The Olive Oil Pasta of Happiness

This is one of my new favorite meals in our house. It is pretty simple but extremely tasty. We got this recipe in our CSA newsletter (which is the coolest newsletter you can imagine) and they got it from BUCA DI BEPPO. I believe they call this meal plain old “Olive Oil Pasta” But I prefer to call it:

“The Olive Oil Pasta of Happiness”

¾ C of Olive oil

2 T of chopped garlic

2 tsp crushed red peppers

2 boneless chicken breasts diced into 1 inch pieces

2 C broccoli florets

1 C your favorite veggies

1 tsp salt  (DON”T FORGET THE SALT!!)

1 pound of pasta (Radiatore is the best!)

1 medium tomato chopped (optional)

¼ C grated ROMANO CHEESE

  1. Heat Olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  2. Add garlic and pepper flakes cook till aromatic (30 seconds).
  3. Add chicken–sauté until brown.
  4. Add broccoli and veggies and SALT. Cook till tender (about 5 min). Set aside.
  5. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta. Prior to draining pasta reserve 1/4 cup of water from it and add it to you “sauce”.
  6. Drain pasta, add sauce, and cheese. Toss well and add tomato if desired.
  7. Serve with more cheese.
  8. If desired add even more cheese (you can repeat this step as may times as you wish).

Enjoy!!

Grace

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NEXT 2010 Conference: Day Three

Starting off, I want to let you know that the last three posts in this series are going to much shorter. This is due to several reasons but mainly because my life is really busy right now. I have other things that I need to be making my 1st priority. Thank you so much for understanding! Enjoy the tidbits from day three!

Top 4 Favorite Songs from the Day:

Jesus Messiah (Chris Tomlin)

Be Thou My Vision

How Great Thou Art

Revelation Song (Jennie Riddle)

The Messages (D.A. Carson & Kevin DeYoung):

On Sunday morning, we had the privilege of hearing D.A. Carson speak of the character of God. It was a really great message! Then on Sunday night, Kevin DeYoung spoke on the church. Kevin’s message was my favorite from the conference. I highly, highly, highly recommend listening to it! Here is my favorite quote from the day:

“What we need is fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. Along with all the necessary pleas we have to be earnest, and intense, and radical, and sold-out. Along with all of that, do not despise the days of small things. We may need to just simplify a bit. Our generation in particular is prone to radicalism without follow through. We want to change the world and we’ve never changed a diaper. You want to make a difference for Christ? Sign up for nursery on Sunday–ask your pastor how you can serve. We need to get on a pace in which we can finish the race, one that can be sustained.” –Kevin DeYoung

Kevin spoke about how God’s love for the bride of Christ (the church) is so great that He will do anything to defend the honor of her. How God views the church should make us evaluate how we view the church.

Best Memory From the Day:

After D.A Carson message, we left to spend the afternoon in Washington D.C. We walked down the mall, starting at the Washington Monument and ending at the Lincoln Memorial. It was really hot out that afternoon!! We spent a lot of time in the vans as traffic was insane! It was a fun afternoon though.

My Notes:

After Kevin’s message, our group ordered pizza and went back to the Hotel to talk about the message. We all went around sharing our past experience with the church and also how we can practically apply what we learned at our local churches.

I just started “Foundations for our Life Together” at my church, Sovereign Grace Fellowship. This is our church’s membership class. I started the week after returning from NEXT. I believe that once I become a member and get into a small group in August, I will have more opportunities to practically see and apply what I learned in the message. Until then, I will keep serving faithfully as a helper in Children’s Ministry and on the Welcome Team. I was freshly convicted by my heart in serving. I have looked for the approval of others instead of serving because this is what glories the Lord and it is what he has called us to do.

I am excited to become a member at my church. To share in the hard times and joyful times with the members in my small group. To have others come along side of me and point out a pattern of sin they have noticed in my life. I can’t say it will be easy. In fact I know it will be hard because of my pride, but this is what God created the church for and I am excited to be a part of His plan.

