This scripture has run through my mind for three days. The word that strikes me more than any is “amid”. Amid…in the midst of, while the war is raging, during the trial, not after…AMID, ALL these things we are MORE than conquerors….
As I pondered this scripture, I thought of the author of Romans and what had to be happening to him as he wrote it. Paul was not imprisoned at this time but had been imprisoned earlier for the cause of Christ. I don’t know of anyone who went through more persecution than Jesus other than Paul!
Paul suffered so many things. Paul suffered shipwreck, snake bite, stoning, being beaten, locked in stocks where his legs were held out straight and his back was bent and his hands locked into place at his feet for hours, possibly days at a time! Yet, Paul could write when he wasn’t in stocks, in the midst of it all, he and the church were more than conquerors! Amazing!
The prison systems we have today are no picnic but they are governed and have set regulations so they are not considered inhumane, but still carry a definite punishment. In Paul’s day there were no regulations. Prisons were a horror. You can imagine the living conditions. No formal plumbing, stench and bacteria surrounded the prisoners. There was no health department to make sure the bacteria didn’t make it into the food they were served. Disease and death were all around because the conditions were so deplorable. If the absolute filth didn’t get you, the prisoners would. During the time of Nero when arenas were filled with people excited to see Christians slaughtered and literally eaten alive by lions while Nero played his fiddle and as the crowds cheered, can you only imagine what they thought should be punishable by imprisonment. It had to be horrendous.
Romans was not written while Paul was in prison but at the end of his third missionary journey. Paul had known persecution and prison before he wrote this letter to the Romans, and as we know, would face death for teaching and proclaiming the gospel. Yet Paul still wrote “amid all these things….” Many of us get upset over such small and trivial things such as when we get home and realize we forgot a grocery item and have to turn around and go back and get it! Or when someone says something we don’t like or care to hear.
As I thought of this scripture and all that Paul had gone through with such a good attitude, I was headed to the city. This particular day had been a hard one for me. I began to compare my “hard day” with Paul’s life of “hard days”. Still, nonetheless, it was a day I was ready to put behind me!
I was crossing a bridge that brings me to another town before I get to the city and something caught my eye. I looked up and the sky was particularly cloudy. A cold front was heading our way and rain clouds had rolled in, but in the MIDST of those clouds there was a hole in the middle of the clouds. It was ever so slight but through that hole came literal beams of light!! God spoke to my heart and said, “No matter how dark it seems, the sun is still shining just as brightly as ever behind the darkness and there will be a break in the clouds!”
I went about another ten miles and looked up again. In the midst of all the storm clouds, in one place, they had totally broken and the sun was visible with all of its light! In that particular spot, instead of dreariness there was utter radiance as though it were spring instead of fall.
That is how it is in our lives. When our health seems to be faltering, when a loved one leaves and our world seems to be crashing all around us, when Christmas is fast approaching and the company hands out pink slips, when you feel as though you are facing the world alone and have no idea where help will come from this time, the SON is still shining and a break will come in the clouds of your life! You and I are MORE than conquerors in the great big middle of it all! How? Through Christ Jesus Who gives us a SURPASSING victory! We don’t barely make it through! We make it through and gain ground because of Jesus and what HE has done!
The fight is not ours, but the rest from battling is. The victory is not ours to be won, but to be taken hold of and received! How do we do this? By resting in faith in God’s word and His integrity to keep it! By knowing what HE says about our situations and the promise He has made to ALWAYS deliver us out of them to a higher and blessed place! Just as it says in our scripture, we are “conquerors THROUGH” Christ Jesus who loves us!
Love always wins…always! No matter what the situation you are facing, this time is no different! God has made a covenant (a binding contract) with us that cannot be broken by Him. He tells us in His Word, when the sun fails to shine and the moon fails to appear, when night no longer turns to day and day to night, only then can that covenant be broken. That is a stout and remaining promise! Did the sun shine today? Did night come? If the answer is yes, and we know it is, then the promise holds! You hold to the promise, too!
Blessings to you, precious reader! I will see you soon!
I know how overwhelming cooking a Thanksgiving and Christmas feast can be! At our house, that is exactly what our dinner is…a literal feast! By the time you count my nieces, my brother and my sister-in-love, my parents, and my family we have a total of 13 hungry mouths to feed.
Momma and I start cooking 5 days in advance. The first day (which is today, Sunday) we brine the turkey and two hens. The hens are very large! We place them in their own container and cover them in vegetable oil and rub them down very well with the oil. We do this to the turkey as well. We then mix the special seasoning in a bowl and ladle it into our hands with a tablespoon. We sprinkle it on the turkey and hens and pat the seasoning on and we don’t do this sparingly! You want your bird to be super coated!! We then cover them in foil and refrigerate until the big day! We cook the hens and turkey according to the directions that comes with the birds.
Tomorrow, we will mix “Maw’s Sweet Potato Casserole” together and cook it and refrigerate it. We will not add the marshmallows and brown them and heat the casserole until the day of the dinner. We will also chop celery for salads and the dressing, and clean it to stuff with pimento cheese on the day of our dinner.
This gives you an idea of the head start you need to be taking quickly! Remember I have all the Holiday Cooking Recipes under “Holiday Recipes”. If you didn’t get to your bird today, you may season him tomorrow! Happy cooking!!
