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Monica's Munchies


The Lord Bless thee, and keep thee,
May the Lord make His face to shine upon thee!
And be gracious unto thee,
be gracious unto thee,
the Lord lift up,
thy countenance and give thee peace!

Monica's Munchies: LUV2U! <3

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I have learned many things along this rocky road called life! The most important thing I've learned is that I needed a Savior long ago! I felt so lost before the Lord found me and I opened up my heart to Him. Many things were coming at me, not the least of which was a voice telling me that my life wasn't worth going on for! When the Lord found me, He saved me from this lying voice! I invited Him into my home and my heart! From then on it's been Him and I in all things. My hope for you is that if you are on that same rocky road that I was on, empty, wondering if it's worth it to go on, you too will invite the Lord to save you. He will show you that your life is worth living for Him!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Harvest Christian Fellowship: Ten Things in Twenty-TenHarvest Christian Fellowship's Notes Ten Things in Twenty-TenShare

The beginning of a new year is often a time for personal evaluation and setting goals for the year ahead. Not a bad idea when you consider the old saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of ten things we, as Christians/Musicians/Worship Leaders, should plan to do in the year ahead.

I left some obvious things off the main list that apply to all of us, whether we are in music ministry or not—read God’s Word daily, pray daily, fellowship regularly, give of our time, and give of our finances. I think we can all agree that we should be doing those things in the year 2010 and beyond.

For this list of 10 things, there’s a “musical” application and a “spiritual” application. The musical application will be somewhat obvious. For the spiritual application, I have added bold italics for the point of emphasis from each passage.

With all of that, let’s dive into the list of Ten Things in Twenty Ten for Christian Musicians.

1. Practice (You are never so accomplished that you don’t need to practice)
Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:13-16)

2. Learn something (new instrument, new technique, how to read music, etc.)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

3. Relearn something you used to know (go back and revisit past musical ideas)
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (1 Timothy 4:6-7)

4. Encourage someone else (you never know when your words will be the difference)
But command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see. (Deuteronomy 3:28)

Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. (Deuteronomy 31:7)

5. Come alongside someone else (for the purpose of instruction, mentoring, and serving)
The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)

6. Be teachable (a meek and gentle spirit goes a long way)
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

7. Defer to others (a person who doesn’t always want to get their way is invaluable)
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:3)

8. Practice listening (so you can play better with other people)
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19)

9. Resolve to be a peacemaker (create harmony, musically and relationally)
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

10. Be a leader, be a servant (if you are doing points 1–9, then this describes you!)
Titus 2:1-8 says:
“You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”

Hanz Ives

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pride and Prejudice!

I bet your expecting to find a post about the movie Pride and Prejudice!  Haha, I fooled you! 
Melissa and I love that movie, but
I am speaking of  the Pharisees of Jesus' day in John chapter 9! 
I find them to be full of Pride and Prejudice! 
The definition of Pride from Websters 1828 Dictionary is: 
1. Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
 2. Insolence; rude treatment of others; insolent exultation.
The definition of Prejudice from Websters 1828 Dictionary is:
1. Prejudgment; an opinion or decision of mind, formed without due examination of the facts or arguments which are necessary to a just and impartial determination.

The Pharisees in John Chapter 9 fit these descriptions exactly! 

You see they were upset that Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath.  Also that He kneaded clay on the Sabbath. (another no no!) He spit on the dirt, mixed it and put it on the mans eyes, then Jesus told him to go and wash!  When the blind man obeyed, he was instantly healed of his blindness. 
The Jews were concerned about what was done on the Sabbath so they brought the man before the Pharisees, who demanded testimony conderning Jesus and this healing. (Note: only for the purpose of looking to discredit Jesus.) The blind mans testimony went without being examined, the Pharisees chose not to believe it.  So they called for his parents to testify about whether or not he was blind from birth and how he was healed.  Being afraid of the Pharisees threats, his parents answered them "Ask him, he is old enough to speak for himself."  Say what???  This is your son?????  (You see they feared the threats the Pharisees made that anyone who testified positively for Jesus would be thrown out of the temple for good!)

