Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turmeric Apricot Oats

I'd never experimented with turmeric until I read about golden milk overnight oats. On a whim, I made some for a work breakfast. The flavors pleasantly surprised me. Earthy, but sweet, I knew I'd make these oats again.

Fast forward to winter, and I'm not feeling cold oats so much. But after reading in the newspaper this week about the benefits of turmeric, I decided I needed to try a warm version of turmeric oats.


I stirred in some apricots leftover from a Morrocan stew recipe and wow, was this bowl good. The yellow color of the oats may surprise you, but rest assured, the sweet, earthy, and spicy flavors won't disappoint!

Ingredients:


1/2 c quick oats
1 c water
4 dried apricots, cut into pieces, plus more for topping
1 t turmeric
1/2 t cinnamon


Directions:


1. Combine oats, water, and apricots in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
2. When oats reach desired consistency, stir in turmeric and cinnamon.
3. Transfer oats to a bowl and top with more dried apricots, if desired.

Note: I added a blackberry to my bowl to make it more aesthetically pleasing, but I found that the berry flavor paired well with the oats. Feel free to add blackberries as an additional topping, if desired!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Chocolate Spice Oats

You can probably tell from this blog that I like chocolate. Here's my most recent rendition:


Dark cocoa powder + some of my favorite spices + peanut butter on top = Mmm!


Ingredients:



1/2 c quick oats
1 c water
1 T dark cocoa powder
1/4 t cardamom
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
2 T natural peanut butter


Directions:



1. Combine oats and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Once oats reach desired consistency, stir in cocoa powder and spices.
3. Transfer oats to a bowl and top with peanut butter.

Friday, November 25, 2016

God Raises.

"If God can raise a dead man, He can do anything," I like to say. This is my focus for prayer this week.

God Raises.
Lifts up; redeems; saves.

Psalm 113:7
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.

Acts 2:24
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Acts 2:32
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.

Acts 3:15
You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

Acts 4:10
Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

Acts 5:30
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.

Acts 13:37
But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chili Lime Peach Salsa Oats

Are you a fan of fruit salsa? Peaches and mango? Or strawberry and kiwi? Fruit salsa comes in all sorts of flavors and I've been trying to incorporate it into oatmeal for quite some time. On this particular occasion, I succeeded.
In all of my experimentation with fruit and salsa oatmeal, I think this bowl was successful because of the additions of  lime juice and chili powder. The lime juice enhanced the sweetness of the peach, while the chili powder amped up the spice. Sweet and salty and spicy for the win!


Ingredients:



1/2 c rolled oats
1 c water
2 T salsa
1 T peach jam
1 T lime juice
Dash of chili powder


Directions:



1. Combine oats and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
2. Once oats reach desired consistency, reduce heat to low and add the salsa, jam, and lime juice. Stir to incorporate.
3. Add chili powder to taste, transfer to a bowl, and enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2016

God Hears Our Cries

In this continued time of waiting for God to answer prayer, it is good to remember that God hears our cries. He isn't leaving us alone in our distress and our grief. He is listening, working out His perfect will in His perfect timing.

Genesis 21:17

God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there."


Numbers 20:16

But when we cried out to the Lord, he heard our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.


1 Kings 8:28

Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.


Psalm 5:2

Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.


Psalm 6:9

The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.


Psalm 10:17

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.


Psalm 18:6

In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ginger Lemon Oats with Stewed Apples

I went a little crazy with my flavor combinations this time. This wasn't my favorite bowl of oats ever, but I did enjoy it. Plus, ginger is good for the tummy, and an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Add cinnamon that helps control blood sugar and the protein of natural peanut butter, and you've got yourself a healthy bowl of oats!

Plus, the bowl looks pretty. Don't you think?


Ingredients:


1 apple, diced

1 t vanilla
3 T water

1/2 c rolled oats

1 c water
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t ground ginger

2 T natural peanut butter

1/2 t cinnamon
Enough water to make a paste


Directions:


1. In a small sauce pan, combine the apple, vanilla, and water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Allow the apples to cook until the water evaporates and a thick syrup forms around the apples.

2. Transfer the apples to a bowl, and add the oats and water to the same pan.
3. Bring the oats to a boil and allow them to cook until thick and rich.
4. Add the lemon juice, ginger, and a little more water. Cook until the oats reach the desired consistency.
5. In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, cinnamon, and enough water to form a paste.
6. Transfer the oats to a bowl and top with the stewed apples and cinnamon peanut butter.



Monday, November 14, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Oats

It's fall, and it's Pumpkin Palooza at Trader Joe's, so naturally it's time for a pumpkin oatmeal recipe. This is based on a recipe I found when I started experimenting with oats, but for the life of me, I can't find the original blog. So here's my rendition:Creamy pumpkin oats with just a bit of spice, topped with decadent vanilla spice peanut butter, all made in my own kitchen. Mmm!

