Blog

fear

Fear Not!

img_3060

I went to clean out the pool skimmer basket and jumped back. This terrifying looking snake was waiting for me. I quickly realized it was not alive. Phew. I was safe but still freaked out knowing a snake had been in our pool. The same pool we swim in freely. Now I was questioning if I should ever swim in the pool again.

There is an epidemic running rampant these days. No, it’s not that one. Fear is out of control. We are told in hundreds, if not thousands of ways, every single day to “be afraid”. Fear the virus, fear the new variants, fear getting the vaccine, fear not getting the vaccine, fear inflation, fear the potential food shortages, fear losing your livelihood if you disagree with someone, fear natural disasters, fear the rise in crime, fear the government, fear your neighbors, fear travel, fear pollution, fear standing up for your convictions.

These fears are based on potential outcomes that are legitimate. I call these, “What if’s”. It’s the worst case scenario that runs through our mind. It does not mean any of it will happen, but it could possibly happen, so we need to operate in fear, right? Wrong.

All of this fear comes from the enemy. The devil is real, and he loves to spread fear by lying. He’s very good at it. Jesus does not mince words when talking about the enemy.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44, NASB

As followers of Jesus we are to be wise and discerning. Don’t let fear motivate your decisions. Make decisions based on Godly wisdom and discernment. How do you do that?

Pray. Ask God for wisdom and clarity on those things which cause you fear. He will show you what is really going on. He will give you peace and comfort. He will also help you know how to respond.

Trust God fully. You can stand firmly on The Rock, even when you cannot see. He sees all. He knows all. He loves you.

Stay in The Word. God’s word is the truth. With the bombardment of lies we must go to the truth.

Worship. Turn up the worship music and turn off the news, social media, and all the other stuff that fills our minds. Praise God simply for who He is.

Fear is a spiritual battle so we must use our spiritual weapons.

When you feel afraid let that be a reminder to take your fear to Jesus. If you have to take your fear to Jesus a thousand times in one day then do it. He is always available and able to help you.

We are in a fearful time in history. There are plenty of very real things to be afraid of. As Christ followers we are not to live in fear. Sounds easy. It’s not always easy, but it is possible to stand our ground in faith without fear. You can guarantee the scary stuff will come. It’s our response to it that makes all the difference.

You belong to God.

For you are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26, NASB

Jesus intercedes for you.

Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Romans 8:34, NASB

Jesus is always with you.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20, NKJV

The Holy Spirit will help you.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. John 14:26, NASB

God will never forsake you.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5, NKJV

The Lord is your helper.

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6, NKJV

Things are not always as they seem. Remember my creepy snake? It was actually just a baby snake. Discernment is essential when there is so much deception.

img_3061

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

Praise Your holy name. Thank you for your faithfulness and goodness. I lift up every person who is gripped with fear. Give them peace, comfort, and wisdom. Help them to see with their spiritual eyes the truth of Your soverignty. May they experience Your incredible presence in new ways. Lift their heads and their eyes towards You. Give us all wisdom and discernment to know truth from lies. Let us hear Your voice above all the noise of this world. Shine Your light through us to a dark and hurting world.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

dsc00452

My family loves kabobs. They are a fun, delicious way to cook meat and vegetables. You can easily customize them for each person. The possibilities are limitless as to what type of kabobs you can create. 

These teriyaki kabobs are fantastic. The marinade is the perfect balance of tangy, savory and spicy. Making your own teriyaki sauce takes just a few minutes, and the freshness and flavor can’t be beat. It’s better than any store-bought teriyaki sauce. 

I am not an expert on the grill, but my husband is. He has been grilling kabobs our entire marriage, which is a very long time. Well over a quarter of a century of cooking over open flame. This is his teriyaki recipe, and it’s a winner. So fire up that grill, and get ready to dig into a delightful meal.

Happy Eating!

