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Devotionals

Isaiah 26:3-4

Published April 26th, 2019 by Ccwestside

Isaiah 26:3-4

"You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength."

God's promises in His word are so encouraging to us! As we study the word and learn the meaning of the words, it gives us more understanding of what God is speaking to us. I looked up the key words in this verse in the Strongs concordance.

Keep means to guard or protect.

Peace means safe or well.

Trust means bold, confident, hope.

Strength means refuge.

JEHOVAH means self existence and eternal.

God will guard and protect us, keep us safe as well as we keep our mind focused on Him. Covering our minds daily in His word. As our mind is focused on Him we will lean on Him and take hold of Him! Our trust in Him will be bold and confident. JEHOVAH our eternal God is our everlasting refuge. God's desire is to draw us close to Him, so we can learn who He is and trust Him forever!

Lemon Herb Couscous Salad

Published April 19th, 2019 by Ccwestside

YOU WILL NEED

1 1/2 cups dried Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 to 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, depending on taste

1 medium English cucumber, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs; use any combination of fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, or mint

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/4 cup raisins, we love golden raisins

DIRECTIONS

    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add couscous and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain.

    While the couscous cooks, in a large bowl, whisk the oil, mustard, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the drained couscous to the dressing and mix well.

    Stir in the cucumber, tomato, herbs, walnuts and raisins. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and/or pepper as needed. Enjoy warm or cover then refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.

Sacrifice Your Mood!

Published April 19th, 2019 by Ccwestside

The other day I was just “having a day” which isn’t my typical personality, I’m usually pretty mild and non-hormonal... But this day, was a doozie. My perspective was totally wrong, I was dwelling on silly offenses, annoyed by social media posts, edgy and allowing my mood to be impatient with my kids (who were all not getting along to add to my crazy). Quite honestly, just wanted the day to be over!

I was at the sink praying for a better attitude and forgiveness, (because for some reason washing dishes and showering is when I have my best quite time) when I got a text from my mom offering to watch the kids so I could go get a pedicure. In that moment, I felt like she had cameras in my house because it was such a moment of needing to feel encouraged. I hesitated, changed out of my pjs, and accepted her offer!
*Side note, don’t ignore those little promptings from the Holy Spirit, you never know how a text or coffee or smile can be exactly what someone else needed!

After I got to the nail salon and sat down, I watched this woman happily scrub, clip, wash, moisturize, message and paint my toes. She took precious, careful attention to every detail, never rushing, never even seeming annoyed at all. She would check in with me asking how I liked it, and just smile. I felt so humbled. I couldn’t help but think of Jesus, how he washed the feet of sinners, how he went to the cross and sacrificed his life, perfectly blameless...for me. He died for my poor attitudes, for my jealousy and harsh words, he daily forgives me and cleanses me and I’m faultless in His sight even when I continually fall short. He doesn’t say forget it, I’ve had enough of you, He smiles and waits for me, He is patient and long suffering, He never makes me feel unworthy of His love. The way the Lord stepped in and blessed me during such a rotten day alone just amazes me.

When someone wrongs me, when I feel forgotten or just “not in the mood” I want my heart and eyes to be just like Jesus.
If it means washing someone’s feet, if it means being silent on a matter, if it means being tired and spent, if it means giving a gift to someone who doesn’t deserve it, it’s ok. God knows, He cares and He restores my weary soul. He ordained that day for me, to learn from my mistakes and be humbled at other people’s generosity and love even when I’m unlovely.

Rigatoni Broccoli Casserole

Published April 12th, 2019 by Ccwestside

Ingredients

  • 28.3 oz rigatoni
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 chicken bullion
  • 2 cups grated broccoli
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Extra boiled broccoli florets (optional)

Directions

  • To save time, cook the pasta and the sauce simultaneously.
  • Place a heavy bottom saucepan with enough water to boil the pasta in high heat. Place another heavy bottom skillet on medium heat.
  • For the pasta, once the water comes to boil, drop the rigatoni along with the salt and boil for 7 minutes. Once done, save ¼ cup of the pasta water and drain the rigatoni using a colander.
  • For the sauce, once the skillet heats up, drop the butter. As it melts, sprinkle the flour and mix it around for few seconds. Then pour the milk little by milk and keep whisking until it comes together into a smooth sauce without any lumps. Then scatter the grated broccoli, and crumble the chicken bullion. Whisk to mix everything. Pour ¼ cup of the pasta water to tin out the sauce a little bit. Finally add ¼ cup of the mozzarella cheese and mix it all together. Taste for salt and add any if required. Switch off the heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Take a casserole dish, and layer the base with some of the sauce. Then place the rigatoni straight up one by one. Pour rest of the sauce on top, followed by the boiled broccoli florets, if using. Scatter the remaining mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese on top turns mild golden brown.
  • Serve warm

He Makes All Things New

Published April 12th, 2019 by Ccwestside

“Remember not the former things,

    nor consider the things of old.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;

   now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness

  and rivers in the desert.”

                                -Isaiah 43:18


“And he who was seated on the throne said, 

   “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Also he said, “Write this down for these words

   are trustworthy and true.”

                               -Revelation 21:5



Spring has sprung!  I am loving the beautiful sunrises, birds chirping in the morning, and seeing plants begin to bud- ready to burst forth with beauty and color.  We had a long winter, and I believe I saw snow yesterday, but we know that we are so close to warmer weather and all that spring has to offer.  

As I’m getting “all the spring feels,” I am also so beautifully reminded that He makes all things new.  

New.  

Fresh.  

Better.   

Isn’t that so comforting??  That no matter what I’ve done or how far I fall short- He make all things new.  Jesus restores what we waste.  Whatever trial or hardship I’m facing- He makes all things new.  The disappointments that life brings- “Behold, I will do a new thing.”  We can claim these promises of God in our lives and trust that Jesus will make spring beauty out of whatever winter wilderness it seems we have gone through.  

In my devotions this morning, I was reading in Luke 8 about the woman with the issue of blood.  She had spent all of her livelihood on physicians to help cure her of this flow of blood that she had for twelve years with no avail.  

But   then   Jesus . . 

He steps in and changes her live forever.  With just a touch of His garment, she was HEALED.   Her faith made her well!  I wish I could sit down with her, with a cup of coffee, and hear her share how Jesus, in His healing power, made her new.  I’m sure it would be an emotional but powerful conversation.  She spent twelve years feeling like an outcast because she was considered unclean to those around her.  Twelve lonely, frustrating years I’m sure.   But with one touch, she was made well.   Absolutely amazing.

Sweet sister, I want to encourage you that Jesus can do the same in your life.  In His timing, according to His purposes, He will step in and make a way in your wilderness and bring rivers in your desert.  I wholeheartedly believe that, and I hope you do too. 

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