Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I LOVE stuffed peppers! They are delicious and easy to make. So, when I found this recipe, I knew I had to try it. It turned out even better than I expected! It’s definitely going to become a staple in my kitchen. You can find the original recipe here.

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Ingredients:
4 oz Thinly Sliced Roast Beef
4 Slices of Provolone Cheese
1 Green Pepper
3 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms
2 T Butter
2 T Olive Oil
1 T Garlic Salt
1 T Onion Powder

Directions:
1. Heat oil and butter over low-med heat
2. Add garlic salt, onion powder, and mushrooms – heat for 10-15 minutes
3. Halve the green pepper and cut out stem and seeds
4. Place one slice of provolone cheese on the bottom of each half of the pepper
5. Slice the beef into strips and add to the mushrooms – heat for about 5 minutes
6. Stuff the peppers with the mushroom/beef mixture and top each half with another piece of provolone
7. Bake at 400° F for 15 minutes or until the top is golden

Chicken Lasagna Rolls

I love to make lasagna rolls when I want to switch up my typical meal of pasta. They take a little bit longer to make than regular pasta does, but the extra time is worth it. I made these for dinner with some friends and everyone loved them! The recipe is adapted from the one found here.

chickenlasagna

Ingredients:
6 Lasagna Noodles
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 ½ C Cottage Cheese
½ C Mozzarella
¼ C Milk
15 oz Sun Dried Tomato Basil Sauce
Olive Oil
Parmesan (optional)

Directions:
1. Cook Lasagna noodles, drain
2. Mix together cheese, milk, and chicken in a medium sized mixing bowl
3. Spread mixture evenly onto noodles and roll
4. Coat the bottom of a medium sized pan with olive oil
5. Arrange lasagna rolls in pan
6. Top with sauce
7. Cover and Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes
8. Serve with Parmesan cheese

The Trust to Act

          Sometimes knowing God’s will is hard. Other times He makes it clear as day. However, even then, following isn’t always easy. Even when I’m convinced I know God’s will, I have trouble carrying it out. Instead of trusting and having courage, I doubt and question and hesitate. When things don’t go as planned, I get scared that I didn’t really know His will in the first place. I question everything I was initially so sure of. I start to think things aren’t working out because I’m disobeying God. I worry that I acted too quickly, didn’t pray enough, or ignored what God was telling me.
          When God first reveals His will to me,I get really excited and am ready and willing to jump right in. Then, as that initial excitement starts to wear off and things start to get a lot more difficult than I expected, doubt starts to creep in. I doubt that I’m following God’s plan and sometimes even whether God has a plan at all. I forget following God doesn’t always mean things will be easy. That Jesus promised we would have trouble and trials in this world if we choose to follow Him.
          When Nehemiah was given the opportunity from God to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall, he doesn’t hesitate or doubt. He acts. Even though he is scared (Nehemiah 2:2), he asks the king to provide him with safe travel back to Jerusalem. Even when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite were “displeased greatly” by his action, he trusts that rebuilding the wall is God’s will and that He will protect him (Nehemiah 2:10). He easily could have been deterred by the obstacles. He could have decided that it was too hard or that if it really was God’s will it would be so much easier, but he didn’t.
          Instead, because God put it on his heart, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem and rebuilt the wall (Nehemiah 2:12).When God revealed his will to Nehemiah, he didn’t know how God would accomplish the task. Despite all of the unknowns and the fear he must have felt, he moved forward. He trusted God had everything under control and didn’t doubt God had a plan.
          Truthfully, if I were Nehemiah, there’s a good chance the wall would never have been rebuilt. I probably would have caved to fear and doubt. I see it happen time and time again in my life. I discern God’s will, I briefly act, things get tough and I have doubts, I lose faith and trust in God, and then I give up. I hope to someday be more like to be more like Nehemiah. I want God to be able to rely on me to rebuild the wall. I don’t want to doubt anymore.
          I pray every day that God will give me the courage and strength to trust like Nehemiah did. I know God has big things in store for me and that with those things will come many more times of hardship. When those times come, I pray I would respond as Nehemiah replied to Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite:
          “Then I replied to them, ‘The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build…” Nehemiah 2:20

Avocado Pasta Sauce

This isn’t the first pasta sauce recipe I’ve posted and it definitely won’t be the last! I made this recipe when I had dinner with a couple of friends and it was a big hit! The recipe is simple and it doesn’t require too many ingredients, so making it was a breeze. The original recipe can be found here.

