Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My Fellow Christian

Dear Fellow Christians,

I feel that this needs to be said, and I feel it needs to be said BEFORE election results are in tonight. Be aware November 9th.

Be aware of your speech to those around you after hearing the results of the election.
If they are not what you wanted, be aware of the hurt you might inflict on those who do not agree with you.  Be aware of the damage your words may have to your relationships.  Do not place blame on people who did not follow the path you followed.    Words you may say to others may damage more than relationships, it may damage your testimony.  God is sovereign above all.  His plan is higher than ours.  Be kind. Show love.

If the results ARE what you wanted, be aware of gloating and saying "I was right, you were not".  The people who may have voted differently from how you voted are proud of their stand.  Even if they did not win, it was THEIR opinion, and that should never be shot down.  God is sovereign above all.  His plan is higher than ours. Be kind.  Show love.

Always remember that through it all, you should be pointing to ONE--Jesus Christ.  He cares more about your love for others and your testimony of Him than any election.  Be aware of how your words could cause someone to turn away from the Gospel.  God is sovereign above all.  His plan is higher than ours.  Be kind. Show love.

God used many wicked people to cause His plan to go into motion.  This election is no different.  He can use ANYONE.  He can use a liar, a murderer, an adulterer, a thief, an individual with no regard to life, a person with "no filter".  He can use a saint, a sinner, a Christian, or an atheist.  Do not underestimate His power.

God is sovereign above all.  His plan is higher than ours.  Be kind. Show love.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rant Time!

     Forgive me for a minute, while I take an opportunity to rant a little :)  I don't have Facebook anymore (for the reasons I am discussing today), so I will take the opportunity to use my blog to share my thoughts (because freedom of speech and all, have to use it while I still have it).

     THIS. ELECTION.  Oh my.  Never would I have thought that something like an election would bring out the worst in people!  Scrolling through Facebook (yeah, so I look at my husband's from time to time), and seeing the absolute RUDENESS that people post is just baffling to me!  Especially from Christians! Things like "if you vote third party, I want to thank you for ruining our country", or "it's so annoying to hear the third party people say they are going to change everything", or "a vote for third party is a vote for Hillary" (which, by the way, a vote for anyone other than Hillary is a vote for Trump if you didn't know that).  Things like "your vote doesn't count" or "you might as well not vote if you aren't voting for Trump".  This all coming from people who were anti-Trump in the primaries!  This coming from one Christian to another!

   But listen, this "rant" isn't about who to vote for.  Honestly, if you feel led to vote for Trump (or Hillary!), then by all means, vote for them!  That is what America is all about!  It's YOUR vote.  And my vote is MY vote.  Stop shaming people for not having the same candidate as you.  Because let's face it, November 8 is going to come and go, and GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE.  God's will is God's will.  If Hillary wins, its God's will.  If Trump wins, its God's will.  If a third party comes in and sends the election to the House, it's God's will!  GOD IS SOVEREIGN.  And I don't think that God is too impressed with the way His children are acting right now.

     It is amazing to me to see all the bickering and fighting that goes on between believers in an issue like this.  I am a Christian first, then an American.  That doesn't mean I don't care for my country.  I deeply care about my country.  But if I don't feel peace about voting for a certain candidate, who are you to tell me I am wrong?  Who are you to judge me for my choices?  Last time I checked, we live in a free country.  Which means we have the freedom to choose who we want.  It doesn't matter to me at all that my chosen candidate won't win.  It matters to me that I exercise my right to vote for who I feel best matches up with my beliefs.  A vote for a different candidate is NOT a vote for someone else.  It is a vote for that candidate.  And when America realizes that, THAT is when we will see change.

     But again, straying from my point.  My point: STOP SHAMING OTHER CHRISTIANS FOR THEIR VOTING CHOICE.  Just stop.  Promote your candidate, fine.  But stop telling others they are wrong for their choices.  You have no idea why they chose the person they chose, and how they came to that decision.  Show the love of Christ.  I shudder to think of what would happen for the Kingdom if an unsaved person sees the mudslinging that goes on between brothers and sisters in Christ.  Are we showing them that it is amazing to be a Christian?  Or are we showing them that it is amazing to be a Christian ONLY if you believe the same way I do?  How can we be salt and light if we are constantly bickering like schoolchildren?  How can we be an example of Christ when we are attacking our own brother?

     Speak life.  Speak love. Speak Christ.  And pray for America.  Pray that God will work in whoever is put at the head of this country.

     Rant over.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Take on Freezer Cooking

So Baby B #5 is just five weeks away from making his appearance!  And while my house cleaning nesting has yet to kick in, my cooking nesting is hitting full force!  So I am going to do my take on freezer meals, mainly just so I can have it written down somewhere so I can do it again!  Warning: this will be a long post, and I'm not going to put pictures on here so it will be boring LOL!

