MEDITATION MONDAY: The Trap of Self-Love

Trap? 

Yup.

It’s everywhere today. “Love yourself! Put yourself first! Be yourself, and do whatever you want! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!”

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:31

When I was a little girl, I was a major tomboy. Both of my sisters wanted to do dance, and I refused for a long time. I wanted to play basketball. When my sisters played with Barbies, I played Tonka Trunk computer games. When my sisters wanted to wear dresses, I wore a ratty T-shirt with a shark on it.

With time, my interests changed naturally. I grew toward different passions and things that felt right, that I would ultimately see Jesus in. But it wasn’t until He revealed to me that HE in anything is my only reason for the interest or passion; that I would only find myself when I surrendered to HIM, my Father and Creator, that I became truly JOYFUL.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. HEBREWS 11:6

My joy in books will always run out. My joy in dance will always run out. My joy in food and controlling food will always run out.

My joy in Jesus Christ will NEVER run out.

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And there are several things that happen when our joy, SUPPLIED by HIM, is in Jesus Christ: one quite important one being that “My joy” is no longer the purpose or goal, for His Spirit does not allow such focus. Joy comes from the serving Him, the lifting of His name, time in His presence, fixing on His beauty, exalting Him and repenting. We were CREATED for this relationship with Christ, to be temples of His living and moving and perfect Spirit.

Loving and fixating on my flesh and my self results in a free will movement away from my true identity– which is in Him, in my Father and Creator. Whose Spirit moves us to our knees, physically.

Who heals the broken and sits both in the Heavenlies and dances in a world of trials.

Whose very face is the only true picture of Beauty.

It is indeed when we take up our cross and give Him our lives that we discover the Truth– my joy in books is in HIS GLORIFICATION. My joy in dance is in the way HE MOVES me. My joy in food is in the beauty of HIS CREATION and to fuel my body to SERVE AND PRAISE Him.

It is true, of course, that we cannot love others if we do not love and take care of ourselves. But we do not LOSE anything when we give up that self to CHRIST… the only loss is in pursuing the flesh and the self outside of Christ.

For to live is Christ, and to die is gain. PHILIPPIANS 1:21

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TASTEFUL THURSDAY: Cheeseburger Bake

Happy Thursday My Friends!

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. PSALM 89:15
Today, I made a legit dinner, as I had some time in the afternoon to really cook, and some ground beef in the fridge.

Growing up, my mom has always made the dinner of our request on each of our birthdays. For me, that was usually either meatloaf or spaghetti as a kid. And that sounded so good for dinner tonight, so I whipped up my own recipe for a dairy-free cheesy meaty goodness– but feel free to substitute real cheese for the Daiya!

definitely not the prettiest, but deliiiicious

Again, I actually didn’t measure any of these ingredients, so the below are estimates! 😛
Cheeseburger Bake
Recipe Yields 1 Serving
Ingredients
1/4 lb ground beef
3 slices smoked ham, shredded
1 egg
1 Tbsp oats
1/2 Tbsp mayonaise
3 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese, or dairy-free substitute (I used Daiya Cheddar Shreds)
1 tsp soy sauce
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp oregano
Method
1. In medium bowl, combine ground beef, 2 slices ham, egg, oats, mayo, cheese, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and 1 Tbsp ketchup until consistent. 
2. Press mixture into a small, un-greased baking dish. Top with remaining 1 slice shredded ham, remaining ketchup, and oregano.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes; allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY: Word of His Lips

Pray without ceasing.

Without ceasing.

“Thankfulness is what your Heavenly Father calls you to.” 1 THESSALONIANS 5:18

Clearly, there is gifting and knowledge and His Spirit in the mindset of thankfulness– 

Or, more accurately,

Thankfulness is a fruit of His Spirit.

This morning, I woke up to a cancelled hair appointment. Rescheduled for Saturday. Skype call with Kevin.

Always so much wisdom in our conversations as we invite the Spirit. He is a brother in Christ that I am grateful to support in such an adventure time is his life with the Lord. 

Reading, time in the Word, singing and worshipping, Lord have Your way. No other way.

