I went grocery shopping with our youngest son just before Hubby and I left on vacation earlier this month. He was stocking up on food for he and his brother during Mom’s cooking absence. It was quite fun to see this mature, capable side of my son. I pushed the grocery cart. He threw in the items. Boxed Mac and Cheese (of course), frozen chicken tenders, brats, gatorade, seasoned chicken breasts, bottled Alfredo sauce, and pasta. I was amused, wondering if they could really pull off cooking a meal. Forgot to worry about cleaning up the stove. They made their version of Chicken Alfredo and enjoyed it enough to make it for us when we came home. So, this is how guys make Chicken Alfredo. Quite tasty, even if this proud mother has to brag about her own sons. 4 boneless, skinless pre-packaged seasoned chicken breasts (in the meat department) 2 jars of Classico Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce
1 pound of Fettuccini
Barbecue the chicken breasts (5-7 minutes on a side) While the chicken breasts are barbecuing, heat the Alfredo Sauce in 2-quart sauce pot on low. Cook the pasta per package directions (I usually boil the water first, turn the heat to med-low, add pasta and cook for about 12-13 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from the grill. Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Stir pasta, sauce, and chicken altogether in a large bowl. And serve.
If you prefer to not buy pre-seasoned chicken breasts, you can marinate chicken breasts overnight in a half bottle of Italian dressing. This also makes a nice meal in itself, leaving the breasts whole after grilling and serving them with rice and a vegetable.
Today’s recipe brought to you by MY SONS.
Linking up with Food for Fridays.
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We were meandering down the floral-lined streets, poking in and out of those boutiques you only find on vacation. Hoping to not test Hubby’s patience, I drew him into one of the tiny shops by remarking about some unique items displayed in the window. Tall vases with long stems of colorful, elegant flowers flowed into the aisles. Tiny lights embedded in the flowers made them even more appealing. “Couldn’t you picture these in our entry way?” I invited him to join me in my musings. He quickly navigated to the section of books tucked away in a corner of the shop. Subject dropped, I followed him, just browsing.
As he pulled the books off the shelf, one by one, we discovered an array of cookbooks, gourmet and food specific. One for paninis, one for grilled-cheese sandwiches, one for S’mores. The allure of gooey, roasted marshmallow stretching between two delicate layers of graham crackers, oozing with chocolate captured my appetite. A whole book on S’mores. Some with caramel topping, some layered with peanuts, others using rich chocolate chip cookies as the sandwich in place of graham crackers. There were minty brownie ones and some using apples and caramel.
Then it caught my eye. Mixed in with the linen towels was a heart-shaped wooden spoon. Handmade. I delighted over it. Commented on its unique shape. The beauty of the wood. I fingered it. Caressed its wood. And Hubby watched me with knowing eyes. “Would you like it?” he asked. “Oh, it’s really special,” I said, but hesitated. I had resolved to not spend money on this vacation. I treasured it some more and carefully placed it back amidst the linens. “But, I don’t think so.” Hubby knew this heart-shaped spoon had won my heart. And he gently picked up the spoon, carrying it carefully to the cash register. Back home from our romantic get-away, I finally placed the heart-shaped treasure among the old wooden spoons in my woven basket of kitchen tools. I would never use it for cooking. Instead, it would be a daily reminder in my kitchen of my husband’s love for me.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14 NIV (used for our wedding)
Share: Share what you have enjoyed. “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” Psalm 36:9 NIV Today’s post is part of the Internet Cafe’s Word-Filled Wednesday.
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“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” Exodus 33:11 NIV
In our fast-paced, mobile society, it seems like friendships would be almost impossible to begin let alone nurture and develop into lasting relationships. And as for online friends. Let’s just say that everyone thinks the number of friends listed on one’s Facebook page is just a collection of sorts. How could anyone have real friendships with that many people is a valid, puzzling question? Yet, I have found it to be true that you can have real face-to-face online friendships. Just as in real life, your friendships will be selective. The deeper, more caring relationships will develop between those people with whom you have similar ideals, beliefs, priorities, and interests.
I know online friendship is possible because I met someone this spring who fits my idea of a friend like two puzzle pieces fit together. Her name is Jennifer. Some of you may remember her from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog project that was coordinated between The High Calling Blogs and Our Church Christian Web Trends. That is how our friendship started.
