You Are Already Walking on Water

We try to live a holy life, separated from that which makes us weak.  Still, life can be a struggle on a daily basis and when confronted with strife, we appeal to God.

  “Lord I do what you ask of me. I have been obedient to your word, I have sacrificed and I have suffered! Why are these things still happening to me?”

Many times we look for answers within our Pastor, Worship Leaders, colleagues, friends and the most often heard answer is “just have faith.”   If we are honest with ourselves the “just have faith” or “I’m praying for you” responses are frustrating for one simple reason—how does that solve an immediate need? The struggle is still there the problem still exists.

However, perhaps the lens of our focus should be shifted. Perhaps we need to be reminded that the struggle of life’s oppositions and challenges are meant to sharpen the weapon of the mind and harden the fibers of our faith.

Every now and then, in order to press forward, we need to be reminded of what we have overcome. If your child was ever sick and is now healed—you’ve seen the sun stopped (Joshua 10:13).  If you were ever on the verge of eviction and you’re still in your home—you’ve seen a red sea parted  (Exodus 14:21). If you have EVER been broke, lied to or cheated on and are still standing—you’ve seen 5,000 men fed with a few loaves and water (Matthew 14:13-21).

The point of this life is to take the good with the bad and value each moment as a victory. God, in all his wisdom, has made us more than conquerors and I am excited to see how he will gently guide us to where we need to be! My prayer for many, including myself, is that each day brings us a revelation of just how strong we are and with the power of the Holy Spirit may we continue to walk on water.

THE POWER OF WOMEN: 8 DYNAMIC TRAITS SURE TO INSPIRE YOU

THE POWER OF WOMEN: 8 DYNAMIC TRAITS SURE TO INSPIRE YOU

As modern-day women, we seem to have more on our plates now than at any other time in history.  It’s as if there aren’t enough hours in the day to balance the mountain of responsibilities heaped upon our shoulders.  We start our days on the run, stressed-out and worried that we’re unable to manage in our multiple roles as wife, daughter, mother, and career woman. We end our days seeking a moment of solace, immersed in our favorite TV shows or social media outlets. But instead of peace, we’re bombarded with soul-shaking stories and images which seem to challenge our progress as a nation, our strengths as women; or, worst of all, our faith in God.

We also know that we should first make sure we’re fit and healthy, in order to be at our best for others. However, with so much to do and so little time, we go to bed exhausted and awaken the same way; unsure of how we’ll summon the strength to rise again and start another day.

If there’s one thing I know for sure though, we cannot lose heart when the help we need might be as close as the nightstand beside us. The bible tells us the whole story of our history, and it has the key to our empowerment.  Women throughout history – from the Queen of Sheba to Harriet Tubman to Oprah Winfrey – have gained strength from its source.  Here’s a list of eight dynamic qualities of women in the bible to inspire and fortify you:

Prayer Warrior. Women in the bible exemplify the power of prayer.  Hannah’s prayers produce a warrior for God (1Samuel1:9-11); Anna’s prayers are rewarded with the promise of God’s New Kingdom (Luke 2:36–38).

Support system.  Together, Naomi and Ruth use Godly wisdom to secure their family’s future – changing the course of history (Book of Ruth). 

Purpose-driven. To cure her condition, one woman endures the possibility of distain, scorn, and banishment in order to connect with Jesus. She allows nothing to deter her from the healing Power of God, giving us a shining example of unwavering faith (Matthew 9:20-22).

Entrepreneur.  The woman described in Proverbs 31 is a hard-working, enterprising, industrious entrepreneur who not only weaves her own fabrics (Proverbs 31:19), but from that fabric she also “makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants” (Proverbs 31:10-31).

Prophet.  Deborah knows what would save her nation from oppression.  She aligns herself with a leader named Barak who can get the job done (Judges 4).

Life-saver. Esther uses the power of grace, fasting, and marriage to save her people from extermination (Book of Esther).

Ruler of Nations. The Queen of Sheba uses wisdom and discernment before giving King Solomon her blessing (1 Kings 10:1-13): but Jesus warns a disobedient generation that they will not have the same results! (Matthew 12:42)

Mother of Humankind. Eve is the first woman – mother of us all (Genesis 3:20). And to Mary, a Savior is born, whose existence gives us the only living example of our fullest potential (Matthew 1:18-21).

As a gift from us to you, we’ve attached a colorful download of this list here –  8QualitiesofWomen ; print it out and keep it handy for the next time you need to boost your faith.  Stay strong, encouraged, and focused on the Promise of The Word.  As women, we can do all things through Him.

Written by Karen Lascaris

Recipe: Warm Roasted Squash Salad with Kale & Quinoa

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Colorful, warm, and very satisfying, this salad combines dark leafy greens, roasted butternut squash and organic red quinoa.  Pronounced “keen-wah”, this ancient rice-like ‘super-food’ is loaded with antioxidants and heart-healthy nutrients. You can serve this salad with grilled salmon for added protein – but it’s a full meal all by itself.  Try it during fasting season too. Many thanks to Brother Darryl Ike for supplying our kale from his own garden.

Genesis 2:9 – And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.

