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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!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

...Until God allows you to suffer long and deep, revealing His Sustaining Love to you personally at every point of contention in your heart, He can't use you greatly...

S. S. Ville du Havre
Builder: Thames Iron Works Co   Launched: 2 November 1865
In service: 26 April 1866        Out of service: 22 November 1873  
Fate: Sunk after collision with Loch Earn
Class and type: Iron Liner Tonnage: 5,065 tons  
Length: 128.50 metres  Beam: 14.08 metre  Depth of hold: 22 ft 4 in  Propulsion: 1 compound inverted 4 cylinders

Ville du Havre was a French iron steamship that operated round trips between the northern coast of France and New York. Launched in 1866 under her original name of Napoléon III, she was converted from a paddle steamer to single propeller propulsion in 1871 and renamed Ville du Havre.[1]
In the early hours of 22 November 1873, Ville du Havre collided with the Scottish three-masted iron clipper, Loch Earn and sank in 12 minutes with the loss of 226 lives.[2] Only 61 passengers and 26 crew members survived, rescued by Loch Earn and subsequently, an American vessel, the Tremountain.[2][3]

Horatio G Spafford (1828-1888)

The hymn "It is Well with My Soul" becomes closest to heart for one undergoing grief. Written by a Presbyterian laywer Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888) and composed by Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876), this deeply touching gospel song has long been loved.

The Bible scripture reference is Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Spafford was born on October 20, 1828 in North Troy, New York. He was a successful lawyer in Chicago who maintained a keen interest in Christian activities, deeply spiritual and devoted to the scriptures.

Chicago Fire and a Son's Loss

Sometime in 1871, a fire in Chicago heavily devastated the city, and months before that , Spafford had invested hugely in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. The disaster greatly wiped out his holdings. Before the fire, Spafford also experienced the loss of his son.

Calm Before Spafford's Worst Life Storm

Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe for him and his family. He wanted a rest for his wife and four daughters, and also to assist Moody and Sankey in one of their evangelistic campaigns in Great Britain. He was not meant to travel with his family. The day in November they were due to depart, Spafford had a last minute business transaction and had to stay behind in Chicago. Nevertheless, he still sent his wife and four daughters to travel as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre, expecting to follow in a few days. On November 22, the ship laden with his wife and daughters was struck by the Lockhearn, an English vessel, and sank in few minutes.

Spafford's Wife "Saved Alone"

After the survivors were finally landed somewhere at Cardiff, Wales, Spafford's wife cabled her husband with two simple words, "Saved alone."

Shortly after, Spafford left by ship on his way where his beloved four daughters had drowned, and pen at hand, wrote this most poignant text so significantly descriptive of his own personal grief – "When sorrows like sea billows roll..." The hymn "It is Well with My Soul" was born.

It is Well with My Soul

It is noteworthy that Horatio Spafford did not dwell on the theme of life's sorrows and trials, instead, focused in the third stanza on the redemptive work of Christ, and in the fourth verse, anticipates His glorious second coming.

Composer Philip Bliss
Philip P. Bliss, the hymn composer, was a prolific writer of gospel songs. He was so impressed with the experience and expression of Spafford's text that he shortly wrote the music for it, first published in one of the praise hymn book, Sankey-Bliss Hymnals, Gospel Hymns No. 2. Shortly after writing 'It is Well With My Soul,' Bliss died in a tragic train accident.

On reflection, it is divinely amazing that one could experience such personal tragedies and sorrows as did Horatio Spafford, yet, able to say with such convincing clarity, "It is well with my soul." It is an enormous challenge to embrace the significance of this hymn.

First Stanza of the Hymn "It Is Well with My Soul"

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."

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In my own personal journey through 7 long years of famine in our family, I came across this from
A. W. Tozer.   "Until God hurts you deeply, He can't use you greatly"

But I have learned that ...Until God allows you to suffer long and deep, revealing His sustaining love to you personally at every point of contention in your heart, He can't use you greatly.  It is in this time that you learn to be still, to know God is there!

Each Christian has a journey mapped out for them.  As we grow up in Christ we learn more about Him in a personal way. 

When we were little kids we had the great bible stories read to us.  As we got older we start to learn the lessons behind those stories, when we became mature we began to learn about the God behind them. 