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

dsc00472

Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs 

Ingredients

2 cups pineapple juice

2 cups low sodium soy sauce 

½ cup brown sugar

5 cloves crushed garlic

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flake

4 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces

2 tablespoons cornstarch to thicken the sauce (do not add to the marinade)

1 tablespoon of water to mix with the cornstarch

Optional for the kabobs

pineapple chunks

yellow onion chopped

red onion chopped

sliced green onion for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and red pepper flake. You will have 4 cups total.
  2. Cut chicken breasts evenly into bite sized pieces.
  3. Place the cut up chicken in a large resealable bag. Add 1 cup of the teriyaki sauce. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. 
  4. Keep the remaining 3 cups of marinade in the refrigerator. While the chicken is marinating, make the teriyaki sauce that will be used for dipping. 
  5. In a small saucepan take 2 cups of the remaining teriyaki sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of water with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering sauce and whisk until smooth and thickened. Take it off the heat and let it cool. You can do this the night before and keep the thickened sauce in the refrigerator until you cook the kabobs or make it the same day.
  6. Keep the 1 cup of remaining sauce aside for basting while grilling. This is optional. You can use all remaining teriyaki marinade for sauce if you prefer. 
  7. Assemble the kabobs with pieces of chicken, onion, and pineapple.
  8. Leave prepared kabobs out at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.
  9. Heat the gas grill to medium. Spray the grill grates with cooking oil.
  10.  Grill kabobs for about 20 minutes until the chicken is done. Every 5 minutes turn the kabobs. Baste with teriyaki sauce 3 or 4 times throughout grilling. 
  11. Enjoy!

Notes

*You can use up to 6 chicken breasts with this recipe.

*Marinating overnight is ideal. 

dsc00455

For all of my monthly recipes go to Mustard Seed Sentinel, Meghan’s Corner.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-teriyaki-chicken-kabobs

 

Prayer

Pray Like Elijah

img_4518

Prayer is one of the most powerful things we can do as Christians. Sometimes we make it our last resort, which I’ve been guilty of. Prayer can be treated like a task on a to do list. We sigh and pray because all of our other efforts have failed. 

Prayer should not be the last hopeless act for the Christian. Prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon. We are not praying to the air, or the clouds, or a mysterious god. We are coming to the Throne of Grace of Almighty God. He answers His children when we call. 

Pray like Elijah.

Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:17-18, NIV 

Elijah was a prophet during a turbulent time in Israel’s history. God used him in an exceptional way. When he was sent into hiding by God the ravens fed him (1 Kings 17:2-6). God sent Elijah to stay with a widow, and her flour and oil miraculously never ran out. When the widow’s son was deathly ill, Elijah pleaded with God for the boy’s life, and God healed the child (1 Kings 17:7-24).

One of Elijah’s most famous moments is with the prophets of Baal. He called down fire from heaven which burned up the sacrifice and everything around it. All the people fell to the ground and cried, “The Lord, he is God! The Lord, he is God!” (1 Kings 18:39). Then Elijah slaughtered the 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:40). 

When Elijah prayed earnestly for rain. He climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. Elijah sent his servant six times to look toward the sea for signs of rain. On the seventh time the servant reported “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea” (1 Kings 18:44).

But Elijah was just a regular person like you and me. He got tired and discouraged, just like we all do at times. When Elijah fled in fear of Jezebel he begged God to take his life. That did not stop God from encouraging Elijah, and still using him greatly.

Elijah was a superstar prayer warrior who got to experience many miracles. Clearly he was gifted by God, but still just a human like us. Elijah was obedient and did what God asked of him time and time again. 

Elijah prayed according to God’s will.

Elijah prayed for rain and it did not rain for three and a half years. He asked God to change the weather and God did. This was all according to God’s plan. 

Elijah had to completely rely on God.

God sent Elijah to hide in a ravine with no food or water. He had to trust that God would do exactly as He told him by providing water from the brook and ravens to bring food. 

Elijah asked God for miracles.

God healed the widow’s son after Elijah pleaded for the boy’s life. He called fire down from heaven. These are no small feats. Only God could perform such miracles.

Elijah prayed earnestly.

He continued to pray and sent his servant seven times to look for rain. Elijah kept praying until there was rain. 

Elijah’s prayers resulted in God being glorified.

During the sacrifice he prayed to God. Elijah asked the Lord to answer him so the people will know that the Lord is God, and that they would turn their hearts back to Him. 

Our prayers can be as powerful as Elijah’s. 

What if we prayed bigger bolder prayers?

