Monday, November 30, 2009

December's Poll/Question of the Month!

Reply by clicking on COMMENTS and then scroll down to leave a comment. Thanks!

December's question comes from another blog.  When I read the question, I actually had to pause for a minute to think this one through.  I'm quite interested to hear your thoughts.  Here goes the question:

Would you rather be in the best fiscal or best physical shape 
(health included) of your life right now and why? 

Looking forward to hearing your answers!

Recipe: Chicken Parmesan

Can you believe that it's time for the LAST month of the year already!?!  WOW!!  Well, here goes November's recipe.  Check out December's yummy dessert recipe--skillet cookie!!  I actually plan on making October's recipe tonight--bean soup! YUM!

Chicken Parmesan

Angel Hair Pasta
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup olive oil (more if needed)
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
4-6 cups Marinara Sauce (I lean toward MORE than less)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Level of Difficulty: 2.5 (scale of 1-5)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine the bread crumbs, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and parsley in a shallow bowl (bowl large enough for chicken to be rolled in later).

3. Place the beaten eggs in a separate bowl.

4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Dip each chicken breast in the eggs and then in the bread-crumb mixture, shaking off any excess.

6. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook, in batches if necessary, until golden, about 2 minutes to each side. When cooked, remove from the pan and place on papper towels to drain.

7. Cover the bottom of a 9- X 13-inch baking dish with 1 cup of marinara sauce (or more if needed to fully cover bottom of pan).

8. Add the chicken cutlets and sprinkle with half the grated cheese. Cover the cutlets with 1 cup of marinara sauce, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and shredded mozzarella.

9. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

10. Boil pasta while chicken is in oven.

11. Serve the chicken over the angel hair pasta & ENJOY!! SO delicious!!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's In A Name?

I tend to name most of my household gadgets (my super cute vacuum, sweet pea, is one of my recent favs!).  I recently purchased a new toy, a Garmin that is super fun, sleek, pretty,  and has bluetooth capabilities and traffic updates.  After much thought I named her Vivian.  Why you say? I'm glad you asked...

Two reasons.  First, what does Vivian do? She knows the streets and maneuvers them well.  Who else do I know who did the same thing?

Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman also known as Vivian!  But Vivian wasn't just a street girl, she was also a classy lady (at least at the end of the movie!)

How refined!  Just like my sleek & super cute Garmin! 

Second reason why I named her Vivian: she was a replacement of my first brand new Garmin that was stolen from my car (while I was at church!!)  So, who else do we know that came in as a replacement?

new/replacement Aunt Vivian 

Remember how we lost our first Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince of BelAir for the more "boug boug" one in later seasons? My first Garmin was super cute, petite, and it was just what I wanted.  Now my second one has all the great features of my last Garmin AND is a little more "boug boug" (more features!)!

So I'm excited about Vivian Garmin, the newest addition to our gadget family!  If you think I'm crazy for giving this much thought to naming a gadget...thanks! I am! And I love it about me! :-)

Calling people in the car just because I can talk to them handsfree,

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Today’s Sunday School lesson on Giving has sparked something within me that really transforms the way I think about a lot of things.  Below is my attempt to summarize the lesson as well as share my thoughts on the lesson & other related things that have since come to my mind.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a Part II pops up later!

The lesson was divided into three fundamental principles: (1) stewardship (2) giving and (3) sowing.

1. Stewardship—“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”  Psalm 24:1

A steward is one who manages another’s property, finances, or affairs.   The primary principle that we must grasp and accept in order to truly become givers is that we are stewards.  Nothing (not one thing) that we possess belongs to us.  Jesus owns everything and we are blessed to be stewards over His possessions.

Interestingly enough, this is a principle that we may say or want to believe, but it truly takes some growth, I believe, to allow our minds to be transformed into understanding, accepting, living, and practicing this belief in stewardship.  Nothing I own is mine.  When I go to work, it is by the grace of God.  Therefore, the paycheck that I draw is also by the grace of God.  It is His money.  He gives me the talent and the ability to perform my job.  Therefore, nothing I have done to purchase “my” belongings is of my own ability.  Humbling huh?

