Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Best Grilled Chicken Ever

We have never ever gotten grilled chicken right. I've used tons of different seasoning concoctions and various marinades, store-bought and homemade, and we've never been impressed. And Paul will admit when it comes to chicken, he usually didn't quite get the whole grilling process right. So between the two of us, chicken on the grill was relatively flavorless and dry, at best.

But a couple of weekends ago we decided to give it another go, and it turned out SO SO good--both flavorful and tender/juicy. Props to my hubs for mastering the grill. I googled "easy grilled chicken marinade" and stumbled across this one. I followed the recipe pretty closely except for proportions (I basically halved everything) because it was just the two of us. Here's what we did...


1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon each of thyme, oregano, rosemary, and crumbled bay leaf
1 tablespoon mustard (I used Woeber's Sweet & Spicy)
1 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder (I might have used fresh minced garlic & dried minced onion; I honestly can't remember. Probably doesn't make a huge difference either way.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, each about 6 ounces

Place everything but the chicken in a ziploc bag; shake to combine well. Then add chicken breasts and shake to coat evenly.

Grill for about 4 minutes per side (internal temperature should be 165 degrees F.)

Granted, this is certainly not a lovely photo of a nicely styled plate. Good thing this isn't a "food blog." :)
I sure hope it wasn't a one-hit-wonder! We plan to try it again soon! Let me know what you think if you try it, too!

All's grace,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

When Your Feelings Get Loud

Caution: I'm fixin' to be real and raw here, y'all. I'm sharing because maybe one of you who happens to read this can relate? And find comfort in the Truth?

Lately, I've been listening to my feelings. Listening to them way too much. Listening to them whisper--and sometimes scream--things like...

I don't feel like praying.

I don't feel like speaking kindly to my husband. I feel like letting my tongue lash out.

I don't feel like being in community. Rather I feel exhausted/overwhelmed and just want to be alone.

I feel inadequate and insecure. As a wife, a teacher, a friend.

I feel like a failure...so many things I should be doing but never get done.

I don't feel like spending time in God's Word.

I feel like I just simply can't handle going through the same thing for a fourth time in four years.

I feel like I'm suffocating in dreams that are put on hold.

I feel trapped in toxic, self-centered thoughts.

I feel like God must be tired of me and my faithlessness by now.

The list could go on.

Obviously, there are some major red flags in that list. Red flags that signify my mind and heart are eaten up with lies and ultimately, are right where Satan wants them to be.

Deep down, I know most of the time my feelings are lying. Why, then, do I allow myself to listen to my feelings and feed my mind and heart the lies that only perpetuate the noxious cycle? I'm sure there are lots of reasons, but the two that come to my mind are these: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick" (Jeremiah 17:9) and "Satan comes only to kill, steal, and destroy" (John 10:10).

So while I mentioned that I haven't felt like being in community lately, this morning, I wrestled myself to church--or rather the Holy Spirit wouldn't take "No!" for an answer. Jesus is relentless like that. I punched my feelings in the face (Thanks, Jon Acuff, for the analogy.), and how thankful I am that I did. The lesson in our Connect Group (Sunday School) and the message in corporate worship couldn't have been more perfect.

I was reminded of some staggering, although familiar, Truths--Truths that are dynamite to the lies I've been wallowing in.

- I have been "sprinkled with His blood" (1 Peter 1:2). How great a price the Father paid for me, even while I was still a sinner (Romans 5:8)! I can rest in His incredible demonstration of love: "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all" (Romans 8:32). These verses reassure me that when I feel inadequate, insecure, like a failure, like He's tired of me, I can know it's a lie because my value and God's love for me is not tied to my performance--my accomplishments or my failures. Praise God that His love and mercy is independent of me!

- God's Word transforms my mind (Romans 12:1-2). My feelings have become so loud lately because I have let God's word become so quiet. Like I said, I haven't felt like reading my Bible or praying, so there have been days when I just flat out haven't done it and days when I have but my attitude has been so disgusting I might as well not have. But you know what? God's Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even to dividing soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12). His Word is powerful. Those lying feelings I've been meditating on cannot stand up against the truth of His Word. And what goes into my mind and heart is what rule it and is what will come out of my mouth.

So today I'm choosing to let His Word be loud. Psalm 119 is a great place to start.

 (vs. 24) Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

 (vs. 93) I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

 (vs. 111) Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.

 (vs. 114) You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.

And I'm blaring one of my favorite, old hymns.

Standing on the Promises
by Russell K. Carter   
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God. 

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Praying that if you've been listening to your feelings lately that you'll start now saturating yourself in His Truths. 

Lamentations 3:22-23

 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for His compassions never fail. 

 They are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.

All's grace,

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