TEN THINGS TUESDAY: Things I’ve Learned from My Handsome Boyfriend (and Jesus in Him)

Hi All!

Sometimes I just wanna tell the world how amazing my boyfriend is, make sure everyone knows. Usually, I feel most called and content ensuring that he knows my love for him himself. But there’s nothing like showing him off a little bit; here, ten things I’ve learned from him, that might teach you a thing or two, too.

Soccer is Not What I Thought It Was. I don’t know about you guys, but I used to watch my older sister play rep soccer and I just sort of watched the ball get kicked around, people attempting to get it in the net. Now, I see the amount of skill, technique, and drive that has to go in to the sport, and Johnny’s passion that comes from a desire for nothing less than the greatest has made watching soccer a much different and more engaged experience for me.

We Are Meant to Live Dead to Ourselves. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Food Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated. I took pointers and was initially convicted in my idolization– which could be passion, but wasn’t at the time– of choosing what I was going to eat, when I see that Johnny is happy and grateful with whatever, seeking to be filled and fuelled while enjoying fellowship and good food.

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Music Isn’t Just “Nice to Listen To.” Ok, this one I already knew and was passionate about before knowing Johnny, but in a different sort of way. I’ve always loved listening to song lyrics and vocals, but Johnny has taught me about the artistry that is an entire album as one work of art, and the importance of music not just in what it can make individuals feel, but the what the work is saying.

Business Isn’t All About Money. Businesses, in their most successful form, seek genuinely to better a product for the true benefit of consumers, with a care to see the company grow and for customers to meet Jesus in employees as He sees fit, and Johnny exhibits this because His eyes are fixed on the Lord.

We Don’t All Have to Be Friends with Everybody. Not everybody is going to be best friends with everybody else, and that is okay. We are called to put on the armour of Christ in all circumstances, which is of love, grace, and forgiveness, and this can sometimes actually look like the removing oneself from some hindering relationships.

I love hats. Both on Johnny, and myself actuallyūüėú.

Hard Work and Dedication in Pursuit of the Lord… is the way I feel called to live life. I don’t know what God’s going to do in our lives, but, in many ways through Johnny, He has taught me the value of simply trusting that He’s going to be great; exactly who He says He is.

Listening and Talking Are Both Beautiful Qualities, but Most Beautiful When Put Together. Maybe I’m biased, but Johnny’s intent listening and genuine caring, coupled with a sense of knowing when it’s time to talk and share from himself, holds a lot to learn from.

Pleasure is Patient Endurance. Looking back on different moments in our relationship, I see how the Lord has given Johnny strength and direction in pursuit of our relationship in that we are always learning together, moving together, growing together.

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TEN THINGS TUESDAY: Things I’ve Learned from My Handsome Boyfriend (and Jesus in Him)

Hi All!

Sometimes I just wanna tell the world how amazing my boyfriend is, make sure everyone knows. Usually, I feel most called and content ensuring that he knows my love for him himself. But there’s nothing like showing him off a little bit; here, ten things I’ve learned from him, that might teach you a thing or two, too.

Soccer is Not What I Thought It Was. I don’t know about you guys, but I used to watch my older sister play rep soccer and I just sort of watched the ball get kicked around, people attempting to get it in the net. Now, I see the amount of skill, technique, and drive that has to go in to the sport, and Johnny’s passion that comes from a desire for nothing less than the greatest has made watching soccer a much different and more engaged experience for me. 

We Are Meant to Live Dead to Ourselves. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Food Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated. I took pointers and was initially convicted in my idolization– which could be passion, but wasn’t at the time– of choosing what I was going to eat, when I see that Johnny is happy and grateful with whatever, seeking to be filled and fuelled while enjoying fellowship and good food.

Music Isn’t Just “Nice to Listen To.” Ok, this one I already knew and was passionate about before knowing Johnny, but in a different sort of way. I’ve always loved listening to song lyrics and vocals, but Johnny has taught me about the artistry that is an entire album as one work of art, and the importance of music not just in what it can make individuals feel, but the what the work is saying.

Business Isn’t All About Money. Businesses, in their most successful form, seek genuinely to better a product for the true benefit of consumers, with a care to see the company grow and for customers to meet Jesus in employees as He sees fit, and Johnny exhibits this because His eyes are fixed on the Lord.

We Don’t All Have to Be Friends with Everybody. Not everybody is going to be best friends with everybody else, and that is okay. We are called to put on the armour of Christ in all circumstances, which is of love, grace, and forgiveness, and this can sometimes actually look like the removing oneself from some hindering relationships.

I love hats. Both on Johnny, and myself actuallyūüėú.

