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Easy Slow Cooker Taquito Filling

Easy Slow Cooker Taquito Filling

Running out of chicken recipe ideas? Here is one that is easy, delicious, and not at all boring. You can use this taquito filling recipe to make fried or baked taquitos, or if you are feeling creative, mix it with some macaroni, serve over rice, or use it as a dip for veggies or chips.

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1  8oz package of cream cheese, cubed

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen chopped spinach

1 cup salsa

3 Tbsps Tex-Mex seasoning

1 bell pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese

 

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. When cooked, shred chicken with two forks, and mix it all together.

How To Be  A Disciple Of Jesus – Part II: Habits

How To Be A Disciple Of Jesus – Part II: Habits

In this series, we are breaking down Luke 9:23 and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. If you haven’t read Part I, make sure you go back and read that first. In the last post, we discussed mindset and the attitude that we need to adopt in order to be followers of Christ. Now, we are going to look at the next step.

In Luke 9:23, Jesus says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily…” Jesus had just finished sharing with his disciples about what he would suffer in the near future, and he continues with explaining what it really means to follow him. Jesus knew that his mission on earth was to die on a cross to bring salvation to the world. Everyday he went out and he served the people he would die for through healing, forgiving, engaging, and setting an example for those of us who would continue his ministry of bringing people back into a right relationship with God.

Take up our cross daily: Habits

I have read commentaries on what it means to “take up your cross daily” and most of them focused on suffering or dying to self, and I absolutely agree that is part of it, but I think it’s more than that. I believe that taking up our cross daily refers to spiritual habits, which do not only involve dying to self, but also walking in our purpose, taking on the mission that God has for each of us. Every single believer was given a gift to be used to serve others, but in order to know how to use our gift effectively, we have to practice spiritual habits daily.

Prayer- Jesus died so that he could have a relationship with us. What is a relationship without communication? The habit of prayer also keeps us connected to God and ready to listen when He speaks to us.

Meditating on Scripture – The Word of God is a powerful tool, a weapon against Satan, full of wisdom, transforming power, comfort, and with it God speaks to us and through us.

Obedience – James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Through prayer and meditating on Scripture, the Holy Spirit will begin to prompt us. Obey. Jesus took up his cross in obedience to the Father, we are to do the same if we want to follow him.

New habits are always hard at first, but in order to make them lasting, it involves making a choice everyday. Are we going to serve ourselves, or are we going to serve God?

 

 

How To Be A Disciple Of Jesus: Part I – Mindset

How To Be A Disciple Of Jesus: Part I – Mindset

For the past month, God has been showing me who I am and who He wants me to be. He’s been answering my questions and addressing my doubts. He has shown me what He really thinks about women and women in ministry. He has taught me how to just be still and listen for His voice. It has been an amazing and, at times, difficult journey. As I continue reading through the book of Luke, He is now directing me to pay very close attention to Jesus, what and how he teaches, his relationships, his approach, and his message.

There are many who call themselves Christians, but they look nothing like Christ. The Bible says in Romans 8:29, that God’s goal for every believer is conform us to be like Jesus. If I want to look like Jesus, what do I have to do? Jesus answers this question in Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” This series of posts will explore each of these steps.

As a former fitness coach, I see a great illustration between a healthy physical life and a healthy spiritual life. Borrowing from that experience, I would like to suggest that the three steps could also be explained as mindset, habit, and lifestyle.

Before you set out to do anything, you have to have the right mindset you need to accomplish it. What you think about controls what you do. You will find many references in Scripture about our mind and thoughts. 

If I want to be like Jesus, I have to have a similar mindset.

Jesus’ Mindset

Philippians 2:5-8 says, 

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Jesus, who is God and the only one a rightful claim to anything, denied himself in order to take on the mission that God had for him, that is, dying for us.

Deny Myself

What does this mean? I believe clarity can be found in the following verses: ” For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” In North America, especially, “denying self” is extremely difficult. We live in a very “me first” society, and a very affluent one where we worship comfort and demand our rights. Yet Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves”.

As believers, we are called to live counter-culture, yet we have interwoven cultural norms into our Christian worldview so much that it barely resembles anything we see in Scripture. Take for example the culture of American Christianity, which has widely become a combination of worshiping religiosity, patriotism, and the pursuit of the American dream. It actually looks more like the elite religion of Jesus’ day: pride in their origins, claims of moral authority, distaste for the poor, and judgement, instead of compassion, for the lost. I think anyone who has been a believer for a while may have struggled with this at some point. I know I have. We forget where God found us and what He saved us from and how much we ourselves have been forgiven. When we forget the grace we have received, we are unlikely to give it to others.

