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RECIPE MONDAY: Chicken Divan

Many years ago, a church member brought a casserole dish over after I had come home from the hospital. It was Chicken Divan and my family loved it. As soon as I was well enough, I got the recipe and have been making it ever since!  Enjoy!

  • 16 oz. broccoli, cooked and drained well
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup or celery soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup mayo
  • Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mis
  • Cheddar cheese

Layer broccoli, chicken & cheese. Mix soup and mayo. Pour over layers. Cover with stuffing mix & top that with cheddar cheese. Bake @ 350 degrees until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center.

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Affirmations – The Right Kind

I was given a list of affirmations a few days ago and was told that I should read these (all 35) out loud at least three times a day. I accepted the list, brought it home and promptly lost it among the thousands of papers on my desk. I found it again, once I managed to reduce the number of papers on my desk to the hundreds.

I read the introduction to the list and the affirmations. Some of the affirmations would be considered the “power of positive thinking.” The introduction and a number of affirmations are “new age.” I’m not writing this post to debate “new age” thinking. You are entitled to your own opinion, of course. I don’t agree with it. I don’t think new age thinking is of God and the “Spirit” mentioned in new age thinking is certainly not the Holy Spirit, who does lead and guide us as we seek the will of our God and Father.

I was rather disturbed after reading the list, so I decided to write a list of Christian affirmations for myself. Here they are:

  • I am a daughter of the most high God.
  • I am loved by Him with an everlasting, unconditional love.
  • His love for me is extravagant and reckless.
  • He has plans for me that are far greater than any plans I could make for myself.
  • I am the apple of His eye.
  • I have peace that passes all understanding.
  • I am not afraid because I trust in Him
  • I find my identity through my relationship with Him.
  • My confidence and self-worth are founded in my relationship with Him.
  • I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.

Feel free to use these for yourself and if you have more, please share them with us in the comment section.

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Keep Us From Distractions

Every Wednesday I participate in a  prayer meeting via conference call. Participants are encouraged to share praise reports and prayer requests. People pray out loud as they feel led. Most of us, myself included, pray silently. 

Do you know how you can listen with one part of your brain, but the other part is totally focused somewhere else until you are snapped back into attention by a sound, or someone speaking, or what they’re saying? I confess that I’m an expert at half-listening, especially if I already have a lot on my mind.

Last week, one person prayed that God would “keep us from distraction.” And that was the sentence that snapped me back into attention. What a simple, yet profound statement.

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “I am so busy that I meet myself coming as I’m going.” I suspect I’m not alone in this situation–that many of you feel the same way. There are so many “things” we must do, so many places we must be, so many people that we must connect with, that we are completely distracted away from the One that we need to connect with the most. Yet, without that connection, all the things we must do, the places we must be and the people we must connect with will result in nothing or worse, will have a disastrous ending. And obviously, God did not meanfor our lives to be so frantically lived, that “we meet ourselves coming as we’re going.”

So how can we keep our focus on God all the time and be kept from distraction? The answer can be found in several areas in our lives. We must spend time–quiet, alone time with God. Many people find this works best for them in the morning before they officially begin their day. Others, perhaps people who work a second or third shift, have other times of the day that works for them. The time of the day is not as important as having your quiet time. This is the time to read His word, to pray, to sit quietly before Him and listen to Him speak, to journal your thoughts and prayers. 

Another way to keep from being distracted from God is to “practice His presence.” I’m sure I’ve mentioned this phrase before – it is actually the title of a book written by LeeAnn Payne. I’m not sure it’s still in print, but if it is, I encourage you to buy it and read it several times. The premise of the book is exactly what the title says: practice His presence. The Bible says “he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:51 Kings 8:57Hebrews 13:5). If He is always with us, and He is, it stands to reason that we should always be aware of His presence. We need to remember to remind ourselves as often as needed that He will never leave us, so His presence is always with us. We need to go through every day “talking” with Him and listening to Him. And, we  have to pray and ask God to keep us from distractions.

