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In the Quiver by Marcy Martin - 2d ago

“Utajijue,” Fatima responded with a warm smile.

As a fairly new missionary, I was still in the language-learning phase so before I could respond and continue the conversation, I had to break down the Swahili word-phrase in my mind.

Literally translated, utajijue means you will yourself should know, so I was still confused about what Fatima was actually trying to say to me. The long pause in the conversation must have clued in my new friend to this fact. She then patiently began explaining to me that the phrase meant anything is fine with me; you know what’s best; decide and I will go along with your decision.

We agreed on our next meeting time and parted ways, but the meaning of utajijue lingered in my mind. The phrase was simple and short, yet it communicated so much: a willingness to be flexible to what another person chooses and a trust of the decision of the person on the other end of the conversation.

Our God is omniscient, or all-knowing. While we may know this as a learned fact, we often do not respond to God as such because, as Romans 11:33 states, our human minds cannot fathom the depths of His wisdom and knowledge.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
• Romans 11:33 •

As humans, we often forget things, sometimes even minutes after hearing them. We may learn something new every day, yet we are still missing immense amounts of knowledge and understanding. And while we can make some guesses or assumptions about our future, we don’t actually know for sure even what the next second of our lives or others’ lives will hold. So it’s hard for us to fully comprehend the fact that God never forgets anything, has nothing left to learn, and knows exactly what every second of every person’s future holds.

When we start to dwell on God’s omniscience, it should humbly bring us to a place where we can say to God, “Utajijue.” Which is to say: God, Anything You decide is fine with me; You know what is best for Your glory, and I want to do your will.

When we are able to communicate this to God, it shows Him we have a heart that

  • recognizes the riches of His knowledge and wisdom.
  • trusts in His will and decisions for our lives.
  • is willing to obey Him even when we can’t completely understand His ways or judgments.

• Prayer •

Heavenly Father, Utajijue. Whatever you want for me I’m okay with, even if it’s not part of my plans. You are all-knowing and know what is best for my life and Your glory. Reveal to me Your ways and I will obey you. Amen.

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In the Quiver by Leigh Ann Thomas - 1w ago

I drove my first car—my parents’ 1959 Ford Station Wagon—when I was three-and-a-half years old. I was actually pretty good at keeping it between the ditches.

Perched on Dad’s lap, gripping the steering wheel in tiny fists, I would squeak out instructions as we puttered along the rarely traveled side-road near our house:  “Daddy, go faster! Daddy, stop…Daddy help!”

The urgent words were always swallowed up in laughter—both his and mine. I wasn’t really afraid. With all my preschool wisdom, I knew that Daddy would never let us run off the road. His strong hands would slip up, covering mine and making corrections. This was accompanied by his gentle rumble in my ear—easy; keep your eyes on the road; don’t turn too hard.

That’s the kind of relationship that our Lord wants with us.

In the book of Isaiah, we read how the Lord longed to show guidance and compassion to a rebellious people. God’s chosen ones insisted on their own way, turning to false gods to lead them. In their refusal to listen to the Lord God, their misery increased, and in the chaos of disobedience, they lost the joy of fellowship with the One who created them.

How often this happens in our lives! We cling to our own way, stubbornly refusing to heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We dig in and drive ourselves straight into a ditch—completely off the road God has prepared for us. The results?

Frustration. Anxiousness. Misery.

But our Lord offers so much more!

Are we taking time to direct our focus into the mirror of God’s Word? Are there areas in our lives where we are insisting on our own way? Are we drowning out His still small voice with our shouts of I-can-do-it-myself?

Listen, with a still, quiet, and seeking heart…

Easy, my child, easy. Keep your eyes on Me.

Thank you, Lord, for providing the Way to have a real relationship with You. How amazing that You offer us the joy of knowing and loving You! Help me to listen to Your gentle whispers.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.”
• Isaiah 30:21 •

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In a way, this recipe is the companion to the Pineapple-Tarragon Chicken Salad recipe because for the last few months I’ve taken to boiling a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts and using half of the chicken in the chicken salad and the other half (and all of the broth) for this soup. If I make boil the chicken early in the week, we are able to stretch out the salad and soup for several meals.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2-4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 can peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can green beans, drained and rinsed
  • half box of rotini noodles*
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and pulled
  • salt, pepper and basil to taste
Instructions:
  • Heat olive oil in large stock pot.
  • Add chopped carrots and celery. Cook on medium-high heat until vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add green beans and peas (and any other desired vegetables). Cook on medium heat until vegetable mixture softens.
  • Add broth. Bring to boil, stirring regularly.
  • Add tomato sauce and water. Bring back to boil, stirring well.
  • Add noodles. Stir regularly and bring back to boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low.
  • Let soup cook on low for 10 minutes.
  • Add pulled chicken. Bring to boil.
  • Add spices.
  • Once boiling, turn heat to low. Let soup simmer until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off burner and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

>> Notes

  • Use more or less water or broth for desired thickness.
  • Substitute fresh or frozen vegetables for canned vegetables. Or substitute leftover cooked vegetables.
  • * Works well with gluten-free noodles for those with dietary restrictions.
  • If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, be sure to carefully read the labels for all ingredients, including condiments and spices. For example, some brands of ingredients (especially sauces, salsas, etc.) may contain gluten and/or soy and/or fish/shellfish and/or carrogeenan (a seaweed-derived food additive difficult for some people to tolerate).

cover photo courtesy of Pexels.com

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This Memorial Day,
In the Quiver honors those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country
and thanks all those who serve.

