I chose to chose God and believe in His promises.

July 26, 2016

FOOD - Rice and Chicken

When I think of comfort food, any dish with rice comes to mind...

This dish is always on standby and I will be the first to admit I don't really make this dish the same way twice... sometimes I will add Chorizo and maybe remove the olives, other times I might add pork and veggies, but I always leave the chicken.  Hope you enjoy it as much as my friends and family have.

Prep time:  20 minutes
Cooking time:  45 minutes
Yield:  10

Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs (about 16 pieces)
4 cups long-grain white rice (I used Jasmine rice for this recipe)
6 cups water (for less wet rice use 5 cups of water)
4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 red pepper (core, discard seeds and chop)
1 cubanelle pepper (core, discard seeds and chop)
1 cup green olives, pitted and quartered (Optional).  Note: For
this recipe I used colossal, pitted olives I found in the olive bar section of my supermarket.
2 Knorr Chicken Bouillon cubes
4 ounces tomato paste
8 cloves of roasted garlic, chopped (see below)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Additional salt and pepper to slightly season chicken
2-3 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped

Clean and cut excess fat from chicken. This is a fattier cut of chicken so you won't be 
able to cut it all out.  Lightly season the chicken with salt and black pepper and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a 6 to 8 quart oven-safe pot or dutch oven and brown the 
chicken on both sides.  Brown chicken in batches and do not overcrowd pot or the 
chicken will not brown. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.

Saute onions and peppers on medium-high heat until soft in the same pot.  Stir occasionally.  Add chicken cubes and stir in tomato paste then the water. Return all chicken to pot.

Add rice, olives, roasted garlic (recipe to follow), cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, remaining tablespoon of oil and bay leaves. Stir to combine ingredients.

Over medium-high heat, bring to boil. Continue to cook until the water level reaches 
the rice.  In the meantime,preheat oven to 375° F.

Once the water has evaporated to the rice level transfer pot to oven for the 
remaining 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes covered.

Serve hot.

Note:  You can finish this dish on the stove if you choose not to use your oven, simply 
set heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off flame and allow to rest for 15 


SPECIAL NOTE:  Don't be so quick to clean your pot before scraping the crunchy rice that sticks to the bottom of your pot!  Its my favorite part and I will fight for it every time!


FOOD - Roasted Garlic

You can prepare the roasted garlic while you are cooking your Rice and Chicken dish or if you want to save some time, you can probably find it at the olive bar at your local supermarket.  You can also make this on a separate occasion and spread it on your favorite bread.  Yummy!  Better than butter!

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cooking time:  35-40 minutes

1 head of garlic
Olive oil
Aluminum foil

Preheat oven at 400° F.  Remove outer skin from a head of garlic.  You will leave the skin on the individual cloves of garlic though.  Cut just enough off the top to expose the garlic (about 1/4").  Place the head of garlic in middle of aluminum foil.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and loosely wrap the garlic up.  Place on small baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Once garlic is cool you can squeeze the garlic at the uncut base to remove garlic from skin.

Note: If you buy garlic at the supermarket that is already peeled and loose, simply 

bake the amount you need in the same manner.

June 30, 2016

FAITH - Sometimes you can't take things back...

For those experiencing the struggle of banning Social Media in your child's life...  I have been in your shoes and feel your pain.  In the beginning of my daughter's social media days MySpace was very popular, so much so I even had one.  I told her she could have a MySpace "on the condition that i can check it out from time to time and log on and check comments, etc."...  I know what some of you are thinking... Well isn't that invading my child's privacy?

Well, maybe?  maybe not?  but frankly I don't care if my child was upset with me about it... I sincerely hope that you take this to heart and let's agree to disagree if we must, but are you really worried about offending your 10-year old child about their need for privacy?  More so than how their posts can affect their reputation or hurt someone else?

I remember reading posts and profiles and I was shocked! And I'm not talking shocked because I saw things that I didn't expect to see, but shocked that some of these kids could express such profound love for the Lord or say they were a Christian yet tell a completely different story about themselves on the very same page they are praying for friends and family or telling about their great experience at youth group or church... All so they could be accepted by classmates and the kids in the neighborhood... It happens all the time, peer pressure and bullies.  Your child doesn't stand a chance unless you give them the knowledge and confidence they need to say what they mean and mean what they say at the right time and for the right reasons. 

Another important thing to discuss with your child is how they deal with lies, bullying, frustration, and self control. These Social Media sites are a public stomping ground and they just as well publish their thoughts on the front page of the newspaper.  Whether they are posting thoughts about themselves or someone else, ask your child if they have considered the truth behind their words and explain to them how words can hurt deeply.  Once you throw a feather into the wind you can no longer get it back.  Some words cannot be taken back and can cause irreparable damage.  If your child needs to settle something with someone, it should be settled privately and not in the Social Media world.  If they are depressed and writing about it, then they may need professional help so please do not ignore the signs and get into your child's business and get them help. 

Can I ask you to do something? and not for me, but for yourselves...

Take some time to reflect on God's word and if you haven't been raised to pick up a Bible and read it, why not try it.  OK, so you don't have a bible you're thinking....  hmmmmm.....  you are reading this online so Wow!!!  You have access to the internet!  You can choose from a number of great options available through your favorite search engine.  So, for a short time at the beginning or end of every day, take a few minutes to search for answers to questions you may have. God's purpose for you isn't in those generic profiles or degrading posts, I can tell you that.

Hey, I get it... we are human. I am human... I'll be the first person to admit I want to vent publicly sometimes to prove my point or share my pain.  But at the end of the day the rest of the world isn't waiting for my every thought and opinion.  When I'm tempted to write something when I'm in a bad place, I now sit on it and pray about it and find that waiting until the next day helps put my thoughts into perspective and sometimes it just doesn't matter as much the next day.  Do ask the Lord to give you the strength to just wait.... and if it does matter still the next day, talk to a parent, teacher or someone you trust to guide you in the right direction and not into the direction of getting even with someone.  That is never good advise.

So please take the time to find out what's driving your decisions and don't post things that can come back to bite you someday, or worse cause someone else to hate or hurt themselves because of something you posted simply because you had to get it off your angry chest.

April 7, 2016

FAITH - Who is "they" anyway?

At friendly gatherings at our home, the topic of Jesus and the Bible comes up all the time.... Most of us go through life defending God, Jesus, and the Bible because "THEY" say so, or our pastors say so, or for some other reason. Do you believe in God because it feels good? Do you believe because someone else said you should believe?

Christianity isn't a legend or some old wives tale. There is so much evidence that supports what we as Christians know to be true.  How many of us actually take the time to look for this proof? I know I'm guilty of it. Especially when someone asks me a question and I don't know the answer. Lately, comments or other opinions make me curious or hungry to know the truth, so I go directly to the Bible and Our Father sets me straight. We aren't always going to have the right answers for people, but we should be curious to learn and help people know the truth and share it if asked.

Most people, even those who read the bible, can become stumped at one time or another. The key is to stay grounded in God's word and to not allow others (especially those who don't read the bible) to sway you. We don't have to fight or be defensive in standing up for God and your beliefs, and if we are asked our thoughts or opinions, we should stand up with love, faith, and passion. That passion will come as you read God's word more and more. That passion brings hope. HOPE is all we have and God makes that HOPE available.

For you science junkies who can't believe because it's just not possible... there is scientific evidence that supports God's word... all you have to do is look for it. Look on the internet, in the book stores and in your libraries. Get curious! The end times are near. Some might say, we're in them right now. Are you ready to face God if that time has come for you? It's a scary thought....

There is a good website I came across... check it out.