There comes a point in every Christians walk where God allows such deep suffering and groaning in our lives, that we honestly think we are going to just pass out from the shear exhaustion of it. We cry out come Lord Jesus and take me home.  I can stand no more!  Bring me to yourself!  (no, I am not speaking of suicide, just a done with it attitude.)

In my life I have found that this season of Suffering in the Valley of Tears has taught me many things.  The most important thing it has taught me is that God loves me deeper than the depths of my sufferings.

Even though He has allowed us to suffer what seems to be great loss financially, of time, of health and has left me to wallow in great fear for long periods of time,  His love for me has reached deeper than the losses I felt I was suffering.

Corrie Ten Boom said.."There is no pit so deep that Gods love is not deeper yet."  At one point in the concentration camp she lived in, the women were glad for lice to be all over them because it kept the evil, torturous guards away from them.  The lice meant safety for them!   What lice has God allowed in your life to protect you?

After all Jeff, Melissa and myself had major surgery, '07-'08 I received a coupon in the mail for one of my favorite stores, I had been eyeing this watch for a year there and it went on clearance.  So, with my coupon, I rewarded myself for all the hard work those two years had brought to us!   I went and bought it!  I loved the color of it and the conquering of the price of it .  Well, I lost it.  I prayed and prayed about where it was, and then I let it go.  Disappointed in myself and my carelessness.  It had been gone about 3 months, when one night I was awakened by the Lord and led straight to it.  It was in a bag I had looked in soooo many times previously.  I was absolutely engulfed in His love, that He cared about something sooo small, unworthy of His attention.  But in it, I knew, that I was the one made worthy of His attention through Christ my Savior!!

Right after my Wrect a hystomy...(that's what I lovingly call a hyterectomy!) I was exhausted, this pimple cyst that I had had for years, decided to act up and be extremely painful!  Fearfully I went to the E R with my sis in La Quinta, they spoke of cutting it out.  Thought I was gonna faint!  You see it took all I had to go through those hospital doors for the first surgery.  I had prayed and prayed, about this extreme pain and in the end, the Dr. gave me 2 of the strongest antibiotics there is, over time it healed.  Many people I know have had to have theirs cut out.  Again, I was enveloped with God's love for me!

These are just 2 examples of the ways that the Lord made Himself real to me over the past several years.  Revealing to us He is with us, to care for us, to love us, to care about the big and little things that we care about.

The norm for me when suffering is to cry out WHY, help, deliver, take it away, rescue!  All the same things many cry out for.  And I still desire deliverance from things that have not come to closure yet!  But in this storm, I have learned that every step of the way that gets conquered...fear, worry, crazy in my head, provisions, sustainings...in the end, not one hair on my head has been taken, my family and I have been delivered from every situation that has arisen, many bad, poor pitiful attitudes of mine have been taken away and what we are left with is a deeper love and respect for God, because of His unending love for us.  I have been personally touched by His greatness, tenderness, provision, protection, wisdom, will and soverignty!  I have seen that His eye is on me, that He is aware, that He has a plan to grow me in likeness to him.

Not only have our needs been met, but some of our wants as well!  And in His Glory and Beauty, in the midst of the ashes, He has given us some of our wants and turned them into vessel of usefulness in His hands!

The Why is not as important any more, I now know why!  It is for this purpose:  That while I am being conformed to His image, through great and unyielding sufferings...He is revealing His unending depths of love to me.  Growing me, and using me more than ever.

So hang in there, Remain in Him....Abide in His Unending, Limitless Wisdom and Love for you in your Great Suffering while traveling through the Valley of Tears!

Blessings...Monica's Munchies <3

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Monica's Munchies Presents:

Mexican Sombreros!  Ole!

The Crust
**2 pkgs pre-made Pie Crust.  (You will have a total of 4 crusts.)  

**Roll each crust out one at a time, just a smidge.  With a large bisquit cutter cut out as many circles as you can.  Gather the left over crust, roll again and cut out more.  Repeat until as many circles as you can are made!