Come back next Thursday for Day Four…

NEXT 2010 Conference: Day Two

Day two started at 8am. It was nice to not have to be up really early since we stayed up pretty late every night. I roomed with Abby and Beth. These two wonderful girls joined our group for the trip to NEXT. It was such a blessing to get to know them! All three of us got ready and then headed over to the convention center to drop off Beth. Abby and I waited in the long line for Starbucks…nothing (even long lines) stops people when they need their coffee! After we bought our smoothies, we headed over to subway to meet the rest of the group. We spent the next 45 minutes talking about Josh’s message the night before. It was really helpful to talk about it again. We each took turns sharing whether we are more on the side of passion for Jesus Christ that lacks theology to define that passion or if we have a lot of knowledge but lack passion for Jesus Christ. The two go hand-in-hand.

Top 4 Favorite Songs from the Day:

Before the Throne of God Above (Bancroft/Cook)

Jesus Paid it All (Trad./Stanfill)

O Great God (Bob Kauflin)

The Prodigal (Baird/Baird)

During the afternoon session, the Prodigal was performed with a video to go along with it. The video is well worth watching. Click HERE to see it.

Session Two: The Gospel (Mark Dever):

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an examples, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to his who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. —1 Peter 2:21-25 (ESV)

Question: As Christians, how do we deal with evil?

    Mark said we deal with evil by looking at Christ’s Unique Life. Jesus never sinned and thus never had a need to ask for forgiveness. Everyday he chose to do good. He is the only sinless Savior, the only one who can atone for sin. Each time we sin, we sin against the completely HOLY God of the universe, PERSONALLY. This is a bad place to be…

    BUT…

    There is good news! The holy God of the universe sent his sinless Son to die on the cross for all of the sins of all who will ever believe in Him. When he died on the cross and then three days later rose again, God approved His son’s work on the cross. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!

    We are sinful. We make excuses. This blinds us to our rebellion against God Almighty. When Jesus was accused, what did he do? He remained silent. Jesus’ response should be our example. We are called to sacrifice and give ourselves to serve others. We are called to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ.

    FACT: We WILL suffer for following the example of Jesus Christ!

    As we face temptations, we will be displaying Christ and glorifying him. Jesus never retaliated when faced with accusations.

    Questions to ask:

    • What do I do with my bitterness?
    • What do I do when I have been wronged?

    When accused, we must forgive and not retaliate. This is following the way of Christ. We can trust in a God who works all things for good!

    “ And we know that who those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” —Romans 8:28 (ESV)

    Session Three: Scripture (Kevin DeYoung):

    Instead of showing you my notes from this message, I want to recommend listening to this one. I did take notes but, I reviewed them tonight and they are kind of all over the place. I think it would be more confusing than helpful to you. So, take an hour to listen to this message…well worth it! Click HERE to see the page with all of the NEXT messages. I highly recommended listening to them!!

    Session Four: Sanctification (C.J. Mahaney):

    “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” —Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)

    1. Our part in godliness: work out your salvation with fear & trembling:

    Justification: Being DECLARED righteous. Justification is an act. It is immediate & complete.

    Sanctification: Being MADE righteous. We will be more sanctified as we go through life. It is progressive.

    I bring my sin alone to Christ. In Christ alone my hope is found! Yet, in sanctification, we do have a part to play. It requires work on our part. There should be a fear of the Lord, in his judgment, future wrath, and holiness because of our sin. Our response to these truths is obedience to the Holy God of the universe. Our part is vital but it is only possible because of God’s part.

    2. God’s part in godliness:

    Only God’s power makes holiness possible. If we are a believer, the Lord is working tirelessly and actively in our hearts and in our lives. CONSISTENTLY working, he never stops working!

    Best Memory From the Day:

    Well, I actually have two! #1–For dinner we walked to Iggies (a really good pizza place in Baltimore). We thought it was just a few blocks…it ended up being over 20 blocks but we have some awesome pictures from the walk there! Certain areas that we walked by were not so great. Then there were narrow brick alleys along the way that resembled something you would see in Italy or Quebec City. It was really fun to see the different areas in Baltimore!

