Thursday, March 31, 2016

Life is Worth Living, Just Because HE LIVES!

The past week or two the circumstances of life were weighing heavily on my heart, and not just my own life’s circumstances but others that I know and the world at large.

Especially with Easter approaching last week, this well-known song started running through my head:

Because He lives I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

I realized that I was placing so much of my focus on circumstances, the tangible messes and frustrations of life, rather than focusing on Jesus in the midst of these situations – what He could do and the goodness that still existed in my life and others’ lives because of Him, regardless of the disappointments and sorrows.

As I started to fix my gaze on the resurrection of Jesus, I reminded myself that it is because of Him that we can live in this world of imperfection and be victorious, having hope, joy, and peace.

Jesus Came. Served. Suffered. Died.
And then rose again – all for us!
His love for us is great, and He lives!
His love is current!

Because He lives, we CAN face tomorrow.

There’s no need for us to worry about what is to come. The present has enough worries of its own, and we can’t add anything to our lives by worrying. (Matthew 6:34)

Because He lives, all fear is gone.

Perfect love casts out fear, and God’s love is perfect. We know God and believe in His love for us and abide in Him. There is no need for us to fear. He loves us! (1 John 4:16-19)

Because we know HE holds the future.

No matter what happens here on earth, God holds the future. He has a good plan for us and for our eternities. He knows the end from the beginning and has the story all figured out!

And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

Life is worth living for no other reason than this -- God lives! He created us. He loves us and wants relationship with us. He desires good things for us. Simply to know and remember that God is watching over us and longs for us – that should be enough to make us want to live the best lives we can and give Him glory.

Have your eyes been fixed on your circumstances?

Remember, He lives,
and it’s all worth it just because of that.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our Easter Menu

This past weekend we had our first Easter celebration with my family. My dad is having surgery the
day after Easter, so we scheduled our dinner early.

Our menu consisted of:

Potato Roast
Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots
Broccoli Salad
Brownie Pizza
Sugar Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies

My daughter did a wonderful job with the decorations and made the sugar cookies and a large pitcher of strawberry lemonade on her own. She makes me proud!

My mom and sister brought the meatballs, mostaccioli, and peanut butter cookies, which were a great addition to the meal.

I still have to make one more Easter menu. Some of the things I am considering this time are: turkey, chicken piccata, mashed potato or hash brown casserole, and green bean amandine.

What are YOU making for Easter?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Pioneer Woman's Brother's Tacos

Did you know that the Pioneer Woman has a brother?

And did you know that the Pioneer Woman’s brother makes exceptional tacos?

Yes, he does! I’ve tried them. Okay… I didn’t really eat tacos that he made for me, but I did try his recipe, and YUM! The tacos were delicious!

These tacos do take a while to make, since they are fried, AND since they are fried, you may not want to eat them every day. Well, you may WANT to eat them every day, but you probably SHOULDN’T eat them every day.

My family LOVED these!

Just a note: I actually misread the recipe and used 4 HALF chicken breasts and stretched it to make 16 tacos with that, so you may be able to tweak the amount of chicken and tortillas you use.

The Pioneer Woman’s Brother’s Tacos
Original Found Here

Printable Version

16 corn tortillas, small size (you may need more)
4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
salt, cumin, chili powder, to taste, or taco seasoning
2 T canola oil
2 cans (4 oz.) green chilies, diced, drained
1 1/2 cups grated cheese, Cheddar or Co/Jack
Sour cream
hot sauce or taco sauce
2 cups thinly sliced lettuce
4 whole roma tomatoes, diced
canola oil, for frying tacos

Heat 2 T of oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and flavor with spices or taco seasoning. Add the green chilies and cook until the chicken is well-cooked. Turn off heat and set aside.

*Be careful frying with oil*

Fill a saucepan with a couple inches of oil. Heat to 350 degrees. Put some of the chicken inside a tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and hold it shut with a heat-proof pair of metal tongs while placing it, one side down, into the hot oil. Keep holding the taco for a few seconds to form it. When it stays put, leave the taco in the oil until light golden brown (probably no longer than 30 seconds), and flip, cooking the other side similarly.

When the taco is done, carefully take the taco out of the oil and pour the oil out of both sides, draining well. Then put the taco on a paper towel. (The Pioneer Woman recommends putting the taco into a stack of paper towels, folding the corners and sides in, and shaking the taco a few times to remove excess oil).

You should be able to fry 2 or 3 tacos at once, depending on the size of your pan. I preferred frying two at a time to keep the temperature of the oil more stable.

After the tacos sit for a few minutes, fill them with cheese to allow it to melt while you are making the other tacos.

Garnish the tacos as desired, with sauce and sour cream first and then lettuce and tomatoes on top.