** Filling:
** Canola Oil
** 1 Purple Onion finely, chopped
** 2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
** 1 Jalepeno, finely chopped, seeded and deviened
** 1-2 Zucchini, finely chopped
** 2 Costco rotisserie chicken breasts, finely chopped
** 1 can of Salsa
** Shredded Cheddar Chipoltle Cheese (Winco)
** 1 raw egg, scrambled for wash

Heat Oil in wok, add onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes, add garlic and stir fry for a minute. 
Add Jalepeno and Zucchini and stir fry for a minute or two. 
 Add Chicken and just heat through for one or two minutes. 
Add salsa and heat through.  Cool

Place 1/2 tsp. cooled filling in center of one circle. 
 Top with Shredded cheese.
Top with a second pie crust circle, stretch alittle in order to cover filling and meet edges, press together. 
 Then press edges with the tines of a fork. 
 Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with cheese! 
Bake at 425 for approx. 15 mins. 

Serve with a Green Salad, Spanish Rice or even Black Beans.
Plan for at least 2-3 Sombreros for Girls and 3-4 Sombreros for the Guys!  
Enjoy!  <3 Monica's Munchies!
(A Spin off of Sandra Lee's Mexican Pinata Recipe!) 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sliders!! Hahahah!

Sliders are so fun!
Everyone builds there own!  Put out plenty of fun topping, remembering to be frugal, have good quality ingredients, yet don't go over board with the amount cuz they are small!

The Rolls:  Trader Joes Mini Hamburger Buns or Sweet Hawaiin Dinner Rolls

The Meat:  I stole my sister Kathy's idea of mixing healthy brand of ground turkey and ground beef. 50/50
 (Trader Joes, Sprouts or Whole Foods brands are great choices! )

To the meat I added the following:
Freshly Ground Sea Salt and Pepper
Onion Powder 
Garlic and Natural Sea Salt
Worchester Sauce
Pico de Gallo spice
Mix gently, and please do not add egg/bread crumbs/fillers, because 
as my Jeff says, it's a hamburger, not meat loaf! hahah! 

Make meatball size balls, (don't over work so meat remains tender) 
 flatten and lightly impress a thumb print in the middle to keep it from bubbling up!
(that's a Bobby Flay tip!!)

Barbacue gentley, **but thoroughly to avoid salmonella that can be found in raw meats**
just until the pink is gone, that way they will still be tender! 

 (So you find it's still a little pink..nuke it for 30 sec intervals!)

Load up burgers with your favorite toppings,

 I had Smoked Gouda Cheese on one, Goat Cheese on the other  
I topped another one off with homemade coleslaw! (RJ's idea!)
Plan for most people to eat 2-3!

Hope you enjoy! 
LUV2U! <3 Monica's Munchies

Trust In the Lord? Can this be done in every circumstance? Are you serious?

Yosemite '09

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take. 
New Living Translation.  Pr 3:5-6

This word Trust comes with several thoughts!

2620 חָסָה [chacah /khaw·saw/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 700; GK 2879; 37 occurrences; AV translates as “to trust” 35 times, “to make a refuge” once, and “have hope” once. 1 (Qal) to seek refuge, flee for protection. 1a to put trust in (God), confide or hope in (God) (fig.). 

982 בָּטוּחַ, בָּטַח, בָּטַח [batach /baw·takh/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 233; GK 1052 and 1053 and 1054; 120 occurrences; AV translates as “trust” 103 times, “confidence” four times, “secure” four times, “confident” twice, “bold” once, “careless” once, “hope” once, “hoped” once, “ones” once, “sure” once, and “women” once. 1 to trust. 1a (Qal). 1a1 to trust, trust in. 1a2 to have confidence, be confident. 1a3 to be bold. 1a4 to be secure. 1b (Hiphil). 1b1 to cause to trust, make secure. 2 (TWOT) to feel safe, be careless.

4009 מִבְטָח [mibtach /mib·tawkh/] n m. From 982; TWOT 233e; GK 4440; 15 occurrences; AV translates as “confidence” nine times, “trust” four times, “sure” once, and “hope” once. 1 trust, confidence, refuge. 1a act of confiding. 1b object of confidence. 1c state of confidence, security.Strong, James: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

Rescue, hope, security, safety, confidence, refuge, and  protection!  These are the descriptions of our Lord and Savior, these are the reasons why we put our trust in Jesus. He is all of these to us and soooo much more!! 

Do you find yourself in the midst of trials and difficulties today?  Then take off your shoes right where you are standing for dear Christian you are standing upon Holy Ground in the Presence of Your Holy God!