I am sufficiently unable to leave the Word, but I do after tummy grumblings and cravings for a sweet breakfast. I cook up something yummy and eat thankfully and prayerfully. Most prominently, though, simply

NETFLIX. It is reading week after all.

Prayers. What a restful morning. Some housework; laundry; dishes.

I have a coffee date with Johnny’s sister-in-law-to-be. We have a lot to catch up on. She is precious to me, her heart so big and her love for God supplied by Him, of Him, and fruitful. We coffee and chat and browse a Christian book store.

The weather is like summer and I can smell barbecues, and it smells like 9-year-old Cassie. 9-year-old Cassie barbecue smell is very different than 14, 15, 16-year-old Cassie smelling the same thing.

Amanda and I part ways and I COFFEE. I sit, and I rest in my God.

I’m not in a hurrrry, when it comes to your preeeesence.

How could “I” be? For Your presence created me. 

I rest in You, Jesus. My smile is BY YOU, Jesus.

TEN THINGS TUESDAY: Why Would I…

Ever want to limit to the perfect Spirit of Christ. 

The thing is, I can’t. Like what a prideful idea! Nothing of the flesh. can or will separate from the love of Christ, because His perfection and omni presence is always a part of His Truth. He does not fit in any boxes.

Still, it is certainly possible to get caught up in worldly rules that Satan imposes and makes look “useful,” but that, in fact, “lack any value” and “are destined to perish” (COLOSSIANS 2:20-23).

Here are some ways that Satan’s “tied-up pretty” rules used to prevent my stepping into TRUE LIFE IN CHRIST (always our purpose, Satan never actually preventing).

Presence. With others. While “rules” and human agendas can seem useful, they are selfish in that they take us away from being truly present with others in conversation and in just being with people.

Prayer. Sometimes the rules constructed in my mind would irrationally say, oh no, it’s time to do *this*, you don’t have time to pray for ___. This mindset both disgusts and shocks me now. One must always be ready to pray for others, knowing that the Spirit intercedes.

Spontaneity. My mind was convoluted with “needing” to know plans in advance in order to plan things to the detail. That mind had been convinced that such “plans” were keys for safety and control. This also disgusts me. I was under the control and pseudo-safety of the devil. Christ works, Christ is the only one in control of my life. Bam that is done, thank-you Jesus! The number of memories made in the past month that are true and good trumps anything over-analyzed and planned in the devil’s temporary fashion… and the Spirit has given me such ANGUISH for those old ways.

Selflessness. The schemes of the devil had certain times appointed for certain things in my life, which is a very “me-centered” way of living and limits my focus on serving Christ, which often involves His opening the doors to helping others’ souls through His Spirit, and if I am “unable” to spend time with others because I’m numb to His conviction and under a “pseudo-law…” wow. This isn’t life.

Writing. Writing is a gift and passion I believe He has given me for His purposes, and I used to write all the time and spontaneously and as I felt inspired. Since understanding and anguishing over the strict and laughable lifestyle Satan wanted me in, I naturally write again, all the time.

Cooking. Can’t even explain how much fun cooking is again. Finally. Just dashes of things, Tasting as I go till I get the right tastes, discovering my palate and hungry tummy.

Dancing. I dance joyfully, for real– in class, as a teacher, and just around the house. It just flows out of me– *He just flows out of me.

Future. What I thought was the image of a good future is now very vivid gifts of images of a truly Spirit-serving future… but the future is not my focus. He is making my focus presence and love for Him.

Resting. He calls us to different seasons, and just over a month ago He spoke a very clear Word into my life that I needed to rest. Because I lacked the understanding His Spirit in the rest area of life, this was not easy for me– but obedience to conviction is ALWAYS amazingly fruitful. How could we ever be silly enough to think otherwise? 

Constant Awareness of Him. He makes me aware of sin as I pray. He fills me with anguish; joy; the words; laughs; visions; love. I just want to be with Him. 

