Oh Be Careful Little Tongue

For the past ten plus weeks, most of us have stuck pretty close to home, cooped up almost. Our intake of social media and the nightly news has been much more than normal, having a powerful impact on our hearts and minds. Our opinions about the Coronavirus situation are pretty solidified, whether it is anger, fear, sorrow, feelings of injustice or apathy. It’s hard not to let those opinions boil over into our conversations. We justify our position with those who are of the same opinion and maybe even avoid those who hold another. How easy it is to allow our conversations to overstep into gossip.

As our towns slowly open back up and we begin to interact with others on a face-to-face basis, we will need to keep ourselves in check.

An old child’s saying goes, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

How false that statement is.

Proverbs 18:21 says that words have the power of life and death.

Words are powerful.

The book of James talks about how a great ship being driven by fierce winds is turned about by a very small rudder. James contrasts how the tongue is a very small member of our body but it is full of iniquity and can set the world on fire. (See James 3:2-12)

Words hurt.

Some of the biggest scars in our lives are a result of words.

“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Proverbs 18:8

Words are destructive.

Proverbs 16:28 says gossip separates close friends.

A virus is tiny, unseeable even, but can cause great sickness and spread quickly. Our little tongues can speak gossip that causes great hurt and spreads farther than ever intended.

These past months have resulted in a lot of destruction for many of us; financially, emotionally, physically. We all need encouragement and we can do so for others with our words.

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

There are bound to be people in our churches, in our close circles of friends, or even in our family that have a different outlook on the past and present situation than we do.

While it is not wrong for us to have different opinions, we ought to have the attitude of Paul who said, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” 1 Corinthians 10:24

We have been separated physically for months and as we begin to gather together again, let’s be wise with our words and guard against creating a gulf of even greater separation.

Claim the prayer of the Psalmist who wrote, “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3

As we are learning how to best love our brothers and sisters during this time, let us begin with our smallest member, the tongue.

Please follow and like us:
0

Grace for Today

It’s a rainy day here and all the kids are down for naps. Time to write! So many thoughts have been swirling through my mind over the last few weeks and sometimes it can be hard to know how to put them into actual words. I’m sure many of you can relate as you continue to face your own trials in one form or another. 

However, one thing I’ve been realizing as I look back over the last 6-8 weeks of quarantine is that God has carried me one-day-at-a-time. There have been moments of meltdowns/tears (and not just from the children! 😉 ) and there have also been surprising joys and blessings. There have been moments of anger and there have also been moments of forgiveness. There have been moments of loneliness and there have also been moments of complete satisfaction in my God. And through all these differing moments God has been here. He has confronted my sin and He has also comforted my soul…over and over. 

Trials are a normal part of life. God knows this. He doesn’t ask us to act like they don’t exist and He certainly doesn’t ask us to try and handle them on our own. Instead, He asks us to run to Him when our hearts feel overwhelmed. He asks us to trust Him. 

We are going to have moments of weariness, frustration, sadness and grief, but He invites us to come to Him with those feelings. He is the only one wise enough to truly carry our burdens, changing us as we ask Him to make us more like Him. 

On my own, I’m not strong enough to patiently care for my children for weeks on end without a break. 

I’m not strong enough to serve my husband with joy when I feel tired. 

I’m not strong enough to make one more meal, wash one more dish or pick up one more toy. 

I’m not strong enough to face potential financial loss. 

I’m not strong enough to face a shortage of food. 

I’m not strong enough to experience loss of freedom. 

I’m not strong enough! 

Period.

I’m not strong. 

And neither are you. 

But God is! And depending on God is the strongest thing we can possibly do. 

So, what does this look like? 

The next time my children are getting on my nerves, I admit to God that I am weary and I ask Him to give me strength for this task. I ask Him for a creativity and love that I currently don’t possess. 

When I’m tired of the meal-making, the scattered toys and the dirty dishes, I ask Him to help me to be faithful and that I would just do the next right thing. 

When I’m worried about finances, I ask Him to give me wisdom in how we spend our money; that I would care about the things He cares about and not my own selfish ambitions. 

When I’m afraid of being stuck at home for even more weeks ahead, I ask God to help me face today and to remember that He will be at my side in whatever He calls me to face. 

When I feel overwhelmed and tired, I run to God, asking Him to exchange my weakness with His wisdom and strength. 

When I sense my dedication to Him waning I ask Him to renew a steadfast spirit within me. I ask Him to give me a hunger and thirst for His Word where currently it is lacking.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Cor. 12:9-10

This passage used to confuse me. How can true strength be found in weakness? Humanly speaking, life doesn’t work that way. Yet, the more years I spend walking with God, the more I’m beginning to understand how this paradox works. Self dependence and strength (or even dependence on others) is not really strength at all. It can be taken away in an instant. Physical health, stamina and resolve can all be removed. In contrast, dependence on a God who never changes is strength. He never removes us from His grasp no matter what we may face. In fact, the more needy we become the more heavily we can find ourselves leaning in to Him. 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed looking ahead to all the unknowns of the future and worrying about all the what-ifs and many probabilities, but God hasn’t called me to take care of those moments yet. In fact, as far as I am to be concerned, He has only called me here for this very moment in time. So, I have a choice: am I going to run to Him right now or will I try to do life on my own? 