Hard Work and Dedication in Pursuit of the Lord… is the way I feel called to live life. I don’t know what God’s going to do in our lives, but, in many ways through Johnny, He has taught me the value of simply trusting that He’s going to be great; exactly who He says He is.

Listening and Talking Are Both Beautiful Qualities, but Most Beautiful When Put Together. Maybe I’m biased, but Johnny’s intent listening and genuine caring, coupled with a sense of knowing when it’s time to talk and share from himself, holds a lot to learn from. 

Pleasure is Patient Endurance. Looking back on different moments in our relationship, I see how the Lord has given Johnny strength and direction in pursuit of our relationship in that we are always learning together, moving together, growing together. 

MEDITATION MONDAY: The Power of Words

Proverbs 11:12 ‚ÄúIt is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent.‚ÄĚ

Have you ever been caught in a conversation and recognize,¬†Wow, I don’t like the way¬†I’m speaking right now. This is not kind, nor helping anybody.¬†

The devil is pleased by conversations like this– that is, any sort of conversation that does not exist in the Heavenlies– and he will put targets on backs, attempt to tear down children that are pursuing the Spirit. Those attempts are already void, Jesus victorious, but any ground gained by the devil in relationships calls for a refresh of the Lord JESUS’ Spirit.

I woke up with a nod of direction, a firmament of the Lord, and a direction in Scripture. The devil had been trying a lot of things on the weekend. Not today, or ever again, Jesus strengthened me to say.

2 Corinthians 4:1-2 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 

In the sermon series I’m going through, Pastor Eric Ludy talks about the cruciality of understanding the Bible as perfect in every sense. If we believe in the Lord Jesus, we know that this precious book is flawless from beginning to end. Understanding its Truth requires discernment of the Spirit, and some contextual understanding, but it is nonetheless the Book of Life.

Paul goes on to write in 2 Corinthians that the world will invoke temptations of all sorts of other “weird doctrines.” The devil will even try to make¬†the Word of God, the Word of Life¬†look like the weird doctrine, but it is rather the¬†only doctrine.¬†And this is not something to fear, or feel reluctant of– but rather something to¬†shout joy about.¬†What a mighty God we serve that He has not only equipped us with the gift of His living Spirit, but with a living Word.

In this way, our words should reflect the Living Word. There is power in words.

Proverbs 15:4 ‚ÄúGentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.‚ÄĚ

It is the Spirit that equips me to have nothing but loving, understanding and fun conversations with my boyfriend, family, friends, co-workers, and customers.

I know the power of spoken words in that even uttering the name¬†Jesus,¬†and speaking in my heart or aloud,¬†Come near to me, be in me,¬†ushers out the devil’s attempts.

Proverbs 18:20 ‚ÄúWords satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person‚Äôs lips bring satisfaction.‚ÄĚ

Lord, I pray that my words and conversations are pleasing to You. That I am not deceitful nor double-minded; that I resemble Your love and speak boldly of how Your grace has saved my life, and the power of cleansing ourselves by Your blood. 

Lord, I know that only when my heart is Yours, surrendered to the Kingdom, will it reflect You. 

Lord, I pray for the words that will be received by and understood by friends who are newly entering into and seeking to understand Your grace and manifested presence. 

Lord, I know that THE CROSS has the final word. Period. And I just want to shout joy that You are THAT GOOD! Praise be to You, Almighty God, and lead me by the power of Your working Kingdom to the kind of words that sing your praises and reflect Your grace. 

TASTEFUL THURSDAY: Dairy-Free Mac & Cheese

Hey All!

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This past weekend, we had a little GNO for one of my dear friends from dance, to celebrate her 21st birthday. For the occasion, I whipped up a dairy-free mac and cheese, only hoping it would come out tasting good… and it DID, so much so that it’s making the blog’s cut!

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I used these fun shell shapes instead of typical elbow noodles, and¬†Daiya Mozzarella Shreds. A little disclaimer is that I am certainly not a fan of Daiya cheese– I wish¬†I could say otherwise! I just don’t like the taste. But, in this pasta, with the cashews, it was perfect.¬†Of course, you could sub regular cheese!

