Sunday, March 26, 2017

Forgive


Do you forgive others?  Are you able to forgive?  Is it difficult for you or is it something that comes easy?  In Luke 6:37, Jesus tells us, "Judge not, and you shall not be judged.  Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

As I was doing my Bible reading, I read Luke 6:37 and was thinking about what it means to me.  None of us want to be judged, right?  We certainly don't want to be condemned, and I think we all want to be forgiven.  So where does that leave us when we feel we have been wronged?  Where do we turn?  What do we do?  How do we act?  Don't we all want to be forgiven when we have done something wrong?  I think we do.  I know that I do.

Maybe we need to start with the first sentence, "Judge not, and you shall not be judged."  Do you judge others?  I try very hard not to.  One of the things that I often say if someone says, "you never judge me", is that "I live in a glass house, I don't throw stones."  I have to be very honest with myself though.  I don't normally judge people that I know, but I have found, especially as I was watching the news the other day that I judge our president often.  I get angry when I hear what he is doing, that so many people could have been without health insurance, or that my rates could go up even more.  So I am judging, I'm just not judging someone that I know personally.  I'm judging him each time I get angry with what I feel is his lack of compassion for people. Especially, people with less.  Aren't we called to help others?  Aren't we called to treat the least of us as we would Jesus?  When did that get lost in the grand scheme of things.

And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, You did it to Me."
Matthew 25:40

Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you do not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me."
Matthew 25:45

So He says, if we do something for the least, then it's as if we do it to Him, and if we don't then it's as if we haven't done it to him.  Back to judging,  I am not supposed to judge, so I need to pray, and ask God to help me not judge. Our president could not have been placed in office without God, so let's pray for this man.  Let's pray that he receive compassion for all of the citizens whom he is responsible for in our country.  Do you judge?  Do you need to ask God for help in this area of your life?  He will help you, you just need to ask him.

Next, "condemn not, and you shall not be condemned." Here are some definitions that I found for condemn.

Condemn: express complete disapproval of or to express an unfavorable or adverse judgement
Synonyms:  censure, criticize, denounce, blame, revile, chastise, berate, reprimand, rebuke

As I read the definition, I realized that I do this.  I do it when I talk about our president, but I also do it with my family.  I didn't even understand that criticizing or chastising was condemnation.  Last weeks post was Bridle My Thoughts Bridle My Tongue, well when I criticize I am condemning.  Check, this is now on my list of prayers.  Do you need help with this in your life?  Again, all you need to do is ask God for help.  Add it to your list of prayers, He is there to help, and He wants you to succeed.

I love the last sentence in this verse, "Forgive, and you will be forgiven."  It sounds so simple doesn't it?  Forgiveness can be tough when we feel we have been wronged.  We hold on to things that we perceive as wrongs, then we say we have forgiven, but we really haven't.  Holding onto all of that sadness, anger, frustration, and disappointment only hurts us.  When you don't let go of all of those terrible feeling, you can't heal.  The forgiveness is not just for the other person, it's also for you.  Do you remember how you felt when you really let go of your anger and forgave someone?  Didn't you feel better.

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."
Mark 11:25

But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 6:15

God wants to forgive all of us, but we need to do our part, also.  It doesn't just happen, but with His help we can do anything.  Prayer is so important.  It doesn't need to be a formal prayer.  I wake up in the morning and start talking to God.  I have conversations with Him all day long.  I ask His advice, but I have realized that I also need to ask for help in more areas of my life.  Do you need His help?  Reach out to Him today,  He is waiting for you, He is always there, He is listening, and He wants to help you.  When you forgive someone, you are also forgiven.  Isn't that what we all want?  We don't want to be judged or condemned, we want to be forgiven.

