Christmas Cross

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As we pulled into a small village on the Baja peninsula in Mexico, there was a car coming in the opposite direction with a lop-sided cross mounted to its roof. I thought it a bit odd, but I have seen stranger things tied to cars south of the border. As we pulled past I could see that the cross was actually the wooden base nailed to the bottom of the Christmas tree.

I was struck with the juxtaposition of these two items—the tree and the cross. Both were symbols of peace and goodwill. One represented the season when God made His way to earth to dwell among men. The other, God making a way for man to reach heaven to dwell with Him.

I love when God uses seemly obscure moments of life to bring His story of hope to mind. It was but a brief sighting of something so ordinary, but the message behind it will last an eternity. I pray as we enter into the festivities of the Christmas season, we will keep the entire of the story in mind.

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 NET

Your Destination Will Be Peace

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The navigation app on my phone seemed to have a poor sense of direction.

It commanded in a loud voice to take the next exit to reach my destination that I knew was a few more freeway ramps away. What I didn’t know was an accident blocked the road and the app’s seemly all-knowing function redirected me to save time, and most likely, some aggravation along the way.

Oh, man. Don’t ya wish life could have the same guidance system?

“In two days, continue forward for six hours, then make a sharp right turn to avoid the. . .” Yep, I think step-by-step, instructions would come in very handy.

Although we don’t have info on the moment-by-moment events in life, we do have directions that will serve us well. They are found in the writings of the Bible and when implemented, they can help us navigate through the unpredictable situations we come up against, many times saving us time and aggravation.

This portion of scripture, Jeremiah 6:16 NET, points out that very idea– “The LORD said to his people: ‘You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path. Ask where the old, reliable paths are. Ask where the path is that leads to blessing and follow it. If you do, you will find rest for your souls.’”

Those old reliable paths are the instructions. . .

God has revealed to us through the Bible. Along with the instructions come examples of experience and the eventual outcomes where choices to follow God were involved. Knowing the stories can help us develop what path we would like to take.

There are times when what God says doesn’t line up with our sensibilities. We don’t understand, or maybe even, we don’t trust God’s word in certain circumstances. It’s like that day on the freeway. It just didn’t make sense to exit until I saw what was avoided. Lucky for me, the navigator app with its insight had directed my path. It’s that way with God. His ways do not always seem right to us at the time but they can be trusted. They are reliable. He sees the big picture. He knows how things will turn out. And if we just listen and follow. . .

 God will lead us to peace.  

 

Indeed, my plans are not like your plans,

and my deeds are not like your deeds, for just as the sky is higher than the earth,

so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.

Isaiah 55:8-9 NET

Guide me in the path of your commands, for I delight to walk in it.

Psalm 119:35 NET

Home Peace Home

There is nothing like staying home for real comfort. ~Jane Austen

There are times when it is just nice to have a day at home.  In our busy world, there are so many great things to do and places to go. And with my sanguine personality, I want to be part of every gathering, every excursion, every activity.  I never want to be left out.  My motto has always been, “Never miss an opportunity for fun”. Yet, there are still times I really enjoy being at home doing homey things.

Making a home cozy is what I dreamed of when I considered what grown-up life would look like. Of course, the reality is always a bit different than expected. But when given the chance, I like to create an environment that I would enjoy sharing with others. One that brings a sense of well-being, beauty and peacefulness. To me, there is actually an element of romance in it all.

Today in my “romantic” endeavors,  I am putting some future dinners in the freezer.  Our local markets all have meat on sale this week so I stocked up.  I divided it out into meal sized portions and added some different marinades to each.  I have created tastes of Italy, Mexico and Greece. There are also some pork chops that will wait for their seasoning until the time of cooking. This will make the days, I must spend out and about having fun, easier and more interesting at dinnertime.  And I won’t be ‘driving through’ when there is something delicious that can easily come from my own kitchen.

This is the recipe for the Mexican Grilled Chicken and is now one of my new favorites.  I have used it on chicken breasts for tacos and salad.  Everyone has enjoyed it–a lot.  I did make some changes to the original.  Instead of Chipotle chili powder, I used 1 teaspoon regular. I also used smoked paprika in place of the plain.

Mexican Grilled Chicken

  • 8 chicken thighs or 4 breasts
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Juice of 1 lime or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 handful cilantro, rough chopped
  1. Put all marinade ingredients in the blender or food processor and liquefy.
  2. Put marinade in a gallon-size zip lock bag and add chicken pieces. Turn a few times to distribute marinade.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours I leave it for about 10 hours.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and place on hot grill. Discard marinade.
  5. Grill, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Enjoy!

If you enjoy reading this blog, please check out another blog I write.  Girlonadventure.com Girl on Adventure is a collection of lessons God is showing me as I move through life.  I hope you enjoy it.