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RECIPE MONDAY: Delicious (and unusual) Yellow Squash Casserole

Most vegetable gardeners are thinking of fall plantings and fresh yellow squash will be a vegetable left behind until next summer. While there are still yellow squash to be had, try this scrumptious casserole:

  • 4-6 yellow squash
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large white onion
  • 3-4  strips bacon
  • 1/2 block cheddar cheese

Slice squash into 1/4″ slices. Cover the bottom of a 9×13 dish, about 2 slices deep. Slice onion and lay on top of squash. Do the same with tomato. Place slices of cheese on top of tomato slices, then top off with uncooked bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until bacon is done. (Important: Do not add any liquid to dish. The veggies will generate enough juice on their own.)

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Answered Prayers

“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.” (Ephesians 4:19 The Message)

Have you ever prayed for something, believing with your whole heart, that God will answer in the affirmative, or give you what you want? You pray and believe and nothing happens. You pray harder and believe more and nothing happens. And you may even wonder if God is listening.

I don’t believe this is in the scriptures, but I’ve always heard that if it seems your prayers are not being answered, God is working “behind the scene” to manifest the answer. Perhaps you’ve been praying for years for relatives or friends who do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Or perhaps you’ve been asking God to give you your dream job. Maybe you’ve begun to wonder if God will ever answer these prayers. But what you don’t realize is God is working behind the scene, preparing people to come into the lives of your family and friends to witness to them of God’s great love for them, so much so that He gave His most precious Son to die for their sins so that they may live a life abundant here on earth and a life eternal in heaven. Or He has that dream job waiting for you and everything you are going through now professionally is preparing you for that dream job.

There are two points to my rambling today: #1) We have to have faith and trust that God will answer our prayers in His timing and in His way. Which brings me to #2) we cannot “put God in a box.” In other words, we cannot tell Him how to answer our prayers or how we think He should answer them or when we think He should answer them. He is a creative God and may answer our prayers in ways that we never dreamed or imagined. His ways are always better than our ways. And His timing is always better than ours. He holds our future in His hands and we are safe.

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Declaring and Decreeing It is So!

I have been thinking on faith a lot lately because my husband and I have some major decisions to make in the next few weeks. We are praying daily that we will hear the voice of God as to His desire for us and His direction on these matters. And once we hear him, that we will have the faith to step out and the courage to do what He says. 

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary list these definitions of faith: “belief and trust in and loyalty to God; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust.”

According to that definition, we must fully believe God and trust Him. And why wouldn’t we? He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you…plans to give you hope and a future.” So we know that God has only our best interests at heart and we can trust Him to tell us those plans.

But there’s also that part of the definition that states “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” Tony Evans,’ Senior Pastor Of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, definition of faith is: “Faith is acting like it is so, even when it isn’t so, so that it might be so, simply because God said so.” I had to read that several times, but the more I read it, the clearer it became. Allow me the liberty of breaking that down just a bit more (with all due respect to Dr. Evans): Faith is acting [living my life] like it [whatever I am believing God for] is so [already in existence] even when it  [whatever I am believing God for] isn’t so [not in existence] so that it [whatever I am believing God for] might be so [might come into existence] simply because God said so [declared and decreed whatever I am believing God for into existence.] In other words: Faith is living my life like whatever I’m believing God for is already in existence even when whatever I’m believing God for is not in existence so that whatever I’m believing God for might come into existence simply because God declared and decreed whatever I’m believing Him for into existence.

What is your definition of faith? How does your faith help you get through your daily life? Leave your comment – I would love to “chat” with you about this!

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RECIPE MONDAY: Mother’s Sour Cream Pound Cake

My mother was gifted in so many ways. She could look at a crocheted piece, figure out the pattern and repeat it, stitch for stitch. She excelled at cooking and baking. She passed all these gifts to my sister. I got my dad’s organizational skills.

My mom had some great recipes and I’m sharing one with you today: Sour Cream Pound Cake. Absolutely scrumptious!

  • 1 C Crisco
  • 2 C sugar
  • 3 C self-rising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C buttermilk

Cream Crisco and sugar, and 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup buttermilk. Combine slightly. Add remaining flour, eggs and milk. Mix thoroughly.

Bake at 350 degrees in 3 greased and floured pans 30-40 minutes or until brown.

Icing

  • 1-  6 oz. pkg. frozen coconut.
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 stick  butter
  • 8 oz sour cream

Thaw coconut. Cream 2 cups sugar with 1 stick butter. Add 8oz sour cream and 6 oz coconut. Blend together well.