Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hope for Haiti

My heart is breaking for Haiti. It is almost too painful for me to even look at photos or watch the news about the devastation there. I almost want to pretend as if I don't know what is really going on over there or face reality that there is a country where people are hurting more than we can ever imagine. While Haiti is a place where voodoo runs rampant, the government is beyond broken, and poor doesn't even come close to describing their economic status...while it is a place most of us have never been and may never go or probably have no desire to go - it is still a place that God sees has an island of "hope!" See while we are so caught up in our "storms", "earthquakes", "floods" of life, it in those times that we allow God to hold us in the palm of His hand...asking Him to never let go. The earthquake in Haiti is a reminder that no matter what may come our way - God will never let go...He will never let go the people of Haiti. So please pray that His sweet face and love will shine through all the rubble, all the pain, and all the brokenness that is there.

There are many ways to donate to help Haiti, but more importantly Haiti needs our prayers. I truly believe He is a God who gives and a God who takes. It is so important that we pray for the souls of the Haitian people that through this tragedy, God's Kingdom will be gloried. I pray for a flood, that floods of people will cry out to Him, will find hope in Him, will find love and grace in Him. I pray they will run to Him and seek the hope and love of Jesus. The one and only true thing we can depend on. Because as in the song, Never Let Go by David Crowder Band says,

"When clouds veil sun and disaster comes...when waters rise and hope takes flight...Ever faithful, ever true. You I know, You never let go. Oh, my soul fills hope...Perfect love that never lets go...In joy and pain, in sun and rain - You're the same...oh, You never let go"

Here are a few ways you can donate to help with the relief efforts in Haiti.

World Vision: Haiti Earthquake Relief
Compassion Relief
Or you can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross relief for Haiti. It will appear on your next phone bill.
Here is another place you can donate and also look at photos
Real Hope for Haiti

Please don't forget to pray for the people of, tomorrow, in the months to come. As well as for the rescue efforts and all the missions and ministries that are in Haiti.

The one thing I ask of the Lord
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Psalm 24:4-5

It's About You Jesus

The Heart of Worship

When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the ways things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath

I'll bring You more than just a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

Its all about you

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

At our house, I am trying a new thing where I use just what I have in the fridge, pantry, etc for meals. I am only allowing myself to buy the everyday stuff we use (milk, eggs, cheese, bread, fruit, vegetables). I am horrible at making a list, going to the grocery store, buying what's on my list, plus whatever else I think I might need or want to eat at some point and then over-spending. Then never actually eating the food I bought. I know, terrible habit. But it's a new year & time for new things.

Last night, I was going to make dinner with what we already had. I knew I had a whole chicken (I really want to make my mom's chicken chow mein but don't have all the ingredients) and a package of chicken tenders. I decided I would make baked chicken tenders (the whole chicken wasn't thawed out all the way, so we'll be having that tonight). I would normally batter them with flour, dipped in an egg mixture but I remembered seeing a recipe on the back of the Bisquick box for chicken tenders when I was making waffles Sunday night with homemade syrup (talk about amazingly good!! maybe I'll post that recipe one day). I had everything I needed other than the one egg, of course. So I substituted milk in its place. And oh my goodness, these were probably the best chicken tenders I have ever made! Including my good ol' chicken fried ones we love. And the best part about it - so easy, hardly any clean-up, and ready in less than 30 minutes. Even kids will love 'em! Reno sure did ;) This recipe is or should be on the back of your Bisquick box, but if not here it is.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb), cut into strips OR 1 package of chicken breast tenders, which is what I used
2/3 cup Bisquick mix (all purpose baking mix)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (like you put on pizza)
1/2 tsp salt or garlic salt (I used garlic salt)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg slightly beaten OR use milk like I did (about 1-2 cups, enough to cover chicken in bowl)
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Heat oven to 450*F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. In 1-gallon resealable zip-lock bag, mix Bisquick, cheese, garlic salt & paprika.

Dip chicken in egg or if not using egg, put tenders in a bowl of milk for a few minutes. Put half of your dipped chicken or tenders in zip-lock bag. Seal the bag; shake to coat. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Put chicken on baking sheet. Drizzle butter over chicken.

Bake 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through bake time. Be sure to bake until no longer pink in center.

Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

Eat up!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Giving God a Year

So another year has come and gone and a new year is here! So far the year has been fast & furious. Today is the first today I've actually been able to catch my breathe & realize I am no longer in the dreadful 2009 but in a new year, with a new start. Thank you Jesus! We had a very busy Christmas and spent the few first days of the new year sick...too much to write about and I'm sure you'd rather me not bore you to death with all the details. We did have a lovely anniversary dinner down on the Riverwalk at The Little Rhine Steakhouse. One of the best steaks, ribeye steak of course, we have eaten in town. It was so nice to get out and spend time with my amazing husband & celebrate what is to come for us.

Our yummy dessert!

Speaking of what is to come...with all the trials last year presented us, Allen and I are looking at 2010 in a whole new light. We have decided this year will be a year full of great things and promises. While God's timing is not always our timing, we still believe and know that He has great things in store for us. Lately, I've been thinking about how we are here to serve God and honestly what exactly does that mean. So for 2010, we will most definitely find a church home. We have visited several churches and think we are down to 2 choices. But not only will we join a church, we will become active members in our church family. We had amazing church home in College Station but struggled in becoming an active part of the congregation. So this year, we will overcome our fears and step out of "comfort-zone" and reach out to our church family. I want 2010 to be a year that we are a vessel for His Kingdom and not just a warm body in the pew. We also will play an active role in our church, financially. Yes, I do mean has been so easy for us to give the excuse of "we don't have enough money to tithe, we need that money for bills, etc"...but who are we kidding? We are only robbing ourselves from the blessings we know He has for us by telling ourselves that. Also, I know deep in my heart the only way to true financial peace is through tithing and putting complete trust that He will provide for us.

This year, I will also start a prayer journal. My sweet friend, Shanna suggested I do this and I think it's a great idea. I hope Allen and I can use the prayer journal to see how God is moving and working in our lives. In this new year, I will also continue to shower myself in God's word seeking His will for mine and Allen's life. If one thing that 2009 has taught me, it is to keep myself protected by God's words and not those of the enemy. May He direct our paths and open our eyes to where it is He wants us to go, rather than where it is we want to go.

So we are giving God this new year, 2010 - we are giving God a Year to show us where He wants us to go, what His promises are for us, what amazing blessings He has in store for us. In 2010, we will put Him first instead of our fears, our struggles, our worries, and our selfish wants. Fear, self pity, struggles, or worries will no longer hold us back from what is to come.

We are exchanging our fear for faith, our self pity for peace, our struggles for truth, and our worries for trust.

We are believing and trusting Him that 2010 is going to one of the best years of our lives. We know He will make something beautiful out of all our suffering.

I found a few scriptures that will be our foundation for 2010. My heart and soul is over-flowed with joy and hope...for I know He will never let go of us, no matter what waters may rise.

"God's looking after me, keeping me safe in the kingdom of heaven. All praise to him, praise forever!" 2 Timothy 4:18 MSG

"Don't be afraid," he said. "Take courage. I am here!" Matthew 14:27

"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him in prayer..." Lamentations 2:19

"Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 6:32-33

"When the Father sends the Advocate as my representative - this is, the Holy Spirit - he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:26-27

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing." Psalm 143:10

We cannot wait to see God has in store for us...this year and years to come! I hope 2010 will be just a blessing to you & your family, as it is to ours.

Happy and Blessed New Year!