MEDITATION MONDAY: Wings Like Eagles

If you will but trust Christ, not only for the death He died in order to redeem you, but also for the life that He lives and waits to live through you, the very next step you take will be a step taken in the very energy and power of God Himself. You will have begun to live a life which is essentially supernatural, yet still clothed with the common humanity of your physical body, and still worked out both in the big and the little things that inevitable make up the lot of a man who, though his heart may be with Christ in heaven, still has his two feet firmly planted on the earth. –Major Ian Thomas

Did you know that eagles spend merely 4% of their time in the air flapping their wings? The other 96% consists of just resting, floating, relying on thermals in the air to carry and completely move them.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint. ISAIAH 40:31

Over a year ago, the Lord Jesus began a work in me that brought me to His cross of redemption of sins and accepting His working, perfect, eternal Spirit within me.

On a day that I will never forget, in which by His Spirit I more truly than ever before recognized my need for a Saviour and the decaying of my mortal body, my pet fish, Walter, died. God used the death of that fish to bring me to my knees and demonstrate the kind of death to my self and my flesh that would take place in order to accept His Spirit and live by Him.

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Remembering that the counter-Truth of Christ’s gospel is a “do-better, try harder” attitude, for Christ calls us to know Him and rest in His presence and allow His Spirit, which He gives WITHOUT LIMIT (John 3:34), to just receive who He is and what He’s doing and the Truth that HE moves on our behalf. 

And since truly accepting and asking His Spirit to dwell within me, He has little by little been working in and through me for His sake.

Calling me to repentance,

Showing me that He works through my human weakness to reveal His strength,

Revealing Himself to me in radical and ordinary ways, always seemingly miraculous but also simply Truth.

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This past weekend, I woke up and felt a little anxious. I had, for the first time in a months, a day ahead of me with absolutely no plans. Not even a to-do list made up. I was tempted to write one, but convicted to pray. And so I spent my morning with Jesus, and Jesus guided my day for His sake.

With no fleshly plans in the way, I was by His grace in tune with His operation through me all day long.

By the Lord Jesus, I got to know my beautiful roommate Mary’s boyfriend, Aaron, and his precious heart for Him more than I ever have. I even grew closer with Mary in the time we all got together. And Mary’s friend, Jill, came over, and I learned from the Holy Spirit in her and lived in JOY with these blessings of people.

Joy.

The Lord has taught me the value of HIS PRESENCE AND NOTHING ELSE. For whatever we mourn in giving to HIM, will have its time again if it is Jesus’ will. And when we live in faith that this is true, we do not fear giving anything up.

Such as my life on the altar (the only place “my life” can ever be).

Such as my fish.

And so, that same day, I ended up somehow someway (Jesus Christ the Lord!) at a pet store with Mary, Aaron, and Jill, and left with a beautiful blue and red fish whose name is very clearly Joy. 

We stopped in a market and I had Joy in her jar in my hands. Joy caught people’s attention and I could not stop smiling at her and making eye contact in smiles with others, often laughing. A man carrying a jar of pickles exclaimed, “You have a fish!”

“I have a fish!” I replied, “You have a jar of pickles!”

“I have a jar of pickles!”

Your JOY no one will take from you” (JOHN 16:12).

Yes. Because when we have the advocate of Christ Jesus dwelling within us, we have the ONLY eternal source of joy dwelling within us. And this is REAL. And He is TRUE. And He WORKS, AND MOVES.

Jesus, I lay down my crowns. 

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TASTEFUL THURSDAY: “Cheesy” Ham & Egg Quiche

Good Afternoon!

Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?”

He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”

While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it.  And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’

I cannot put to words to the manner through which Jesus blew up this Word to me this morning, for His sake. Seek and you shall find, He says– and indeed, this was true this morning. And always is. Our Lord is the greatest listener there will ever be, greater than we can comprehend.

In our intimate moments with Jesus, miraculous and meaningful things happen as we simply awe in His majesty. And His Word– also Isaiah Chapter 30 this morning– is made afresh.

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And this morning, I whipped up a dairy-free quiche from scratch. I loosely used a recipe for the crust, but this is mainly my recipe. I hope you enjoy it! It was delicious!