Vegan Mac & Cheese

serves 6

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups almond milk

1/4 cup raw cashews

pinch nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp grapeseed oil

2 Tbsp flour

1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella Shreds, plus more for topping

6 servings (about 4 1/2 cups dry) shell or elbow noodles

  1. In blender, combine almond milk, cashews, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and blend on high speed until no lumps of cashews remain.
  2. In large saucepan over medium heat, combine oil and flour. Whisk quickly, until mixture *just* begins to brown; slowly pour almond milk mixture into roux.
  3. Whisk mixture constantly over high heat, until it begins to boil. Boil and stir about 30 seconds; reduce heat to low. Add cheese, and stir well. Allow to simmer, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.
  4. Cook pasta according to package; drain. Add pasta to saucepan, and stir well with a wooden spoon to evenly coat noodles with cheese sauce.
  5. Spoon into individual dishes and top with additional shredded cheese. Broil dishes about 1 minute, or until added cheese is bubbly, if desired.

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WHAT I “ATE” WEDNESDAY: Recharged

This morning I woke after a sleepover with my dear friend Jacqueline bright and early at 6:45am to prepare for work and for Jacq’s interview for a new and exciting job.

Jacqueline and I had spent the night before catching up, sharing what the Lord has been doing in our lives, and revelling in the fact that, just by sharing in His body, we are so close-knit and sisterly in our relationship. His Spirit is so tangibly working in Jacqueline and I adore just being with her.

We got ready and enjoyed a breakfast date at my Starbucks before I started work early for a sick co-worker. I worked an 8 hour shift, taking advantage of my breaks to fuel my ever-hungry-still-recovering body (for a great resource for anyone physically recovering, check out Julia’s post). I love working, and got to talk to both familiar and new customers while surrounded and working with incredible people, too.

After my shift, I was blessed to have plans with Kenya, my beautiful co-barista-hirer. This lovely lady and I did our Starbucks training together over a year ago, and I now cannot really picture my life without her! Her genuine selflessness and humility, and care for all others are traits that so very much set her apart and make her such an inspiration.

We did homework and caught up together, making each other both laugh and cry. While scrolling online, I came across the trailer for the new and thoroughly talked about Netflix movie To the Bone, and while watching it didn’t trigger me, it certainly made me emotional. “I saw that earlier today,” Kenya said, “I was hoping you would never see it.”

Again, I really agree with Julia¬†based on the trailer– I think I was just rather shocked watching it, because already it depicted a very real flashback of my own life, so it seems. One that, in and through Jesus Christ, I am dead to, “putting off the old woman” (Ephesians 10:12-15), serving Him and serving food rules is impossible (Matt 6:24). And “trying” to do so would lead nowhere.¬†DID,¬†I can attest, lead nowhere.

Kenya was such a support and encouragement as I talked to her about the emotions that came up watching the video, and we snacked and drank coffees together and talked about the future and the past, this life and beyond.

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And since I have just been at home– listening to a sermon, sampling my little sister’s baked goods, catching up on Masterchef, spending time with my momma– praising the Lord for another day through which He has taught me and promised to work all things together for His good (Romans 8:28).

 

TEN THINGS TUESDAY: Starbucks Drinks To Try (Summer)

ARE YOU BORED OF YOUR TYPICAL PASSION TEA LEMONADE, BERRY HIBISCUS, OR CARAMEL FRAPPUCCINO (If your summer “usual” is one of those drinks, trust me, you’re not alone).

As a Starbucks barista, I so often get asked, “Cassie, what’s something new I should try? What’s good cold drink?” And here, I’ve got the DL for you on what’s worth trying in a list of my ten favourite summer drinks.

Matcha Lemonade.¬†This new addition to the menu, a part of the¬†Lady Gaga “Born This Way” campaign,¬†is surprisingly really good– if you like sweet and sour. I’m not a candy lover, but I have always loved Skittles, and for some reason, this drink reminds me of sour Skittles! PRO TIP: Order with 1/2 matcha and light ice if you’re not a fan of matcha powder.

Iced Blonde Cinnamon Almond Macchiato.¬†I love¬†our cinnamon dolce syrup, but I find just one pump so incredibly sweet! That’s why this macchiato, which is less sweet than usual beverages, is perfect– although I still prefer it half-sweet, and I unfortunately can’t have our caramel drizzle as I’m allergic to dairy, but I get the drink with 1 pump cinnamon, 1 pump caramel, and regular espresso. Customize it as you like, but I think you’ll find it quite delicious!

Espresso Frappuccino. Not too many people know about this delicious frappe, which is made with just coffee, your choice of milk, espresso, and sweetener. Blended up to make a delicious, smoother texture than a plain coffee frappe! Plus a wonderful buzz, and not super-sickly sweet like most frappuccinos.

Violet Drink. Also new to the menu, the Violet Drink is made with coconut milk and berry juice, and is a lovely pick-me-up and change-up to the regular Berry Hibiscus!