In '08 Melissa had major surgery at Loma Linda University hospital.  It took 6 hours and she had to have a full blood transfusion.  Had the Lord healed her instantly, Jeff and I would have fallen to our knees and thanked God.  And even though she had to go through with the surgery we still give thanksgiving to Him for giving her new life and showing the doctors what to do to help her!! 

These parents were so frightened of losing their way of life would, that they did not even worship Jesus as God for healing their son!  That is beyond my ability to understand!  May I never be so caught up with mans words that I forget to praise my Lord!
At this point the Pharisees called the blind man back and asked him, who do you think this Jesus is?  Not knowing who Jesus exactly was the blind  man said a I think he is a prophet, because prophets of old did the healings.  The Pharisees did not like that answer either so they questioned him more.
Sick of the questioning and Pharisees false accusations of who Jesus was (they said he is a sinner and demon possesed) the blind man set them straight...
1. God does not listen to sinners! 
2.  He listens and answers those who believe in Him and worship Him!! 
A great division broke out among the Pharisees about who Jesus was!!  Sheesh!!!
With that the Pharisees became angry at the blind man who was healed and kicked him out of the temple! 
Jesus heard what had happened, found this blind man He had healed, revealed to Him that He is God, and the man said I believe and worshipped!!  Wow, soo many differing reactions to who Jesus is!!

Jesus used this blind man to teach the Pharisees then and us today many things.  Here are a few I came up with:

There are those who just don't want to believe, because it will change their way of life, and they don't want to give up their sin, or their own beliefs!  They chose not to see!

If you chose not to believe in Jesus after being told about Him and His works you will not be able to use the excuse I did not know, because you are not blind!!

Check things out with your whole heart, don't be caught guilty of being Prejudice against God without knowing the truth!  (Seek Him out!!)

Some of us who can see are capable of being spiritually blind apart from God!

Don't be full of yourself,  Pride is not becoming.  Really none of us are great or wise apart from the wisdom of God!

Don't demand your own way it only leads to trouble for you in the end!  And it makes you look foolish!

I am sure there are more lessons here!!  This is a great chapter, check it out for yourself and see
if you can add anything else to this list, please leave it in the comment section for the rest of us to be blessed by!! 

Love2U! <3


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Jesus said, I am the light of the world.
 Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life."  John 8:12

If I were a cartoon, you would see that the light bulb above my head just flipped on!

This scripture is a promise to us directly from the mouth of the Son of God!  (John 8:12)

 Think about it, is Jesus one to say things flipantly?  No!  We may not understand what He is saying at face value, or you may not even like what He is saying.   One thing is forsure everyone knows Jesus never said anything flipantly!  He made alot of statements concerning who He is, why He came, died, and where He went after His ressurection!  He was either crazy or God...many of the statements He made are intriguing and bold!  Never flippant.

That is reason enough to study the teachings of Jesus, as if we were digging for buried treasures on an island of rich and lush beauty!   Search as if you were looking for gems and nuggets of gold! 

Today in my studying I found such a nugget for me, could it be for you too?

Sooo much of the time we pray..."Lord, help me!  I am in the dark about this situation, show me the way!" 

But now I am questioning: "Was I really ever in the dark?"   

The Lord has made a bold statement concerning those who follow Him, "whoever follows me, will not walk in darkness!  (Another whoever statement, I may have to start collecting those from Him!)

Let's take a moment to examine our own situations. 

Take note of what it is that you do know about it, just the facts.
Are you in accordance with God's will, or in disobedience to God's word.
Make adjustments accordingly.

For us in our situation, we have felt like we were in the dark soooo much of the time.   Seeking, figuring out what to do and where to go for help, do we stay, do we go??????     We have taken each step cautiously and prayerfully.  Yet we have not been sure, this is the direction the Lord is saying to go in.  We  have sensed a strong headwind pushing us forward all the way.  But I have thought to myself, I am in the dark, wandering, wondering, analyzing.  Where are you Lord?  I wanted a cloud by day that turned into a fire by night to guide me like God did for the Israelites in the wilderness.  Numbers 9:15-23    (Anything short of that feels like I am wandering around in the dark, alone.   hahah!   Ummm that miracle was for them then, not me today.  Today we have His Holy Word as our cloud by day and  fire for light by night!)

