Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Meaning of Restaurant, A Tip in the form of a Recipe, and An Acrylic Painting

Hi Y'all!!!    How is your weather today?     Well, how ever it is, enjoy it while you can, because it will change with the next breath.    Just about anyway.     The calendar says it is now officially Spring.    I am thrilled!!!     The worst part about it being officially Spring is all the weather that churns up tornadoes.    I really don't like that at all, but I guess we just have pray thru those times when they come.     Monday evening was one of times.    I had finished my painting class and got home and changed clothes and went out town to exercise class and another lady and I got there about the same time and got inside and that's when all heck broke loose.     The sky got black and the wind was blowing sideways rain and we was just about ready to call off class, but that cell finally passed and we went ahead and had class and then the sun shone for just a bit afterward, before the next wave came thru.   But we are in for another round of severe weather tomorrow.    I really dread it.    But, nothing happens that God isn't aware of, so we'll just pray thru it.

I would ask you to remember to pray for the ones that we know who are sick and hurting in some way.    Some have lost loved ones, some are having or have had major surgery, some have been sick for such a long time with the sickness going around, some have major health issues they are dealing with of which there is no cure and then there are some we know who are just sick of life.    Pray for these folks.    We all have needs and there is only source to take our needs to, and that is the only One who can "restore one's spirit", Jesus!!!

Do you know what the word "restaurant" means?     In a scavenger hunt of sorts, just looking up words, I came across this and was really delighted in what I found.     It has variations, and depending on who is defining the word, it may be a little different.    But the definition that I loved most was this:  "a place to restore one's spirit".    I looked and looked and could not remember where this definition came from originally.    I just wrote it down for safe keeping and wanted to further explore when time allowed.    

I do believe it is a most fitting definition though.    After a hard days work, coming in to great meal is always a very uplifting way "to restore one's spirit".    It's a wonderful thing to break bread with a friend and "restore one's spirit" in the presence of someone you enjoy spending time with.    Sitting down to your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant is a great way "to restore one's spirit".     Grabbing a quick bite at a fast food joint is an easy way "to restore one's spirit".     Two of my favorite places here in town "to restore my spirit" is Elmo's and Ichibans.     Oh so yummy, both places are equally fun for me.     

But, what about really "restoring one's spirit"?     We know how to restore the physical side of one's spirit, but what about the restoring the spiritual side of who we are.     When I say spiritual, I say that in the context of all that scripture teaches us about who we are and who's we are.    NOT in the context in which the world uses the word "spirit" or "spiritual".     If I EVER use those words, it is always in the context of Yahweh: Father God, Yeshua: Messiah Jesus Christ and Ruach: Holy Spirit.   Now that I have that cleared up, lets think about "restoring one's spirit".

Do you ever reach a point when you feel like you just can't go on?    You may need to restore your spirit.   Do you feel like you are running on empty all the time?    You probably need to restore your spirit.   Do you ever feel like you all alone, even in a crowd?    Then you may need your spirit renewed.      Do you ever feel like your prayers hit the ceiling and stop?    Then that may be a sign that you need your spirit restored.      I would like for us to take a look at some things that would be beneficial to us in "restoring one's spirit".      Are you so busy with "stuff" that you don't have time for your alone time with Jesus?    Then you probably need to have your spirit renewed.

The very first thing I have to say is this.   Restoring the spirit is ONLY possible if you have a relationship with God thru faith in Christ.   That's it.   You have to know salvation from God thru the shed blood of Christ on the cross.    So, if you are a Christian, proceed, but if you are not, take the time to recognize that you are a sinner.   Confess your sin to God and ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart to be your Lord and Savior form this very moment on.     We are all sinners in need of mercy and grace that comes only from Jesus.     We can't wait till we're "good enough" because we will never be good enough on our own.   We are all stinkin' filthy sinners and the only way to get rid of the rot is from the inside out, and that starts with asking Jesus into our hearts and lives.   Once we have done that, then we are in right relationship with God thru Jesus Christ.    Now we can move on to restoration that needs to take place from time to time.

