Wednesday, April 6, 2011

True Religion

No, I'm not talking about jeans.

James 1:27 says (AMP), “External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.

Thanks for making it clear what you care about, Lord.

I’ve heard it said (I’m pretty sure by Oswald Chambers) that adoption and foster care are callings, but orphan care is everyone’s responsibility (at least it’s every Christian’s responsibility). We all know we can give money to ministries with orphanages oversees like Life Impact International (an AWESOME organization that rescues children from sex trafficking) or Zoe Children’s Home  (that does the same thing). But here are some ideas of ways you can help orphans closer to home (thanks to

1. Pray for the children in foster care and their families.
2. Collect birthday gifts for the foster children in your community.
3. Have a baby shower to collect baby essentials.
4. Collect luggage for foster children in transition.
5. Create toddler toy boxes.
6. Mentor a foster child.
7. Be an alternate caregiver for a foster family.
8. Contact your local OKDHS foster care specialist about specific needs in your community.
9. Host foster children’s visits with their birth families at your facility.
10. Become a foster parent. Xoxox
11. Cook a meal or a treat for the foster kids living in a group home.
12. If you live in Oklahoma, join the 111 Project

All of this makes me think of the song by Josh Wilson that says, “I don’t wanna live like I don’t care/I don’t want to say another empty prayer/O, I refuse to/Sit around and wait for someone else/To do what God has called me to do myself/O I could choose/Not to move/But I refuse.” Amen!

So, what will YOU do?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Deep Thoughts with Heather

photo by Carol M. Highsmith

I know, I know…I’ve broken the blog-world rules: it’s been TOO LONG since my last post. I would fill you in on the details of the last couple of weeks (since I’m sure you’re all dying to know what’s activities have filled my exciting schedule), but since I don’t want to use my brain energy to recall everything, I will just say that I’ve been traveling (here among other places), volunteering, and doing some deep thinking.

Yes, you heard me correctly - deep thinking. Thinking about life questions and different worldviews. Truth and deception. The fact that we seem to be living in the last days of this earth.

So, if you’d like to take a peak into the mind of a genius (okay, or just my mind) here’s what I believe:

There is a God, and He is good.
There is a devil too, but he’s bad news.
Jesus came so that we could have abundant life; He said so.
The devil only comes to steal, kill and destroy.

God’s purpose in making mankind was so that He could have relationship.
There is no true love without free will.
Free will means that He does not control us; therefore everything that happens on earth is not God’s will. (It is not God’s will for me to go murder someone or speak hurtful words to my spouse.)
God is All-Powerful, but He’s set up a system that He operates within. He’s bound himself to His word (He CANNOT lie.).

So, I guess what I want to say in this random-feeling post. Is that when disaster hits your own life – like has just happened for millions in Japan. Please don’t automatically assume that you are suffering at the hand of God or experiencing God’s judgment (which I still believe in). Know there are people out there who are not submitting to God. Know there is a devil out there who loves to bring pain and death. Know that we live in a fallen world that is falling apart due to the effects of sin.

But there is hope. One of the amazing things about God is that He takes actions or events that were meant for evil and somehow causes them to work some good in our lives (Gen. 50:20; Romans 8:28). Again, this doesn’t mean He initiated all of the happenings, but He is smart and creative and can work good in spite of evil.

And that’s what I believe; what about you?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jesus - the PERFECT Lamb

Sin. I’m sure you’ve heard of the stuff. Some people don’t believe it exists…well, they really do (Try punching them in the face; I’m sure they’d think that was wrong; but if you start talking to them about certain behaviors they have, they appear to have no sense of right or wrong. But I digress.)  Sin is the stuff that separates us from God (Isa. 59:2).   See, He is holy (completely perfect, right and pure), and sin cannot live in His presence. The whole story of sin and man’s relation to God is much to great for me to tackle in this little post, but allow me to try to summarize so I can get to the main point.

In the Old Testament, God gave His people a system of coming near to Him that really serves as a wonderful picture for us today.  Because of God’s great justice, He simply could not allow sin to go unpunished.  Because of His love, He decided to come as a man and take that punishment for us. Wow. 

But back to the Old Testament. When the people wanted to come near to God, they were to bring a sacrifice to pay for their sins – usually a lamb. This lamb was to be spotless and perfect, having no defects. The priest would then examine the lamb. Did you get that? He would examine the lamb – NOT the person.