As she commented on the assignments and posted her articles, I followed her writings, drawn by the genuineness of her character that shone through. I liked the carefree but kind personality I detected behind the words and thoughts she shared. I could see that family was important to her from her photo and from how she structured her time around them. Jennifer and I began sharing more conversations on line. We began to realize how much we had in common. I could see her faith was an integral part of her life as she expressed herself through her posts. Her heartfelt compassion was reflected in her words about those suffering in difficult situations. Her gentleness was felt as she cared for her ailing daughter. And when I read her profile, I saw that she had been a professional writer, just as I had been. But she heard the Lord’s call to be home now raising and teaching her children through homeschooling. I had only tried that for a couple of summer breaks with my guys and realized none of us would have survived any longer than that. I think the event that cemented our friendship was her daughter’s illness. There was a critical need there for prayer for her littlest one. Surgery was imminent. Many friends lifted her up in prayer. And I was one of those blessed to guest post for her during that time. Jennifer and I chat through Facebook and Twitter. (She’s taking me into the technological age.) She has made me aware of the 140-day prayer project for our country through Charles Stanley’s ministry and helped me in numerous ways with my blogging. We pray for each other and each others’ family. And we still visit each other frequently just to keep up on life.
I treasure Jennifer’s friendship. And I would like you to meet her now. So let’s jump over to her place.
Be sure to tell us about your online friendships, too. Did you meet someone new online and what was your connection?
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Rays from heaven broke through the cloud-filled sky like a beam of God’s glory and grace pouring down on the earth. Sun’s light piercing the clouds splintering into ray’s streaks have impressed my soul with spiritual significance since childhood. Rollerskating round the corner or jumping rope with friends, the slats of light brought my heart to worship the Holy God from whom this radiance seemed to emanate. My childhood imagination captivated by the wonder. Tonight, as rays streaked across the sky, I saw more than His glory shine down. I saw His grace. This week in our Bible Study on David, “Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed”, Kay Arthur referred to a glorious gift of God’s called “previous grace.” I had never heard that term. But it has turned my heart right-side up. Lifted as a cup. Waiting to be filled. “Previous grace” is a concept based on Ephesian 1:4 and 1Corinthians 15:10. In her dynamic fashion, Kay paints a picture of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit having a consult. Before the foundation of the earth. They knew the human creature the Father would create was going to sin, and so they were planning a way to redeem us before they even created the world, Kay emphasizes with flare. They devised a plan to redeem us. The son would pay the price for our sin. This was where the light shot through the clouds for me. Kay connected that previous God-head plan with the previous grace our Lord had to make available as well for the salvation to work out. Before the foundation of the earth. The creation, the salvation, the grace, the redemption. All established before the foundation of the earth. All we need to do is accept it and move forward with God’s plan for our live. However, we get stuck in a “pity party” or a “whoa is me” state after we sin. Paralyzed. Believing God could never use us again. But His grace and redemption of our situation are previous to the foundation of the earth. His grace is already there and His redemption awaits our trust in Him saying, “Let’s move forward, Lord. I’m ready to leave the groveling and the past behind.” The Lord is Sovereign and all-knowing. He knows when we will sin and He has a plan to redeem that situation. Oh, there will still be consequences but God has the plan and the grace to lead us through the pain to a new placed filled with His glory and purpose. Using David as an example, Kay points out that before David ever sins with Bathsheba, the Lord tells David that He will give him a son that will be born and named Solomon. And Solomon will build God’s temple. “Previous grace” Kay calls it. David did not grovel, moan, and complain about his sins. He reached out for God’s grace to carry him through the consequences and still redeem His plan. The groaning about our past sins will not free us, redeem us, or allow us to be used by the Lord. But a contrite and repentant heart, the Lord cherishes. Pours out His grace on us to take us forward. To use us to minister to others who have had the same battle.
Let’s embrace that beam of glorious light as it pours forth its radiance from the heavenlies.
“Praise be to the god and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation to the would to be holy and blameless in his sight” Ephesians 1:3&4 NIV
“But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect…” 1Corinthians 15:13 NIV
Giving thanks this day for God ‘ s grace, forgiveness, and redemption:
113) for sun’s rays streaking through the clouds with God’s glory and grace
114) for You , Lord, keeping our family safe while we were gone
115) for grocery shopping
116) for a job to come home to
117) for Hubby who grills
118) for naps after hard work
119) for paramedic angels surrounding my car and pushing it to safetywhen it died coming off the freeway
120)Thank you for the boys making dinner one night this week–and it wasn’t hot dogs!
121) for yummy Salmon
122) for beautiful summer sunsets in the desert
123) for friends writing
124) for friendships that have stood the test of time and lasted a long time
125) for another editor’s comments that encourage me to send out the article
126) for “Previous Grace”! You redeem my mistakes. I do not need to hold on to them, weeping in sorrow until I see things change.
127) for photos that rekindle the wonderful feelings of memorable times in our minds.
128) for a house to clean & laundry to do; for purpose in life
129) for quiet times alone at home
Linking up with the Gratitude Community at Ann Voskamp’s Holy Experience
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