You see, the Lord your God has not fallen asleep at the helm.  As a matter of fact we are told many things in the bible about Him!  Here are a few of those things:  He never sleeps nor slumbers (Ps. 121:4), He saw you when you were created in your mothers womb(Jer. 1:5), He knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7)and He knows the number of days you will live and what each one of those days consists of.
 (Read all of Ps. 139)
 He knows more about us, every day that we will live, than we do. 

He knew this was coming into your life, this soooo very difficult season.  He is not unaware of every detail, He has a plan! (For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you, I will bring you home again to your own land.”New Living Translation. Je 29:11-14)

Will you look for His plan or will you be blinded by your fear, anguish and sorrows?

The Disciples on the road to Emaus said to Jesus...We had hoped!  Their hopes were shattered in Jesus' death on the cross, so much so that they did not even realize they were speaking to their ressurected Lord! Their great dissapointment blinded them to the great miracle standing right in front of them.  The "We had hoped attitude" shattered their faith!  It shatters ours too!  May we always say "I have hope"!

Trials, sufferings, difficulties and tradgedy bring constant pressure upon us.  They seem to ware us down, yet they are neccesary disciplines and are not to be looked at as misfortunes.  They give God the opportunity to show us His all sufficient strength and grace!  We can gain mature faith through these situations. We can either allow God to accomplish this growth in us or we can run away from our difficulties.  If we run, rest assured they will come back to us in a different form.  You see, you and I are just too precious to God for Him to leave us where we are..our faith must be allowed to grow and deepen through each storm so that our roots of Faith, Hope and Love will grow deep in Christ. 

The book of Hebrews calls Gods righteous ones to live by faith not to run in fear!  Heb. 10:38 
Yes, the pain and strain can be overwhelming....the fear soooo great we feel we will not make it!  I too have been there.  If your emotions are tossing you about like ships moored at port, or if they ebb and flow with the tide of your thoughts and dissapointments in life, you need to realize that Jesus Christ is your Rock of stability.

Yosemite '09
He is the Rock of salvation, the Rock of ages and the Solid Rock we can stand upon!  

ROCK. In the OT rock (Heb. sela‘; ṣûr) symbolizes the security and defence of a steep and inaccessible refuge (cf. Is. 32:2; 33:16). Similarly, it is used of an immovable foundation (cf. Ps. 40:2): to remove ‘the rock’ is equivalent to shaking the world (cf. Jb. 18:4). In an interplay of these symbols it is not surprising to find God spoken of as a rock who gives security and safety to his people (cf. 2 Sa. 22:32)

New Bible Dictionary. InterVarsity Press

Don't cower in the lowlands of feelings and emotions...Stand firmly upon the Solid Rock...

 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.
The New King James Version.  Ps 40:2-3

Blessings to you beloved of Christ...Be Still...know by faith, hope and love..He is God!

LUV2U!  <3 Monica's Munchies

Monday, March 8, 2010

Glory Beyond the Daily Grind! Charles Swindoll!

Glory Beyond the Grind Share

Today at 4:00am
by Charles R. Swindoll
Exodus 15:2
Even though the song was composed before I was born (which makes it a real oldie), I often find myself humming it in the shower at the beginning of a busy day, between appointments and assignments in the middle of a hectic day, and on the road home at the end of a tiring day. Somehow it adds a soothing touch of oil to the grind: "Without a song the day would never end . . . without a song. . . ."

True, isn't it? The right combination of words and melody seldom fails to work its magic. And given the pressures and demands we are forced to cope with on a daily basis, we could use a little magic.

The homemaker with children at her feet who faces fourteen or more hours a day in the grind of an endless list of chores. The professional who deals with the grind of people, people, people. The truck driver who heads into the grind of traffic snarls and monotonous miles. The athlete who lives with the grind of unending hours of practice. Students and faculty who face the cynical grind of daily preparation and assignments, exams and papers.

Fact is, no matter who you are or what you do, the grind ain't gonna go away! The sales person has quotas. The performer has rehearsals. The therapist can't escape one depressed soul after another. The preacher is never free of sermon preparation. The broadcaster cannot get away from the clock any more than the military person can escape the hassle of red tape. Days don't end . . . roads don't bend . . . help!