    #2–After hearing C.J. Mahaney speak, we walked around looking for a place to have ice cream. We went to a 7-Eleven but ice cream was crazy pricey there so we went back to the hotel and looked up a nearby store. All of us got into the two minivans and headed for a late night trip to Walmart. We also went to buy stuff for lunch on Sunday when we would head to D.C.. After checking out at Walmart, we got back to the Marriott and enjoyed root beer floats and cheap ice cream sandwiches at 1am. I think we finally went to bed shortly after 2am. Oh the memories…

    My Notes:

    Saturday was a great day! Not only did we have a ton of fun but we also continued to have really great and encouraging conversations all throughout the day. The night before, when the conference started, Josh Harris prayed over the girls and told the guys to lead, protect and care for us throughout the conference. The guys definitely did this! They took turns leading us in prayer and discussion. They also opened doors for us and took turns paying for various meals and coffee at Starbucks. It was definitely a blessing to all of us girls and it was encouraging to see them lead throughout the trip.

    I loved all of the messages but I think the one I personally benefited from the most was C.J’s. I really needed to hear that message! Even though we do have a vital part to play in sanctification, it was so good to be reminded again that it is God’s part that makes our part possible. Also to hear that He is consistently working. In my sin, I am quick to feel discouraged and condemned when I don’t see progress in a certain area. This is because I am relying on my own strength to fight sin rather than trusting the One who has already declared me righteous because of Christ. I came away from the message feeling freshly aware of my sin and the glorious news of the gospel that frees me from the power of sin. Worthy is the lamb that was slain!

    Next Thursday: NEXT 2010 Conference: Day Three…

    NEXT 2010 Conference: Day One

    Our trip to NEXT started with five guys and six girls in two minivans. We left Minneapolis on Thursday, May 27th at 7:30pm. We drove through the night–I only got around three hours of sleep on the way…not quite enough. The night seems so much longer when you’re awake for most of it! As we got closer to Chicago, we started hitting a ton of tolls. We had bought a pass for the tolls but quickly found out that it was not working! After some investigating, we read that it had to be activated. This was difficult to do in the middle of the night! Thus, we made a stop in order to try to activate it online. As Eric (one of the leaders of the group) went inside to figure all that stuff out, the rest of us were left sitting in a parking lot at 1am. It didn’t take long before we got music bang’n in the van and then began the…epic…late night race between Caleb and Aaron M. (two of the guys).This race was the first of many challenges/races between these two. Guys are definitely different then girls but, it made the trip a whole lot more fun to have them with us! Back on the road again…we didn’t stop again until around 7:30am for breakfast at Panera Bread. To skip ahead a bit, we arrived in Baltimore at around 4:30pm. We checked into our hotel rooms at the Marriott. We quickly had supper at Noodles & Company, we headed to the Baltimore Convention Center to check in. It was such a great and weird feeling to finally arrive in Baltimore and actually be at the conference. Up to that point, it never felt like it was ever going to happen, especially with it being my first time there. We had special passes so we could pick our spot before everyone else came in. It was so fun to see how excited everyone was to get a good spot! They looked like ants running out of the ant hill when being attacked. It was hilarious to watch! Then the music started. Wow. It was really starting! I was really at Next and not just thinking about when I would finally be able to go.

    Top 4 favorite songs from the night:

    How Great is Your Faithfulness (Redman/Myrin)

    Completely Done (Baird/Baird/Gunderlock)

    All I Have is Christ (Jordan Kauflin)

    In Christ Alone (Getty/Townend)

    Session One: What are you Built Upon? (Joshua Harris):

    “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and so not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against the house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of the house was great. –Luke 6:46-49 (ESV)

    Jesus loves to save religious hypocrites. He saved my life from a life lived in religious hypocrisy. Does the way I live “match up” with what I say? What am I building my life upon? Am I building on the wrong foundation? We are all theologians, but is what I say about God right?

    Question: How do we dig down deep? How do we make sure we are using the right building materials?

    1. Doctrine isn’t an end in itself. Doctrine helps us to know, love, and trust the person of Jesus Christ.

    All the truth of the Bible points us to Jesus Christ. Doctrine is the truth and teaching of God’s word. Doctrine shows us that we are in need of a Savior! Salvation MUST be found in Jesus Christ alone. Anything else that I am building my house upon will be washed away in the storms of life. Moments and methods of man will fail. Jesus Christ alone will never fail. He alone must be the rock of my salvation.