Ingredients:


1/2 c rolled oats

1 c water
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1 t pumpkin pie spice, divided
2 T natural peanut butter
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t real vanilla


Directions:


1. Combine oats and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to medium and cook oats until thick and rich.
3. Thoroughly stir in pumpkin puree and 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice. Let simmer until oats are cooked and desired consistency is reached. (Add a bit more water, if necessary.)
4. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Stir until well mixed.
5. Dish up the oats and top with the peanut butter mixture.
Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2016

My Thoughts On The Election


First of all, let's me answer the inevitable question, “Who did you vote for?” I don't need to tell you because it's my business, but I probably need to state that it wasn't for any candidate towing a party line; I voted write-in for the first time in my life. Yes, maybe I, “threw away my vote.” Obviously, my candidate didn't win. But I believed it was more important to vote for a candidate that stood for my values than it was to contribute to the “win” of the person that would become the next president of the United States.



With that being said, I feel compelled to write about my sorrow over this election cycle and its results. The words of the candidates and their supporters have been so filled with hate. The media is constantly producing some story to either inflate or deflate a candidate. Minorities, people of color, veterans, country people, town people, almost all people feel threatened in some way, shape, or form. There are protests and riots and flag-burnings. I think a great many people are reacting irrationally, out of fear, rather than out of clear, logical thinking. That's the normal “fight, flight, or freeze” biological reaction to stress. Regardless, our country is falling apart.



So what should we be doing? Specifically, what should people of faith, people who call themselves followers of Christ, be doing? As I read Psalm 109 this morning, I was struck by David's response to the attacks of his enemies (unnamed though they might be). “With words of hatred they surround me;” he writes. “They attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer” (vv. 3-4). Wait. What? “But I am a man of prayer.” Ouch. That convicts me. Have I really prayed about this election? Have I prayed for each candidate by name, asking that God save their souls above all else? No. I have to confess that I haven't, at least not faithfully. Instead, I've complained. I've ranted. I've avoided the news, tried to remain neutral, fussed about wanting the election to end. I've uttered a lot of unprofitable words, I must admit.
And have I prayed about the issues of the election? Have I talked to God about abortion, about LGBT rights, about white privilege, about immigration, about the refugee crisis? No, not really. Do I want my heart to be enlightened about these issues, and to care for the people whom they affect? (See Paul's prayer for enlightenment in Ephesians 1:18). No, not really. It hurts to think about the gaping needs in this world. It stings when the Spirit convicts me to take action, or to make decisions that other people don't understand. I didn't even tell my family that I voted write-in until after the election. I, too, often act or react out of fear.


As I read on in Psalm 109, I see David write about God, “They may curse, but You will bless.” As the world around me speaks words of vitriolic poison, am I speaking words of kindness? Am I reaching out to my many friends who feel threatened by the president-elect? “For He stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him,” David writes (v. 31). These people who feel marginalized aren't just any people. Many of them are “our people,” people of the church, to steal a summation from Mark Yarhouse's book. And even if these people aren't believers, they're certainly in need, and Scripture says that God cares! If God cares, I'm obligated to do the same.



A few Psalms before 109, David challenges his readers to, “Look to the Lord and His strength; [to] seek His face always” (Ps 105:4). In these confusing, painful, polarized times, that's what we as followers of Christ need to be doing. We need to be praying, to “pour out [our hearts] like water” (Lam 2:19) on behalf of ourselves, our neighbors, our countries, and our president elect. Then we need to take action, for “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17). Yes, we might screw up. Yes, we might offend people. But we've got to do something.



As Spirit-filled people, we believe that we have access to a higher power. We state that we believe in redemption, that we believe in miracles. Our country needs both if we're ever going to be what our country's name entails: The United States of America. If we as Christ-followers really understand our identity, if we really believe what we say we do, the change our country needs had better start with our prayers and our actions.

Thanksgiving as an Intentional Act.


It's time, high time, for another round of thanksgiving prayer. God has done so much! This time, I want to focus on thanksgiving as an intentional act, one made with foresight and with purpose.

Leviticus 22:29
When you sacrifice a thank offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf.

1 Chronicles 23:30
They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening.

Psalm 35:18
I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you.

Romans 14:6
Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:1
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.

Friday, November 4, 2016

God Delights In His People.

Similar to last week's post, do you know that God delights in His people, in you and in me?

Delights:

Takes pleasure or joy in (Dictionary.com, n. d.)

Deuteronomy 30:9

Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors.

1 Kings 10:9

"Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness."

Psalm 147:11

The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Psalm 149:4

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.

Proverbs 11:20

The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

Proverbs 12:22

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

Isaiah 62:4

No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.

Jeremiah 31:20

"Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him," declares the Lord.

Micah 7:18

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Zephaniah 3:17

"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."

Reference:

Delight. (n. d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/delight.