Draw from Him

“God, even our own God.” {Psalm 67:6}

It is strange how little use we make of the spiritual blessings which God gives us, but it is stranger still how little use we make of God Himself. Though He is “our own God,” we apply ourselves but little to Him, and ask but little of Him. How seldom do we ask counsel at the hands of the Lord! How often do we go about our business, without seeking His guidance! In our troubles how constantly do we strive to bear our burdens ourselves, instead of casting them upon the Lord, that He may sustain us! This is not because we may not, for the Lord seems to say, “I am thine, soul, come and make use of Me as thou wilt; thou mayst freely come to My store, and the oftener the more welcome.” 


It is our own fault if we make not free with the riches of our God. Then, since thou hast such a friend, and He invites thee, draw from Him daily. Never want whilst thou hast a God to go to; never fear or faint whilst thou hast God to help thee; go to thy treasure and take whatever thou needest—there is all that thou canst want. Learn the divine skill of making God all things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better still, he can be to thee instead of all. 


Let me urge thee, then, to make use of thy God. Make use of Him in prayer. Go to Him often, because he is thy God. O, wilt thou fail to use so great a privilege? Fly to Him, tell Him all thy wants. Use Him constantly by faith at all times. If some dark providence has beclouded thee, use thy God as a “sun;” if some strong enemy has beset thee, find in Jehovah a “shield,” for He is a sun and shield to his people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of life, use Him as a “guide,” for He will direct thee. 


Whatever thou art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest, and just where thou wantest, and that He can do all thou wantest.


-Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning & Evening // April 27 (Morning)


This was absolutely, positively the best thing I could’ve ever woken up to this morning! Draw from His strength!

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Happy SAD!

1521319_10101742593735110_1734426431_nI’m pressed for time this evening, but did have some links I want to share in light of the coming weekend. For some of you, the weekend is looming. Others of you are anticipating the weekend. ALL of you are loved this weekend.

It is no secret that I love Valentine’s Day. The pink, the red, the cards,and the sweet spirit of showing one another affection and honor are some of my favorite things. Most of all, it’s always an opportune time to reflect on God’s love for us and ways that should move us to love others.

So—here’s some link love for your weekend! ❤

Valentine’s Day Hopes ~ This post helped the focus of my heart shift upward. It can get tilted so easily.
“Hopes deferred aren’t a dead end, but a gracious redirect. They are a pointer to the “living hope:” our Savior, Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:3)….If Valentine’s Day magnifies our misplaced hopes, we must put our hope in God (1 Pet. 3:5). We do this by focusing on all that God promises to be for us in Jesus Christ.” 

Remembering the Unquantifiable Love of God ~ Just in case you forgot how much God loves you and WHY He loves you.
“God’s love for us goes farther than even time itself, into the deep recesses of eternity past. It stretched all the way from forever, forward to the cross, and will continue into eternity future.”

23 Things That Love Is ~ Because knowing we’re loved unquantifiably by the King of the Universe moves us to demonstrate that love to others.

The Real Truth About Boring Men ~ This is one I’ve tucked away and read over and pray over often, especially since the world throws so much cheap garbage in front of our faces and calls it romance.
“How a man proposes isn’t what makes him romantic. It’s how a man purposes to lay down his life that makes him romantic.”

And a Shane & Shane song keeps coming to mind, mostly because of the lyrics. Take a listen?


I am loved
Regardless of the things I’ve said and done
No mistake can change your mind
I’m your design, God
Your love is mine right now

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“We love because He first loved us.” {1 John 4:19}

Sending you BIG hugs and wishing you a happy one! ❤

You. Are. Loved.

A Taste of Summer, Wainright Style

Taste of SummerThe last time I technically wrote on here, it was sub-zero temperatures and my toes were frozen. I had just ordered a new parka so my nose would hopefully no longer have icicles forming on the inside (seriously).

But now–oh now. It’s summer!

There is beauty in every season, but there is something extra special about the flavors that can be found in summer, yes? Peach juice running down your arm, corn silks stuck in your teeth, watermelon seeds flying out of your mouth, and that oh-so-perfect texture of the inner seeds of fresh green beans popping inside of your mouth.

So I’d like to share with you a few new favorites that I’ve discovered in this most wonderful season for food.

First things first–this quesadilla is pretty much life-changing. (It was inspired by leftovers from this amazing new loaded baked potato salad that gets an honorable mention.) Full confession: this past week, I had one for lunch four out of five days because they are easy to prep, quick to make, and do a great job of filling you up!

Taste of Summer Bacon Chive and Cheddar Quesadilla

Bacon, Chive, & Cheddar Quesadilla
You’ll need the following. Just eyeball it all. 
Wheat flour tortillas
Center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
Chives, diced
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

I prepare the bacon and chives in advance and keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to make my quesadilla. Then I throw all the ingredients in between two flour tortillas and pop it in the microwave for about 1:30. Fancy, I know. But trust me–it’s delish. 😉

P.S.–If you’ve never made bacon in the oven, you should really do yourself a favor and try it at least once. Just preheat the oven to 400° and lay the bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake on a lower rack for 15-ish minutes, depending on the thickness of your bacon, and use tongs to transfer it to a paper-towel lined plate. Voila–throw the foil away.

Taste of Summer Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon Salsa
Originally from a Kroger advertisement

2 C. seedless watermelon, diced (be kind to yourself and get this already partially cut up)
1 C. cucumber, diced and seeded
2 TBSP. sweet red onion, finely minced
1 TBSP. cilantro, finely chopped
1 TBSP. fresh spearmint, finely chopped
1 TBSP. lime juice
1/4 tsp. hot sauce (our preference = Tabasco)
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients, mixing gently to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated. Chill covered for 1 hour.

