Saturday evening after supper, I was successfully avoiding real schoolwork.
To begin, I downloaded a bunch of “educational” apps so that I could “review” them for my Educational Technology class (actually I just enjoy playing children’s games). In between trying to create mathematical sentences and type parts of speech, I decided to scroll through my drafts folder.
Lo and behold, I have multiple recipes waiting to be shared. I hope you enjoy National Apple Month with these apple cinnamon bites.
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 apple, diced
2/3 cup milk
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
extra sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahernheit.
Combine milk and lemon juice. Let sit while completing the next two steps.
In a separate bowl, mix together first seven ingredients (flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon)
Stir in applesauce and diced apple.
Add vanilla to milk and lemon juice mixture.
Gradually add wet mixture to dry mixture until completely combined into a sticky dough.
Coat brownie pan and insert with nonstick spray. Evenly spread dough into the pan. Press the insert into the pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Set oven to broil. Sprinkle sugar over pan and broil for two minutes.
Joseph had it rough; some could even argue that he had it worse than Job. Job’s dismal circumstances were the direct result of Satan’s attacks, but Joseph was betrayed by his family and close relations. God had blessed Joseph with favor and the promise of success only to seemingly strip him of everything and undeservedly sentence him to two years in prison. He had every right to be bitter–justice had been violated–,and he had reason to be discontent–God’s promises to him were unfulfilled.
As I was recently preparing lesson plans about Joseph’s life for my children’s evangelism class, I re-watched The Ballad of Little Joe, the VeggieTales country-western movie about Joseph’s life. Read what Little Joe prays while he is in jail:
Hey, God. Little Joe here.
Not to complain or anything, but what’s going on? I tell people what their dreams mean, and they always come true. But you gave me a dream a long time ago, and I’m in jail. And I didn’t even do anything!
I’m trying to do what’s right, but I’m a little confused.
Well, please be with Pa, and baby Benjamin, and most of my brothers…okay…and Jude, too.
Can you ever identify with Joe? Despite doing exactly what you think you should, everything seems to be working against you. I cannot claim to know exactly what God is doing, but I can assure you that He is working all things together for good–for your sanctification (Romans 8:28-29).
Rest assured with this verse from the end of Joseph’s story:
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to preserve many people alive.
When life gets rough, remember that we can only see the present circumstances. God is addressing all of eternity.
Today I am taking WIAW back to how I did it week one: showing my daily spiritual and physical food for a whole week. I was convicted last Wednesday morning when I read this statement from the Proverbs 31 Women website: “When I refuse to nourish my spirit with God’s holy Word, I suffer the ill effects of spiritual malnutrition. When I do not have a consistent healthy spiritual diet, it’s difficult to understand spiritual things and to behave in a manner worthy of my calling.”
Last week, my spiritual diet was starved, and I was struggling to show love and grace as a result. Just like I get “hungry-angry” when I don’t have enough physical food, I can get “hangry” without spiritual food. But a healthy diet of spiritual food can help me season my words with grace.
Here is the spiritual nourishment I received this week along with pictures of random afternoon snacks.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-6
This passage left me wondering, “Do I live up to the life to which God called me? Am I humble, gentle, and patient?” After quickly deciding that I am none of those things, I dedicated my day to humility, gentleness, and patience.
Snack while preparing to present a lesson in my Teaching Bible to Children class: oatmeal in a jar
Thursday, October 6
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-12
Jesus gives every believer spiritual gifts. Our calling as Christians is to use our spiritual gifts (with humility, gentleness, and patience) to build unity through encouragement and accountability.
Snack at Chick-fil-a with my best friend: “Ice-Dream”
Thursday afternoons with my best friend always provide the relaxing conversation I need.
Friday, October 7
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-16
As we use our spiritual gifts to build the body, its members will grow in maturity. Rather than being “tossed to and fro” by false teachings, Christians will be conformed to the image of Christ.
Snack at work: Apple and Kind bar
Saturday, October 8
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-24
Using our gifts to build Christian unity stands in stark contrast to how the world lives. Non-Christians harm themselves and others without feeling shame. Paul reminds the Ephesians to stop living as they lived before they placed their faith in Christ. Now that they are in Christ and maturing, their lives should reflect Christ and be characterized with goodness and holiness.
(Part of my) Snack while taking a mental break to watch the rain: Peanut butter + pumpkin + cinnamon sandwich
Sunday, October 9
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-32
The Christian is constantly in the process of conforming their life to look more like Christ. Because Christ forgave sinners, we should forgive those around us and “not let the sun set while we are angry.” Additionally, we should change our language to be uplifting to those we encounter.
(Part of my) Snack between church services: Lemon Cream Pie Quest Bar
Monday, October 10
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 5
As we grow to become more like Christ, we should imitate his love. Rather than talking to others with spiteful words (which is so easy for me to do–especially when I am hangry!), we should be “children of light.”
Snack x2: Sheetz Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
Tuesday, October 11
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 6:1-9
Not in the way of eyeservice as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ doing the will of God
How often do I perform good acts with hopes of being seen by others? Yes, it is good to do these things, but I should be doing them to serve Christ, not to make others see me.
