Daily Archives: August 13, 2012

Our Daily Bread – Tear Down That Wall!

Read: Ephesians 2:14-18

The Wall. For people living in East Germany over 50 years ago, those two words were the only ones necessary to describe the barrier erected on August 13, 1961. That date marked the beginning of the construction of a concrete barrier that separated East and West Germany. Eventually, the wall became nearly impenetrable—secured with barbed wire and armed men. But in 1989 the wall was torn down, removing the barrier between the countries.

Another wall needs to be removed as well—the wall between humanity and God. That barrier was built in the Garden of Eden when a man and a woman committed the first act of rebellion against God (Gen. 3). And we all have continued that rebellion ever since! Can you visualize that impenetrable wall? Isaiah 59:2 says: “Your sins . . . have cut you off from God” (nlt).

Jesus’ death and resurrection, however, has made reconciliation with God possible (2 Cor. 5:17-21). All those who accept Christ’s sacrifice for sin will have the barrier of sin torn down and be reconciled to God. Christ’s death has also demolished other restrictive walls—between the Jews and Gentiles, slave and free, male and female (Gal. 3:28).

Don’t let your own “wall” of indecision prevent you from accepting God’s gift of salvation.

The veil is rent; in Him alone
The living way to heaven is seen;
The middle wall is broken down
And all mankind may enter in. —Wesley
The Bible is a record of man’s complete ruin in sin and God’s complete remedy in Christ. — Barnhouse

Our Daily Bread – Doubts And Faith

Read: John 20:24-31

Can a believer in Jesus who has occasional doubts about matters of faith ever be effective in serving the Lord? Some people think that mature and growing Christians never question their beliefs. But just as we have experiences that can build our faith, we can also have experiences that cause us to temporarily doubt.

The disciple Thomas had initial doubts about reports of Jesus’ resurrection. He said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, . . . I will not believe” (John 20:25). Christ did not rebuke Thomas but showed him the evidence he asked for. Amazed at seeing the risen Savior, Thomas exclaimed: “My Lord and my God!” (20:28). After this incident, the New Testament is silent about what happened to Thomas.

A number of early church traditions, however, claim that Thomas went to India as a missionary. It is said that while there he preached the gospel, worked miracles, and planted churches. Some of these churches in India still have active congregations that trace their founding back to Thomas.

A time of doubt doesn’t have to become a life pattern. Allow God to lead you into a deeper understanding of His reality. Renew your faith. You can still accomplish great things for Him.

When faith grows weak and doubts arise,
Recall God’s love and tender care;
Remind yourself of all He’s done
And of those times He answered prayer. —D. De Haan
Learn to doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs.

Our Daily Bread – Eyes To See

Read: Joshua 3:1-11

My first glimpse of the Promised Land from the hills of Moab was disappointing. “Did this look a lot different when the Israelites got here?” I asked our guide as we looked toward Jericho. I was expecting a dramatic contrast from the east side of the Jordan. “No,” she answered. “It has looked the same for thousands of years.”

I rephrased the question. “What did the Israelites see when they got here?” “The biggest oasis on the face of the whole earth,” she replied.

Then I understood. I had ridden across the barren desert in the luxury of an air-conditioned bus stocked with cold bottled water. To me, an oasis was nothing spectacular. The Israelites had spent years wandering in a hot, dry desert. To them, the sprawling patch of pale green in the hazy distance meant refreshing, life-sustaining water. They were parched; I was refreshed. They were exhausted; I was rested. They had spent 40 years getting there; I had spent 4 hours.

Like an oasis, God’s goodness is found in dry and difficult places. How often, I wonder, do we fail to see His goodness because our spiritual senses have been dulled by comfort. Sometimes God’s gifts are seen more clearly when we are tired and thirsty. May we always thirst for Him (Ps. 143:6).

Dear Lord, may our desire for You be like that of
a deer panting for cold, refreshing water. Please
don’t allow comfort or worldly success to keep us
from seeing You in every detail of our lives.
Jesus is the only fountain who can satisfy the thirsty soul.

Spaghetti Salad

Let me tell you a quick story: I remember the very first time I saw this dish. We were over my cousin’s house for a family gathering and there it was; sitting on the table with the other delectable delights. Now to be honest at first sight I squenched up my face and whispered to my husband. “I’m not eating none of that. Looks like someone didn’t use enough spaghetti sauce.” Hence the reddish-orange color.  So in comes my cousin into the kitchen who was hosting the gathering. She was like “Girl you have to try this new spaghetti dish I made. It’s to die for.” All while she was piling up my plate with this stuff I just told my husband I was not going to eat. What am I suppose to do now? She is looking me dead in my mouth. Waiting to see what I thought of this concoction of noodles and red stuff. I smiled and amused her curiosity with a little nibble. And to my surprise it was good. I’m mean Really, Really Good. So much so I asked for the recipe. Boy am I glad that I took a bite. I would have missed out on real treat. Like the saying goes, “Never judge a book by its cover.”

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spaghetti, cooked
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 large tomato or 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese – Store bought powdered version works best
  • 1 (8 oz) bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning

Instructions

1. Wash all veggies. Dice and set aside.

2. In a large pot bring salted water to a boil. Then cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and then immediately run it under cold water.

