Fruit Salsa

As the weather begins to change from winter to spring, just as the buds are forming on the trees and the daffodils are blooming my family starts requesting fruit salsa. It has become such a favorite that I thought I would share it with you.

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Gather together the following fruits:

4-5 medium apples
3 kiwis
16 oz. package of frozen raspberries (or fresh)
16 oz. package of frozen peaches (or fresh)
2 – 16 oz. containers of strawberries
All of the fruit needs to be chopped or diced into small pieces. I prefer to utilize my food processor for all the fruit except the apples. Make sure that the pieces are not too small if using the food processor or your salsa will be runny.

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Frozen raspberries and peaches chopped in the food processor

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Stem the strawberries. Take the skin off the kiwi and cut in half.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sprinkle a little brown sugar on top and blend together

For the apples, the kids are always eager to help using our peeler, slicer and corer.  After they are done, I chop the slices into small pieces and add to the rest of the fruit.

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Quintin using the apple peeler/slicer/corer

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Apple after it has been sliced, peeled and cored

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I chop the apple by hand leaving the pieces small, but not too little

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it is time to make the cinnamon chips. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 7-9 minutes. These are really easy to make and so yummy!

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Cut the tortillas into quarters

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Arrange the triangles on the sprinkle with water and dust with cinnamon and sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I was making this the other day for Easter I got to thinking about the ingredients. Although each one is good on its own, when they are blended together they are even better. The same thing is true in our lives. In Romans 8:28 it says that “God works all things together to good.” He uses everything in our life – the good, the bad, the bitter, the dry – to blend together to form something better than any of the ingredients on their own. So as you as sitting down with your cinnamon chips and fruit salsa, I want you to think about how God is using the various “ingredients” in your life to make something wonderful.

I would love to hear from you today. You can either share what God is doing in your life or maybe even pass along a favorite recipe of your own.

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It’s a New Day

lamentations

Lamenations probably is not a book of the Bible that comes up in conversation very often, nor is it one that naturally falls open when flipping through the Bible. If honest, many would have to confess to looking in the table of contents to even find its location. Once we arrive at this book you and I can begin to discover the treasure within this week’s Made To Crave verse.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

As I have been thinking and studying about this passage over the course of the week, it kept bringing to mind the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. If you are unfamiliar with their story, I highly suggest reading through it. Anyhow, they were complaining because they didn’t have anything to eat and would rather be back in slavery in Egypt than to be in the wilderness headed to the Promise Land. I don’t know about you, but boy, can I relate. Many times I find myself complaining about where I am instead of relying on God and trusting Him along the way. God heard the cries of the children of Israel and provided manna for them every morning. It appeared like the dew covering the ground in a blanket of white. The Israelites were instructed to only take what they would need for that day – their portion. If they tried to take extra, so as not to have to gather the next day, it would mold or have maggots. God was testing them to see if they would trust and rely on His faithfulness. The same is true for us.

I have found, being a stay-at-home mom, that there are several times that I, myself, would like a “do-over.” My day starts out well, and then for one reason or another I find myself running out of patience with the kids. This generally happens within the time they wake up until they need to head out the door to the school bus. There are mornings that I can hear the following from the kids, “where is my lunch box? Oh, mom, I need more lunch money? I forgot that I have homework due today, can you help me with it?  Did you make snacks for my class for today?  Is my cross country uniform clean and ready for the meet?”  To no fault of their own, some days I simply just lose it. I could blame them for not being responsible enough, or me for not getting enough sleep or not laying things out the night before, but sometimes my patience just wears thin. I end up getting upset with them, and they leave for school wound up. I hate mornings like that. I do not know whether you can identify or not, but it is times like these I would like nothing more than to have everyone go back to bed and start the day over.