    2.   A real, saving relationship with Jesus Christ necessarily involves doctrine.

    We need doctrine to love Jesus! It is impossible to have passion for God if that passion is not defined by truth.  We cannot relate to the Lord without doctrine. We serve a living God who speaks to us, the facts and history mean something! Doctrine is at the heart of love & passion for Jesus Christ.

    3.   Knowing right doctrine is not enough! We have to put Jesus’ words into   practice.

    “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts he will be blessed in his doing.” –James 1:22-25 (ESV)

    A person who builds his life on sand:

    • Is unaffected by Christ’s words
    • Is content with hearing and not doing
    • The storms of life will reveal the stability and foundation of his faith. A faith that is shallow and not dug down deep. Thus, when the storms come, his faith is shaken.

    A person who builds his life on the rock:

    • Is affected by Christ’s words
    • Is not content with just hearing and writing down notes but actually puts into practice what he has heard.
    • The storms of life reveal the stability of this person’s faith. A faith that is dug down deep in the doctrine of God, resulting in a love & passion for Jesus Christ. So when the storms come, this person’s faith cannot be shaken.

    What is your foundation built on?

    Best Memory from the Day:

    It is hard to narrow it down to one! I really enjoyed walking down by the harbor after Josh’s message and then stopping by California Tortilla and talking about what we learned. This was the first time on the trip in which I realized how sweet fellowship with other believers really is. Praise God that we can have true and deep fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ!

    My Notes:

    Maybe by now you are wondering why I am taking all this time to tell you about all that happened on the trip. There are two reasons why. People wanted to hear about my trip and what I learned. There is no possible way to do this in a quick paragraph. I learned so much! The second reason is because I want to apply what I learned and this is definitely making me think again about what was said.

    Josh’s message that night really spoke to me. After thinking about it and discussing it as a group, I was really convicted. I was convicted about how I am quick to listen but slow to apply what I hear. I was convicted about my lack of knowledge of Jesus. Especially when he talked about the need for doctrine in order to love Jesus. The one thing I was most convicted about was where my hope is found. The Lord has been revealing that I have put my hope in marriage, a relationship, control, peace, or even a specific person. This must not be where I put my hope! My hope must be found in Christ alone. Everything else in this life will let my down. That is why when singing “All I have is Christ” that night, I fought back tears. It is my hearts desire to sing, “Hallelujah, All I have is Christ” and truly be content with that. All I really need is Christ. So in closing, I want to post the lyrics to this song.

    I once was lost in darkest night
    Yet thought I knew the way.
    The sin that promised joy and life
    Had led me to the grave.
    I had no hope that You would own
    A rebel to Your will.
    And if You had not loved me first
    I would refuse You still.

    But as I ran my hell-bound race
    Indifferent to the cost
    You looked upon my helpless state
    And led me to the cross.
    And I beheld God’s love displayed
    You suffered in my place
    You bore the wrath reserved for me
    Now all I know is grace.

    Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
    Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

    Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
    And live so all might see
    The strength to follow Your commands
    Could never come from me.
    Oh Father, use my ransomed life
    In any way You choose.
    And let my song forever be
    My only boast is You.

    © 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), by Jordan Kauflin

    Come back next Thursday for Day Two…..

    NEXT 2010 Conference: Intro

    This is the first of five posts that are intended to give you the specifics of my recent trip to Baltimore, Maryland for the NEXT 2010 conference. Many have asked what I learned on the trip and I could spend a long time talking about it all. So I decided that a series on the blog would be helpful and hopefully encouraging to each one of you. It is also helping me remember and put into practice what I learned.

    What is Next? “The vision of Next is to gather worshipers of Jesus Christ who burn with a passion to see the gospel transferred to the next generation. Next is about faithfully receiving the gospel—the message of Christ and him crucified–from those who have gone before us, holding fast to the gospel personally, and passing the gospel on to those coming after us”. –NEXT Website.

    In these next four posts, you will be hearing about the fun things we did (like running up and down sand dunes at 3am),  listening in on my notes from the messages, hearing the songs we sung, and other random tidbits. The Lord did so much in my heart over these five days. I hope you will be encouraged by these posts. I will be posting on Thursdays for the next four weeks. So please come and follow me on my journey…