Though we are still in this situation, I know He has been a light unto my path!  We have tried to follow only the facts, the truth concerning our situation.  We have worked hard not to walk only according to what "we" desire!  Looking at our situation, I see clearly that the facts are the facts/truth is truth, we can not go to the left nor the right!  Nor can we move forward, or backward!  We were/ are blocked in all directions.  So we have stood still, battled in prayer right here, asking the Lord to be with us, to show us what moves to make in accordance with His will for our life.  To light up the battle field so we can clearly see, giving us victory in our battle! 

This morning my confirmation has come. The facts are that when you can not go to the left, right, forward nor backward, you must stand still.  Duh!!!!!  Hahaha!  Be still, and know that He is God.  In control of the whole world, not constrained by time, money, or fear!!!!!!    Do your spiritual battle in prayer from where you are.  Dig a fox hole, jump in it and battle from there.  Listen for further orders as you hold your ground, pray and study His teachings for directions. 

You maybe in a holding pattern, it doesn't not mean you are in the dark...because to be in the dark is to be apart from God, His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control!  That would make Jesus a liar, which is what the Pharisees and Scribes falsely accused Jesus of being. He denied it stating He was actually honoring His Father!.  John 8 

Keep this truth with you...if you believe in Him, then the Lord is guiding you, lighting up your way, He will direct you with His word, with the facts of each situation and a strong headwind to push you forward! 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all of your ways and He will make your paths straight! Proverbs 3:5

P. S. There are 272 references to light in the King James bible, 13 to lighted 10 to lights!  I must be on to something...ahhahha  it's about time! 

Love 2 U! <3

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pasilla Chile Peppers!

This week I've  had a couple of expierences with Pasilla Chile Peppers! I took 5, roasted them in the oven with some butternut squash, plus a whole head of garlic. Melissa and I turned that into a "Bobby Flay" type of Spicy Butternut Squash soup! I used 3 of the pasilla chile peppers, and that was 2 1/2 to many. Haha! The soup was good, but soooo spicy it was hard to eat! Our lips were a burnin'. These are the chiles that restaurants use for Chile Rellenos. They aren't normally very spicy!

Yesterday, Sunday, Melissa and I went to the Newport Beach. We wanted to ride bikes, do our devotions, and to hear from the Lord! Melissa read Streams in the Dessert and Springs in the Valley out loud for us as we sat on the beach. It was a gorgeous afternoon! Each devotion spoke to us about the fact that God is in control of all our situations! All of the doors that seem to be locked. He holds the keys to each locked door. And in His timing He will open them.

After spending some time in prayer asking the Lord for wisdom concerning these locked doors, He reminded me of my pasilla chile pepper episode.

You see, I had to roast them, making sure I blistered and blackened 'em. Then I place them in a paper bag to sweat. That process allowed me to peel the bitter outer layer of skin off, to get to the very best the chile meat offered! I used it to flavor and heat our soup up! This process also intensified the flavor and heat that the chilies would be giving out!

The Lord showed me that He was working in my life the same way for the same reason. He was trying to tell me it's all good, for a worthy cause! Haha!  Very tough to swallow!  hahah!

We all go through times when our hearts become hard for one reason or another. Different circumstances lead to the same outcome in each of our hearts, when the circumstances aren't dealt with correctly, that is His way. We become hardened and embittered!

That's when the Lord begins the slow roasting process. On and on it goes, we begin to feel so heated that we feel blistered/blackened. Turn down the fires we cry out! (And in His timing He does.) Then when we don't seem to have any answers/wisdom concerning those firey trials, we begin to sweat over them. Wrestling, analyzing, thinking the situation to death, until we are exhausted. (Some of us are still in this area, with some situations, keep pressing through, keep asking Him to take it from you, tt's the only way to be rid of it for good!)

Finally get sooooo sick of it, that we give it over to Him. Enough we cry out and we throw it to Him! That is the process of peeling that bitter layer off.

The Lord ends up with a very tender hearted Christian in His hands. This offering of obedience is a sweet aroma to Him, by His Grace we are ready to be used by Him to season the world with His love that is found in His Son, Christ Jesus! 