Not just prayers for our personal needs, which we should do. Prayers for salvation. Prayers for our country to turn to God. Prayers for the salvation of our unsaved friends and family. Prayers for healing, forgiveness, peace, miracles. Prayers for the impossible. What if? 

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16b, NIV 

When we pray we are calling on God Almighty. Our righteousness is from our faith in Jesus Christ. This means our prayers are powerful. This is an amazing gift from God. When we pray, God moves. We can pray just like Elijah did, and watch God do marvelous works that bring glory and honor to His name. 

Help us Lord, to want what You want.

Let’s pray like Elijah.

Love you all,

Meghan 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the amazing gift of prayer. We can come to you at any time, any place. You will never turn us away. Teach us to pray big faith-filled prayers. May we ask according to Your will. Help us to clearly hear the Holy Spirit as we pray. All glory, honor, and praise to You!

In Jesus name,

Amen

Trials

Light At the End of the Tunnel

img_3176

You are either in the middle of a difficult season, just got out of a difficult season, or you are about to enter a difficult season.

I’ve heard a lot of pastors say some version of this over the years, and it’s true. There are so many metaphors for hard times. Maybe you’ve been in a dessert, valley, storm, darkness, tunnel, or any other word to describe a painful place. We’ve all been there, or are in the hard place right now.

I am still in a difficult season but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light gives me hope as we journey out with Jesus leading the way. At times it has been dark and I could not see anything in front of me. It was all unknown, but Jesus has always known the outcome. He said “Trust me”.

Yesterday the hospital bed was picked up from our house by the medical supply company. Tom (my husband) has been using the stairs again, and he’s getting better going up and down. It’s still very painful but at least now he’s not crawling up the stairs. Blessings. I count every single blessing each day, no matter how small.

As I look back on these months of sickness, hospitalizations, catheters, surgeries, drain tubes, piles of prescriptions, endless doctors visits, labs, and pain, a lot of pain, I see God’s grace. His mighty hand has guided us through these mirky waters. And He is still guiding us as we don’t have every single thing completely resolved. As hard as that is, that’s alright.

I don’t like not knowing what’s going to happen. I am a planner to the core, and that doesn’t work very well as a Christ follower. I have learned time and time again over the many years of being a Christian to “Let go, Let God”. Simple yet true, and very difficult for me to do at times.

God is always faithful. He has carried, provided, encouraged, and healed us. God is a perfect loving Father as He has cared for our every need. No, He did not just make it all go away. God made a way through it, which has tested and stretched our faith.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7, NIV

If it’s dark for you right now, hold on to Jesus. He is the way out. There is much to learn in the hard times. Your faith will grow as you follow Jesus. He can see what you cannot, and some of it you just don’t need to see. There is light at the end of your tunnel, and it’s beautiful.

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

You are awesome, holy God. I lift up those who are in the difficult places right now. They can’t see and they are afraid. Encourage them. Remind them that they are never alone. Carry them and help them see You through it all. Provide for their every need, and make a way out as they follow You. Give them peace.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Food

Caprese Skewers

dsc00476

This delicious appetizer is super easy to make. All you’re doing is assembling a few simple ingredients. No cooking, no heating up the oven. You can make these ahead of time and add the balsamic vinegar right before serving.

If you like Caprese salad which uses sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil then you will love Caprese skewers. It’s the same thing just bite-sized. These little skewers make a great snack, appetizer, or side dish.

I keep mine very simple and only sprinkle salt and fresh ground black pepper. You can easily add dried herbs if that’s what you like. Make them as small or large as you want. I have made them with regular sized toothpicks or larger like the ones pictured.

Happy Eating!

dsc00481

Caprese Skewers

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 8oz. container mini mozzarella balls

large sprig of fresh basil (cut basil leaves in half)

balsamic vinegar

salt

fresh ground black pepper

toothpicks or bamboo skewers

Directions

  1. Slide a tomato, then half of a basil leaf, then fresh mozzarella on a skewer. Repeat until there are two of each item on your skewer. If you are using toothpicks just add one of each item.
  2. Lay the skewers on a platter. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over everything. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Cut bamboo skewers in half to make larger appetizers.
  • The basil wilts once it’s in the refrigerator but it still tastes good.
  • If you can’t find mini mozzarella balls just cut up small pieces of fresh mozzarella.