The question is, how do we live beyond the daily grind? The answer is, a song. But not just any song! Certainly not some mindless, earsplitting tune yelled into a microphone. No, not that. I have in mind some songs that are really old. We're talking ancient here. In fact, they are the ones inspired and composed by our creator God. They're called psalms.

These are the timeless songs that have yielded delicious fruit in every generation. Not silly ditties, but strong melodious messages specially designed to help us live beyond the grind. That's right, beyond it. “We'll get along as long as a psalm is strong in our souls."

Those age-old compositions drip with the oil of glory that enables us to live beyond the grind. Songs of victory, affirmation, and encouragement, of confidence-giving strength, of hope, of compassion.

Without God's song in our soul, our long days will never end and those wearisome roads will never bend.
God's Book is full of songs—150 of them.
Let's sing them frequently and allow their time-tested lyrics to oil our days.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Empanadas Senoritas!

Semi-Homade Empanadas!

These are sooooo easy to make!~ 

Purchase already made pie crust.  There will be 2 crusts in the package.  Unroll one crust to strart with.  
I used a 2 cup, round measuring bowl to cut out 4 circles.  Gather the left over crust and roll it out again to make one more circle.  Place 2 tblsps. of left over meat mixture in the middle of each crust, leaving about 1/2 " around edges for sealing. (drain meat well!)  Fold crust in half, then take a fork and press the edges together to seal.  Repeat this process with the other pie crust.  Brush with melted butter.  This can be flavored with spices or herbs.  For example if you have a Mexican flavored meat, mix a little bit of cayenne chile powder into the butter.  Brush over the empanadas!  Bake in the oven on a Silpat lined cookie sheet  @ 375 degrees for 20-25 mins.  (You could also fill with a sweet filling, make sure your filling is not full of liquid!)   Serve with any type of dip or enchilada sauce! 

Enjoy!  LUV2U! <3 Monica's Munchies!

P.S. I used left over rotisserie chicken from Costco that I shredded and added diced potatoes, frozen corn and seasonings!

Experiencing a Crooked Road!

                                                        There was a Crooked Man poem

(An old Scotish Nursery Rhyme about a time of war and peace)

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,

He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.

He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.

And they all lived together in a little crooked house

When I was in high school I attended Christian camp at Campus By the Sea, on the Island of Catalina.  I loved it there.  We would take the Catalina Cruiser across the channel and then be brought into the cove by a small pulley boat.  The men of camp would stand on the shore and pull the rope which would pull in our small wooden boat.  Beautifully placed in a cove, right on the water front camp was all I lived for!  It was where I met Jesus! 

There was one day each week of camp, every summer, that we would hike into Avalon!  Uuuuggghh!  I hate hiking and climbing!   I was always the last to get going.  I was nervous and unsure in my footing.  The counselors had to help me up the hillside and along the path.  I always wanted them nearby incase I stumbled or fell.  I've never really trusted my own instincts about these things.  I've always needed to lean on someone to help me get to where I am going.  The trail at times was skinny and very crooked.  The end of the hike was the most monotonous, becasue we had to go back and forth on the switch backs as we headed downward towards the city of Avalon.  The end seemed like the longest part of the hike.

God often leads His children to places with steep difficulties, trying circumstances and the dreaded switch backs.  Often there is no escape route found.  Just like at camp, I could not get out of what everyone in camp had to participate in.  The Hike!  We too must participate in and learn the lessons God has for us so we can grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Him.  We can trust Him to guide us safely to the other side of these steep canyons, crooked roads, and skinny paths just like the camp counselors helped me! 

God will display His mighty works of grace and power in delivering us safely to His appointed destinations.  Along the way He will imparts lessons  that will never be forgotten by us!  And in the days to come we will return to the lessons learned on these paths through our trials and we will sing with joy at His deliverances! 

Once I reached the beautiful city of Avalon, I had a fun filled day of bicycling, playing in the water, eating and shopping with my friends.  The hike was always worth it in the end.  And the best part was that at the end of the day we were speed boated back to camp in time for dinner!!

Today I lean on Jeff when the road of life is crooked, full of hazards and I feel unstable in my walk. Together we seek the Lord to help us.  He sends His Holy Spirit to counsel and guide us, to walk along side of us making our crooked paths seem like very straight and secure roads!! 

(Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all of your ways and He will make your paths straight!  Prov. 3:5-6)  Taken from Streams in the Desert and expounded upon by 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!