3. In a large bowl combine all of the vegetables, salad dressing and salad supreme seasoning. Next toss noodles in dressing mixture until well coated. Lastly sprinkle in parmesan cheese and give one good final toss.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Serve the next day and enjoy!

Ranch Chicken & Bacon Pasta Salad

I know some may look at me crazy when I say this but it is true; I am not a fan of Ranch Dressing. My only exception is this pasta salad. I don’t know what it is but I just can’t get enough of it. I make this recipe all the time. Which I must admit in the beginning I would buy the box kind. But why should you when It’s really so simple and easy pea-sy to make from scratch. I mean the mayo/ranch combo mixed with the chicken and bacon is a surefire winner no matter what else you put with it. Sometimes I kick it up a notch and add pepperoni. So go ahead. Experiment and have fun! Besides who knows you better than you?

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Ranch salad dressing
  • 2 cups Peas & Carrots
  • 1 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • 8 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked and rinsed with cold water
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and Ranch dressing. Add the veggies, cooked chicken and bacon. Stir to combine.

2. Add the chilled pasta and toss to coat. Stir in the shredded cheese. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve Immediately or if you like it on the cold side; chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

DIY Monday: “No Sew” T-Shirt Necklace

The last time you made a necklace, it probably involved macaroni. Well here’s an idea inspired by a project on the blog aprettypennyblog.com: Turn an old shirt into a piece of wearable art that’s quite grown-up.
Read more to find out how to make one of your very own!

Here’s What You Need:

an unwanted cotton t-shirt
a pair of sharp scissors
about half an hour

Lay the shirt on a flat surface and smooth it out with your hands. Start by cutting off and discarding the hem.

Beginning at the bottom of the shirt and working your way up, cut 1-inch strips to make loops. Vary the width of your strips based on your desired necklace thickness. I wanted a lot of tubes, so I kept my strips small.
You can also cut a variety of sizes for one necklace if you want a less-uniform texture.

Stretch out the loops you just made so the cotton curls in on itself and forms long tubes.
Double up each tube, matching up the seams at one end.

If you break a loop at the seam while you’re stretching it out, just tie it back together with a simple knot and trim the excess.
{This really is a fool-proof project}

Group all of your tubes by size, keeping the seams together at one end.

The illustration shown here uses a women’s tee, so the tapered fit resulted in a great variation of tube sizes.
If you’re using a men’s tee, you can cut the tubes into various sizes and tie them back together as shown above.

Gather them all together, with the longest tubes on the bottom and the shortest on the top, but save one!

Cut the tube you saved in half to make it a long string. Tie the string in a knot near one end of the section of seams. Tightly wrap the string around all of the seams to cover them. Be careful not to get the tubes twisted or tangled as you’re wrapping.

When everything is smooth and covered, tie off the other end of the string in a knot (using one of the necklace loops if you need to).

That’s it! A Fabulous Necklace. Hand made in about 30 minutes flat!

*DESIGNER’S NOTE: Want to turn this necklace from fabulous to Fan-Tabulous?
Show off your wild side by Mixing & Matching other colors.

Plug In!

Today’s Scripture:
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. – Isaiah 40:29, NKJV.

Today’s Word:
Everyone goes through seasons in life that seem overwhelming; times when you’ve felt drained of strength and power. But, you haven’t been left without hope. You haven’t been left without an answer. The God of heaven and earth is near you, and He promises to give you strength and might to overcome.

Where does this strength and power come from? It comes directly from Him. When you connect with Him, you are connecting to your power source. It’s like plugging a lamp into a light socket. You “plug in” through prayer, reading the Word and worshipping Him. You “turn on” the switch by the words of your mouth—by declaring what God says.

Remember, you don’t have to let the difficult times overwhelm you. Rise up and connect with Him because He is your source of strength! He promises to equip and empower you for victory in every area of your life!

Prayer for Today:
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your favor, strength and grace at work in my life. I turn my focus on You today. I turn my thoughts on You. I set my heart and love upon You because You are good. Thank You for filling me with might and power to overcome in Jesus’ name! Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

Take Off The Limits

Today’s Scripture:
I have seen that everything [human] has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity]. – Psalm 119:96, AMP.

Today’s Word:
Did you know you can limit your life by dwelling on the wrong things? So often, wrong thinking keeps people stuck right where they are. If you think you’ll never accomplish your dreams, then you’ll stay stuck where you are. If you think you don’t have the talent, the connections or the funds, then you are limiting yourself.
We have to remember that God’s promises never return void. His Word stands true forever! Don’t limit what God can do in your life by focusing on what you see in the natural realm. You have to realize that you serve a supernatural God, and just because you don’t see a way doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a way. God can bring one opportunity across your path that will thrust you to a whole new level. He has explosive blessings in store that can blast you out of where you are and into a place of abundance. If you’ll shift your focus from this limited realm and start looking at God’s supernatural realm, you’ll see His unlimited possibilities for your future. Take the limits off by setting your thoughts on what Almighty God can do in your life today!

Prayer for Today:
Father in heaven, today I lift my eyes to You. You alone are the source of my strength, peace and provision. I choose to delight myself in You knowing that You will give me the desires of my heart in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries