Friday, April 27, 2012

Stand Firm Then....Ephesians

I realized I hadn’t finished the last part of the Ephesians study .  Let me rephrase that, I finished the study I just didn't post it on here lol.   So, here it is…

Ephesians 6:10-24

vs. 10-12 – “Be strong IN the Lord and IN his mighty power.”  We are strong in him and in his power.  Not on our own.  “Put on…” The armor of God is something we have to “put on”.  Something we wear or use so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes.   This is a reminder to “put on” the armor of God instead of trying to battle the devil on my own.

The devil is no match to the power of God living within us.  The Holy Spirit is in us and the armor of God surrounds us.

vs. 13-17 –  THE ARMOR OF GOD.  Paul says 2 times to “put on the armor of God”.   My mind went to the placement of each of the physical pieces of armor ---- Belt of Truth: The belt goes around the waist, the core of the body.  Truth should be our core.   Breastplate of Righteousness: The breastplate goes of the heart and protects all the vital organs.  We should protect our hearts with righteousness.  Feet Fitted with Readiness: Our feet carry us everywhere.  We should always be ready to go where or to say what God is asking us to.  Shield of Faith: The shield was used to “extinguish all the flaming arrows”.  Our faith should outweigh anything that the devil “shoots” at us.  Our faith should be so strong that his “flaming arrows” are extinguished when they hit us.  Helmet of Salvation: A helmet protects the head.  Our minds should be protected by the helmet of salvation, always remembering what Christ did for us.  Sword of the Spirit: We should fight with God’s word.  His promises. His truth.

vs. 18 –“ Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”  Thank you God that we can pray!  Thank you that we can talk to you and that you hear us through prayer!  Keep on praying for all the saints.”  We should pray for all believers, not just the ones in our circles but ALL.

vs. 19-24 – Pauls focus was on the gospel and fearlessly making it known despite his circumstances of being in prison.  I should always be looking for opportunities to “make the gospel known” despite what circumstances might surround me.  “Undying love”  Wow, what great words.  Do I love Him with an “undying love”?   These verses would be a great prayer to pray for a pastor!

That is Ephesians! J  Lots in there and lots to learn.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Skillet Ravioli

This was so quick and easy annnd GOOD! :)  The great thing is that it is all cooked in one skillet! Well, ok and a sauce pan if you use fresh spinach.  Less dishes! :)

Ingredients: 2 cups pasta sauce of your choice, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/3 cup water, salt and pepper, 1 9 oz. package frozen ravioli, 1 large egg, lightly beaten, 1 15 oz. carton ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, 1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained (or 1 large bag of fresh, cooked -- It seems like a lot but it really cooks down). 

Add the pasta sauce, sugar, and water to a skillet.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Add salt and pepper if you want. 

Let that simmer while you cook the spinach.
I used fresh spinach because it's what I had.  Heat water to boiling in a small pan.  Add the spinach and only cook for a few minutes.  Continue to add the spinach in handfuls until it is cooked down.  Drain and set aside.

Stir in the ravioli to the sauce in the skillet.  Reduce the heat; cover and cook; stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  It doesn't take very long for the ravioli to heat up. 

Put the egg, ricotta cheese, and 1/2 cup of the grated cheese in a bowl and mix.  ( I just guessed on the amounts for both cheeses.)

Top the ravioli with the cooked spinach. (I probably could have used a little more spinach....ha.  But that is half a bag, and that's all I had.  It really cooks down.)

Top the spinach with the ricotta cheese mixture.  Spread evenly to cover.

Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is set. -- When I read that I though, huh?  But you will be able to tell when it is "set". 

A written version of this recipe can be found here

Friday, April 13, 2012


“I am thankful for my thumbs.”
Yes, I just said I am thankful for my thumbs. After a few days into not being able to use of one of them, which happened to conveniently be on my right hand (and I’m right handed), I found myself thinking this morning as I was getting ready for work “Thank you God for my thumbs!”
Ha….then I realized how silly that sounds. J
And also how silly it might be to blog about it.
But in all seriousness, it is something we take for granted. You don’t realize how much your thumbs do for you until you can’t use them. I can’t write (at least not legibly), it takes twice as long to fix my hair using my left hand, I can’t open a jar, grip a fork. I can’t pick up anything heavy, and texting, oh my, so much slower when you are using only one thumb (said sarcastically). I can’t unlock my door or turn the knob with my right hand, I have to turn the ignition on my car with my left hand, pouring a cup of coffee with your non-dominant hand, wow, awkward. I can’t properly use a stapler. And…..the list just goes on and on. Basically, I can’t firmly grip anything using my right hand.
Hence why in my frustration I found myself saying “Thank you God for my thumbs!”
I suppose I should tell you why I can’t use my thumb, or I could just leave you wondering. J I nearly cut my right thumb off a few days ago, who knew doing dishes (washing a glass) could be so dangerous? Another reason why doing dishes is my least favorite chore. Ha.
So my thankfulness for my thumbs led me to thinking about how much in life I take for granted big and small things, and how much I have been blessed. Yes, I have been blessed because I have two fully functional thumbs…usually. Think about it. So, many things we take for granted, especially the things we don’t miss until we don’t have them. We all do it.
So, today……THANK YOU God for my thumbs! J
(See, there is “Some(thing) Beautiful” in every day and always something to be thankful for.) Try finding some little thing (or at least seems little until you can’t use it) - to be thankful for.
It will change your attitude for the rest of the day. 


Friday, April 6, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Cornmeal-Herb Crust

This was herb overload...ha.  It was good! If your a fan of herbs then you'll love this, if not.....well you probably won't love it. 

Ingredients: 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal, 5 tablespoons dried parsley, 2 1/2 tablespoons dried sage (I halved the recipe and subbed 1/2 teaspoon of basil and 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary instead of the sage), 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1 1/4-lb. pork tenderloin

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Line a baking sheet or pan with foil, spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix everything together. (Except for the tenderloin.)

Using a paper towel, pat the tenderloin dry. 
Press the herb mixture on the tenderloin.  Coat it completely. 

Place on the baking sheet or pan.  Roast for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, using tongs, turn over and roast for another 10 minutes.  I let it cook for about 15 minutes instead of 10 minutes. 

When cooked, remove tenderloin from sheet/pan.  Place on a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing.  (This helps to keep the juices in and keeps it from drying out.) 

After it has sat for a few minutes.  Slice and plate!

Find a written version here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Obey, Honor, Respect, Serve...Ephesians

Ephesians 6:1-9

This week was all about children obeying and honoring; Fathers being loving and patient, training and instructing; slaves obeying; masters having authority; and serving. 
vs. 1-3 -- Children are told to obey and honor you father and mother.  One thing I noticed in these verses is "the first commandment with a promise".  I'm not entirely sure what that means and I'm not sure why it stood out to me, but it did. Obey means to do what your told.  And honor means to respect and love and live out what your parents have taught you in Christ.  "...that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth."

I was sooo blessed to grow up in a loving and amazing home.  I am realizing now as I get older how thankful I am for their discipline and tough love.  I can also see now that they modeled the love of Christ to us through all of their discipline. I am so thankful for the things that my parents have instilled in me. And I am thankful that God chose me to be their daughter. 

vs. 4 -- I find it interesting that this verse starts with "Fathers".  Father's as the head of the household and in most families the as the discipliner, are told not to "exasperate your children".  I think this means to be patient with your children, discipling them in love and not anger.  My commentary says, "Parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people He loves."  What a great responsibility parents have.  I assume that this could be overwhelming to a parent but wow, just think of what a great opportunity God has put before parents.

vs. 5-8 -- Paul is telling them to treat those in authority above them with respect, fear and with sincerity of heart.  Sincerity of that.  "JUST AS YOU WOULD OBEY CHRIST"  Wow, that's a lot to think about.  I think that means that they would obey their "masters" in the same way that they are obeying Christ because in obeying their master's they are obeying Christ. 

And to "serve wholeheartedly, AS IF YOU WERE SERVING THE LORD".   Looking at it that way and really letting that sink in, makes it easier to work for a grouchy boss (come on you know we have all had one..ha), or to serve joyfully.  The Message says,"And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you're really serving God."

Ultimately we obey, work and serve, not for men but to glorify Christ.  Which is why we do anything is to glorify Christ.  Do I work as if Christ were my boss?  Do I work hard and with enthusiasm?  Do I serve joyfully and as if I was serving Christ?  Where is my attitude in obeying, honoring, respecting and serving?  Do I do it with "sincerity of heart" and "wholeheartedly"?

vs. 9 -- Those in postions of authority should not take advantage of those they are responsible for or leading.  Those in authority serve the same God that those who are following do.  They should treat others in the same way that Christ treats them.  Showing no favortism.  We are all equal before God.