Monday, October 28, 2019

Of Prime Importance

How do we get to know someone?
Not just superficially, but deeply?
It usually doesn't happen overnight.
And most often, it is very intentional.

Just as occurs with our human friendships, our closeness with the One who created us and who loves us so very deeply, doesn't usually happen overnight. There can be a sudden pulling of our hearts to Him, but over time, this relationship with God needs to be intentionally cared for.

What are the ways that God 
helps you to grow closer to Him? 

It may be different for each one of us. For me, some of the primary ways He has drawn my heart to know Him more deeply have been by experiencing His faithful love and care for me as I have gone through various trials. Hard, heart-breaking things that have brought me to depend on Him more deeply than ever before. Bringing me to a place where I am so lost and needy, and I desperately need Him.

Another of the main ways that He draws my heart closer, draws me to know Him more deeply, is through reading His Word. I need to spend time ... continued, intentional time in His Word. There is no shortcut to knowing someone unless we spend time with them. We must spend time listening carefully, listening deeply. It must be intentional, for there are so many things that pull us away, that distract us from what is most important. 

And in order to be able to hear from Him as I read His Word, I need to quiet my heart and mind, to intentionally pause, and listen. For how can we hear unless we truly listen?

Satisfy us each morning with Your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
(Psalm 90:14 NLT)

One of the tools that I've been using recently as I pause and read His Words is the Chronological Life Application Study Bible (NLT). I am loving this fresh approach of reading His Word chronologically. Also, with the added maps, diagrams, and notes in this Bible, the Old Testament is coming alive to me in deeper ways than ever before. I'm underlining and making notes in my main Bible, the (in)Courage Devotional Bible, but also using this Chronological Study Bible is opening my eyes and my heart to know Him in more ways than before. 

Whatever the tool or the avenue of getting to know God more intimately, our hearts are key.  Sharing our hearts with Him, and listening to His heart. A longing, a deep desire, and an intentional heart - all by the grace of God - will take us on an exciting, never-ending journey of knowing and walking with God. 

You're my place of quiet retreat;
I wait for Your Word to renew me.
(Psalm 119:114 MSG)

Monday, October 21, 2019

Our Pleasure and Passion

What is your, and what is my pleasure and passion? What is the source of our greatest pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness? There are many things that satisfy, that give us deep joy ... too many to count. The love of family, of friends, the beauty of the seasons that fill our senses. And I love it all - all are gifts from God. But what is the driving force that directs our lives; what is the deepest longing of our hearts? What is the one thing, the only thing that will truly satisfy? "Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and He will provide for you what you desire the most." (Psalm 37:4 TPT) Loving Lord, may I run to You,
draw close to You,
quiet my heart to hear from You,
and dwell in Your Love -
continually, every day, today.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

In the Kitchen: Summer Fruits

Just a quick little "In the Kitchen" post - one I had hoped to put up in September. But here we are in the middle of October already!

I couldn't resist taking this photo (above) after I made a Breakfast Fruit Smoothie last month. Not only delicious, but also so beautiful! I tried out the basic ingredients that our daughter in TX used for the delicious smoothies she served us while we were there for a visit the beginning of September. (Thanks, Cristy!)

Place in a blender: two large spoonfuls of yogurt, one fresh banana (not frozen), two slightly heaping cups of frozen fruit, and milk (as needed for desired consistency). Pulse in blender , breaking up frozen fruit as needed, and blend  until smooth. (Note: I used frozen peach slices, mixed berries, and blueberries.)

With just the two of us here now, and being the only one of us two who uses these for breakfast, I froze the extra individual cups of smoothies to pull out for breakfasts. My preferred way to use them is to take one out before bed in the evening and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Perfect for a breakfast smoothie in the morning! 

It was such a treat to pick these beautiful white peaches from a family orchard while we were in McCook the very end of August! They are as delicious as they are beautiful! 

These frozen sliced peaches are perfect to use for smoothies and also desserts, and it's great to have bags of sliced peaches ready in the freezer. After dipping the slices in a mix of lemon juice and water (1/2 cup lemon juice & 2 cups water), I spread them out on pans to freeze the slices individually before putting them in quart bags for the freezer.

We had picked enough peaches for 19 quart bags of frozen peach slices! Such a treat!

And now, we're entering into another beautiful autumn season, with all the warm, comforting foods of the season!