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Warm Roasted Squash Salad with Kale & Quinoa

½ butternut squash, cut into ½” cubes

2 yellow Summer squash, sliced lengthwise into ¼ ” slices

1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped into ½” strips

1 head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into large pieces

½ cup of organic red quinoa

1 cup of water

¼ cup of chopped toasted pecans

I clove of garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 teaspoons of seasoned salt

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of coarse-ground black pepper

Orange Dijon Dressing (below)

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cubed butternut squash with cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and seasoned salt.

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Toss until coated.

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Spread in a single layer onto baking sheet.

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Place onto the top rack of the oven and roast about 15 minutes until tender*.  Remove from oven and set aside.

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In a medium frying pan, add one teaspoon of olive oil; sauté garlic until light brown.  Add kale and ½ cup of water; season with ½ teaspoon of salt, sauté about 10 minutes until bright green and softened. Remove to a bowl; keep warm.

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In a medium saucepan,  combine the quinoa, water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium pot.

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Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the water i absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

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Remove from heat and leave covered 10 minutes. Remove quinoa to a small bowl; keep warm.

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Brush yellow squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with seasoned salt and remaining black pepper. 

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Brush griddle with two teaspoons of olive oil.

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Heat; add squash slices to griddle.

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After 5 minutes, check for grill marks; then turn.  Grill remaining side; remove to dish, keep warm.
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Now that you have all of the elements prepared, it’s time to assemble!

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Add pecans to the quinoa; blend.

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In a large bowl, add lettuce.

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Add kale to lettuce. Add dressing; toss.

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Reserve 1/4 of the quinoa blend to use as garnish. Add remaining quinoa-pecan blend to the lettuce-kale mixture.  

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Spoon mixture into a large serving bowl.

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Layer with squash and remaining quinoa.

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Serves 4.

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  *HELPFUL TIPS:

  • This recipe has several moving parts, so it might help to prepare some items ahead of time.
  • While the butternut squash is roasting, you can use the time to prepare other elements, like the kale, lettuce or dressing.
  • You can also substitute cooked barley or brown rice for the quinoa.
  • ORANGE DIJON DRESSING: Combine ¼ cup of orange juice, ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of coarse mustard, 1 teaspoon of honey.  Mix well. Enjoy!

All photos and recipe, © 2014, Karen Lascaris.

 

 

Inspiring Quotes from Great Women

There have been many influential women that have provided a springboard for younger generations to emulate.  Whether it is from living a better life, succeeding in your career, may you be inspired from the quotes below.  Each quote was hand selected to encourage you to live your life to the fullest from women of God that have a track record of influence, success and change.

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”  Titus 2: 3-5

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”— Rosa Parks, African-American civil rights activist

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”— Marie Curie, chemist and physicist

“A woman is the full circle.  Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform.”— Diane Mariechild, author of “Mother of Wit”

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”— Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple”

“You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something that has never existed before, it’s impossible.”— Rita Dove, first African-American poet laureate of the U.S.

“As women, we must stand up for ourselves. As women, we must stand up for each other. As women, we much stand up for justice for all.” –First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama

“The best protection any woman can have…is courage.”— Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American abolitionist

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”— Oprah Winfrey, first successful African-American woman in media

If you wish to add a quote to this list, simply enter it below.

10 Ways to Be a Better You

The constant upload of photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram can be a bit overwhelming. You see a photo of your friend’s awesome ski trip and immediately think, “wow…his life most be awesome” and immediately feel guilty about your own.

Sometimes it’s harder to just focus on sharpening  you and be satisfied with who you are.

Our lives are a constant exercise in self-improvement and while the majority of the focus lands on education and promotions at work, sometimes we forget that being a better person involves how we treat ourselves and those around us. Below are 10 Ways to Be a Better You.

1. Get up early and confront Your Day.  Everyone recommends this but after spending late nights at the office or getting caught up o your favorite shows on Hulu—getting up early is a task within itself.  But set your alarm an hour earlier. You’ll be amazed by how many more things you can cram into your day.

2. Remind the people in your life how much they mean to you.  You can do this by simply sending a ‘good morning’ text.

3. Work on making yourself a little more accountable to the people around you. Sometimes this starts by talking less and listening more.  James 1:19 – Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak… You will learn more about who you’re interacting with know what EXACTLY they need from you.

4. Smile more and laugh more. You can do this by being aware of the joy that’s already around you, and if all you see is pain, transform it into laughter. Psalms 30:5- Pain may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning., Romans 12:2-Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

5. Learn how to apologize. I think there’s nothing that makes us more beautifully human than making mistakes and owning up to them. 1 John 2:16 – Our foolish pride comes from this world.

6. Let go of our anger, envy and hatred.  Ephesians 4:31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you.

7. Complain less and make fewer excuses. Learn to enjoy your life and not always focus on what is bad, what is wrong and why you can’t or didn’t do something. 1 Timothy – They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.

8. Do something nice for someone else — the kind of favor you might not see returned.

9. Give someone a completely unsolicited compliment. If you see something you like on someone where’s the harm in saying so?  9 times out of 10 they will be shocked but gracious which will make you smile harder.

10.  Try to have conversations with people you casually meet in everyday life. Find out the name of the woman you see all the time at the grocery store and engage her. You never know what you will learn from someone else’s experiences.