Archive for the ‘grace’ Category

Caribbean Chicken Salad

July 6, 2011

O God of Peace, we praise you and give thanks for your gentle, guiding calm in our lives. We give thanks for safety, food, shelter, and nations where we are free to pursue those things.

Caribbean Chicken Salad

Marinate chopped chicken breast in favorite marinade.

Stir fry chicken and allow to cool.

Arrange greens on plate.  Put 2 tablespoons of pico de gallo in the middle.  Arrange chunks of fresh pineapple and slices of orange around pico.  Put chicken on top of pico and crush some “hint of lime” tortilla chips over all.  Pass dressing around the table.

Dressing:

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 TB sugar

1 1/2 TB oil

1 1/2 TB white wine vinegar

juice of a whole lime.

Shake together and put in small pitcher.

Enjoy this refreshing summer salad with rolls, flatbread or other bread, tropical fruit punch or tea.

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Mexican Summer Salad

July 6, 2011

Mexican Blessing:

Christ the bread of life, come bless our meal, Amen.

Mexican Summer Salad

2 lbs sirloin, sliced thin

1pkg. fajita seasoning (add 2/3 cup water and one Tb olive oil

Marinate meat a couple hours, then cook on a tabletop griddle (I used a George Foreman grill) 

Put cooked beef in a dish, surround with dishes of:

lettuce, shredded cheddar, sliced olives, crushed “hint of lime” tortilla chips, sour cream and homemade pice de gallo (1 tomato finely chopped, 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped, 3 green onions, finely chopped, 2 TB cilantro finely chopped, and juice of one lime.)

Let each person put together their own salad as they like it.  Serve with warm, buttered tortillas if desired, and a glass of Sangria if desired (I buy Yago, don’t make my own).

Enjoy a fine, low carb (well, except for the tortillas) summer meal.

A Prayer for Help to Forgive

March 12, 2011

Lord, I know unforgiveness blocks Your living water in my own soul.  It cuts off the flow in my spiritual arteries.  What am I to do?  I see things and hear things that stab my heart.  Immediately I must bring them to You.  You saw what I saw.  You know I feel what I feel.  I am to leave this in Your capable hands.  You know what I cannot know.  You see into the heart of the other person, and You will deal with them in love, as is necessary.  I am to let go and just love.  I can “just love” by praying for their good, and by saying and doing good to them if and where I am able.  I am to think their good by remembering that You love them and You are bringing about good in their life.  Help me have Your thoughts and an attitude that pleases You.

Loving an Enemy–a prayer

March 12, 2011

Lord, I can’t control what others do to me, but I can control the attitude of my own heart.  Help me truly love, care for, pray for and sacrifice for those who do not love me–who indeed may hate me.  You loved like that, Jesus.  Now You are letting me experience the sorrow of having an enemy who has done harm to my soul and spirit.  Lord, I know this is a practical lesson.  I am to practice loving the way You do–not just think about it.  I need Your help so much.  Please change my deepest heart attitudes–especially the ones I don’t know about, and bring my attitudes in line with Yours.

The Story of Santa Claus as I told it to my Children

February 17, 2010

Long ago there was a holy man named Nicholas, who wanted more than anything to give Jesus a gift on his birthday.   But what can you give to someone who owns the whole universe?  Then Nicholas remembered when Jesus walked the earth, He said whatever you do for the least important people,  you do for Him.  So Nicholas decided a very pleasing gift for Jesus would be to visit the children of his city, carrying gifts for them–clothing, food and special things that delight children.  Nicholas did this for years, using a carriage if Christmas were warm, and a sleigh when it snowed.  Eventually God called Nicholas home, and that Christmas all the people wondered who would visit the children on Christmas Eve.  Gradually they realized they could visit the children themselves.  And that year, parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles, big brothers and big sisters and older cousins and friends, all secretly left gifts for the children on Christmas Eve.  On Christmas morning the children were so surprised.   “Who left these gifts for us?”  they asked.  And the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, big brothers, big sisters and cousins and friends all smiled and winked and said “Could it be Nicholas, come down from heaven for this one night?”  Well, the tradition continued for years and years, down to this very day .  Nicholas eventually was called Saint Nicholas, and in the language of little children, who can’t always speak plainly, he became Santa Claus.

How to Get into Heaven

February 17, 2010

“Unless you become as little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

Once there were two little boys who lived near the best theme part in their part of the country.  More than anything in the world, they would have loved to spend a day there.  Their parents, however, were far too poor to be able to afford the almost $40 ticket.  Well, the boys decided they would earn their way inside.  One thing they knew how to do was to sell candy.  So they pooled their allowances and bought a supersize bag of mints, and at the beginning of the summer they began selling their mints at 2 cents each.