I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.
1 John 2:12

Have a blessed week.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fried Rice - A Weight Watchers Recipe


What are your thoughts on Chinese Food and Weight Watchers?  Chinese food can be tough on a diet,  right, but this recipe for Fried Rice fits right into my Weight Watchers Program.  It is delicious, easy to make, and low in points! What more can you ask for?  I have been making fried cauliflower rice for a long time, but with Weight Watchers I can have real rice! Yeah!!! This fried rice is super filling, so it makes a meal all on its own for a meatless Monday meal, but you can also add meat to it if you are so inclined.  I have been traveling so I can not update you on my weight loss at this point, but I will after I get home next week.  In the meantime, here is this delicious Fried Rice Recipe.


Fried Rice - A Weight Watchers Recipe
Weight Watchers Smartpoints - 4 per 1/2 cup

Ingredients:
5 cups water
2 1/2 cups rice
2 Tb olive oil
1 Tb sesame oil
1 container 14.5 oz Trader Joe's Mirepoix (1/2 chopped onion, 3 carrots chopped, 3 stalks celery chopped)
2 tsp minced garlic or 3 cloves minced garlic
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup Trader Ming's General Tsao's Stir Fry Sauce
1/8 cup Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce
3 eggs, beaten

Directions:
Cook the rice according to the directions on the package. Mine is 5 cups water to 2 1/2 cups of rice.

Set aside.

Heat the olive and sesame oil in a wok or a very deep stir fry pan over medium high heat.

Add the mirepoix to the oil and saute until the onions are translucent.  

Next add the garlic and saute for a minute, next add the mushrooms and cook for approximately 5 minutes.

Then add the rice and mix with the vegetables.

Add the tamari sauce, stir fry sauce, and teriyaki sauce and mix well.

Next, make a hole in the center of the pan, moving the rice and vegetables to the edges of the pan, and add the beaten eggs.

Cook just the eggs in the center of the pan just like you would scramble eggs, without the rice in it as much as possible.

Once the eggs are mostly cooked, stir into the rice and vegetable mixture. Add more tamari sauce if needed.

It is ready to serve.  You can add some kind of meat if you want, but we eat it like this and it is delicious. 

Serves 20 -  1/2 cup servings

I hope that you give this recipe a try.  I would love to hear how you like it.  I always love hearing from you.

Have a great week.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bridle My Thoughts Bridle My Tongue


Do you have a tendency to criticize or have a sharp tongue? I don't know about you, but I do, so I ask God to bridle my thoughts and bridle my tongue every morning.  This is something that I have found I need a lot of help with. Especially with the people closest to me.

You see, I tend to be a perfectionist, and that can make me difficult to live with.  Most people who know me think I'm a super nice, easy going person, but my family knows the real me.  I am a nice person, it's not that I'm not, but I tend to be hardest on those that I love.  My poor husband says that I have a certain view of the world and that I expect those whom I love to live up to that view.  I am probably not very reasonable at times, and short on patience when I think that I am doing it all.  I'm sure that some of you are like that also, you know who you are.  We clean, cook, work, take care of the kids, do the laundry, even pack all of the suitcases and try to do it without complaining, until we feel like we are being taken advantage of.  We haven't asked for help, so how can those around us, know that we needed it to take advantage of us.  Maybe just by watching all that we are doing?   Come on that's not fair to them!  They can't read our minds even though we think that they should.   We walk around with a laundry list in our heads of what needs to be done, but they don't have the same list, so how are they supposed to know.

Then Satan rears his ugly head!  (I have now reached my limit, but how would my family know what needed to be done if I didn't tell them.)  I lash out in anger and frustration!  Not fair right!  No, not fair at all. Do you recognize this person, are you like me?  I need to learn how to talk, ask for help. So each morning I ask God to bridle my thoughts and bridle my tongue, so that I don't say something mean to those that I love.  They are the ones I should have the most patience with, not the least.

Each morning I pray, "God, bridle my thoughts and bridle my tongue today, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Don't let me say anything mean, angry, or unkind to anyone today. Thank you Lord."  I know that when I am praying in the name of Jesus that it is done.  It is such a simple prayer, but so powerful.  It has helped me to so very much.  I want my thoughts and tongue to be in agreement with God's will, not mine.  The Lord's prayer says "Thy will be done."  Let it be.