Likewise, my body belongs to God; therefore, I will carry it around this Earth in a manner that is pleasing to Him.  I don’t get to define what to do with His body/temple that He has given me.  The choices I do make must be in accordance with His Word. 

Even the breath that I breathe at this very moment belongs to God.  I think I am going to write down this principle/thought (“Nothing I have is really mine! It belongs to Jesus!) and post it in places around my office, car, and home.  My daily calendar would be a great place to put this reminder because even “my” time belongs to Jesus!!  And I sure do live by my daily “to do” list.  Truly, it is something that needs to be etched in my/our hearts in order to understand and obey the act of giving.

The second principle that the lesson discussed is that we must understand that giving is an act of worship.  Just as our prayer, fasting, and praise reflect God’s characteristics within our lives, giving is also an act that reflects the character of God.  The lesson text states it this way, “Our giving patterns either testify to the abiding character of God in our lives, or they bear witness to its absence. . . Giving is an outflow of a life that is consecrated wholly to God.”

Side note: It is also important to note that giving any kind of way does not work!  We cannot give God anything in any manner.  Giving must be done cheerfully!  (2 Corinthians 9:7) So if you’re on your way to bible study and complaining,  “I really don’t have time this week for bible study.  I have so much work, laundry, etc… to do…”  You’re giving your time, but not cheerfully!!  It is important that we not treat serving Jesus as a chore, burden, or just something on our “Christian” to-do list.  That type of giving produces little to nothing for your spiritual growth.  This is another thing that I believe takes growth and awareness.  A lot of times we are so caught up in our daily schedule and routine that we don’t realize how we treat giving and living for Jesus as just another mundane item on our to do list that we get to if we have time.  Backwards much? 

Giving begins with me.  Another portion of the lesson discussed that a prerequisite for the act of giving is to first give ourselves.  If my life belongs to Jesus then I won’t have as difficult of a time understanding that everything related to my life also belongs to Jesus.  Giving isn’t a burden. 

During the lesson I thought about the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22) who told Jesus that he had kept all of His commandments from his youth and asked “what lack I yet?”  Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect to sell what he has and give it to the poor and “thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”  The man’s response?  See ya!! The Bible says the man went away “sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”  This man literally looked Jesus in the face and walked away after being told to give up his possessions.   Perhaps he didn’t understand that NOTHING that he possessed could match what Jesus was offering Him in exchange.

I should pause here and make sure that I emphasize that giving involves more than money!  While giving does involve money, there are so many other things that Jesus requires that we give—ourselves (our lives/body), our time, our talents (He gave them to you for a reason!), our spouses (any minister or deacon wives out there?  I know you understand this one!), etc… None of those things belong to us anyway.

Lastly, I note that we should really find pleasure in giving!  God does!  (Philippians 4:18) 

3.  Sowing—An Act of Faith!

The lesson states, “when the farmer purchases the seed and places it in the ground, he understands that he may not see it again.  He is, for a season, poorer than he was.  He cannot dig that seed up and use it for his own food.  Once it is planted, it is gone from him.”  I found this to be a helpful illustration of sowing.  Sowing is an act of faith.  For we believe that what we are giving will produce something, but the evidence of the product is typically nowhere to be seen.  The motive for sowing? Pleasing Jesus and blessing others!  The expectation, however, is a hope to reap because that is a scriptural promise! (Galatians 6:7-8)  The only thing that can prevent reaping is failure to faithfully sow.