If you would like to share this graphic on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram & other social media accounts, please include the tag #inthequiver (the English teacher in me is a real stickler for citing sources!).

Thanks so much!

unless otherwise noted * graphics/text © 2019 hilary hall

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In the Quiver by Hilwolfe - 1M ago

Let me just go ahead and get this out in the open:

 I am an English teacher.

Which means that, yes, I am crazy about all the books and writings you had to slog through in high school. I love it all—from Shakespeare and Chaucer right on up to Hemingway and Fitzgerald and beyond.

It also means that I approach the Bible like an English teacher, viewing the Bible as one complete story with so much wisdom, beauty, poetry, history, numerology, and other wonders to be revealed in its pages.

And so much is revealed:

• deep things of God,

• prayers of an ancient people,

• heroic deeds and misadventures of cultural icons,

• wooing words to a beloved,

• visions from another realm,

• practical instructions for institutional administration.

I’ve put this English-teacher approach into practice by teaching Sunday School for high school upperclassmen, starting in Genesis and proceeding through the Bible.

I can’t attest to how the juniors and seniors feel about it, but I for one have been very excited about this opportunity to begin at the beginning and see afresh the living Word of God unfold through dozens and dozens of stories:

• Of a man and a woman and a fresh start.

• Of a stiff-necked people and a forgiving God.

• Of a lonely wanderer under a sky full of stars.

• Of the rightful heir coming to reclaim the throne.

• Of women taking a chance.

• Of men taking a stand.

• Of militias and miracles and monarchs and martyrs.

• Of hurt and healing and hearts and hope.

So many stories, but they all tell the same story:

The story of love and redemption, of freedom and justice, of grace and restoration. Of a God who created a people He loved so much that He sacrificed His only Son to redeem those people from sin, set them free from death, and give them a place in His presence for all eternity.

We may have a hard time thinking that one single story has any real bearing on the Bible as a whole, with its many books and chapters that span hundreds of years and hundreds of people.

But a comparison to something more modern—something the high-schoolers I teach can relate to (and maybe you can too)—may help us understand how one small story can have a big impact.

In this day and age and culture, streaming a television show has become not only possible but extremely popular. In decades past, television shows were viewed once a week at set time on a set day with an entire week between episodes and an entire season stretching over a year. Today, though, many shows can be viewed in their entirety in matter of days, accessible whenever viewers have the time and desire to kick back and tune in.

When viewers do tune in and select a specific show to watch, the display screen shows the series name, the number of seasons, and the list of episodes. The episodes themselves are broken down into scenes, and each scene is made up of a sequence of framed shots.

Compare the Bible to a streaming TV show like this:

The entire show series is like the entire Bible.

Each of the show’s seasons is like a book of the Bible.

Each episode in a season is like a chapter in a book of the Bible.

Each scene in an episode is a like a passage in a Bible chapter (passages are usually denoted with headings).

Each frame in a scene is like an individual Bible verse.

Frame by frame, scene by scene, slowly the complete story comes into view, with each episode of a television series furthering the plot of that entire series and revealing more details about characters, more thickenings of plots, more significant objects that will be important later. Each small piece contributes its share to the grand, overarching storyline so that the narrative of the entire series is complete. Every part matters.

So too with the Bible.

Each chapter has significance. Each story offers a fresh insight into the character of God, unveiling meaning in names, numbers, and events and imparting truth through lessons, warnings, and examples. Verse by verse, the full story of God’s love and man’s redemption is brought to light.

It is a long story and a true one. An old one that never gets old. Where every word counts and each story matters.

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In the Quiver by Marcy Martin - 1M ago

Most of us have experienced a time when a circumstance or event in our lives has been different from what we wanted—a distressing phone call in the middle of the night, unfavorable medical test results, or pain resulting from the actions of a friend or family member. These are times that are filled with heartache, grief, disappointment, and anxiety.

The experience of such emotions is natural and acceptable, but when we focus our hearts on our feelings and not on truths from God, we are allowing our hearts to deceive us.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

• Jeremiah 17:9 •

When our hearts continually deceive us by dwelling upon our negative emotions instead of learning from them how to draw closer to God and His truths, we are allowing our feelings to steal our minds away from God.

It is at this point that our emotions become an idol in our lives. While we may think of idols as statues of false gods, an idol is anything that fills our minds more than God does and takes our focus away from Him and our relationship with Him.