Although, I do not have the ability to push pause on the day and rewind it, I do have the opportunity for a new beginning. This is promised to all of us in Lamentations. This passage of Scripture brings me so much encouragement. With each new day, we are given the precious gift of experiencing and discovering more of God’s love. The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary explains it wonderfully, The Lord’s great love follows through on covenant obligations. God’s compassion cannot be exhausted.” In the Old Testament, God made covenants with His people. His great love continues to flow through the New Testament to current day. What amazes me is that God’s compassion and love for us have no limits, and there is an endless supply. Keep in mind that God is with us all the time, not just when things are going smoothly. Even when we face struggles, God shows us His mercy. The New King James Version Study Bible goes further to explain that the passage in Lamentations means, “The comforting, compassionate character of God dominates the wreckage of every other institution and office. God remains “full of grace and truth” in every situation.”

Maybe you do not have young children or struggle with the craziness of a busy morning, but I am certain that you have areas that are difficult within your day and you need God’s compassion, love and faithfulness. Do not feel like God’s compassion and mercy are some how confined to particular locations because they are not. God’s grace and mercy are poured out upon us every single day. Just as God provided manna for the children of Israel, He provided His Son for us. Christ is our daily bread, who satisfies our needs. Our portion, like the manna, is laid out for us, but we have to make the choice to take it in. Spending time with God daily is necessary to allow Him to “fill” us up for whatever the day may hold. Never forget that He knows what we need and He will provide.

Take a moment and listen to this song and let the words wash over you today.

Tucked In, Safe and Secure

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“You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5

 I remember loving when my parents would tuck me in at night. They would come in, read me a story, pray, give me kiss and pull the covers up around me. I know it was only a gesture, but I felt safe, secure and loved.

This wasn’t thrown aside when I grew; it just changed vehicles, as I am the parent tucking in my own children. Today, I am able to see the same thing with my kids. It offers them a sense of peace and protection that drives away the fears that creep in as the night draws close.

Dear friend, do not worry that your chance for this peace and protection vanished with age. You see, you and I have this same kind of protection from our Heavenly Father. He promises us in Psalm 139:5 to go before us and behind. God is granting us protection from all sides. It is like a wall around us. The Lord graciously surrounds those who trust in Him with His unfailing love (Psalm 32:10).

However, it does not stop there. It goes on to say in Psalm 139 that God lays His hand upon us. Think of it this way, if you have your hand on someone’s back or even holding his or her hand, you move then he or she does, right? Well, that’s what this portion of the verse means. God is beside us every step of the way. This should bring such peace and comfort to you today.

Just like a small child dressed in flannel pajamas sliding into bed awaiting the reassurance of safety and protection from her parents at bedtime, you can be certain that God – who never sleeps or slumbers – is watching over and protecting you. Put aside those doubts, fears and insecurities because your Heavenly Father loves you unconditionally.

Like Jesus when tempted in the desert, we need our security based solely on our identity in Christ – who God says we are.

He says we are:

This is just scratching the surface of what God says and feels about you, His treasured creation. Nothing can keep you from the depths of God’s love.

I know it is easy to fall victim to the lies and negative chatter in your head, but you must pause and evaluate what is true and what is a lie. If this is difficult to grasp to begin with I encourage you to write out these pieces of your true identity in Christ and carry them with you on note cards or put on post-it notes on your mirror or computer. Keep those visual reminders until your true identity is so engrained in you that it is shining out to those around you.

So, dear friend, lay down those burdens and worries, God will take care of it all. No matter what the enemy may tell you, never doubt God’s love and protection for you.

Condemnation versus Conviction

romans 8-1

The reflection verse for Week 5 of the A Confident Heart Online Bible Study is one that I cling to.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1, NIV)

It is so easy to fall victim to condemnation, from our self, as well as, others. When condemnation comes against you, let me encourage you to quote this scripture as a word weapon. This verse is so powerful because no matter what you have done or will do, there is no condemnation in Christ. The Holy Spirit will convict us when we have sinned, so that we can repent. Condemnation, on the other hand, comes from ourselves and satan. Therefore we need to remind satan and yourself, that you do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Walking after the flesh is depending on yourself; walking after the Spirit is depending upon God. When we fail, which we all will, that does not mean we are a failure. It simply means that you do not do everything right. We all have to accept the fact that we have strengths along with weaknesses. Let Christ be strong in your weaknesses. Let Him be your strength on your weak days.