Here is a list of the meals I will be doing: (C=crock pot; O=Oven; S=Stovetop)

Taco Soup (C)
Red Beans and Rice (C)
Italian Wonderpot (S)
Potato Soup (C)
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole (O)
Sour Cream Noodle Bake (O)

So there's 6 (well, technically 7, the Rice Casserole makes 2! And technically you can freeze the leftovers from the Red Beans and Rice for another meal too!) meals, in your freezer, ready to cook!  Let's get started!

To begin, you are going to need one 9x13 foil pan, two 8x8 foil pans (from the dollar store!) and 4 gallon ziploc bags.  That's it!

Next, get your ingredients.  Here is a master list, just to make it easy:

2 lbs ground beef (you will cook this)
1 lb Italian sausage (you will cook this)
1 pkg smoked sausage or kielbasa
3 cups cooked chicken (shredded or diced, your choice)
1 small bag bacon pieces

2 Tbsp. minced garlic (or you can use 4 cloves minced)
1/4-1/2 cup chopped green onion (if you like alot, use 1/2 cup)
8-10 oz chopped fresh spinach
3 medium onions (two chopped, one thinly sliced)
2 medium bell peppers, chopped

Canned Goods
1 can corn
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
 2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 32 oz box vegetable broth
1 32 oz box chicken broth
2 cans chicken broth
1 can beef broth
4 cans red beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 small can green chiles

1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch seasoning
1.5 T Creole seasoning
Rice (at least 8 cups)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 box linguini
8 oz wide egg noodles

5 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1 1/4 c cottage cheese
mozzarella cheese
1 bag frozen potatoes (the ones that are square shaped)
16 oz bag frozen broccoli
1 8 oz cream cheese

Now that you have the ingredients, prep your bags/pans with the directions.

Write on bag: Taco Soup (date) Cook on low 6-7 hours. Top with sour cream, green onions avocado, tortilla chips, if desired.

Write on bag: Potato Soup (date) Cook on low 5 hours.  Add softened cream cheese, shredded cheese, and bacon pieces.  Cook for another 20-30 minutes.  Top with additional cheese, bacon, and green onions if desired.

Write on bag: Red Beans and Rice (date) Cook on low 6-8 hours.  Blend one can of red beans and add in last 30 minutes.  Serve over hot rice.

Write on bag: Italian Wonderpot (date) Dump half of bag in pot on stove, break pasta in half, put in pot, dump other half of bag on top.  Bring to a boil, covered.  Remove lid and turn to medium heat.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until pasta is cooked, stirring occasionally.  Top with mozzarella cheese.

Write on top of pan (I use aluminum foil to store it if there is no top): Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole (date) Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Write on top of pan: Sour Cream Noodle Bake (date) Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Once your pans/bags are ready to go, now you assemble them!  Chop all the veggies that need chopped, open all of the cans and drain/rinse them, and cook all the meat that needs to be cooked. 

Here are the recipes, and assembly instructions.  Once you have a bag filled, get out all the air, seal, then lay flat to freeze:

In your bag, combine:

half of your ground beef
1 can of corn, drained
8 oz can tomato sauce
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can beef broth
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch seasoning
1 can green chiles
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
In your bag, combine:

1 bag frozen potatoes (square)
1 small-medium onion, chopped (your preference on how much)
2 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup

Additional ingredients NOT in bag:
Cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon pieces

In your bag, combine:

smoked sausage or kielbasa, sliced
1-2 cups shredded or diced chicken
1 box chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp Creole seasoning
3 cans red beans, drained and rinsed

Additional ingredients NOT in bag: 1 can of red beans, rice (in last 30 minutes of cooking, blend this can of beans and add to pot.  Serve over hot rice)

In your bag, combine:

1 box vegetable broth
1 lb Italian sausage, cooked
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
8 oz chopped spinach
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp minced garlic (or 4 cloves minced if you don't use the jar kind)
1/2 Tbsp Basil
1/2 Tbsp oregano

Additional ingredients NOT in bag: 1 box linguini (add this when cooking), mozzarella cheese

CHICKEN BROCCOLI RICE CASSEROLE (remember, this make two!)

In a large bowl, combine:

5 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked chicken (shredded or diced, your choice)
1 16 oz bag frozen broccoli, slightly cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together, then divide between 2 8x8 foil pans.  Top, then freeze! You can either freeze one and eat one right away, or freeze both.

In a bowl, combine:

15 oz can tomato sauce
1 lb cooked ground beef.
1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of black pepper

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:
1/2 c sour cream
1 1/4 c cottage cheese.
Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese.  Top with lid, and freeze!

I think that is all the instructions!  PLEASE, I beg you, ask questions if there is something that is not clear!  This is my first time writing all of this down, and while this is clear in my mind, I want to make sure it is clear in yours!

Happy freezing!