Iced Salted Caramel Americano with Almond Milk. Try ordering this drink (can be made decaf) with your favourite milk (we have nonfat, 2%, and whole, or lactose-free, coconut, almond, or soy), 2 pumps mocha, and 2 pumps toffee nut.

Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte. I am currently chillen IN Starbucks with my barista bestie KENYA, and her two cents is this: her fav Starbucks summer drinks are either iced passion teas, iced blonde vanilla lattes (she drinks both of these every day, I can attest to it), or iced blonde white mochas, usually half-sweet!

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Iced Soy Chai Tea Lattes. I personally am not a huge fan of chai tea lattes, but I much prefer them iced to hot, and I think soy milk pairs so amazingly with the spicy-sweet chai. Be sure to get light ice on this drink for the must bang for your buck!

Mango Black Tea Lemonades. This ms my favourite of our sweet iced teasРRaspberry syrup in passion iced tea is delicious, too!

Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with Frapp Chips.¬†Not a coffee drinker? The best not-caf frappuccino I’ve tried is the vanilla bean with frappe chips, which creates a sort of “cookies and cream” flavour.

“Pro-Tip”: Custom Iced Teas.¬†You can order any of our hot teas over ice, with your favourite syrup/with lemonade or berry juice or without! I wouldn’t recommend ordering these in the drive-thru, though, as they take a while to steep!

 

MEDITATION MONDAY: I Believe, But…

God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. EPHESIANS 1:42

I will never understand how anyone’s taste buds can be pleased when they encounter an olive.

I have certainly never detested a food so much. Putting them on pizza? Who would ruin a pizza as such? Worse– popping them as a snack? HOW?!

Rather than the statement “olives are disgusting” being a “half-truth,” that is an¬†opinion.¬†The idea that something can be “half true” is a lie, simply foolish.

Therefore, something that is¬†true¬†is entirely different from something that is¬†opinion.¬†If Jesus Christ died for our sins because He so loved the world, promised us everything necessary for life and godliness, promised that, if we abide in His Holy Spirit we will understand our need for Him and He will guide us and work in us, then it is True. It is not “half-true,” or true sometimes, or “true when it’s convenient to us.” He is not present in only some moments/lives, ie. when bold worship music is playing or an excellent preacher is praying or prophesying or for only certain people¬†in His Creation.¬†What a prideful idea, that Jesus is the God and Creator of some people, but not of¬†“such-and-such religion, for who I am to say they’re wrong?”¬†

Of course, we are not¬†anyone¬†to “say anyone else is wrong.” But we stand by what is true, and eternally true: The victory is already won by Jesus, and His Spirit holds us steadfast to this great victory and lives the Christ-life through us.

And His Spirit through Paul speaks that we are¬†the fullness of Him.¬†He isn’t a “half-spirit.” He doesn’t call us to settle for a “half-life.” He calls to die to our humanness completely so that we can perfectly see His glory, to know that HE IS the miracle and love His light and beauty more than anything in this world, knowing that He bears His nature in us and through us, that that is the purpose of our lives that are otherwise “just grass.” So short. A snap.

And He already loves you. Exactly as you are. The call to repentance, to His presence, to speak to Him comes with responsibility, but the only one that results in understanding why. 

Jesus cannot be half-true, and I refuse to live like He is. And His Spirit, when it is in me, doesn’t let me. So why would I turn to something else, ever?

Because I want a quick fix?¬†“Patient endurance is what you need for His promises will be fulfilled.” (Hebrews 8:36).

Because I want peace, so I’ll try yoga or “meditation”? “His Holy Spirit is the fruit of peace” (Galatians 5:22).

Because I want to be seen and praised by others? If you want to save your life (preserve it from self-denial; live to fulfill your own interests), you will lose it. But if you lose your life for the sake of Christ (that is, losing it in the sense of self-denial, which may or may not include literal martyrdom), you will save it, both now and for eternity. (Luke 9:24).

Jesus is the ruler of our hearts, perfect Creator, Father, and friend. If HE IS IT, am I going to “sell my birthright,” sell my privilege to bearing the Creator’s name.¬†

If my life is consumed by health food, it is going to show in my life more than Jesus Christ is because it is what I worship and am consumed by.

If I am worshipping the idea of sex, my life will be seen as such because I will talk about and joke about and lust over this actually godly institution of His glory.

If I am worshipping¬†Jesus Christ,¬†my life will be seen as such because I am worshipping my true God, and not any God– but a Lord who works in and through His children. Who says, “I’ve got great things in store for you. I know the plans that I have for you.”

Christ will deliver us. He is delivering us.

Have you ever recognized your weakness? Bring it to Christ. He wants you to live by His Strength. And that is not half-true or sometimes true. It is The Truth.