So that was the Sunday school lesson! I thoroughly enjoyed it!! It really makes me think about every single aspect of life.  In particular, one thing that came to my mind while studying this lesson was some of the things we may take for granted that are gifts given to us by Jesus.  Our health, for example.  Our ability to hear, see, walk, etc… is a gift!  Our health is a gift, and while I 150% know that Jesus is a healer, during the times when I may experience bodily pain and sickness, one thing that helps me is to appreciate and praise Jesus for the times when I was fully healthy.  It was a gift that I never earned!  In that respect, I believe that it is imperative that we remain mindful of the many gifts that Jesus bestows upon us, that we may appreciate them while they last!  (“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits”!!) Psalm 68:19

Every second of every minute of every hour of every day, Jesus is giving to us whether we acknowledge Him or not (the very ability to see and read and breath right now: GIFT!).  All He asks in return is that we do likewise.  GIVE! 

I hope this lesson is a blessing to someone as it was to me!  My prayer is that it sparks something within us all to be mindful (daily) of the giving nature of Jesus, that we might strive to exemplify it in our daily lives.  Remembering that we are stewards of all that we posses.  Let’s take good care of what He has given us (start with your body!!!) and let’s use them to His glory and never be too selfish to know that we are blessed to bless others.

“For of Him, and through Him and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:36


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thankful that Widsom Doesn't Reside In My Teeth!

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
James 3:17

Bye bye wisdom....teeth!  After yesterday I no longer house any wisdom teeth in my mouth!  Having had the top two taken out in undergrad, today I had the bottom two extracted.  Unlike my first go round, this time I had to visit Mr. Oral Surgeon!  I am happy to report that the Lord Jesus was with me all the way!  I was comforted by His peace and had a praise in my heart during my moments of consciousness (I'd like to think during my moments of unconsciousness as well!). :-)

I am still amazed how I cannot recall not a thing that happened during the procedure.  I was told it lasted about 30-45 minutes, but all I know is a nurse told me "You'll feel better in about one minute" and that's the last thing I recall.  Next memory--people wiping my mouth and the IV coming out.  How amazing is our God, He kept me through it all!!

Waiting for Dr. to Come In

Now I'm home and can't complain about a thing!  My soul is rejoicing and I'm just so joyful and grateful for the mercies and promises of Jesus Christ!  Here are a few of my survival foods for the weekend.  Let's hope that I can eat normal food sooner than later! Soup is for the birds when it's not accompanied with something that I can chew! But the baked potato and ice cream diet has been pretty yum!!

Clay pack that doesn't freeze/burn my face!

I'm being very well taken care of by my mommy and hubby!  And I've had many check-ins from my fabulous friends (thanks for the ice cream & card Charity!!)!  So, while I'm now without my wisdom teeth, I'm still rich in love, friends, and the ability to gain more wisdom!!  Sounds like a win/win situation to me! :-)

 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: 
and with all thy getting get understanding.  
 Proverbs 4:7

Recovering beautifully,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November Poll

November's poll is a little different from the past two month's polls.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the screen you will see the question:

If you were given $5,000 cash and told
(1) you MUST spend it on yourself
(2) you CANNOT pay any bills with this and
(3) you CANNOT save it,
what would you do with the $5,000?

For this poll you will not click on an answer, rather you simply LEAVE A COMMENT to this post with your answer!! Simply click on the comments button below, scroll down past comments & leave your comment in the COMMENT box!  Looking forward to hearing your answers!! :-) 

Excited to read your answers,

Recipe: Bean Soup

Time keeps flying and the recipes keep coming!  Here's October's recipe of the month!  Now on to November...chicken parmesan!!

Bean Soup

2 cans mild rotel
1 can black beans
1 can navy beans
1 can pinto beans
1 package ranch dressing
1 package taco seasoning
1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion chopped up
(some use 1 can of corn as well)

Level of Difficulty: 1

1. In a large pot warm the beans & rotel.

2. While beans & rotel are warming in pot, cook ground turkey and drain. (clean any grease from skillet)

3. Place cooked ground turkey back in skillet and add package of taco seasoning, 1 cup of water, and chopped up onion to the ground turkey and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

4. Add turkey and ranch package to large pot with beans/rotel and mix well. Simmer all ingredients in pot on medium heat for approximately 30-45 minutes.

5. Enjoy!! Bean Soup goes great with corn bread or tortilla chips. I also add shredded cheese on mine as well!