Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Foodie - Pesto Pasta

Pesto is one of the greatest foodstuffs ever created, along with teriyaki sauce and Nutella. And I love pasta, so it was to my great delight that I discovered this little gem of a recipe, which is as easy as it is delicious. If you can’t find pre-made pesto, or you’d just like to try your hand at making it from scratch, I’ll include the recipe for that, too.

Pesto Pasta

5 oz. cooked spaghetti
4 oz. prepared pesto (about a 1/3 of a cup or so)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta al dente; drain. Stir in pesto and Parmesan.



1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
5 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a food processor or blender, puree basil, garlic, salt, Parmesan and pine nuts. With the processor or blender running, add olive oil through feed tube until incorporated.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Blessing of Uselessness

I subscribe to The Voice of the Martyrs' Facebook page.  As I was scrolling down tonight I saw they had posted some news that Glenn Penner, who had formerly been CEO of The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, went home to be with the Lord yesterday.  I didn't follow his journey with cancer, but I clicked over to his blog which was linked to in the Facebook note. 

I saw the last post written by his wife, and then read backwards over the last days and weeks of his life, which seemed to have been spent in much pain.  One particular post made me stop in my tracks.  He posted it back in November, and it talked of his struggle with feeling useless as his life had changed so much with the cancer. 

As I read it, I smiled a knowing smile, having just prayed today that God would help me to get back to being as useful and productive for Him as I can be.  I'd like to get back to "being myself" thank you very much.  This last six years of being in His waiting room has been quite long enough. 

God's funny that way.  I'm forever praying something (the He undoubtedly has put on my heart because He knows my deepest longings) and then He answers that very prayer in the most unexpected ways. 

Maybe you feel your life is on hold in some way.  You want to move forward in some aspect of your life, but God has you standing still.  Sometimes, standing still in the presence of God is the most productive thing we can do. 

The following is Glen Penner's blog from November 11, 2009.  Thank you Mr. Penner, for your encouragement, even as you stand in glory with our Lord, Jesus. 

And if you think about it, pray for his wife, Denita, and their children, as their lives must undoubtely feel as though they're standing still right now. 

The blessing of uselessness

With the decline of my health over the past year, one of the issues that I struggle with is a sense of uselessness since I can no longer do many of the things that I used to be able to do in my service for the persecuted around the world. Watching my colleagues do things that I once did and found so much pleasure in is hard. It is easy to feel…useless and unneeded. I don’t say that to sound whiney. I think many who go through suffering often feel this way, especially if they have lived active lives.

This morning, however, I read the following during my devotion time from Mike Mason’s The Gospel According to Job. I hope you are as blessed and challenged by this as I was.


“Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house.” (29:4)

Suffering, like the enemy who causes it, is a many-headed beast, and one of the heads is called Uselessness. A sufferer’s existence can seem so pointless, so stagnant and unworthy. Little wonder that Job’s mood in this chapter is one of intense nostalgia as he longs for “the good old days” when not only was he blessed by God, but when God’s blessing enabled him to bless others. Such feelings are perfectly human and understandable. We all want to be useful and productive. But one of the things we learn from the many set-backs of life is that God, in His wisdom, has a use for uselessness. The Lord Himself seems to be fond of standing around and doing nothing. When we imitate Him in this, the Bible calls it “waiting on the Lord.” But just think of how God waits on us! For thousands of years He has waited for mankind to turn to Him. Right now it is just as though He were standing on a street corner outside our home, hands in His pockets, whistling a gospel tune, waiting for us to keep our appointment with Him. Are we too busy with more pressing matters? Being useless, it seems, is not an important enough activity for us, and so we leave it to God.

Of course it is true that, as Jesus taught, “My Father is always working” (John 5:17). But to our human eyes God’s work often looks like idleness. His methods can appear so lackadaisical, so they involve pain on our part. Suffering puts us out of commission (at least from our perspective), so that we can no longer work, no longer contribute, no longer do much of value. Without this intense feeling of uselessness, suffering and even dying might not seem half so bad. Perhaps it is even true that the very soul of suffering is not so much pain itself, in all its forms, as it is the simple humiliation of having all our plans brought to a standstill, the indignity of being made to stop and wait.

How interesting it is that when the Lord appeared to Moses, and later to Joshua, to each of them He said the same thing: “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” (Ex. 3:5; Josh. 5:15). Why should you take off your shoes in the Lord’s presence? Because without shoes you are not going anywhere. You might try to walk, but you will not get very far, especially in the hot sand and sharp rocks of the wilderness. Taking off one’s shoes may not be quite as drastic as cutting off one’s feet, but it amounts to the same thing. Barefootedness means immobilization, and so it is a symbol of submission. Being immobile (in other words, having nothing better to do) is a prerequisite for worship, and worship is the prerequisite for all activity, all service.