The same choice will be mine when those future hard days do come. He’s promised that His grace will be enough for me in those moments, if I choose dependence. And when I do, He’ll be there to sustain me, just as He’s been doing all along…one. day. at. a. time. 

Please follow and like us:
0

Ways to Use the Meat You Have on Hand, Part 2: Pork Roast, Ham, Sausage and Kielbasa

Today we’re continuing with “Ways to use the meat you have on hand, part 2.” If you’ve scrounged in your fridge recently only to realize you’re going to be eating the same leftover meat for the next four days, check out our ideas below. You just might find yourself inspired to whip those leftovers up into a completely new dish!

PORK (roast, loin, chops, etc)

Fajitas/tacos

Enchiladas

Carnitas 

Stir-fry

Pork, potatoes, and onions skillet (think “Steak and potatoes”)

Pulled Pork sandwiches

HAM

Ham and potato soup

Egg scrambler

Monte Cristo sandwiches

Quiche

Ham and pineapple pizza

Stir fried rice

Frittatas

Chef Salad 

Biscuits and Ham Gravy 

Lentil/Split Pea Soup

White Bean and Ham Soup

Sliders

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole

Loaded potatoes

Breakfast casserole

Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll Ups

Ham Salad

SAUSAGE

Scrambled Eggs

Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Pizza 

Pizza 

Biscuits and Gravy 

Egg Frittata

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Sausage sandwiches

KIELBASA

Hobo dinners 

Jumbalaya 

Please follow and like us:
0

5 positives during covid-19 

It’s good for the soul to be able to look back at hard times and see how God has changed you and used it for good in your life! God has used Covid-19 for a lot of spiritual growth in my life but today I want to share some of the lighter hearted things He has taught me through this time!

1. I used to view my life as pretty low key, almost mundane…but now I see that I was living high with trips to the grocery store and a library outing at least once a week for new books and movies! Laugh you may, but my perspective has definitely changed in a positive way and I will be a lot more thankful for my “mundane” life if I ever get it back! 

2. I’ve learned to be creative in the kitchen. Now the kitchen is my happy place (especially if it’s clean)  and I would have said I was creative in the kitchen before all this. However, it has taken on a whole new dynamic in the past months. I used to make a meal plan and shop accordingly. Now I shop and make a meal plan out of what I was able to find at the grocery store. It has opened up a whole new world of cooking experiments. 

3. We have gotten better about getting outside for walks! Sometimes we take a quarter and flip it at each intersection to see which way to go. Other times we take a slower walk and try to spot cool things along the way. We have discovered an old Bronco (parked amongst other run-down stuff in someone’s  yard) and unique houses set back from the road.

4. I’m learning to be more structured about our life at home. It’s easy to get a bit bored when you’re at home day in and day out making a plan/daily routine has brought some direction to my day!

5. Prioritizing activities with my girls is almost becoming a habit! Reading books, toilet paper roll crafts 😉, cooking together, building pillow forts, “school” work, including them in household chores, etc. Yeah, I could do a better/faster job but why not redeem the time to train them up in these areas? They have to learn sometime and this is a perfect opportunity! I love watching them bloom into little ladies! 

God has been so good to us during this crazy time! What wonderful little things has He taught you?

Please follow and like us:
0

Overwhelmed? Run to Christ!

Normal 

Something we long for these days.

Our lives have been flipped upside-down.

Emotions are in a vortex.

Frustration

Fear

Discouragement

Anger

Helplessness 

We want things to stop changing.

How do we cope? 

In Christ, our hope!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13

In the midst of the storm, let’s calm our overwhelmed hearts in the unchanging One! 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever” – Hebrews 13:8

In the time of restlessness, let’s claim the rest Jesus offers!

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” – Matthew 11:29-30

When uncertain days make us weary, let’s find our strength in God!

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

When we are lonely because we are distanced from our friends and family, let’s find comfort in our God! 

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” – John 14:16-18|KJV

When we are afraid, let us run to Christ and find peace!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

While it is natural for us to want comfort, security and normality in our circumstances, let us anchor our hearts and minds in the solid truths of Christ!

In Christ alone my hope is found,

He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid Ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace

When fears are stilled, when striving cease

My Comforter, my All in All

Here in the love of Christ I stand

(In Christ Alone by Stuart Townsend)

*All verse taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise marked

Please follow and like us:
0