Sunday, August 23, 2009

End of Philippians

Hello Everyone!

I fixed this skillet dinner last night for supper and thought as I was eating it...

This would be a great recipe for the blog!!

This recipe was given to me during one of our MOMS Group cooking classes

that we had at our last church.

The recipe was given to us by Tina Dryer.

This dish has such a great flavor and the apples in it are......yummmmm!!

(Shoulda taken a picture of it in the skillet, but oh time! :D)

Sausage Skillet Dinner
Serves 4

12 oz. Smoked Sausage Link
2 Tablespoons Water
1 Medium Onion
2 Small Red Apples
2 Tablespoons Butter, divided
12 oz. Bag of Frozen Potato Wedges
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
3 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Caraway Seeds
2 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Parsley

Place sausage and water in a large skillet; cover tightly and cook over medium heat 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cut onion into 12 wedges; core and cut apple into 8 wedges. Remove sausage to warm platter. Pour off drippings. Cook and stir onion and apples in 1 Tablespoon of butter in same skillet, 4 minutes or until apples are crisp-tender. Remove to sausage platter.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon butter; add potatoes and cook, covered over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Stir occasionally. Combine vinegar, sugar and caraway seeds. Reduce heat; return sausage, apple mixture and vinegar mixture to skillet. Cook minute or until heated through, stir gently. Sprinkle with parsley.

  • I used fresh (raw) potatoes instead of the frozen. I used about 4 medium potatoes, cut into each into 8 wedges
  • I put the potatoes in with the apples and the onions
  • I used turkey sausage links
  • I used dried parsley


Now we come to our last posting for Philippians.....

yes, it is true. We started out on this journey July 1, 2008!!!

Over one year ~ Z.O.W.E.E.!!!!

A lot has happened during that time.

Our last post for Philippians will highlight verse 4:13 and verse 4:19:

Verse 13:

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ~ King James Version

"I can do everything though Him who gives me strength." ~ New International Version

"Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One Who

makes me Who I am." ~ The Message Bible

Kinda reminds me of this:

The following are excerpts from:

Rich Cather
Philippians Sermon Notes
Calvary Chapel, Fullerton, CA
(Frequent Use of Illustrations)

...found ~ where else but ~ ~ My all time favorite

online Commentary!! Whoo Hooo!!

Click here for the entire sermon for Philippians 4:10-23, dated 12.18.02.

Pastor Cather says:

"I can be strong through Christ who endues me with strength.

Jesus’ power in me...

The power to be 'content' in all circumstances comes from Jesus.
I think we sometimes hear this verse being used as some sort of promise of supernatural strength to pick up cars and wrestle evil-doers.
But there is a context here. God doesn’t give us a blank check for strength to do anything.

I’m not sure that God gives us strength to rip apart phone books.

I know that God doesn’t give us strength to commit sin.

I think we need to keep in mind that the 'all things' refers to learning to 'abase' (be humble) and 'abound' and still be 'content'.
God gives us strength to do His will.

(John 15:5 KJV) "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Jesus can give us the strength to live with less."

Amen, Pastor Cather!!

What I hear him saying is that you have to read the whole chapter

to know what Verse 13 means. He gives us strength to live our lives

when the dream we had of what our life would be....

is not.

He gives us strength to journey through the pot holes of life,

through the twists and turns,

through the almost driving into the left lane,

through almost going off of the road, into the ditch,

through running a red light.....

Thank you, Jesus.

Verse 19:

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory Christ Jesus."
~ King James Version

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
~ New International Version

"You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus."
~ The Message Bible

Again from Pastor Cather:

"God takes care of givers.

Keep in mind the context.
This is a church that is giving sacrificially.
I’m not sure that we should be using this verse as an unconditional blank check that God will always provide all that we need.
This is a common verse that people will 'claim'. Any person who has financial problems is encouraged by hearing this verse, as if God is going to always rescue you in the nick of time.
I think that in reality there may be times when God allows us to go through 'tough times' to get our attention.
The promise of this verse is towards those who are learning to give as God would lead them.
Do you pay attention to God’s promptings to give? Are you a person who has a regular habit of giving?
Are you supporting the ministries that God is using in your life and in the lives of others?