To deny myself means I need to change my mindset. Romans 12:2 challenges us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. I willingly lay down my dreams, my hopes, my “rights”, my comfort, my things, my time and anything that would distract me or keep me from following after Jesus. You can see this when Jesus calls the twelve. They left everything and followed him.  Having this mindset tests and strengthens our faith. I think of the boy with the his small lunch, and how Jesus took what he offered and multiplied it to feed thousands.  I think of my own experience of God calling me away from my pursuit of success. It’s not always easy to give up the things you feel that you’ve earned or have a right to, but what God has for us is far more valuable and lasting.

I think Paul sums it up nicely in Philippians 3:17-20:

“Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.  For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”

What is God asking you to let go of? Do you have the mindset to follow Jesus?

 

Easy Mexican-Style Beef Stew

Easy Mexican-Style Beef Stew

As a busy mom of three young kids, I have more days where I don’t feel like making dinner than I can count. The combination of being a homebody and a great dislike for cold weather (I live in Canada!), there are days where I can’t bring myself to bundle myself and my youngest to head out to the grocery store. Yesterday was one of those days! On days like that I have to get creative with dinner plans.

I had some stew beef in the freezer and some leftover diced tomatoes from a recipe I made for Super Bowl. Excellent! I can work with this! After raiding my freezer and pantry, this super easy and very tasty recipe was born!

Ingredients:

1-2 lbs of stew beef

1 can diced tomatoes

1 cup frozen corn

1 bell pepper

4-6 cups of beef broth

2-3 Tbsp Tex-Mex seasoning

Instructions:

Dump it all in the slow cooker and let it cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.

It’s a little spicy, but next time I would like to add some diced jalapenos and black beans.

Pursuing What’s Now

Pursuing What’s Now

Here we are in February and once again God is bringing to mind a word He spoke to me over a year ago, in that October where He met with me and began to shift the direction of my life toward my calling. As I sat down to write this blog, my intention was to share with you what I’ve been waiting on God for. I had mentioned that since stripping away all that I was pursuing, I had been waiting for God to move and show me what was next. While I’ve been waiting, I’ve been sharing my journey and my thoughts in this blog. Before I share with you what God has shown me to be my current mission, I have to share how faithful He is to His word.

As I was thinking of a title for this blog that would convey what I am joyfully taking up, God brought to mind a note that I had written halfway through my 30 Day hiatus from social media back in October 2016. It must have been from a sermon that I had listened to, but I wrote down, “Pursue what’s now, not what’s next. What’s now is preparing you for what’s next.” That quote meant enough for me to write it down, but it has a much greater significance to me now, more than a year later. Even more amazing is the reference I had also noted that day was Isaiah 55. I must have mentioned in previous posts how God has been using Isaiah 43:19, but He has also been using this portion of Scripture to transform my thinking over the past year. Every time I see it, I know that God wants me to pay attention.

As I read this passage again, verses 8-11 jump out at me in a new light.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

When I think of how God has led me to where I am today, I know His thoughts and His ways are perfect. When I think of how these things that I have heard over a year ago, that were planted in my heart and mind by God, and are now beginning to grow, I see how faithful God is to His word and to His promises.

God has given me a calling, and He has also given me a platform to pursue that calling right now, and I was not even aware of it. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Something that I thought I was doing to bide my time while I was waiting for the “grand” revealing is the thing that God wants me to do. Be present in my calling now, not looking forward to what is next. This requires a complete mindshift for me. I am by nature, a planner. I realize that my need to always pursue the “next” thing hasn’t allowed me to enjoy the present.

Looking back, I wish that I would have enjoyed my college days more instead of constantly thinking about finishing. I wish I had enjoyed my single days more instead of always looking forward to marriage. I wish I enjoyed my child free days. So now, I KNOW that despite how utterly exhausting it is, I need to be present and enjoy this stage of life with young kids now. Maybe that’s part of what these last few weeks have been about, getting me to just be still.  In the midst of it, God had already shown me what to do.

I laugh to think about it. THIS. This blog….THIS is the thing that I’m supposed to do, at least for now. This thing that I never wanted to do because I didn’t consider myself to be a good enough writer, and I didn’t want the pressure of having to write regularly. I mean, I created a magazine expressly for the purpose of not having to write my own stuff! How many ways did I try to run from what God was calling me to do? Amazingly, blogging requires me to be present. I write the best when I’m in my thoughts. Also, it doesn’t take up much of my time so I am able to be present with my family. His ways are higher than my ways.

What about the book? There will be a book…I know that God is faithful to His word. There will likely be many books. I know that right now, this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to pursue. So I will do it joyfully, and pursue it with my whole heart and live in the present.