On the last day before school was to start, they were standing outside the gates of the park, counting their profits, to see if they could buy tickets inside.  What a disappointment!  Their total profit for the whole summer was $2.40, not enough for even one of them to be anywhere close to getting in.  Slowly, they started to walk away, when they came face to face with a kindly old gentleman who offered to let them in.  “How can you let us in, when we don’t have tickets?” they asked.  “I own the place” replied the man.  “Can we give you our $2.40? ” they asked.  “Of course not”, said the man, “Use that for something when you get inside.”

Can you imagine the boys refusing to accept the old gentleman’s offer?  Can you imagine their being so proud, they would insist they couldn’t possibly accept charity, even though paying their own way was never going to happen?  Little children don’t have that kind of foolish pride.

None of us can ever earn our way into heaven.  It cost more than any human will ever hope to be able to pay.  Whatever good things we do are gifts of love and gratitude to Jesus, who has already prepaid our way in.  Why do we still find ourselves wondering if we are good enough to get in, counting our deeds, and afraid we will be embarrassed at how little we have to offer at the gates?

A Way to Look at Forgiveness

February 14, 2010

Forgiveness means I don’t allow a few snapshots to color my opinion of the whole film.  I may see a person during one or more bad times, but I haven’t seen their whole life.  Especially important is to remember I haven’t seen the end of the story–theirs or mine.  God still has lots of work to do with all His children, me included.

Reconciliation

October 20, 2009

Perhaps you’ve had a huge disagreement with someone over a particular issue, the conversation became emotionally charged, and now you are avoiding each other.  You each have deeply held beliefs from which you can’t back down without sacrificing your integrity.  Yet, you value your relationship.  Perhaps you are family or you have a long history together.  There seems to be no way you can both win.  Or is there?  Perhaps you can seek reconciliation.  Reconciliation means a restoration of peace and a restoration of relationship.  Reconciliation says “I value you and I respect you.  I acknowledge your right to your beliefs though they differ from mine”.  This frees you to be honest.  You are not being passive and seeming to agree to something when you don’t.  You are not playing games in order to restore peace.  You are not trying to manipulate the other person into agreeing with you.  You are not in denial about the other person’s position.

How can you broker a reconciliation?  You can begin by making the first  move.  You can listen to the other person’s position.  You can be gracious by sharing with the other person how much you value them and how much you respect them even though you hold a different point of view.  You can suggest reconciliation with out resolution.  Resolution would require the end of the disagreement and that isn’t likely.  Reconciliation means to give up winning, for the sake of the relationship, which has higher value than proving yourself to be right.  Of course, the other person may not accept reconciliation without resolution.  At that point all you can do is leave the door open.  Its possible they no longer value the relationshjip as much as you do.  You’ve done your best to be generous while maintaining your integrity.  You simply have to move on, and never stop praying.

How Humble am I

October 19, 2009

Its been said if I think about how humble I am its a sure sign I’m not humble.  Humble people seldom think about themselves at all.  so lets assume we’re proud people who desire to be humble.  The following questions may help us find our way:

1.  Do I count my blessings and thank God for them?  If I count my misfortunes I may have an attitude of thinking I deserve better.  Or I may have the attitude that I’m a victim and somehow a victim is more deserving than most people.

2.  Do I trust myself only or do I trust others and God?  Pride has an attitude of “only I can do things right”

3.  Do I encourage people to be all they can be, or do I nag and manipulate them to be all I want them to be?

4.  Do I mind interruptions?  Do I value others needs or do mine always have priority?  Pride considers my priorities of greater value than other people.

5.  Do I forgive?  Pride won’t forgive till the other person kneels before my throne.

6.  Am I a positive person?  Do I see good in people and situations?  Pride is critical and considers self too good for whats dealt to it .

7.  How do I treat the elderly, children and the disabled?  Am I patient and compassionate?  Do I find “they” get in my way when I have “important” missions to accomplish?

8.  Do I seek to serve others or to direct them?

9.  Is it all about me or all about something bigger than me?

10.  A humble person can state their truth without demanding agreement.  Can I?

Seeking change in my attitudes in order to be more grateful to God and more loving toward others is the first step toward becoming a humble person.

A Coupon for Jesus

August 10, 2009

As I walked into the fast food restaurant, I was accosted by a stranger who told me he had a coupon for me for a deal “too good to be true”.  The coupon said something about Jesus.  Before I could finish reading it, he asked me if I was a Christian and when I said “yes” he handed me a whole stack of his coupons and said I should be preaching the gospel as he was doing because Jesus commanded us to do that.  Somehow, I just felt uncomfortable with the whole thing.  I guess I didn’t really experience Jesus as much as I experienced a sales pitch.  Now I’m not sure that God wouldn’t use even a sales pitch to make Himself known.  He can use anything.  If someone’s discomfort made them investigate Jesus  just to prove the salesman to be a nut case, that person through their searching may experience the real Jesus.  A real experience of Jesus involves a profound encounter with love and grace which has never before happened to a person.  I like to introduce Jesus to people in a context of love and grace, but really, its not about me.  A Jesus moment is a gift from Himself and He can use any means of delivery.