Thursday, July 30, 2015

Catching Up - the End of July

How can it be ... the end of July, and soon, the start-up of the school year again! Time goes by faster every year ...


It has been over two weeks since I've put up a post here ... and though this online space has been quiet, our hearts have been filled up as we have been at Cru15. Every other summer we gather with thousands of other Cru staff in Fort Collins, CO, for about two weeks of staff conference. 

Such an amazing time to be together with other staff from across the country and around the world! Hearing from God through great worship, inspiring speakers and seminars, and through connections with other staff.


Together ... as Cru staff, and also together with all followers of Jesus everywhere - keeping our eyes on Him for what is yet to come.

All that we learned and experienced together will be taking root and growing in our hearts and lives in the weeks/months to come. And, I'll be back with posting here on Pursuing Heart soon ... sharing from an overflowing heart.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Perfect Peace


Oh, how we need peace. It seems that there are seasons in life when the cares of this world mount up. When it becomes so easy to be overwhelmed with circumstances, with the problems and concerns of life. 

It seems that my dear hubby and I have been going through a season of life in recent months where we often have found ourselves in need of peace. We not only have gone through a time of kidney transplant for our sweet granddaughter, but we also have been on a very difficult journey with my 94 year-old father for eight months now. The process of aging and of losing control of some basic functions of life has been an extremely difficult process for him, and often his frustrations are directed at those who care for him. So it has also been a difficult time for his caregivers at the nearby Assisted Living home where he lives, and also, it has been a difficult time for us, as his family, as we walk this road together with him. 

How do we find peace 
in the midst of trials and hard times? 

It takes a quieting of my pounding heart and a pulling aside to hear the small, quiet whispers of our loving Father ...

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You.
(Isaiah 26:3)

And I am made aware, again, of how very helpless I am. Of how much I need Him, even to lift my focus upward and help me fix my thoughts on Him. Fixing my thoughts on Him instead of on my circumstances. 

There is no other way to peace. 

I am leaving you with a gift - 
peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift 
the world cannot give.
So don't be troubled or afraid.
(John 14:27)

Don't worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God's peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)


Thanking God for His reminders to lift my eyes and my heart to Him, to fix my thoughts on Him. Thanking Him for His peace that guards my heart and mind. And praying the same for you in the midst of whatever trial you may be experiencing today ...

For more posts on this topic:


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Grilled Potatoes


This grilled potato recipe has been a favorite of ours for a number of years now. It's easy to prepare, and is so delicious to serve along with a variety of grilled meats. The potatoes are tender, tasty, and add the perfect touch to a summer meal! This year we have potatoes from our garden to use, which makes them even more delicious. 


Print Recipe

Grilled Potatoes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 8 potatoes medium, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine

Directions

  1. On half of a 24-inch piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, arrange the potato slices in overlapping rows.

  2. Combine garlic powder, seasoned salt, paprika, and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over the potatoes.

  3. Dot with butter. Seal foil over potatoes.

  4. Grill over medium heat for 30 minutes or until tender, turning once.

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My hubby and I love to eat outdoors by our little round patio table ... the perfect place to enjoy a summer meal, complete with grilled potatoes.

Linking up with:
Cheryl at I'm Lovin' It

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Present, in the Moment


There is only one way to live, to really live. There is only one way to be fully present, and that is, to be fully present in the moment

I often spend countless time in the past, and also in the future. And though it is good to remember the past, and to plan for the future, the only place I can actually be present, is in the present. In the present moment. 

I am captured by thoughts ...
thoughts of now, in the present, this moment.

For there is only way we live ...
we cannot live in the past, again;
we cannot live in the future, ever.

We can only live in the present. Now.

If we can only live now,
then let me live fully now ...
not regretting the past,
nor fearing the future.

Completely embracing the present ... 
the present moment.

Holding nothing back ...
giving my full love,
my  complete attention,
my best efforts,
using my creativity,
living out who I am 
without reserve.

Alive
reflecting my Creator,
in the moment.
My only responsibility,
my only care ...
this moment.