Many churches today are eager to mobilize for the Lord, but without paying much attention to the prior and greater work of immobilization. We need to learn how to kick off our shoes and discover that the place where we are standing is holy. When Daniel saw a vision of the Ancient of Days on His throne, “ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.” And what was this multitude doing? Not much. All we are told is that “the court was seated, and the books were opened.” And without anyone moving an inch four powerful empires were destroyed (Dan. 7:10-12). In Heaven, apparently, they know the meaning of the saying, “Don’t just do something—stand there!”

The people of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years, and the soles of their shoes never wore out. Why not? Because they only moved at the Lord’s command. In many ways they were disobedient, but in this one point they were constrained to obey because pillars of cloud and of fire were hanging over them. If today we find our souls (pun intended) wearing out, it may be because we are running around doing a lot of things that the Lord has not told us to do. We want to be fruitful. We want to work for our church and contribute to our society. We want to do something, not simply believe. When circumstances are such that we cannot do anything, we get restless and squirm, and just like Job we think back on our full and productive days and we long to see them return. We long to go back, not just so we can feel good again, but so we can get on with our “real work,” get on with making our contribution.

But listen to the words of Catherine Doherty: “If you want to see what a ‘contribution’ really is, look at the Man on the cross. That’s a contribution. When you are hanging on a cross you cannot do anything because you are crucified.”

Update on Steve Dorsey

Just wanted to let you know that Steve, Noah, Jeffrey and Felipe have arrived back at their home in El Catey, Dominican Republic, safe and sound.  Thank you for your prayers!

For Jesus,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Even Better Than A British Lizard

I sat down this morning to write this devotion and I asked the Lord, as I always do, to show me what He wanted to say. What does He want you to know? He put a subject on my heart, and then the verses. I sat at the computer and started to type it out, but had to leave it shortly after to go run some errands. Somehow, I thought what I had written wasn’t quite right. As I later drove home thinking about how exactly to word this devotion, I thought, the Lord will show me.

Just a short while after getting home, the phone rang.


On the other end was a cute, silly, far away sounding voice asking me, “Do you have any insurance quotes from the Bible?”

I immediately started giggling. “What?”

“Um, do you have any insurance quotes from the Bible?”

It was my friend, Julie. I laughed at her silly question and out of joy at hearing her voice.

And I smiled on the inside, knowing the Lord had just answered my prayer about what He wanted you to know. The verses are these:

“For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.’ And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.

Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:13-20)

This is our insurance: when God makes a promise, He keeps it.

Our hope is not in a new president, a new marriage, a new doctor, a new medicine, a new church, a new friend, or anything else. We need not flit here and there, tossed by the sands of promised change, the shadows of a false horizon, the waves of a destination upon which we can never quite land.

We can stand strong in any storm because we know that ours is a real hope that was given to us by God Himself, a God Who cannot lie or go back on His promises; a hope of many things, the ultimate of which is salvation through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

There is much in the news and in our personal lives that could easily throw us for a loop. But God wants you to know that if you continue holding onto the hope you’ve been given in Jesus Christ and no other, you won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Update On Del Corazon Medical Team Treating Haitians

Just wanted to give you an update about Dr. Steve and his team.  He and his 3 friends made the long trip to the border town of Jimani, just on the Dominican Republic side between the DR and Haiti.  Another team of 16 doctors and nurses from California have met up with them.  To be able to get everyone to go and get all the supplies through was a miracle in itself.  The commander in charge was then to give them instructions on where to go. 

Steve had been going out in the vehicle looking for people who were injured and needed treatment and bringing them back to a church they had been using as a makeshift hospital.  A family in the area has been cooking food for them, but Steve's going out and trying to find any food he can.  A little girl charged Steve's cell phone for him, too, so he can keep in touch with Julie. 

Their plan is to stay until January 26th and then Steve and his friends will return to the DR and the team of 16 may return to California at that time, but I'm not sure about that. 

Please keep them all in your prayers.  It must be more difficult out there dealing with all this than we can imagine, but I know that God is with them, taking care of their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. 

Our God reigns!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Foodie - Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I hate having to throw food away. Sometimes the guilt at having let food spoil brings me to sending up a quick but heartfelt, “I’m sorry!” to the Lord as I chuck it into the trash.

Take bananas, for instance. I love them and I fully intend to eat them when I’m carefully choosing a bunch in the grocery store – just the right balance of yellow with a barely fading green shade along the edges. But instead, many times they end up looking like this:

Yep, you have them, too, I know it.  They're probably lurking in your kitchen right now.  But wait!  There's no need for apologies. Enter…the banana muffin. Or to be more precise, the Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin. A little culinary miracle from rotting food to moist, banana deliciousness.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 20 muffin cups. Beat together butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas until smooth.

2. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3. Alternately stir flour mixture, then buttermilk into banana mixture until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips. Do not overmix batter. It shouldn’t be completely smooth.

4. Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling 2/3 full. Bake until lightly golden, 15-18 minutes.

And in a short 30 minutes we go from ripe bananas, (and redeeming our good steward status) to this:

Enjoy my bloggy friends!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Dr. Steve Dorsey and 3 of his friends are traveling to the Dominican Republic/Haiti border.  Please pray for safe travels.  Thank you. 

For Jesus,

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Time to Pray

This is Friday and I usually post a Friday Foodie recipe or Friday Funnies video. But my heart’s been heavy this week watching and hearing about the devastation in Haiti as a result of the earthquake that shook their world to the core earlier this week. The pictures are heart-breaking and I feel helpless.

In overwhelming times like this of great human tragedy and suffering, like the weeks and months following Sept. 11, and this devastating earthquake that has seemed to impact the whole world, I feel I need to stop my busy life and reflect, put things into perspective, be thankful for my blessings, and weep with those who weep.

So this week, instead of my usual, I want to post some links on how you can contribute and some thoughts on how you can pray.

You’ve probably heard that there are a lot of opportunistic scammers trying to take your donations, so we need to be extra cautious about whom we give our money for disaster relief.

1. This is the White House’s official blog that includes links to how you can contribute to the Red Cross, USAID, and other resources.

2. The ACLJ, the American Center for Law & Justice, is partnering with 3 organizations and their links to those can be found here.

3. Samaritan’s Purse, a relief organization run by Franklin Graham, is taking donations for relief in Haiti as they continue to also help other parts of the world. There is also a short video where Franklin Graham speaks specifically about how Samaritan’s Purse is helping the victims of Haiti.


Your prayers are important.  It is the spiritual instrument by which God has given us the ability to access Him and it moves the Holy Spirit into action.  "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man {and woman!} avails much."  (James 5:16b)  Remember, though we aren't righteous on our own, we are righteous through Jesus Christ. 

1. Pray that God’s Spirit, strength, peace, wisdom and safety will be with:
~those who are still alive, but trapped under rubble;
~those who are injured and in need of medical attention;
~those who are still waiting to hear from loved ones;
~those who have lost loved ones;
~all for safety from looters and the escalating violence;
~the military and other rescue organizations;
~all medical personnel;
~all the brothers and sisters in Christ who are ministering to hurting hearts;
~and with the journalists who are covering this very emotional story.

2. Pray that resources such as food, water and medicine will be distributed quickly.

3. Pray that God will keep the enemy at bay in a nation where one half of its citizens have been known to practice voodoo.

4. Pray that Haiti’s inhabitants will cry out to the name of Jesus Christ for salvation, "for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."  (Acts 4:12)  This can be an amazing opportunity for multitudes of people to give their hearts over to Jesus, but they need our prayers.

In short, pray.

We need to call on the Holy Spirit to move in ways that only He can in the midst of such a seemingly impossible situation.

On a personal note, we have some friends, Steve and Julie, who are missionaries in the Dominican Republic. They are the founders and directors of Del Corazon de Jesucristo, (The Heart of Jesus Christ - the link is at the right) a medical ministry of hope and salvation through Jesus Christ in the Dominican Republic, where Dr. Steve Dorsey cares for the sick and injured in their area and Julie uses her teaching background to teach children and adults about the love of Christ.

They've just returned to the DR (I miss them already!)  and Steve’s been asked to travel to Haiti to help give medical care for those injured in the earthquake. Please pray they will know God’s will and whether he is to go or stay and continue to offer care to those in the DR.

I will keep you updated on their decision so we can keep praying accordingly.

Thank you so much and God bless you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Huh. It's National Delurking Day. Well What Do You Know About That.

I don't know who makes these things up, but apparently it's National Delurking Day, as in, if you're a reader of a blog...namely, this one...but never a commenter, yep, you, I'm talking about you,  it's time to come out from behind that screen, stop lurking, and make yourself known. 

Seriously though, I'd love to meet you, if even just to say hi.  If you have any technical problems leaving a comment, would you do me a favor?  Would you send me an email (over to the right) and let me know what issues you're having?  I want to make it as easy as possible for people to leave a comment, and I know if you're not a blogger yourself you may have some problems.  And then say hi. 

God bless you, 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What is Salvation?

Are you saved?  Do you know what it means to be saved, I mean all that it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ? This is a very good and clear explanation given by one of my favorite pastors and teachers, Greg Laurie, in his unique Greg Laurie-ish way. 

My sincere prayer is that everyone who watches this will be saved.  I also pray that if you are saved, but you've been away from Christ for a time, you will come home and be reconciled to Christ, Who has never stopped loving you even for one second.  And if you're saved and walking with Christ, I pray that you'll continue pressing in closer, day by day, to your loving Heavenly Father.