The Philippians supported Paul and they supported the poor in


Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire (formerly the Belgian Congo), told the following story: A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So during devotions that morning we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her little sister who was now an orphan. One of the girls responded, 'Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won't feel so lonely.' That afternoon a large parcel arrived from England. Eagerly the children watched as we opened it. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to delve deeper, exclaiming, 'If God sent that, I'm sure He also send at doll'. And she was right! The Heavenly Father knew in advance of the child's sincere requests, and 5 months before, He had led a ladies group to include both of those specific articles."
Thank you, Pastor Cather, for your sermon and great illustration!!

God WILL supply our needs, not our wants.

Thank you, Lord for being our Provision.

I want to end this study with a little review from Kay Arthur:

Philippians 1 – you can have joy despite imprisonment because Christ is your life
Philippians 2 – you can have joy despite people because Christ is your mind
Philippians 3 – you can have joy despite things because Christ is your goal
Philippians 4 – you can have joy despite circumstances because Christ is your
sufficiency, your strength

Chapter 1's review caught me a little off guard. But I think she is saying

that Paul was in prison when he wrote Philippians. We can be in our

own type of prison, also.

I pray that the book of Philippians is more real to you, now.

I pray that the words that God wanted you to read

and remember will be sealed in your heart until we see Him

on that glorious day ~ Amen!!

Striving to have real joy in my life,

Debbie G.

PS..."stayed tuned" for's next series!! (hint...think of the word "protect")

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Philippians 4:11 ~ Contentment

Hello Everyone!

Our Scripture for this post is Philippians 4:11-12 ~

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." ~ New International Version

"Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty." ~ The Message Bible

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." ~ King James Version

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little." ~ New Living Translation



What a word for today.

What a wonderful word to explore for today's society,

that...includes you and me!

What words pop
into your mind when you read the word "contentment"?


Being Still?



That's what ped into my mind when I think of this word.

Here is what my computer's Thesaurus says:

  • Happiness
  • Satisfaction
  • Fulfillment
  • Pleasure
  • Cheerfulness
  • Ease
  • Comfort
  • Well Being
  • Serenity
  • Tranquility is Paul, the author of Philippians, writing this book while

chained to a Roman guard.

But he has with these feelings of contentment

running through him like a might river!!

Could I do that?

Could you do that?

When I have a frustrating day at work, i.e., lots of interruptions,

office machine malfunctions, a project taking waaaaayyy too long

because of the process I am stuck with, coffee spilling all over my


I want to lean toward losing my peace...

letting my frustration volumize up in me like a rolling stream

of lava from a volcano.

Arenal Volcano eruption September 2003

I must stop that more often and become THANKFUL for my job.

It is a gift from God. A TRUE Gift from God.

Everyone is so nice to me there!


In research for this word at,

I found this sermon dated November 13, 2005 from Pastor Mark Adams

of Redland Baptist Church in Rockville, Maryland.

It is entitled, "Crossing From Covetousness To Contentment".

Pastor Adams states in his sermon that the opposite of contentment,

discontentment, starts with self-centeredness.

An "It's all about me" attitude.

This is not a Biblical way to live.

Jesus' example to us while He was here on earth was servanthood.

This started way back in the Garden of Eden.

Eve's sin was discontentment.

Pastor Adams says:

... in his book, Authentic Faith, Gary Thomas puts it this way. He says,

"Contentment is nothing more than 'soul rest.' It is satisfaction, peace, assurance, and a sense of well-being that is cultivated by pursuing the right things. Instead of more power, more money, more pleasure, and more control, ...we seek an 'abundance' of grace and peace...contentment is the opposite of striving, aching, restlessness, and worry."

As Bill Hybels says, "Contentment has more to do with focus than finances."

W.O.W. ~ leave it to Pastor Hybels to hit the nail on top of the head

In another sermon that Pastor Adams preached, entitled

"It Is Well With My Soul"

he told the story of an elderly woman named Mable.

(Warning....this is looonnngg, but sooooo worth it....)

"In his book, Trying to be Good, Bob Schmidt tells about a friend he made in a state-run convalescent hospital—an elderly woman whose name was Mabel. He writes,

The hospital was not a pleasant place. It is large, understaffed, and overfilled with senile and helpless, lonely people who are basically waiting to die. On the brightest of days it seems dark inside, and smells of sickness and stale urine. I went there once or twice a week for three years, but I never wanted to go there, and I always left with a sense of relief. One Mother’s Day I was walking in a hallway that I had not visited before, looking in vain for a few who were alive enough to receive a flower and a few words of encouragement. This particular hallway seemed to contain some of the worst cases, strapped onto carts of into wheelchairs and looking completely helpless. As I neared the end of this hallway, I saw an old woman strapped up in a wheelchair. Her face was an absolute horror. The empty stare and white pupils of her eyes told me she was blind. The large hearing aid over one ear told me she was almost deaf. One side of her face was being eaten by cancer. There was a discolored and running sore covering part of one cheek, and it had pushed her nose to one side, dropped on eye, and distorted her that what should have been the corner of her mouth was the bottom of her mouth. As a consequence, she drooled constantly.

