Flip the Coin

Every life is a coin. On one side, heads… representing honoring God through following Jesus. On the tails side, honoring anything and anyone else, especially self.

Through daily distractions and selfish natures, even Christians often end up with the head side down and tails side up; glorifying us.

God gets the most glory when we recognize our failure and flip our coin again. We choose Him. Our wills subject to His will.

Religion says that I have to keep my coin in the right position every second. I cannot fail God. I must strive to meet “my side of the deal”. But, Christianity says, I don’t have a “side”… rather, it is arrogance to assume that I can do any part of my salvation… that’s why it is Grace. He paid it ALL. I paid none of it. I had nothing to do with it. Even my ability to accept His free gift of salvation is because He gave me the ability! All of my works, my efforts, are “filthy rags” the Bible says. Nothing. Less than nothing. And to assume that I can do anything to pay my debt of death is to diminish what Jesus did in entirety.

Sometimes it’s frustrating when we recognize how very often our coins are flipped and we have again put ourselves on top… but I think that perhaps God intends for it to be that way. If we were perfectly obedient, there would be some pride in that, wouldn’t there? A sense of our own ability to perform. God doesn’t want us to perform… He doesn’t need us to be perfect (which is a good thing, since we can’t be). He simply wants us to choose Him. There is honor to Him in every fresh choice we make.

Flip the coin. Give God the glory. Quit worrying about your perfection… it’s not like He didn’t know that you were going to, are going to, fail. Just choose Him again… acknowledge Him as Lord.



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Quick & Tasty GF Tuna Pesto Pasta

I realize that this sounds Wrong… GF (for gluten-free) and “pasta” are not typically found in the same sentence. However, our family absolutely loves the brown rice pasta from Tinkyada, and we use it interchangeably in recipes calling for pasta. This recipe is a family favorite and super quick to put together for lunch or a lighter supper.

Tuna Pesto Pasta

1 can tuna (or pint jar canned fish), drained

1/2 cup prepared pesto

1/2 cup ranch dressing (we make our own, with kefir replacing buttermilk)

1 package gluten-free rice pasta (or any pasta if you do not eat GF)

1 can black olives (or any other olives you have around – just make sure they are pitted)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine and serve! We like this either warm or cold. It’s great on a bed of mixed greens for a salad; we also just eat it as-is.

Salsa for Home Canning

8 cups tomatoes (chopped roughly – I do not peel my organic tomatoes)
2 cups onions, minced (we prefer the sweet onions)
1 1/2 cups green bell peppers, de-seeded and chopped
1 cup jalapeno peppers, chopped (de-seed if you prefer less heat… and wear gloves!)
10 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 12-oz jar or can of tomato paste

* Mix all ingredients together in large stock pot; bring to slow boil for 10 minutes.
* Ladle into hot canning jars; seal and process in hot water bath for 15 minutes (at 3000′ elevation).

I’ll be honest… salsa is one of those things that lend themselves very well to the “fast and loose” approach I have to recipes, even canning recipes. As long as you maintain the ratio of tomatoes (acidic) and apple cider vinegar (to tweak the acid level even higher for food safety) to vegetables by about 3 to 1, your food should be safe. For example, have other types of peppers than just jalapeno? Red bells instead of green bells? Like lots of garlic? Hate cilantro? Make those changes and keep the ratio.

I mentioned that I don’t peel my organic tomatoes; if your tomatoes are not organic, or you prefer them peeled, by all means peel away! Dip them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, scoop out with a big slotted spoon and dip in ice water. The skins should slip off fairly easily.

And never, please, NEVER chop up peppers without rubber gloves!! My first experience with my beautiful canned jalapeno peppers back in 1997 later involved wrapping my fire-filled fingers with wet cloth, taking Tylenol, and struggling through the night trying to sleep. 🙂 There is a very good reason why the best, strongest deep-muscle pain relief creams involve capsicum, the active ingredient in peppers… it’s strong stuff, and your skin and anywhere you accidentally scratch will rue the day!

Why I Would Never Force my Kids to go to Church

Why I Would Never Force my Kids to go to Church.

One of the best blogs I’ve read in some time! Take two minutes and challenge yourself with this thinking… if you already agree, pass it on to a friend or neighbor!


Canning Trout

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  My kids *LOVE* to fish, especially my boy. He’ll wake up talking about it after dreaming about it at night. Can spend hours drooling down the fishing aisles at local sporting goods stores. Tells stories about it (he won … Continue reading

Incredible Ranch Dressing

Can’t do storebought ranch dressing. Just can’t do it. Soybean oil is bad enough, let alone the host of other ingredients (many of which are unpronounceable). I’ve tried several recipes for ranch dressing, but never knocked one out of the park like this one did! The unfortunate thing is that I have no remembrance of where I originally saw it online… so I can’t give credit where it is due! 😦 But I have to share it, it’s JUST THAT GOOD.

Incredible Ranch Dressing

3/4 cup mayo (we like Real or Hellmann’s brand – you can make your own if you’re awesome like that)
1/2 cup milk kefir
1 tbs minced parsley (fresh or dried)
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder (or fresh cloves, minced)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt (we use RealSalt, never the bleached stuff)
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
Optional: 1/4 tsp dill, minced

Combine in a cool jar and shake like the dickens. It’s better after it’s had a chance to rest awhile, and lasts for about 2 weeks unless your children decide to let their supper swim in it and eat the entire jar in one sitting. Or you have a really huge, fresh, crunchy salad for supper. 🙂