This week has been full of making memories with my girls in Oklahoma.
We have made good use of our short time. There has been some sightseeing, a little shopping, cooking of good food, and talking, talking, talking. It has been so much fun.
Up until just a couple of years ago, my daughters all lived near us. We did a lot of life together. But the need to find work relocated two of them, along with their husbands and our grandchildren. I miss the days when we could just drop by and spend time together. Now we must be intentional with the time we set aside for visiting and make the most of each occasion.
I often wonder why we are not more like this in all our relationships.
I suppose it is because we think we’ll have time to get together as soon as things calm down. Most of us know that a slower life is a joke. The truth is, we will be waiting for a long time for that to happen. And when things actually do get slower, our neglected friendships will be long dead and buried.
This concept applies to the relationship we have with Jesus, too. First, let me say that He will never be neglectful of us. But our lack of being intentional and making the most of our time with Him will hurt our relationship. We cannot make memories with Him, or anybody for that matter, without interaction. As I consider this, yet another childhood song is worming its way into my mind [See Built Up to see me humming another song.]
The more we get together, together, together, the more we get together the happier we’ll be.
There is much truth in those lyrics if we apply them to our relationship with Jesus. Perhaps we should replace happier with more joyful, but either way it all comes out blessed.
As a Bible study leader I often hear, “My life is busy. I don’t have time to do homework.” Fair enough. I get it. I have been there. In fact, some weeks I am still there. There are days, sometimes several in a row, I don’t get to sit down with Jesus and look into His Word. I’m not perfect when it comes to my commitment to study my Bible every day. Busyness is in my life, too. But I want you to notice the underlined phrase above—get to.
It was not always that way.
Had to was more like it. I felt pressured to conform to the idea that a good Christian rises early each and every day to start it off with prayer and Bible reading. Anything less was failure. On considering that sentence, a statement comes to mind— “THAT’S A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL!”
[Sorry for yelling. This is one lie that really ticks me off!]
When we fall into that kind of mindset, we find ourselves meeting a task instead of developing a relationship. When the chore isn’t finished, we feel like we’ve failed. The point of prayer and Bible study is getting to know Jesus by spending time with Him. If we miss that, well. . .we miss out on so much. The whole reason Jesus lived and died was to bring us back into a relationship that had been lost, not impose a checklist to be completed.
I sometimes think about what we will take with us from this world into the next.
I believe our memories of relationships will get to come along for the ride. The people we have known and/or have influenced our lives are part of who we are after all. We don’t go anywhere without them. The more we spend time with them often equals greater impact, good or bad. Why, then, wouldn’t we be intentional with the good ones and make time for the thing that lasts an eternity, especially when it comes to Jesus?
What can you do to be intentional in meeting up with Jesus this week? The time you spend interacting with Him through His words and your prayers will be worth remembering. I’m quite sure that the more you get together the happier, joyful, and blessed you’ll be.
Are you wondering what good things we cooked while we were visiting?
Lots of great stuff, but one thing that usually shows up on the table when we get together is Beef Enchiladas. I learned this easy recipe when the church we attended would sell these enchiladas to raise funds for an outreach to Mexico. We liked them so much we have continued to enjoy them all these years later. They also bring back the memory of doing something pretty special with a group of people who wanted to do good in the world by serving others. Ever since then, I have had an ongoing love affair with serving the people of Mexico. See Hope Under Construction and For Goodness Sake to find out more of what I’m up to and the ministry I serve with there.
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large can of red enchilada sauce or 1 recipe of homemade
- 10 6-inch flour tortillas
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Sliced black olives
- Toppings—sour cream, sliced green onions, etc.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish or pan with cooking spray.
- In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef and onions over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to season meat mixture.
- Spread additional 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce evenly in baking dish. Spoon about 1/4 cup beef mixture down center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Wrap tortillas tightly around filling, placing seam side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and sliced olives.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
This is an excellent dish to make for a someone who needs a little pick-me-up and a visit from a friend.
Make some memories.