I was told later that when NEW nurses arrived, the supervisors would send THEM to feed this woman, thinking that if they could stand this sight they could stand anything in the building. I also learned later that this woman was eighty-nine years old and that she had been here, bedridden, blind, nearly deaf, and alone, for twenty-five years. This was Mabel. I don’t know why I spoke to her—she looked less likely to respond than most of the people I saw in that hallway. But I put a flower in her hand and said, ‘Here is a flower for you. Happy Mother’s Day.’ She held the flower up to her face and tried to smell it, and then she spoke. Much to my surprise, her words, although somewhat garbled because of her deformity, were obviously produced by a clear mind. She said, ‘Thank you. It’s lovely. But can I give it to someone else? I can’t see it, you know, I’m blind.’ I said, ‘Of course,’ and pushed her in her chair back down the hallway to a place where I thought I could find some alert patients. I found one, and I stopped the chair. Mabel held out the flower and said, ‘Here, this is from Jesus.’ That was when it began to dawn on me that this was not an ordinary human being.

Later I wheeled her back to her room and learned more about her history. She had grown up on a small farm that she managed with only her mother until her mother died. Then she ran the farm alone until 1950 when her blindness and sickness sent her to the convalescent hospital. For 25 years she got weaker and sicker, with constant headaches, backaches, and stomachaches, and then the cancer came.

Her three roommates were all human vegetables who screamed occasionally but never talked. They often soiled their bedclothes, and because the hospital was understaffed—especially on Sundays when I usually visited—the stench was often overpowering. Mabel and I became friends over the next few weeks and I went to see her once or twice a week for the next three years. Her first words to me were usually an offer of hard candy from a tissue box near her bed. Some days I would read to her from the Bible and often when I would pause she would continue reciting the passage from memory, word-for-word. On other days I would take a book of hymns and sing with her, and she would know all the words of the old songs.

For Mabel, these were not merely exercises in memory. She would often stop in mid-hymn and make a brief comment about lyrics she considered particularly relevant to her own situation. I never heard her speak of loneliness or pain except in the stress she placed on certain lines in certain hymns. During one hectic week of final exams I was frustrated because my mind seemed to be pulled in ten directions at once with all of that things that I had to think about.
The question occurred to me, ‘What does Mabel have to think about—hour after hour, day after day, week after week, not even able to know if it’s day or night?’

So I went to her and asked, ‘Mabel, what do you think about when you lie here?’ And she said, ‘I think about my Jesus.’ I sat there, and thought for a moment about the difficulty, for me of thinking about Jesus for even five minutes and I asked, ‘What do you think about Jesus?’ She replied slowly and deliberately: ‘I think about how good He’s been to me. He’s been awfully good to me in my life, you know. I’m one of those kind who’s most satisfied...most CONTENTED...because of His friendship. Lots of folks would think I’m kind of old-fashioned. But I don’t care. I’d rather have Jesus. He’s all the world to me.’ An then Mabel began to sing an old hymn: ‘Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all. He is my strength from day to day, Without Him I would fall. When I am sad, to Him I go, No other one can cheer me so. When I am sad, He makes me glad. He’s my friend.’

Mabel was a great student of contentment wasn’t she? She graduated with honors! It didn’t matter how much pain and sorrow—or how unfair life was for her—she had learned to trust and love her Lord. She developed a close relationship with Him—a relationship that satisfied her deepest longing...and that enabled her to be content even in her horrible circumstances—it gave her a peace like a river. It made her soul WELL."

I can think of no other way to end this but to play

"It Is Well With My Soul".

If you would like more information about the history of this

wonderful hymn, beyond what is in the video;

click on the link for Pastor Adams sermon entitled the

same name. Pastor Adams adds details that I had never

heard before.

Allow me to say as Pastor Adams did in his sermon...

"Let me ask—how are YOU doing when it comes to learning this vital lesson? How content are you? Have you become able to trust God no matter what happens?"

Let's work on our thankfulness and serving others,

Debbie G.