Archive for November, 2011

Based upon the fact that I had no money for take-out, it’s snowing and we’re expecting 3-5 inches of accumulation tonight, and I just wanted to make soup, I decided to get adventurous with a creation.  At first, I called it ‘Broken Soup’ because of the condition of some of the ingredients…but this girl wanted to get clever based upon being penniless.  So — here it is:

B R O K E   S O U P – Makes 4 Quarts! Total Prep Time:  1 hour

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
32 oz. container organic vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
14.5 oz. can tomatoes – diced
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp (each) oregano, thyme, sweet basil (dried is fine)
1 bay leaf
6-7 lasagna noodles broken into eight sections (uncooked)
1 cup linguine noodles, broken into four sections (uncooked)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups frozen peas
4-5 large chicken breasts (chunked; slightly seasoned)

In a large soup pot, saute garlic and butter on medium-high heat.  When garlic browns, add flour.  It will clump.  Promptly add broth.   Whisk quickly to combine broth with “paste”.  Add water and whisk the mixture; turn up heat to boil.  Add salt, diced tomatoes, bouillon cube, sugar, and cayenne pepper; stir briskly.  Add oregano, thyme, and sweet basil, as well as the bay leaf.  Allow mixture to boil for about 1 minute, turn down to a simmer, then stir.  (Don’t be afraid to taste, I changed the recipe online here because I added too much salt).

Add lasagna noodles and linguine, then the olive oil (to keep the pasta from sticking to itself and the soup pot).  Cook soup until noodles are tender.  In the meantime, cube/chunk your chicken and cook in skillet with a pinch of garlic salt until no longer pink.  Once noodles are tender, add frozen peas, then chicken.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Try crusty bread or crackers to accompany the soup.  By itself is just lovely.  For Abraham Bacon’s sake, you could add some crispy bacon on top of the finished product.

If you don’t want to just put a giant pot of soup in the fridge, find smaller containers and place them in the freezer; it’s great for later!!! 🙂

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Fairly recently, our church congregation underwent a bit of a bittersweet time.  Our youth pastor stepped down so that he could become the pastor of marriage and families for our church.   While some weren’t sure what to make of it and others thought it would be for good, I sat back and took everything in. I wasn’t necessarily looking for an opinion to latch onto, but I was rather checking to make sure I was ‘OK’ with what was going on.

As someone who has worked with our church’s youth ministry for about four years, this was a definitive shift. This shift led me to visit the pastor’s “dream team” meetings in order to get a better idea of what was coming; what the vision of this new ministry in our church would be like. I was not certain what to expect, and quite frankly, neither was the pastor. The couple, Tom and Ruth Ann were stepping out in faith. They were new to such a ministry, and so was our church congregation.

In some ways, some of the things that they are doing and exploring can be similar to a marriage (in my opinion; I have no reference).  They are stepping out in faith into the unknown and willingly accepting difficulty through learning a great many different things about one another and about how others relate to one another.  They are going to encounter some uncomfortable moments while they go through this learning process, and they are going to experience some really exciting and stimulating moments that will encourage them to move forward in the new ministry.

My reason for the title for this particular blog is because each time I have attended these “dream team” meetings, I come out with that knowledge that the Lord needed to meet me there to convey something specifically to my heart that I was perhaps refusing to acknowledge with the hectic pace of my everyday life.  Perhaps it was my tardiness to worship rehearsal this past Sunday morning; my lack of compassion for some people that are in my life that I am acquaintances with, but should have taken the time to let them know that I was thinking about them; or how callous I have become to the needs of some important people around me just so that I can get things done….for me.  Those previous three items are things that came to my mind during the dream team meeting tonight.  To envision what a marriage partnership would look like; the unselfish act that it is truly meant to be, and to know that some people step into it not truly knowing what they are in for scared me.  But from a more personal standpoint, what does it mean for those that DO know what they are stepping into, and accept that challenge?  I know that none of us are perfect, but, how can we stand before another person and make those vows and say that we are going to put our needs second to the person that we are committing our lives to?

In my selfishness, I confess, that I buried my face in the comfort of my favorite vintage sweater that night thinking only of my brokenness.  Thinking of my past and present sins, thinking about who in the world could possibly take me on right now in this moment they way that I am.  I guess I was feeling quite hopeless because during the prayer, I just started crying.  I actually don’t really remember everything that I prayed because I was just overcome with the thoughts of those that don’t think about how their lives affect others; how much more will your life affect your future spouse!?  I became discouraged. Then, I became hopeful because He CANNOT leave me alone, He cannot leave me, He cannot forsake me.  It wasn’t an immediate happiness, but I was immediately reminded of the Father’s flawless character.  Praise Him that He puts some of these things in us that allow us to function; we truly do owe so many (ALL) of our greatest moments of realization and refreshment to Him alone.  Scripture is my only way out of the doldrums of discouragement when I consider my truly helpless estate (IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL).

“The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.  The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Psalm 145:8-9)

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound.  But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:19-21)

“Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is His treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6)

“Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.  For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all who wait for Him.”   (Isaiah 30:18)

Once you realize you’re broken, He replaces it with Him.  He mends everything.  It’s the only way I am able to literally walk; function; live.

If the above doesn’t seem to click for you, please consider listening to the song ‘Psalm 62’ by Shane & Shane.  The Lord sent it to me after the first dream team meeting for the marriage and families pastor.  I was so discouraged and so worn down by getting lost in my own fallen-ness.

“Oh I am calling out, oh my soul, oh my stubborn soul, won’t you wait on Him?!  Wait in the quiet, even in your fear, oh your God is here, to lean on!  He won’t move!!” (Shane & Shane – Psalm 62)

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