*Note: I did not measure the ingredients that didn’t need to be measured, so the below are approximations! Just have fun! 🙂

Cheesy Ham and Egg Quiche

Recipe serves 1

Ingredients

1/4 cup any flour (I used sorghum flour)

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp coconut oil, hard

1 tsp cold water

1 tsp vanilla almond milk

1/2 tsp grapeseed/any oil

2 Tbsp red bell pepper, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped onion

2 slices black forest ham

1 egg

1 Tbsp almond milk

1/2 Tbsp goat’s milk yogurt (or regular yogurt)

dash of salt and pepper

3 Tbsp Daiya “cheddar cheese” (or regular cheddar cheese)

1 Tbsp goat’s milk yogurt

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tortilla chip, crushed

Method

1. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Pinch in coconut oil with fingers, until mixture resembles small crumbs. Add a bit more coconut oil if needed to get the proper texture.

2. In separate bowl, combine water and vanilla almond milk; add to flour mixture. Mix well to form a small, damp ball.

3. Flatten dough into a disc at the bottom and sides of a small, oven-proof dish, careful not to break holes in the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour.

4. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion, stirring occasionally until tender. Add ham; let sit about five minutes, or until slightly smoky and browned.

5. In a separate bowl, beat egg, almond milk, yogurt, and salt and pepper until combined. Add cheddar cheese and stir.

6. Place ham mixture evenly on top of the crust; pour egg mixture on top.

7. In a small dish, combine 1 Tbsp yogurt, oregano, and garlic powder. Add crushed tortilla chip and mix. Sprinkle evenly on top of quiche.

8. Bake the quiche at 375 degrees in the centre of your oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool about 5 minutes, and enjoy!

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Only more of You, God!!!!

WHAT I “ATE” WEDNESDAY: Water of His Overflowing Cup

*Disclaimer: In case anyone was wondering, these posts are no longer about “what I ate,” nor do they include everything I eat. I write in them some foodie things, but seeing as now I actually snack on handfuls of random foods, and eat like Cassie, lol, these posts serve no purpose and are pointless! The “What I Ate” title has been, for the past several weeks, a play on words in that the posts deal with what IS point-FUL: what we “eat” of the Spirit. 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

PSALM 23

Every day, Jesus teaches us so many things. He guides our steps. He refreshes our minds with His One True Spirit when we have accepted and asked Him into our hearts. And the more of what is not of Him is not within us, the more of His work we acknowledge and dispute, and  I am in awe.

There are so many things within the world today, instructions, suggestions, “guidelines,” that are not a part of His Gospel simply because His Gospel does not intend to inform on such things rather than to literally say that they are trivial. 

I woke this morning ready to spend time with Jesus.

Thank-you, Jesus, that Your blessings are new every morning. 

Write, colour, read, pray, sing,

breakfaaast. What do I want hmm ooh French toast sounds good!

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Chop chop, dribble dribble, tons of peanut butter, a spoonful too straight from the jar, ohh Jesus thank-you for these gifts

I feel I need a relaxing morning. In this season He’s calling me to healing, to learning when to say no, to resting in His presence. 

I have class soon and it’s good. Pack a snack, snackin, too, 

Poetry.

Today, love poetry. It’s good, lots of it is deep and wonderful… other poems are painfully lustful… some have so much raw feeling, the words jump off the page and into my soul…

Jesus, thank-you for words.

Maddie graciously films a rough version of my choreography for my adult hip hop class so I can share it with them on Facebook. We are all laughs.

I visit my beautiful friend Cassia. She is amazing, funny, a light.

More class. Tutorial is great, because I love group work and actually TALKING to there human beings in classes…

Thank-you, Jesus, for new faces.

It is dark by now. I head out into dainty snow, Elevation worship music in my headphones, heading to a coffee shop.

I have a date, you see.

I order a drink, sit down, see the spot Johnny and I had our first date. Try not to get teary as I put pen to paper. I am smiling and praying to him, through Him, as I write. My date is with the pen and paper, and Jesus and Johnny. I don’t leave until I’m all done and the letter is mailed.

At home I find my tummy grumbling and I find my Maddie and Mary. I throw together penne pasta and whip up a home basil Brazil nut pesto, saute some bacon and other veggies and enjoy my dinner with the Bachelor (and friends making fun of me for watching it… but Maddie really truly wanting to watch it…)

Jesus, I was created to be in love with YOU. I was created for relationship with you and to reveal that purpose, by You, to others. Keep showing me, Lord. I’m pursuing You alone forever, Lord. 

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