One of the easiest quick fixes for me is to take stock of what all I am "doing".     Am I "doing" everything I may be "doing" with the right attitude?     Do I do what I do to be seen by others or do I do what I do to serve my Lord and Savior, first and foremost?    The answer to that question is quite significant.    It will help me determine the difference between my personal ministries and my selfish "busy"-ness.     For me, my blog is one of my personal ministries.    I love doing this so much!!!     But......in life, sometimes I get busy and step aside from my first love, which should always be for the Lord and the things He loves.     God loves people.     Jesus loves people, so much so that He allowed Himself to be crucified.     That's LOVE, no matter how you view it, that's genuine love.     So, again I tell you, I love sharing my love for Christ and all He has done for me on my blog, simply because He loves all of you, and so do I.   So, when I see that I have slowed down on my posting, I have to review what is getting in my way.  In all actuality, sometimes it's nothing.    Sometimes I just haven't gotten a word from the Lord as to what I need to share with y'all.    Every word I share is always a personal word from God to me.   I need it first, and than I pass it on, because if I need it, so do others. Sometimes I do need to have my spirit renewed.     If we as Christians, watch much news, we need much spiritual renewal!!!!   The only place I have to get what I need is straight from the Word of God!    I need the very breath of God for every breath I take.    If you are a Christian, you do too.

After we assess what may or may not be taking place within ourselves, and we get back on track with God being first place and our first love, then we can easily get back to "restoring our spirit".    I like to call it "refreshing our spirit" too.     Kinda like a refreshing rain after a parched dry season.    I like to have some favorite scriptures on hand to help me stay restored and refreshed.    One of those favorite scriptures is Psalm 23 with special attention to verse 3a.   "He restores my soul".     Isn't it awesome to just think about how easy it is for God to restore our soul.    All He wants from us is just a little undivided attention, so He can lavish restoration upon us.    

2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.     God's word makes us wise!     Does the word of the world make you wise?    No!!!    It makes me want to vomit.     If what the world is telling us does not line up with the Word of God, someone is wrong and it AIN'T God.   Make no mistake about that.    The word of God is profitable for the way we live our lives.    We can use it for correction of the things we are doing wrong.    It teaches us upright and righteous living.    The word of God actually calls us to be holy as God is holy. God is a holy God and can not look upon unholiness, that's why we need the blood of Christ as our covering.   When God looks at me, He sees His Son, and I am so thankful for that!!!!    Without the Word of God we are not thoroughly equipped to do His work.

Spend time meditating on scriptures that God has inspired you with.    Do some research on some words and find out all you can on a particular word and then ask God to show you how you can use that word in your every day life  and how it applies to you.    Need a little help to get started?    Faith, grace, hope, mercy, love, sanctification, justification, meek, idol, sin, purpose, protection, repentance, righteousness, holy, praise, just, obedience, health, gossip, just to name a few.   No matter how much we know, there is always so much more to learn.    

Listen to this.   Psalm 3:3 says "But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head!"    Wow, is this not "restoring one's spirit'?     Yes, it is!!!!     I love that the Lord is my shield, my glory and the lifter of my head!!!!!     All of that in one verse!!   How wonderful is the mighty Word of God!!!!

Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion, for whom no one cares!'     No, I am not touting the health and wealth religion that some people push.    Some people do get physical healing, but not all do.    Some people are wealthy, but not all of us are.     But God will restore our spiritual health to us through salvation and bind up our spiritual wounds.     That makes our future a future to look forward to.    The word Zion, in scripture has many references.    It is most often referred to as the place where God was present and near to His people.    Notice the end of that scripture.    It is so true today.    Most people has no care or concern for the place where God is.     Zion is the place where we can come to and get help.    Remember that.    Zion points to God.    That is where the "restoring of our spirit" comes from.    The place for whom most people do not care about.  But one thing we must remember, is that God IS everywhere at all time, so those wishing to be far from Zion, or where God is; sorry, you're fresh outta luck, because God is everywhere and He sees everything.    That restores my spirit!!!!  (I don't believe in luck, but the world does, so that's why I used the word.)

Another way I have of restoring my spirit is to listen to my Southern Gospel music.    I have a thumb drive in my car with many wonderful songs on it and as I drive I listen to music and have fellowship with God.    I love the time I get to spend with God in that way.    When I go see my Mom, on the drive up, I have my music going and it is very refreshing and uplifting to my spirit.   

Do you know one of the easiest ways to refresh or restore one's spirit?    Just plain old "rest"!    Rest is a four letter word, but it's not an ugly word!!!!    So many people think that if you rest, you are being lazy and slothful.    That's not so!     Rest is a vital part of serving the Lord in any capacity and being physically healthy enough to serve the Lord.    If someone is running on fumes all the time, they are grouchy, they are snappy, quite frankly they can be snotty, hateful, hurtful.    Not someone you are busting your buttons to be around, huh.     None of that has a place in our service to the Lord. So if you find yourself in need of "restoring one's spirit", make sure you are getting enough rest.