The holidays are filled with fun, family, frivolity, and CARBS!!! Almost everything that is traditionally served at our Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts are full of them! I have recently gone low carb and I have felt incredible since doing it. I knew the holidays would be a challenge for me! I mean who wants to miss out on all of that rich deliciousness, right? Well, none of us have to! This casserole is one of the yummiest I have EVER had! Squash is my favorite vegetable and this one is low carb to boot! Enjoy, dear reader!!
4 pounds yellow squash, sliced
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs, divided
1 1/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Cook squash in boiling water to cover in a large skillet 8 to 10 minutes or just until tender. Drain well; gently press between paper towels. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until tender. Remove skillet from heat; stir in squash, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and next 7 ingredients. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir together melted butter, remaining 1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and garlic salt. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of casserole. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.
We are in the process of selling our house. We have lived here since 1991. My children were raised in this house. Every Christmas, birthday, and church family celebration they have lived and experienced, for the most part, in this house. When I found out I had a buyer for it, part of me was thinking, “Well, you have really done it this time!!” but the other part of me (the spiritual side) said, “Trust God. He knows what He is doing and He has never let me down!”
Today we are to the point in the selling of the house where an inspector comes and goes over your home with a fine tooth comb making sure all is in order. He and the buyer were coming from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.. Kate and I slept in the travel trailer because we are night owls and 9 a.m. to us is your 5 a.m.!
At some point my husband had come into the travel trailer and, as I raised my foggy head, he told me they were gone and he was going back into the house. The thoughts of worry, the questions of had we done the right thing, where on earth will we go, all began to flood me. Kate was still asleep and I grabbed my phone and decided to look at ‘pinterest’ for just a minute, just to be sure I was really ready to hit the floor for the day.
When I opened ‘pinterest’ the picture you see at the top of this article was what was showing. The first words I saw were “It will happen”. I could not believe my eyes! The reason this is so significant to me is because, normally when I open this application, I see many pictures. They are usually of the latest fashion trends, home decor, recipes, etc.. They never just show one picture.
I opened this picture up completely to see it better and then I saw, “He wiped away my tears….” Again, I remembered the crying fest I had, had yesterday as I was packing the house for storage and the many tears that had fallen days before. I ran into the house and told my husband what happened (after I explained ‘pinterest’ to him).
I went to my laptop and opened the picture on the bigger screen. I didn’t want to lose one word!! As I was looking at all the inspirational pictures this particular pinner had from Matthew, hubby popped in a Kenneth Copeland CD. As I looked at ‘pinterest’ and listened to the CD, the Lord began to speak to me. “In order for you to gain, sometimes you have to lose something. But, when you lose something know what I am bringing is so much greater than the thing you lost.”
It is so opposite of our worldly western society. In our society the more you want to gain, the more you “hoard”. Some people refer to this as saving, but I see a great deal of hoarding going on that has nothing to do with saving! In the Bible it says if you want to gain, you must give away. In order to be exalted, we must first humble ourselves before God, not push our own agendas and press toward worldly goals, slapping and stomping whoever may get in our way (Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10). Also, we must be sure we are not striving to be exalted for our sakes, but to exalt God! If we don’t, then we are headed for arrogance! In order to receive God’s forgiveness, we must give forgiveness to others, not try to protect ourselves through offense with our own walls that imprison us. To love we must give love, to have friends, we must first be a friend. It is in the GIVING the GETTING follows!
I am giving up my home, although it is a wonderful home, God has not just what is good, but what is best for us! I want God’s best and to be in His perfect will! Although the course of our lives are changing, I know it is leading to a greater destiny and the path, though unfamiliar, is one I must let God lead as I blindly follow in complete trust! He is trustworthy and whatever it may be will be glorious.
No matter what you have lost, precious reader, whether it has been a business deal, a home, or even more seriously a relationship, keep the good that was there. Keep memories, lessons learned, and realize in the letting go God will return back to you greater than you knew possible! Trust God’s goodness and stand on His word until you see it fulfilled.
Oh, and a little “P.S.” here…If it was a relationship you lost by someone walking away from you and never looking back, hit your knees and praise God! It is better to find out early who your “fair weather” friends are than later after you have confided things, trusted them and held them close to your heart only to be betrayed and hurt later. Let people go when they walk away. If you did something, apologize, ask forgiveness, get it right with God and then you go your way in love. You are truly better off without them in your life. Their temper would have caused chaos for you later! Realize the problem lays within themselves and not in you! Just a little FYI to spare you unnecessary hurt! Again, loss is gain…your gaining of peace and simplicity afterward, rather than drama and stagnation, will yield great happiness!!
God bless you, dear reader!! I will see you soon!
My sweet sister-in-law, Vicki, makes a green bean casserole that is out of this world for our family gatherings. The first question out of my daughter’s mouth every holiday is, “Is Aunt Vicki making her green bean casserole?” We all look forward to it! It is a great side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner or for Christmas!
She has so graciously given me the recipe to post! Thank you, Vicki!! You are the best! Y’all enjoy! I am posting exactly as she gave it to me!
Aunt Vicki’s Green Bean Casserole:
Actually this is the French’s green bean casserole receipe with extra pepper and a dash of Worchester sauce. Two cans of green beans drained well, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, enough milk to make it creamy, 1 1/3 cup French’s fried onions, dash of worchester sauce, fresh ground pepper.amd kosher salt to taste. Mix all ingredients reserving 2/3 cup of French’s fried onions. Place in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish bake 30 minutes at 350. Top with remaining French’s fried onions and bake an additional 5 minutes.