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.