Another was to "restore your spirit" is to spend time with a cherished friend.    I know for myself, it is one of the quickest ways for me to find restoration.    The people I choose to spend time with are uplifting and fun and godly women.     I know for me, when one of my best friends and I get together, the time is usually spent talking about how God is active and working in our lives.    That, to me, is very refreshing!

Another way of "restoring one's spirit" is investing time in creating art.   What ever it is that you love to do; what ever craft or hobby you love, give that time to God and ask Him to bless it and He surely will!    And I will use this as a great way to lead into the art that I wanted to share with y'all this week. I had an acrylic paint class this week on Monday at our local County Extension Office here in town.   The 4th Monday of the month is set aside for our workshop day and this month we had a teacher scheduled to teach us acrylic painting.    Most of you have seen my oil paintings scattered throughout my blog, but this is my first acrylic painting.     It is a different beast all together from oils.     Oils have a much greater open time for blending and such, but acrylics dry fast unless you have an extender, which we didn't.     I think ocean scenes and water scenes are "restoring to one's spirit".   This going back up to the first scripture I shared, Psalm 23:3, about how "He leads me beside the still waters and restores my soul".    Isn't that such a peaceful thought.     And then we have lighthouses on the shores of water in different places all across the world to warn sailors and ships of the nearness of the land and rocky crags and danger.   They also serve as a good tiding that they are near land.    I like to think about Jesus being our lighthouse and how when we are in the storms of life and darkness we can look to Him for precious light and hope.     One of the songs that I listen to in my car has a line that goes something like this, "if it wasn't for the Lighthouse, where would this ship be?"     I don't about you, but I know my ship would have crashed and sank many many years ago!!!   That is true!!! That Lighthouse, Jesus, is our constant source of "restoring one's spirit".     With that said, I would like to share my lighthouse with y'all.     For all of those out there that are pro's, please be kind, ok.     Yeah, I know you will.   
I was late getting to class, so I was about 45 minutes to an hour behind everyone else and I forgot to take pics along as I painted.    When I remembered it, I was well into the painting for sure.
I was pleased with the finished project.    There are flaws in this and I am sure seasoned eyes can see them just as big as ike, but that's ok.    They are my mistakes and we never learn anything if everything we do is perfect.    That's my story anyway.   hahaha
I wanted to show a close up or two and show you my mistakes.    The shadows of my fence posts are really wonky, going every which a way.   hahaha     I had started to get frustrated because I was behind and I just got sloppy.    Yeah, I can admit that.     Kinda looks like they are stepping every which way.    hahaha
I don't think there is a mistake here, I was just showing a closeup of the bottom of the lighthouse and grassy areas.   But if you do see a mistake, I don't want to know.    hahahaha     How's that?    hahaha
My clouds were the last thing I added to the painting and I think I finally got them as fluffy as I wanted them.    Had I not been running late, I would have wanted more clouds, but I'm good with them.    And as I look it, I see that there should have been a shadow cast by the lighthouse.     Oh shucks!!!      Well, as they, "it is what it is".     hahaha

Overall, I like painting with acrylics, but not as well as oils.     I may try another one or two and see if I can develop a better hankering for acrylics.     I really want to learn, but I may have to get some extender somewhere to put in my acrylics to have a longer open time to blend and play.    I do love the solace and calmness that lighthouses give to most viewers.    In most cases, it is a very pleasant and enjoyable scene that can lower the blood pressure and cause a calming effect, therefore aiding in "restoring one's spirit".

Continuing with the "restoring one's spirit" theme, I have a recipe that will do that also.    On my last blog post I shared a delicious, quick Dump Cake recipe, this time I am sharing a delicious main course recipe that I have tweaked over time to get just right for my liking.    It is another tip in the form of a crockpot recipe.     It's one of the 3 or 4 that I have fixed to take to meals at church when there wasn't many people there, but everyone loving to eat.    hahaha     On one such occasion, I happened to be sitting close to the pastor and his daughter, about 10 or 11 years old at the time.     She said, "Oh daddy, you can just taste the country, it's much better than Cracker Barrel!"     I cracked up!!!     Her dad said "She is really impressed with your cooking.   The closest she gets to country cooking is Cracker Barrel".     I said I was honored that she put my cooking up there with Cracker Barrel.    hahaha     It was a very high compliment for sure!     Here is the recipe.