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:6)

If you make that decision for Christ for the first time, or you come back to Him, and would like to let someone know, or if you have any questions or would just like prayer, please send me an email by clicking on the envelope to the right.  I'd love to hear from you!

God bless,

What Do You See?

Two mornings ago, Sunday morning, I woke very early.  I turned on the t.v. and surfed the channels and found Charles Stanley.  I've unofficially, in my mind, adopted him as my grandpa.  He talked about obedience and the blessing there is in it.  He talked about some specific instances when God called him to move in a sacrificial way, how he didn't want to at first, but obeyed, and was rewarded.

That took me back to the last six years of my life - increasing fatigue and pain have made my life look very different than it did six years ago.  And I wept over it.  As I watch others able to continue on with their lives as always, mine seems to have come to a screeching halt.  As I wept, a sentence began to form in my mind's eye.  "Wh                 "...and then nothing.  I stopped my jumbled thoughts to listen, and see the rest of the sentence form, "What do you see?"

"What do I see?  All kinds of things," was my reply.

And I realized that God was reminding me to look at Him.  Focus on Him.  He is not gone, He has not abandoned me, He doesn't hate me.  My God loves me.

I struggled with whether or not to go to church, my eyes red and swollen from the tears.  But I went.

And in a most unexpected and delightful way, my God, Who loves me, put on our pastor's heart to ask that those in the congregation who are struggling with a trial to stand so that those around them could pray for them.  And I stood.  That was a tremendous blessing.

And then at the end of the service, during the last prayer, he asked if there was anyone struggling with feeling like God had abandoned them or even hated them, or if they felt they had done something wrong that caused God to allow the suffering in their lives.  I raised my hand.  Many times over the last six years, when the situation has seemed hopeless, I've wondered where God was.  Was He finished with me?  Had I done something wrong to cause Him to decide that I was useless?

God wasn't angry or dissapointed that I felt that way.  He loves me and in His grace and mercy, wanted to reassure me.

And then, if that wasn't enough, a dear friend came to me and told me that during the service she had thought of me, and wanted to tell me that I have redeemed the time.  She wasn't aware of my conversation with God hours earlier.  And I burst out crying once again.  God was telling me that my life has not come to a screeching halt.  I haven't been useless and my life has not gone to waste.

What an amazing morning it was.

And now, here I sit, having many times since thought of that sentence that formed in my mind, "What do you see?" 

And I'm awake, again, in the darkened and quiet hours of the morning.  And the Lord puts Fernando Ortega and his beautiful music on my heart.  I searched youtube and found his song Give Me Jesus, which led me to this video. 

And God says to me, and to you, "What do you see?"  And He holds our little faces, pulls them up from sulking at the ground and from focusing on the world, looks us directly in the eye, and says, "I love you, Dorci, and Linda, and Dawn, and Julie, and Leta, and all my "God's peeps" and facebook followers and all the rest of you."  God loves you!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Foodie - Chicken Tortilla Soup

I don’t know about you, but I’m about cookied out. And since it’s winter, (at least we like to pretend it is here in the Arizona desert) I’m going to post a nice, warm, cozy soup for today’s Friday Foodie. The added beauty of this recipe is that it’s a crock-pot recipe, so you can put it on in the morning, let it cook all day, and it’s ready for dinner when you are. Julie, this is just for you.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 chicken breast halves
2 15-oz. cans black beans, undrained
2 15-oz. cans Mexican stewed tomatoes or Rotel tomatoes
1 cup salsa
4-oz. can chopped green chilis
14 ½-oz can tomato sauce
tortilla chips
shredded cheese

1. Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in a large slow cooker. Cover; cook on low 8 hours.

2. Just before serving, remove chicken breasts and slice into bite-size pieces and stir into soup.

3. To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and top with crumbled tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thought of the Day

A good athlete must learn to let go of past mistakes in order to be successful in the future. 

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it." 1Corinthians 9:24

Friday, January 1, 2010

Dance On His Feet

I remember when I was little dancing with my daddy by standing on his feet and letting his legs take us both where we should go. All I had to do was hold on and the joy I felt as we shared our dance made me smile.

That’s what I want to do this year with my Heavenly Daddy. I want to hold on to Him and go where He goes - dance to His melody and smile.

The song may not always be something I want to hear. I may want an upbeat, happy tune, and He may have requested a sad song, or even something I’ve never heard before, but in those moments I don’t want to step off my Daddy’s feet. I want to hold on and stay in step with Him. The dance floor may take us to places I don’t want to go, but I don’t want to dance anywhere that He is not.

I know this year holds many surprises, but I also know that my Dance Partner already knows each tune that will play and He will hold me securely as we dance the dance of life together.

All I need to do is step upon His skillful and capable feet and hold on.