AvocadoPasta

Ingredients:
3 Servings of whole wheat pasta
1 Lemon
Approx. 1 T garlic salt (or garlic powder or actual garlic)
1 T Vegetable oil
1 Avocado
1 T basil

Directions:
1. Cook pasta
2. Squeeze lemon juice into blended
3. Cut up avocado place in blender along with vegetable oil, garlic, and basil
4. Blend
5. Mix sauce with pasta. Eat!

Take heart, I have ovecome the world

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:8-9

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
   and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
   and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3

There have been many times in my life I have felt burdened beyond my strength. When I look back at those experiences, I now see they happened to make me turn to God and rely solely on Him. However, in the midst of a trial, when I feel like I can’t go on, it’s hard to remember there is a greater purpose for the difficulty I face. I become so focus on my own lack of strength, my own inability to go on, and my own despair I am unable to see God’s glory and sovereignty in the midst of the trial. Instead of turning to Him, I become completely focused on myself.

Having gone through many trials in my life, I know the best thing I can do is to humbly turn to God. From both my experiences and from the Word, I know trials come to force me to do just that. In hindsight, it’s easy to see and understand this, but when trials come and I become focused on myself instead of on God, it’s difficult to remember. Fortunately for me, even when trials result in pride instead of reliance on God, He is always with me. He does not allow the river to overwhelm me or the fire to burn or consume me.

God is always by my side. He is always my Lord and Savior. Despite my pride, he never turns away. When I finally realize focusing on myself does not work and that I need to rely on Him to get through the trial, He is there waiting for me. He is always waits patiently no matter how prideful and self-focused I become.  I never make it through trials on my own. Getting discouraged, focusing on myself, and all the other natural, prideful responses I have to difficulties never helps. On my own, the situation would be hopeless, but thankfully Christ has already overcome the world. I can’t overcome trials, fight discouragement, or remain humble in my own strength, but God can and He does.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

This wasn’t a simple or quick recipe, but it was SO tasty. Plus, it made a ton of food, so there was plenty of left overs (I’m still eating it a few weeks later).  I would consider the time put into making it well worth the effort! The original recipe can be found here.

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Ingredients:
8 oz uncooked rigatoni
1 T vegetable oil
8 oz of fresh spinach (Probably should have been sautéed, but it turned out fine)
2 Large chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz container of cream cheese
1½ C shredded mozzarella cheese
Onion Powder (I used about 2 T, but this can be adjusted to fit your taste preference)

Direction:
1. Cook pasta
2. Preheat oven to 375°
3.Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
4. Spoon the mixture into a baking pan ( I used a 9X130
5. Bake covered for 35 minutes and then uncovered for 10 minutes

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace

Come Thou Fount

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
I’ll praise the Mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home

Jesus, sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

Ode to grace, how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
And let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

The Grace of Jesus is on them

Right after I picked grace as my word for 2014, I listened to a sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:4-9. The sermon started with an overview of the letter. The pastor listed 10 issues present in the Corinthian church that Paul addresses. If you don’t know much about the Corinthians, I encourage you to learn more, but for right now all you need to know is the church was full of division and sin. It was pretty much a complete mess.

The pastor then talked about 1 Corinthians 1:4. “I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”

He asked, given how messed up the church in Corinth was, how could Paul say he always thanks God for them? Answering the question is pretty simple, since answer is right in the verse. “Because of the grace given you in Christ Jesus.” Paul thanks God for them because of God’s grace.

Hearing that was eye opening. I realized how little I understand God’s grace and it convicted me about how I view and treat others. I knew that I don’t extend grace to others as I should, but hearing this verse explained in that way further emphasized to how infrequently I extend grace to others.

I’m so thankful for these insights and I’m looking forward to all God will teach me this year about grace. I’m also praying I that this verse will impact my life in the coming weeks and I will be able to show others grace as God has shown me grace.