Saturday, February 6, 2016

But God...He Already Knows

"...but your Father already knows your needs."
Luke 12:30

These words from Luke 12 jumped off the screen at me today: "..but your Father already knows...." I was immediately comforted and reassured by them. Have you ever had a "discussion" with a teenager and he/she replied with the conjunction "but?"

"But I want to..."
"But it's not fair..." 
"But I need to.."
"But mom..." 

Isn't that the case with us and our relationship with God? When something is not what we want or if we don't get our way we say, "But God..."?!

I've had some "But God..." moments. And by moments, I mean many, many moments.

"Angelica I need you to pay for this woman's pretzel." 
"But God, I don't want to make a scene."

"Angelica, I need you to study my Word every day when you wake up."
"But God, I am not a morning person."

"Angelica, I need you to be patient."
"But God..."

Oh, yes, I've been a "But God" BRAT many, many times! I tend to think I know more about what I want or need than God. So, when I read these words from Luke this morning, I was not only comforted and reassured, but I was also pierced with truth.

The surrounding verses talk about all the things we fret over, and verse 30 begins, "These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world." All my "But God" moments were about me fretting and not putting my faith in Him. Just like teenagers tend to do with adults who care for them and know what is best. We can be assured our Father in heaven cares for us and knows what is best. In fact, He already knows our needs before we do.

"Angelica I need you to pay for this woman's pretzel." 
"But God, I don't want to make a scene."
"But Angelica, I already know you're afraid of being foolish. I got you."

"Angelica, I need you to study my Word every day when you wake up."
"But God, I am not a morning person."
"But Angelica, I already know that, which is why I'll wake you and provide the energy you need."

"Angelica, I need you to be patient."
"But God..."
"But Angelica, I already know. Wait for me. Trust me."

I just need to change my "But God" worries into "But God already knows" or into "But God has this," and instead of questioning Him with a "But God...," I can now confidently respond with a "Yes God." That's the comfort and reassurance and truth I have.  I hope you do, too.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Stand FIRM. Gain LIFE.

"By standing firm you will gain life." 
~Luke 21:19~

In a world where it seems every day the winds of evil are blowing harder and harder, it is imperative to stand firm and be strong in the Lord. As Jesus predicted in Luke 21, troubles and turmoil will come and will increasingly become more terrifying. But take heart! Salvation is near!

By standing firm in faith, you will gain souls. Others will see the winds have no effect on you. Others will desire that security, that strength. Others will wonder how you can be so certain in an uncertain world. 

Let Jesus' light shine as you stand firm in the darkness of today's storm. Through you, His light will draw others out of darkness. Praise God! A firm faith gains life!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
~Matthew 6:33~

Every time this song comes on, I'm jamming~singing~feeling it. I want to be the kind of person who is seeking God first, making Him first, and keeping Him first in my life. Regrettably and understandably, I've been attacked at making this happen. 

Satan plays with my emotions and my desires. I'm not getting out of bed to do devotions because I'm falling into the trap that I need more sleep. Consequently, I run late to work--allowing no one-on-one time with God--and then my whole day feels out of control. This has got to STOP! I'm giving Satan a foothold, and he's giving me a downfall. But thankfully, I know even in the falling down, I can look up to my Heavenly Father. {Hallelujah!} My God is there to lift me up because He has made me first. Jesus' sacrifice is proof. The awesome thing is...He didn't just put me first, He put you first, too.

So, bring your heart to God. Make every effort to put Him first in your life. He will be faithful because He is faithful. And according to Matthew 6:33 He will give you everything you need.

I tell you what...I'm going to keep trying. I'm going to start by fighting those deceptive thoughts that are already attacking me before I get out of bed. I'm going to make time for God even if it means I don't get my makeup on before work or I have to skip my shower for the day {Eek! Lord, help me!} because I know my efforts will not be in vain. Will you join me? 

Okay, okay, still shower, but get up earlier and have some one-on-one time with God. Let's fight back. Let's not allow Satan to have any more hold on us. Let's make God first and in the process find ourselves in a much better position of being the kind of people we want to be.

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."
~Matthew 7:7-8~

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Unfading Beauty

"Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 
This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands."

1 Peter 3:3-5

My sister and I were talking the other night about beauty and the things we women set our minds on. We set our minds on the weight we've gained and the clothes that don't fit, the teeth that aren't gleaming white and have gone crooked even after years of having braces, the frizz in our hair or the frizz we call our hair, the unwanted wrinkles and zits on our faces, the double chins and the saggy-ness of places that we would prefer not to see sag.  We then try to cover-up these undesirable imperfections.  We spend time, money, and energy to beautify the fading beauty. We try desperately to hold on to something that God never intended for us to hold onto.

A voice said, "Shout!"
I asked, “What should I shout?”
“Shout that people are like the grass.
Their beauty fades as quickly
as the flowers in a field.
The grass withers and the flowers fade
beneath the breath of the Lord.
And so it is with people.
The grass withers and the flowers fade, 
but the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:6-8

Outward beauty fades.  Inward beauty, however, doesn't.  Unfading beauty is within our hearts.  My sister said she needs to work on the beauty within before she can ever tackle the beauty on the outside.  So true.  When we begin working on the the unfading beauty of gentleness and peace (quietness), then we become beautiful from the inside out.  Less time, money, and energy will be spent. So how do we do this?  