Makes 3 cups.

Throw that on top of your bacon, chive, & cheddar quesadilla and thank me later. Careful–your tastebuds might explode with happiness. It’s really good with just chips, too.

Taste of Summer Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie
originally found on cincyshopper.com

24 Oreo cookies turned into crumbs via a food processor
4 TBSP butter, melted
1 C. peanut butter (creamy)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed (+ another tub just to eat or add on top)

Preheat oven to 350°. Place cookies in food processor and pulse until ground into small, fine crumbs. Add melted butter and stir with a fork to combine. Press into a pie pan and bake 7 minutes or until set. Allow to cool completely.

Combine peanut butter and cream cheese and beat until combined. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in whipped topping and blend until completely incorporated. Pour into cooled crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Chill before serving.

Serves…8? If they all want just a bite.

 

So, in between your drum corps shows, VBS’s, pool parties, and late muggy nights with friends this summer, I hope you’ll find time to get your hands a little juicy and make your tastebuds smile.

Sunflower

The band marches on

“But kids out of uniform is what I remember most. Lots of sweat and odd tans.” -Walter Pickering

I love this! The majority of my memories from marching band are not in uniform, they are from dusty practice fields and trips and buses and dressing rooms. Pickering brilliantly captures some behind-the-scenes moments of the oddity that is marching band. (That flute handshake–yeah, that’s totally me in high school.)

CNN Photos

The flash of metal, the twirl of color, the synchronization of bodies in rhythm to music.

As a tuba player from junior high through college, photographer Walker Pickering was in step with his marching band and a part of the camaraderie the group developed. As a photographer for the last 10 years, he has trained his camera on high school and college marching bands and traveling drum corps to capture that feeling of togetherness.

Pickering, 33, from Austin, Texas, didn’t take photos of the grand designs the bands would form on the field. Instead, he wanted to show band members in and out of uniform, to look beyond the flourish.

“Contemporary marching units tend to wear highly geometric designs. When I marched in high school, we wore what I lovingly refer to as the Sgt. Pepper-style uniform,” he said. “But kids out of uniform is what I remember most. Lots…

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Accepted

My favorite devotional (Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening) really got me this morning.

We’re not only accepted by God if we are in Christ, but He also delights in us! What love!

“Accepted in the beloved.”
Ephesians 1:6

What a state of privilege! It includes our justification before God, but the term “acceptance” in the Greek means more than that. It signifies that we are the objects of divine complacence, nay, even of divine delight. How marvellous that we, worms, mortals, sinners, should be the objects of divine love! But it is only “in the beloved.” Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience, at least, that is their apprehension. When their spirit is lively, and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so high, so heavenly-minded, so drawn above the earth! But when their souls cleave to the dust, they are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted. If they could but see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father’s sight, but that they stand accepted in One who never alters, in One who is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, how much happier they would be, and how much more they would honor the Saviour! Rejoice then, believer, in this: thou art accepted “in the beloved.” Thou lookest within, and thou sayest, “There is nothing acceptable here!” But look at Christ, and see if there is not everything acceptable there. Thy sins trouble thee; but God has cast thy sins behind his back, and thou art accepted in the Righteous One. Thou hast to fight with corruption, and to wrestle with temptation, but thou art already accepted in him who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts thee; be of good cheer, he cannot destroy thee, for thou art accepted in him who has broken Satan’s head. Know by full assurance thy glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than thou art. They are only accepted in heaven “in the beloved,” and thou art even now accepted in Christ after the same manner.

{from Charles H. Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening, September 23 morning}

Wow! We are so blessed.

God’s Promises Should Be Used {Devotional Thought}

“Do as Thou hast said.”
{2 Samuel 7:25}

Charles H. SpurgeonGod’s promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; He intended that they should be used. God’s gold is not miser’s money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation; He loves to see His children bring them up to Him, and say, “Lord, do as Thou hast said.” We glorify God when we plead His promises.

Do you think that God will be any the poorer for giving you the riches He has promised? Do you dream that He will be any the less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine He will be any the less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does not delay, saying, “This is a precious promise, I wonder if it be true?” but it goes straight to the throne with it, and pleads, “Lord, here is the promise, ‘Do as Thou hast said.'” Our Lord replies, “Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” When a Christian grasps a promise, if he do not take it to God, he dishonours Him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace, and cries, “Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, ‘Thou hast said it;'” then his desire shall be granted.

Our heavenly Banker delights to cash His own notes. Never let the promise rust. Draw the word of promise out of its scabbard, and use it with holy violence. Think not that God will be troubled by your importunately reminding Him of His promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to bestow favours. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. The sun is not weary of shining, nor the fountain of flowing. It is God’s nature to keep His promises; therefore go at once to the throne with “Do as Thou hast said.”

-Charles Spurgeon in Morning & Evening, January 15 morning

Snow-Covered Red Holiday Grape Salad {recipe}

If you know me well at all, you know that I love to any and every kind of fruit in my salad. This last week, I was craving grapes and feta, so I played around with that combination a little bit to come up with my favorite new salad! This lovely, festive-looking salad has the perfect combination of textures, colors, flavors. You won’t be disappointed!

The star in this show is the red holiday seedless grape. Have y’all ever tried these? You’ll be ruined for any other kind of grape once you eat these. Be careful. They’re ginormous, crunchy on the outside, and deliciously sweet.

Snow-Covered Red Holiday Grape Salad

3 clusters holiday red seedless grapes, sliced in half
2 stalks celery, stringed and diced
handful of walnuts, toasted
feta cheese
garlic expressions dressing

Mix all together in a pretty bowl and have a party in your mouth!