~~ Devotions and recipes for God's hurried people ~~

The Lord is Our Sanctuary

And he will be a sanctuary; . . . –Isaiah 8:14, KJV

A sanctuary is a sacred place set apart for a holy purpose to commune with God in intimate fellowship. It is a place of worship to find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-29). Psalm 65:4 says, “We will be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, Thy holy temple.” The Psalmist David prayed, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4). God calls each one of us to also seek the Lord, our Sanctuary, and strive to dwell in His holy presence. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Father: Today I choose to praise you, not because I feel joyful, not because I feel victorious, not even because I feel warm and fuzzy all over. I choose to praise you because you are my Sanctuary, the righteous and holy God, and the place where I find rest, hope, mercy, grace, and an incredible display of love. May you be high and lifted up in my life! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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BAKED PORK CHOPS

4-6 center cut thick pork chops
1-2 stalks celery, diced
4 ounces fresh or 1 small jar mushrooms, chopped
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk

Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish and place pork chops on bottom. Mix all other ingredients in bowl and pour over top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes; remove cover for last 15 minutes of cooking.

Sacrifice for Sins

He is the atoning sacrifice (propitiation) for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. —1 John 2:2

The definition of propitiation is to appease or to satisfy. In many religions, people seek to appease God or the gods with a variety of actions or rituals they believe will make their God or gods pleased. In contrast, Christianity reveals that Jesus Christ is our propitiation, the One who has satisfied the Father on our behalf so we can be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life. “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). By taking on a human form, Jesus came and offered Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf through His death on the cross. Christ alone is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and the hope we have to live eternally with Him.

Heavenly Father: My heart rejoices knowing you sacrificially atoned for not only my sins, but the sins of the whole world. Thank you for giving your life on the cross so I might be set free and live in victory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE

1 medium zucchini, cut in ½ inch slices
4 eggs, slightly beaten
½ cup milk
1 pound Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup bread crumbs
Butter

Cook zucchini in small amount of water until barely tender, about 5 minutes; drain and cool. Combine eggs, milk, cheese, salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir zucchini into egg mixture. Place in buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

The Rose of Sharon

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. – Song of Solomon 2:1, KJV

The rose is a beautiful flower that yields a lovely scent. It is considered to be the most perfect of all flowers. The Rose of Sharon signifies the flower of the field, with Sharon being a place wherein King David’s herds and cattle were fed (1 Chronicles 27:29). Roses that grow in a field are not planted by man, and are free to be enjoyed by all. But, they also allow wild animals to trod over them and destroy their beauty. Jesus calls himself the Rose of Sharon because, just like the flower, He is perfect and yields a most fragrant offering (Ephesians 5:2). How refreshing to the spiritual sense of the soul is the saving grace of Christ. Jesus was not planted by man, but by the hand of the Father. When brought forth into the field of this world, He was stricken and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:3-5). Just like the Rose of Sharon is free for all who partake of its beauty, Jesus Christ’s saving grace is free to anyone who calls on His Name (Romans 10:13).

Precious Lord and Savior: Today I call on your Name and surrender my all to you. To partake of your fragrant offering and yield my whole life to your perfect will is what I desire. Help me to rely on your strength when I am weak. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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FRIED CABBAGE

1 pound bacon, finely diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds cabbage, cut up in 2-inch pieces
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Fry bacon until crisp; remove from pan and set aside. Add chopped onion to bacon grease and cook until tender. Add cabbage, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and bacon bits to pan. Cover and cook over low heat until cabbage tender, stirring often.

The Lord is My Rock

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.             -Psalm 18:2

King David is rejoicing and praising God for delivering him from a past of sin, danger, and sorrow. David was a praying man and God’s presence was made manifest in his life. David’s life was spared many times by the Lord, and he often demonstrated exuberant praise to express his gratefulness. God not only delivered David from the hands of his enemies, but He will deliver all of us, who know and serve Him, out of our troubles, in due time. Meanwhile, He promises to be with us and never leave us! So, whether we are in a storm, coming out of a storm, or going into a storm, God is our Rock, our Fortress, our Refuge, our Shield, the Horn of our Salvation, and our Stronghold!