We seek God.  We live intentionally for Him.  We make what matters to Him more important than what we think matters to the world.  We "set our minds on things above and not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2), and we maintain the look of our hearts.  

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 
1 Samuel 16:7

Don't let beauty fade.  Rather, maintain your inner beauty with the One who makes all things beautiful. God is so divinely good, and you are so precious to Him.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

FeeDiNG SouLS and SToMaCHS: White Cheese Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

Another Monday. Another gathering. Another discussion. Another meal. Another full night--both stomachs and souls.  The topic: The Belt of Truth and The Breastplate of Righteousness.  The menu: White Cheese Chicken and Spinach Lasagna and Chopped Tomato and Cucumber Salad (to be posted).

For the White Cheese Chicken and Spinach Lasagna you'll need:

10 oz bag of baby spinach, lightly chopped
2-3 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (use 1/4 c with spinach, the rest with the white sauce)
pinch of salt

2 cloves garlic
1/2 c butter
1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c milk
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp black pepper

9 lasagna noodles (I used the oven-ready kind to save time, but I prefer the kind you boil)
1 c ricotta cheese
2 c cooked, cubed chicken (Again to save time, I used the store oven-fresh whole already cooked chicken! I just cut-up the breasts and kept the rest of the chicken in the fridge to eat for sandwiches.)
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
Optional: fresh grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley for topping

Step 1
In a large sauce pan or in a dutch oven, braise the fresh spinach. To do this, pour about 2 T of oil on the bottom and lightly sauté 1/4 c onion.

Place all 10 oz (lightly chopped) spinach into the pan/dutch oven, and pour 1 T of oil on top of the spinach.  Sprinkle a pinch of salt, and cover. 

 Let braise (or wilt) over medium to medium-high heat.  Stir occasionally.  Once spinach is all wilted down and has a nice dark green color, remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.

Step 2
In the same sauce pan/dutch oven, sauté the onion in the 1/2 c of butter.  When the onion is soft (about 5 min.), press 2 cloves of garlic and add to the sautéed onion.

Stir in the flour and salt; simmer until bubbly.  Stir in the broth and milk and boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  

Stir in 2 c mozzarella and 1/2 c Parmesan cheeses.  Add the oregano and black pepper.  Set aside.

Step 3
Preheat oven to 350˙F. 

Using a ladle or spoon, spread 1/3 of the white cheese sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish.
Add one layer of lasagna noodles. Spread all of the ricotta over the noodles.

Sprinkle half of the chicken, then add another layer of noodles, sauce mixture, 1/2 of spinach, and 2 c of mozzarella cheese. 

Add another layer of noodles, sauce, the rest of the chicken and spinach; and the Parmesan cheese.

Top off with a final layer of noodles and sauce. (Optional: top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese  and fresh chopped parsley.)

2nd layering of noodles, sauce, chicken, spinach

{The beauty of lasagna is that you can layer it any which way you want just as long as you have moisture a.k.a. sauce next to the noodles.}

Step 4
Bake for 35-40 minutes and enjoy! {Sorry, I don't have a finished product picture...I believe my small group and I inhaled it before I thought to take a picture of the final result!  When I make it again, I'll post a pic! :)}

And feeding our souls...

From the Armor of God study, Week 3 video:

"The Holy Spirit's job is to chip away at everything that doesn't look like Jesus." ~Priscilla Shirer

That means, if we expect to walk with Jesus, we must be willing to look like Jesus; and anything that doesn't (habits, friends, situations, traits, et al) will be chipped away by the Holy Spirit.  Are you willing?

"Righteousness is not manufactured; it is released." ~Priscilla Shirer

Whew! Good stuff. Good food. Can't wait for more!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WorshipFULLWednesday...Just Be Held

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you.
Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

~Isaiah 41:10

Ever need to know someone has you?  Has your back? Has you on his mind? Has you in his heart?  Has you in his schedule?  Has your burdens? your pain? your worries? your fears?  Good news!!  God does.  He has you.  He has all of you. In his hands.  So, let Him hold you.  Let Him have you. Let Him have all your burdens, pain, worries, fears.  Just be held.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

DIY Project! ~ Scripture Calendar

Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 
Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

~Deuteronomy 6:4-9

God's holy Word is full of commands and compassion, and more importantly it is the truth by which we ought to live. Therefore, I'm determined to put TRUTH all over my house. 

Today, I made a Scripture Calendar.  I took an antique, wooden frame that I had already prewired with eyelet screws, attached wire to, and clipped on small wooden clothespins; a stack of Project Life cards that I purchased from Michaels craft store; and my computer and printer.

I printed the days of the month on one side of the Project Life cards, and then, printed some of my favorite scriptures on the other side (some of the cards already had sayings on them, so I didn't print scripture on them). I also used some cards to
make the calendar months of the year.  

Finally, I hooked them on using small wooden clothespins.  I really should get a bigger frame, but like I said, I already had this one (I use it for an advent calendar...stay tuned for that project idea).  

When the day begins, I can just flip the previous day over and read the encouraging words on the other side.   I'm so excited because this will be a great way for me to memorize scripture as well as be equipped for the day ahead!

I need more wall space. #problemsofsmallcondolivinginthecity #officespace