1 Peter 1:1-19 says, “And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”

Jesus is the LAMB that God provided to pay for our sins. He is the perfect sacrifice, and when we confess Him as our Lord and believe in Him, God is no longer looking at us. He is examining our LAMB and declaring us righteous because of His perfection.

So, I encourage you, as I encourage myself today. STOP looking at yourself and worrying about your faults, and start considering JESUS and all His sacrifice has paid for (mainly right standing with God. Wow; thank you, Lord!).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Scrambled Pasta?

Hola! It’s been a while since I’ve written. You see, I’ve been planning to blog about an idea inspired by King Corn, a interesting documentary that is worth watching. This idea could be a huge part of the solution to our nation’s health crisis (Who knew you’d find such answers right here on Spinach Smoothie?!).  My hypothesis is that if our nation would simply STOP subsidizing corn crops, there would eventually be no corn-fed beef, and much less corn syrup production (which is in practically everything this nation eats that’s been processed, and probably causes the majority of our health problems).  And this one change could SUBSTANTIALLY move our nation towards healthier eating habits.  Anyway, I shall have to expound on this topic on a later date.

For tonight, I have experienced a taste so exquisite that I HAD to share. It all began when I started to hear (seemingly everywhere....okay, not everywhere, but at least on the cooking channels I watch and magazines I pick up in the workout room) about scrambled pasta. Evidently in Italy, the combination of noodles & eggs is quite common – who would’ve thought?! Anyway, my beloved hubby is out of town, and since I thought this combination might scare him, and since I found peppers on sale for $0.50, tonight was my chance to finally try this recipe.

Had I known it this dish would merit a blog post, I would’ve taken pictures of the process (we all know I need the practice :) ), but I only took this one:

It’s two servings, but it is now all gone :)

Here’s the recipe (I made just a few changes to Martha’s):
         1/4 of a 1-pound box of spaghetti (about 2 cups cooked)
         3 tablespoons coconut oil
         1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
         4 whole scallions, thinly sliced
                ¼ onion ( I just used one I had left over)
         1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
         4 large eggs
         1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
         1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
         2 tablespoons dried basil (I didn’t have fresh.)

1. Cook spaghetti as usual.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the pepper, onion, scallions, and crushed red pepper (if desired), 3 to 4 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the Parmesan and salt; add them to the skillet with the spaghetti and basil. Toss gently over heat until eggs are set.
It was GREAT with crusty bread! Promise you’ll try it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stuffed Pizza

Pizza…the American food…the dish that allows you to take in the five food groups in one bite. Well, unless you’re vegetarian and don’t eat meat. I am not a vegetarian, but I did have some leftover tofu to use, and while I searching for recipes online, I came across this fabulous twist on a stuffed pizza.

I had made some wheat pizza dough earlier this week (Thanks to last year’s discovery of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day; this book can be life-changing, but this is a topic worthy of it’s own post, so check back later.), so I was ready to begin.

After following the recipe (Well, I did ½ it and substituted goat cheese for the mozzarella; goat cheese is my favorite!) I enjoyed this for lunch:

Forgive the pics; I wasn’t really planning to post about this, but  . . . YUM!! Who knew tofu could taste so good?!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Thai Treat

I love to try new things…especially if they involve food.  In my early 20’s, a date introduced me to Thai food, and a new love affair began (not with the guy, rather with the food :) ). For the last decade, I have received great pleasure from experiencing the different flavor combinations and textures that Thai dishes bring to the table.

But someone else always delivered these delicious flavors to my table – never had I attempted to produce them in my home. But stricter food budgets can cause people to take drastic measures. Actually, a stricter food budget was just the fuel for prayers. Prayers that God answered by allowing me to win an online contest. An online contest in which the prize is receiving “Taste of Thai” ingredients for various Thai recipes. So my adventures in Thai cooking began. (Isn’t God amazing to even give us the little desires of our hearts?!) :)

Thus far, I have made this delicious Pad Thai:

And these (which I never would’ve thought to try, but they are very tasty and would make a great party appetizer!  (I used ground beef instead of pork in an attempt to be a bit healthier.)

So, don’t be afraid to: try new things, ask God for little desires, and cook different dishes; you may be surprised at the pleasure you can find. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I know...

...that my photography skills are SORELY lacking at this point in time, but I shall work at excelling in this area in the future :)
Just wanted to share.