I like this verse in Psalms, and I'm giving you several different versions. I think it is helpful to see different transliterations.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the doors of my lips.
Psalms 141:3 (NKJV)

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips (to keep me from speaking thoughtlessly).
Psalms 141:3 (amplified)

Guard my mouth, O Eternal One;
control what I say.
Keep a careful watch on every word I speak.
Psalm 141:3 (The VOICE)

I especially liked The VOICE's version, "Guard my mouth..., control what I say, Keep careful watch on every word I speak".

If this speaks to you, I hope it helps.  Have a blessed week.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches A Weight Watchers Recipe


Do you love ice cream sandwiches?  I love them and these delicious Weight Watchers Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches are only 2 points so easy to make.  These are the perfect St. Patty's Day dessert and definitely guilt free.  How can you beat a 2 point dessert?  Maybe have two ice cream sandwiches and make it a 4 point dessert.  

I found this new ice cream, called Halo Top, and it is very good and definitely guilt free.  Depending on the flavor that you buy it is anywhere from 3 to 4 point for 1/2 cup of ice cream.  It doesn't use splenda, the sweetener is erythritol, so it doesn't raise your blood sugar and it has not calories.  It comes in several flavors and I have tried a few.  The peanut butter cup, chocolate, cookies and cream, and chocolate almond are all amazing.

I have been doing Weight Watchers since January 4th, 2017, I've lost 14 pounds and I'm loving it.  I don't feel deprived and I don't feel hungry.  I can look at my favorite pastries and eat them if I want or save my points for something else.  I even had a Mint Oreo Milk Shake this week from BurgerFi and didn't feel guilty at all.  I just counted the points.  I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you feel the need to lose some weight.



This blog post contains a WeightWatchers affiliate link.  If you join Weight Watchers from the above link, I will receive a small commission.  All recipes and opinions are my own and I am not being paid for them.


Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches - A Weight Watchers Recipe
1 serving = 2 Points

Ingredients:
2 fat free graham cracker squares
1/4 cup Halo Top Mint Chip Ice Cream

Directions:

Set the 2 graham cracker squares on a plate

Measure out 1/4 cup Halo Top Mint Chip Ice Cream.

Set the Ice Cream on one graham cracker square and top with the 2nd graham cracker square.

Enjoy!

Makes 1 ice cream sandwich

I will sometimes make several of these up ahead of time and put them in a Tupperware in the freezer. That way they are ready for me when I want one.  I normally have 1 or 2 after dinner while I am watching TV with my sweet husband.

I hope you like them.  I would love to know if you try them.  Let me know what you think.

Have a great week.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rest in the Lord


Are you tired, weary, feel the weight of the world on your shoulders?  Rest in the Lord, he will carry you. You weren't meant to carry life's troubles all by yourself.  Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Jesus and God are so much bigger then us, and they will gladly carry our load, all you have to do is ask.  

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

After asking you then need to actually give your troubles to God.  You can't give them to Him and then take them back, You just need to leave them at His feet, and He will take control.  The Casting Crowns song Just Be Held says:

And when you're tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There's freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go.

Refrain

So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding and just be held
Just be held, just be held
Casting Crowns Just Be Held


God has told us that He will take all of our "stuff".  He is strong enough to do it all.  We just have to trust in Him.  You just have to give it to Him and leave it with Him, lay it at His feet, because don't you feel lost trying to do it all by yourself?  Things may seem tough, and without Him, they are tough, but you can find rest in Him.  He can do it all.  He will take it from you, He will carry your load, you just have to let Him.

The Matthew West Song Strong Enough says so much in just a few short verses.

I know I'm not strong enough to be everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For both of us


I'm not strong enough, but He is.  Rely on His strength and you will find peace.

Have a blessed week.