_____________________________________


"Though I am unlimited by time, 
it is in the present moment that I meet you. 
Refresh yourself in My company, 
breathing deep droughts of My Presence.
 The highest level of trust is to 
enjoy Me moment by moment."

Let me hear of Your unfailing love
each morning,
for I am trusting You.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to You.
(Psalm 143:8 NLT)

You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence
there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalm 16:11 ESV)

_____________________________________


Loving Lord, You know all of my moments, You know my tendency to dwell in the past, to hurry towards the future. And all along, You are in the present - ready, waiting, desiring to meet me where You are. In the present. Give me grace to fully live each moment, with You.


For more posts on this topic:
FIRST LOVE: What We Are Made For


Linking up with:
Bonnie at Beloved Brews

Monday, July 6, 2015

Birthday Cake for Two


I had a decision to make a few weeks ago ... my hubby and I had some special plans to celebrate his birthday at a favorite place of ours. Our family celebration would come later, but that day, his actual birthday, would be spent just the two of us. At a beautiful, restful lake about an hour from our home. And my decision was ... though there would be a birthday cake later in the week with family, what could I take along on his actual birthday, for just the two of us? 

This is the idea that came to me ... a two-ingredient "cake", for two. Quick and easy, with a favorite of my hubby's: dark chocolate.   
                                  
A page from my digital scrapbook, capturing the memories.

It was a delightfully refreshing day spent together, just the two of us.


Linking up with:
Inspiration Monday

Friday, July 3, 2015

Just Enough Grace


Do you ever wonder why we need to hear the same words from God over and over again? Even when we thought that we had that question figured out, that struggle taken care of, that we had heard the answers that give us light for our path ... why do we find ourselves in the place of needing to hear it again?

I know this is true for me.

With lessons I have learned, I find that I need to learn them again. And again.
Over and over again, I find myself in need. I find myself searching for the answers that I need. And I find myself running to Him.

Could it be that the process of running to Him when we are in need, is more important than the finding of the answers once and for all?

"He gives us 
just enough revelation,
just enough grace, 
just enough strength.
Why?
So we will live in 
daily dependence on Him.
He doesn't want us to rely 
on the revelation;
He wants us to rely 
on Him."


Thanking Him for His grace, mercy and love - new every morning ...


For more posts on this topic:

Linking up with:
Bonnie at Beloved Brews

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Homemade Potato Salad


Starting off this marvelous summer month with a favorite recipe! I'm surprised that I have not posted this before, as it's a favorite during the summer months around here. A recipe passed down to me from my mother-in-law! 

After I tasted her potato salad many years ago, I knew that this would be the best way to make potato salad. The main difference between this recipe and the other potato salad recipes I have seen is that the potatoes are grated, instead of cubed. This makes all the difference, and is what sets this potato salad apart from the rest. In my opinion, and in the opinion of other family members - it is the best!

As there was no written recipe for this, over the years I have put together my own recipe. Of course, it is very flexible, as you can use as many potatoes you wish, and adjust the amount of eggs, pickle relish, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt & pepper. It's helpful to have a recipe to start with ... so here is my version. 

Print Recipe

Potato Salad

Course: Side Dishes
Serves: 16

Ingredients

  • 14-16 potatoes (medium)
  • 8-10 eggs
  • 2/3 cup pickle relish
  • 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes (unpeeled) until tender.

  2. Boil eggs to hard-boiled stage; peel.

  3. Cool both. (I often cook both the day before preparing the potato salad; storing in refrigerator overnight.)

  4. Peel potatoes.

  5. Grate the potatoes and the eggs.

  6. Add pickle relish, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, adding more or less of the mayonnaise for the right consistency.

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We enjoyed this potato salad recipe at a recent family meal. It really is like a taste of summer! The recipe (above) made plenty for the 12 family members who gathered at our home, and also was enough for a number of additional meals for my hubby and me.

Don't you just love summer recipes?

Linking up with:
Cheryl at I'm Lovin' It