God wants us to put nothing before Him, so when we allow our own emotions to reign supreme in our minds, we are breaking the first of the Ten Commandments—the one that in Matthew 22 Jesus labels as the greatest commandment: We are not loving God with all of my heart, soul, and mind.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This is the great and foremost commandment…”

• Matthew 22:36-38 •

God wants our minds on Him and for everything else—including our emotions—to be secondary. We can learn to be more obedient to Him by countering our deceitful hearts with truths from God’s word when we go through circumstances that cause our emotions to overwhelm us.

Through His word, God will give us the strength to tear down emotional idols we have erected in our minds and to love and follow Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind.

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Girlfriends are rather, you know, awesome. We can talk about most anything—from being a mom, to who’s having a sale on ground beef, to the pros and cons of the latest weight-loss trick.

Women seem to have a unique way of connecting with each other—even as strangers. I’ve had in-depth conversations in medical waiting rooms about mammograms, the cost of insurance, and “where in the world did you get that cute outfit?”

We are wired to share. We long for community.

God has given us an amazing gift to grow and nurture these longings.  And it strengthens our friendships by strengthening our relationship with Him.

Have you experienced the joy and intimacy of praying with a sister in Christ? There’s nothing quite like it.

Here are 3 ways that prayer deepens our friendships:

1 • As we pray together, the Holy Spirit moves to give understanding. 

We are fellow warriors as we strive to be Christ-centered wives, mothers, and friends. We hold each other accountable in each relationship, urging one another toward vibrant, purposeful living.

2 • As we pray together, we stand in the gap for our sisters. 

There are times our hearts are breaking over circumstances, and we simply don’t have the strength or the words to pray. Or maybe we’re struggling with issues of submission or self-discipline. Our prayer-sister reaches out with the love of Christ and gives words to our hurting hearts—laying our worries and concerns before the Throne of Grace.

3 •  As we pray together, we grow in our personal walk with Christ by witnessing His power at work in the lives of our friends. 

As God moves and draws our sisters into deeper waters, we are blessed and encouraged with fresh perspective for our unique journeys.

The first time we pray with a friend may feel awkward. But when we focus on the One Who created us and simply open our hearts before Him, our self-consciousness melts away and we are drawn into a sweet circle of communion.

What an adventure to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of our friends! And what a special privilege to share this journey with those we love.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing

• 1 Thessalonians 5:11 •

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For a time, I tried out and adapted many a chicken salad recipe, but like most Southern women, I’ve finally settled on the one I consider my own. But unlike most Southern women, I’m sharing the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups cooked chicken breast, pulled
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise*
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple with
  • 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions:
  • Combine chicken and mayonnaise in large bowl.
  • Add pineapple and pineapple juice and mix well.
  • Add celery and combine.
  • Add spices and combine.
  • For best results, chill before serving.

>> Notes

  • Use more or less mayonnaise as desired for texture and taste.
  • Actually, use more or less of everything as suits your desired texture and taste. I don’t typically measure as I go, so each batch is a little different!
  • * I’m not trying to promote a product, but I can’t help but mention that Duke’s Mayonnaise really makes a difference in this recipe.
  • If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, be sure to carefully read the labels for all ingredients, including condiments and spices. For example, some brands of ingredients (especially sauces, salsas, etc.) may contain gluten and/or soy and/or fish/shellfish and/or carrogeenan (a seaweed-derived food additive difficult for some people to tolerate).

cover photo courtesy of Pexels.com

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This healthy, one-pan dish has become a go-to for my family. With easy clean-up and vegetables that are flavored with bacon, it is a favorite!

If you don’t like the veggies in this recipe, just substitute them for your family’s favorites. Sliced red peppers and/or onions can be added to this recipe as an excellent variation and add tons of flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. of chicken tenders (or breasts cut in smaller pieces)
  • 1.5 lb. bag of baby multicolored potatoes
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 lb. brussel sprouts (halved)
  • 1 lb. broccoli (cut to florets)
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon (for marinade option 1)
  • Italian dressing (for marinade option 2)
Chicken Marinade:

If you can plan ahead, marinate your chicken anywhere from 20 minutes to 8 hours to allow the flavors to infuse. If you are short on time, this recipe is still delicious if you simply coat your chicken in the marinade prior to roasting.

There are two options for marinating or coating the chicken—one that is simple and another that is super-simple.

> option 1: 
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
> option 2:
  • 6 ounces of Italian dressing (Now that is easy…you’re welcome!)
Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Use a large sheet pan with rimmed edges and cover with foil (to make clean-up easier) and spray with olive oil.

If you chose to use firmer root vegetables in your dish like potatoes and carrots boil these together for 10 minutes prior to mixing them with other vegetables.

In a large bowl, or in pot you boiled root vegetables, mix together all the vegetables and toss until well coated in:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed garlic (or 1/2 tsp of garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary (or 1/2 tsp of dried Rosemary)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Arrange chicken on one side of the pan and place veggies in the remaining area. Lay slices of bacon on top of vegetables.

Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes. You may need to move or stir the vegetables midway if the softer veggies like broccoli are browning on one side too quickly. Cook until chicken and bacon are thoroughly cooked. Bacon will be crisp, and chicken juices will be clear.

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