Father: You are the Great I am and the Rock of my Salvation. Because I have put my trust in You, I am forgiven and a victorious child of God. Give me strength to pursue to know You more, and to make You known. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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SWEET REFRIGERATOR PICKLES

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons celery seed (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups sliced cucumber
1 onion, thinly sliced

Mix everything together in a glass jar or other container. Rotate jar until sugar dissolved. Refrigerate at least 2 days before eating.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.     ~1 John 2:1

In God’s perfect world, that He originally created, there was so sin. His purpose was to see all of His glory manifested in all its fullness. But, that all changed when Adam and Eve chose to obey Satan, instead of God, in the Garden of Eden. Soon, God’s marvelous creation was marred, and yet, He had it all under control. Because God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, a plan was already in order as Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, was appointed by the Master Creator to atone for our sin. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:15-16). God has given us the grace to receive salvation; all we have to do is open the door, by faith, and invite Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, to walk into our hearts and lives.

Father: I believe and receive your plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. Forgive me of all my sin and help me to be set apart for Your purpose as I forsake the things of this world that bring disgrace to Your holy name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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CORN PARMESAN

1 pound frozen corn
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika

Melt butter in medium size skillet over medium heat. Add frozen corn (do not add water). Cook about 5-7 minutes; stir often. Add seasoning and cheese; mix well and serve.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” – John 11:25

This was the statement Jesus made to Martha, the grieving sister of Lazarus. News had reached Jesus that His good friend was sick, but instead of going to see him, He stayed where he was two more days. He told His puzzled disciples that Lazarus was “asleep” and the sickness was for God’s glory. Four days after Lazarus died, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. Martha was very upset and scolded Jesus for coming too late to heal her brother. When Jesus told her He was the Resurrection and Life, Martha assumed He meant the resurrection at the last day, but Jesus explained differently. Jesus shows that neither death nor time is an obstacle to Him. When He went to the burial tomb where Lazarus had been placed, and called out, “Lazarus, come forth,” the dead man came out. Truly, with Christ, death is but sleep. Death has no dominion over Him who is Life itself, nor does death have dominion over those who are in Him. Because Jesus lives, we live. Because He is Life, we have eternal life.

Eternal Father: Because I have repented of my sin and have placed my life in Your hands, I am promised eternal life. I cannot thank You enough for this marvelous gift. Help me to show my gratitude by telling others of your wondrous mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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CHICKEN SUPREME

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup

Place chicken in baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl; spread over chicken. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; then uncover and bake 30 minutes longer. For added flavor, sprinkle with bacon bits before baking.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” – John 11:25

This was the statement Jesus made to Martha, the grieving sister of Lazarus. News had reached Jesus that His good friend was sick, but instead of going to see him, He stayed where he was two more days. He told His puzzled disciples that Lazarus was “asleep” and the sickness was for God’s glory. Four days after Lazarus died, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. Martha was very upset and scolded Jesus for coming too late to heal her brother. When Jesus told her He was the Resurrection and Life, Martha assumed He meant the resurrection at the last day, but Jesus explained differently. Jesus shows that neither death nor time is an obstacle to Him. When He went to the burial tomb where Lazarus had been placed, and called out, “Lazarus, come forth,” the dead man came out. Truly, with Christ, death is but sleep. Death has no dominion over Him who is Life itself, nor does death have dominion over those who are in Him. Because Jesus lives, we live. Because He is Life, we have eternal life.

Eternal Father: Because I have repented of my sin and have placed my life in Your hands, I am promised eternal life. I cannot thank You enough for this marvelous gift. Help me to show my gratitude by telling others of your wondrous mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CHICKEN SUPREME

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup

Place chicken in baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl; spread over chicken. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; then uncover and bake 30 minutes longer. For added flavor, sprinkle with bacon bits before baking.

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