Crockpot Chicken and Dressing

2- 6 oz boxes of stuffing mix
2 cups or more, cooked chicken, chunked
1 can of cream of.......soup, chicken, celery, mushroom....whatever you have (no stress)
1/3 to 1/2 cup chicken stock
 dash salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup melted butter

Spray inside crockpot with nonstick spray.    Prepare stuffing mix according to pkg. and spread in the bottom of the nonstick sprayed crockpot.

Mix chicken chunks and pieces with canned soup, chicken broth and salt and pepper.    Pour over stuffing mix and then pour on the melted butter.

Cover and cook for about 3 hours on high or 5 or 6 hours on low.    Do not stir, but you can loosen the edges of the stuffing a time or two while it's cooking and then again just before you serve it.

This is just a starting place for you to be as creative as you wish to be with this.    It is good!!!   Sometimes I put onions and colorful bell peppers in mine.  And other times I will half the recipe and put it in a 8 x 8 inch baking dish and bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes on 350* and that's what we will have for lunch sometimes.    Have some cranberry sauce to serve on the side and you can have a wonderful meal to "restore one's spirit" anytime.     Yum!!!!

The next recipe I share is the bees knees for sure!!!    It is my remake of a Cracker Barrel classic and it is just divine!!!!!     Be ready for it y'all!!!     It too, is a keeper!!!!!

Well, I guess I have just about finished up this blog post for the time being.    Gotta get ready for Wednesday night services at church.    I just love it.     It is a smaller group, we are more relaxed and it's more interactive.     I hope and pray that all of y'all have a wonderful rest of the afternoon and evening.     I pray for you to have rest that will help toward "restoring one's spirit" and refreshing you for tomorrow.    I just hope and pray that y'all had fun here today and that you read or seen something that will be of a help to you in the days to come.    Tell someone you know that God is waiting to "restore their spirit".     Someone you know needs to hear that.     We all need hope and that is a whole heap of hope.   God loves you so much!!!    I do too.    Till we meet right back here again, real soon, be blessed in the Lord.     Much love and many hugs, Patty

15 comments:

  1. I just enjoy reading and meditating on your writing. You bring something to me that I had never heard or experience before. I never would have thought of the word "restaurant" as being a place to restore one's spirit. Very uplifting in the way you broke it into pieces fro understanding.
    It is the grace of God that you used the Scripture from 2 Timothy in your writing. Our Bible Journaling class is focusing on this same scripture for this week.
    Great job on that beautiful painting. Since I'm not an artist, I don't see the mistake. Remember, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I see beauty. Thank you and have a Blessed Evening!

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    1. Thank you so much Lois!!! You can always give me a lift and I so very much appreciate it!! When I was looking at that word, it really surprised me too and I just loved that definition so much and immediately my mind went to how God is at work restoring our spirit also. I do love Paul's writings to Timothy and they are just as useful today as they were God inspired Paul to write them. You are too kind in your words about my painting, but I graciously receive them. Thanks again Lois, I just appreciate you so much!!!! love and hugs, patty

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  2. I love your first acrylic painting!

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    1. Thanks so much Shel!!! It really took me outta my comfort zone for sure. Happy I did it though. Thanks again Shel. hugs, patty

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  3. Love your painting and a great devotional as always...hugs

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    1. Thanks so much Tina, I really appreciate your visit. hugs, patty

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  4. wow the first one you have ever done! AWESOME!

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    1. Thank you so much Belinda, I really appreciate you saying that!!!! hugs, patty

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  5. Enjoyed your lesson on restoring one's spirit through our Lord - much rather be there than only in a restaurant! Your lighthouse is awesome! Enjoy your day, my friend! Diann

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    1. Thank you so much Diann!!! I agree whole heartedly with you! I hope you wonderful day too. hanks for your visit and leaving me a message, I appreciate it. hugs, patty

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    2. Diann, that should have been "thanks", not "hanks", for visiting. hehehe hugs, patty

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  6. Patty, your painting is wonderful! Hard to believe it's your first, you did a great job. Looking forward to seeing more. That recipe sounds like something I may have to try! Can't wait for the next recipe, too!

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    1. Ohhh thanks so much Kimberly!!!! I really appreciate your coming to visit my blog and leaving such an encouraging word for me. I hope you do try the recipe, you won't be disappointed and the next one is awesome too. Thanks again. hugs, patty

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    1. Thanks so much!!! I appreciate your visit!! hugs, patty

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