Snack while taking pictures of travel trailers at RV World: Premier Protein Bar
For the sake of authenticity, I must tell you that I only shared one afternoon snack per day. Sometimes, I eat two or three afternoon snacks.
Have you ever heard of the mythic hero archetype? Every story is seemingly the same. Someone is born under obscure circumstances. They are sent on a quest and face various trials, but, ultimately, they succeed with heroic victory. Here are a few of my favorite fictional heroes from Disney movies:
Even as a child, I knew that these stories were make-believe. There was never a talking lion cub that hid with a meerkat and warthog in the Pridelands. No boy named Mowgli was raised by wolves. A fairy godmother never turned a pumpkin into a coach, and carpets cannot really fly.
To many, the stories of Jesus look fictional. Jesus walked on water. He made blind men see and lame men walk. Just look at His hero tale:
At a glance, His life looks just as fake–if not more fantastical–than the four Disney characters I listed. Is Jesus just another fairy tale, another myth, another man-made invention?
My unabashed answer is “NO!,” and let me tell you why:
– There is historical proof that Jesus walked this earth. Obviously, the Bible and other Christian sources affirm that Jesus lived. Non-Christian sources prove the same fact. The most famous secular source for information about Jesus is Josephus. Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, and Tacitus all speak of Him as well.
– Christianity itself is proof that Jesus lived. It is hard to start a religion of “Christ-followers” if there is no Christ to follow. Christianity is one of the world’s largest religions, and Christians have established hospitals, orphanages, schools, and relief organizations. Would people pour millions of dollars into a fairy tale? Furthermore, people were martyred for following Christ’s teachings. Would people be willing to die for a myth? I certainly wouldn’t.
– The Bible (unlike a book of fairy tales) claims to be true, and it is verified by numerous contemporary writings. Additionally, the fulfilled prophecies found in God’s Word give it validity.
Maybe I am a fool. Maybe I am deceived. Maybe I believe in a fairy tale.
But I don’t think so.
The proofs I listed above are enough to prove Jesus’ existence, but I believe that, above all else, personal life change is evidence of Christ. In the past, I was enslaved by sin and spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). I tried to please myself and did whatever I wanted (Ephesians 2:3).
But God’s mercy is great, and he loved us very much. Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace.
Christ freed me. My favorite fairy tales could never save me. The Lion King taught me “Hakuna Matata” and The Jungle Book taught me that I only need “the bare necessities.” But none of these stories changed my life. Jesus alone changed my life.
Do I still struggle with selfish desires? Yes. Every single day. But I can live in victory through Christ.
And that is how I know that Jesus is not a fairy tale.
Two days after she made the special Starbucks cookie delivery, she had a meeting near my school and offered to take me to lunch. After uncertain discussion, a u-turn, and changing our minds one last time, we ended up at Jersey Mike’s.
Like every good sub shop, Jersey Mike’s serves oatmeal raisin cookies, so I had to taste them.
Appearance: 2.5 – They were a slightly oblong. Also, you could hardly tell if it was a raisin cookie or a chocolate chip cookie.
Texture: 2 – Way to go, Jersey Mike’s! You perfected the cookie with a slightly crisp outside and chewy inside. Success!
Taste: 4 – They nailed this as well. I would have liked a little more oatmeal, but it tasted real, hearty, and pure!
In light of my upcoming college graduation (only 7 months away!), people often ask me what my plans are. But, God, I don’t know what the plan is. Since You haven’t let me in on that information yet, You might still have time to change the plan, so here is some information to help You out.
I really love taking pictures, and I have experience as a camp photographer. If You could just make Your plan for me be that I will travel and take pictures the rest of my life, that would be great.
Yet, for some reason, You led me to major in elementary education. God, here’s the thing: I don’t really want to be a regular classroom teacher, so if Your plan is for me to use that degree at an elementary school, can I be an art teacher? Or maybe a P.E. teacher or computer specialist? Thanks.
Also, I prefer to be outside, and I hate being cold, so can you keep me in the Southeast? I really don’t want to go too far from my family. If you want me to move, I will go to Texas or Arizona, but don’t make me go to New England. I would freeze to death.
And while You’re at it, I want a healthy paycheck (I promise I will still tithe), and good grocery stores. If Aldi and some thrift shops are within 10 minutes of my house, I will be happy.
But really God, that’s all I am asking. That’s not too hard is it?
Most nights, this is the prayer I want to pray. I want to give God my list of personal desires and requests for my future. In search for worldly happiness, I want to bend Him to my will.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.
I Corinthians 9:19-20
But I am not my own…
For you are His Workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God hath before ordained that you should walk in them.
…and God’s plan for me has been set from the foundation of the world.
What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice.
I Samuel 15:22
He doesn’t need Kat to plan her own future, despite her type-A personality and attempts to be perfectly organized. What He desires is for me to be obedient, whatever the call, wherever the place. As terrifying as that faithful obedience is, I know that His plan is much better than mine could ever be.
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.