P.S.  No matter what you have been through, be determined to give it over to the Lord!  This takes perseverance and trust!  Press on!  Push through! And Pray!

Love 2 U!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trials and Suffering: Keeping ourselves out of Depression!!

Question:   How is it that we can face on going trials and sufferings and keep our way from depression? 

I remember just 10 years ago, a time when there was not the amount of suffering going on that there seems to be today, both in depth of heartache and length of time!  Oh I know, we here in the USA barely know and understand what suffering really is.  But in accordance with how we have been raised and what we have been through in our lifetime, things are much more intense and ongoing than ever before! 

There is a new, harder hitting, wider reaching financial hardship in the USA than ever before. One that will take a long time to dig out of, if ever!  I definitely see more illness of extreme nature and more heartache in the Harvest Prayer Chain!  The Worlds labor pains are more intense and closer together these days!

When I think of the Laurie family my heart breaks.  They are not the first nor the last to unexpectedly lose a loved one.   Yet, it has hit home with my heart in that I can clearly see how the devil will try to wear them down year after year with this lose, the devil whispering his questioning thoughts on God's love and plan for their family.  I can also see very clearly how God has taken such a tragic circumstance and brought comfort, wisdom, strength out of the ashes.  Much glory has gone to Him, and I stand in awe of the Laurie family as they press forward in their service to the Lord by serving His people and His lost sheep!!!!  They make my desire to do the same stronger than ever!!

Our View:  How we view our trials, sufferings and heart aches is the key to whether or not we can keep moving through them, or if we are gonna get stuck in them, slowly sinking into depression.
(Depression is nothing more than a downward spiraling of the heart because we compile sin on top of sin!  It simply weighs us down when we disobey God in any area of life! See Jay Adams on Depression)

The Lord has placed the helmet of salvation on my head.  As an  army soldier my helmet  protects my skull, brain and head from physical injury. Spiritually speaking I also want to protect my mind which controls the whole of my being. Knowing I am saved is the biggest part of the battle, remembering... I belong to Jesus because I believe and He is my Jehovah Nissi, His banner over me is pure love!! 

We are all striving for something...what are you striving for?
(To strive is to contend against, wage war against, excite oneself against!)
I strive to keep my view and thoughts off my troubles so I can focus them on MY God who has limitless Wisdom, Power and Means to help with  my present troubles. He is Just and Comforting as well as Faithful to His own promises to His children.  That is the key to my faith staying strong.  (Remembering what I've learned in the past and seeking that which I am to learn in the present will keep me growing.)

There are several things I do to protect myself from depression:
 (These things help to keep me pressing forward in the Lords service as a foot soldier)

Reading my bible daily with an eye to learn who My God is and what He wants me to change. 

Gleen every last bit of hope and comfort I can find. 

Use a bible dictionary to help with any words or concepts I don't understand. 
(I have a computer program from Logos to help my studying as well.) 

Pray throughout my day.  When I am overwhelmed I glady and humbly ask for prayer. 

I seek to give praise and thanksgiving to God the Father! 

I read daily devotions.  Streams in the Desert and Springs in the Valley, both by L. Cowman

I have filled my ipod full of uplifting, fun or dancing music!!

I attend Womens bible study at my church.

I use some herbs and things to help my body as I get older and life is just tougher all the way around!!

I have hobbies that keep me out of trouble and

I love to ride my bike and play volleyball to get exercise as often as I can!!

These days I am focused on being positive and on my cup that the Lord has given me as being half full!  With the Lords help He and I add lemon juice and honey to make lemonade.  I am then content to drink the cup He has given me and am fully satisfied with my half full cup of blessing.

Why am I satisfied with it:   Because I did the best with it that I could with Gods help!
(Not in being perfect about it, because I fall short in all things!)

I hope this encourages you and helps to keep you out of trouble!!  Haha

Monica's Munchies

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Cooking classes are very inspiring! <3 <3

Melissa and RJ's Engagement Party

Melissa and RJ's Engagement Party
Inspired by the Sea!

Melissa and RJ's Engagement Party Cake!

Melissa and RJ's Engagement Party Cake!
Inspired by the Sea!