Thursday, February 28, 2013


I'm taking a Sociology course online this semester. We have to participate in discussions all the time and I was praying about what to say for the "deviance" subject, and I thought I would share with you guys.  Let's just say that I got a bunch of responses!

The question:
Consider what it means that we are all or have all been deviant. Can you recall a time when you committed a deviant (not necessarily criminal!) act? You don't necessarily have to share it with your group, but consider how you felt about your deviant act. Were you aware of it being deviant at the time, or was it something that was appropriate given the group or social context you were in? How do you think others viewed your act of deviance? Do you think people would have a different opinion about you if they knew about this act?

My post:
I noticed that many (not all) of us are sharing stories of things they regret, defining deviant behavior as actions labeled as "bad" or "wrong".

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dear God

Dear God, I praise You for who You are:
My All in all, above all, nearby-- yet beyond the stars.
You’re not limited or clueless, the answers are in You.
My battles you have fought, while giving praise was all I had to do.

But this time is different…I cannot feel Your guiding hand
If You don’t intervene, I don’t know how much longer I will stand.
You see, on my heart I bear a burden; it is the size of a dear friend.
No, my friend is not the burden; it’s the way she’s struggling.

My friend is beaten, weary, and confused.
 I’ve tried to help her and make you shine through.
But honestly I’ve only grieved her more and increased her doubts
I wanted to say the right words, but they didn’t come out.

So right now I ask for me to get out of the way and You to enter in
Please encourage my dear friend and help her to believe again.
Open her heart to grow in faith and hope and love
Because lately she has lost faith and hope in all of the above.

I know You see her with a set of eyes that are divine,
So if I’m hurting from what I’m seeing, I know You are not blind.
No, You see and count her every tear of pain
And every broken prayer is not uttered in vain.

She says she’s failed again and wonders if You see her trying
Please remind her that it’s in her that Your Spirit is abiding.
She thinks her burdens are her own to bear…
But You clearly urged her to cast on You all her cares.

Leaning on Your understanding is her prayer of late,
But she just can’t fathom why You don’t seem to cooperate.
She feels as if You answer prayers and put stars and rainbows in the sky
Not for her, but for better, more worthy girls and guys.

However, deep inside she knows this is not the least bit true,
But the lies and insensitive words she keeps hearing are louder than You.
She knows You and wants to believe You care
But with her being one of billions, she fears You don’t, and then despairs.

This friend of mine is not opening up because she thinks she’s all alone
Please help her to spread her troubles out before Your gracious throne.
Thank You that Your mercy toward her endures forever,
Even if right now she cannot see happily ever after.

I want to help my friend and give her all the answers,
But I surrender her to You because You are the One who paid her ransom.
You are the One who bled for her, and won’t let any pluck her out of your hands.
You are the One waiting for her, never forsaking her, You are the Son of Man.

Even if her spiritual eyes can see Your plans too dimly,
Remind her that You have given her living water to drink freely.
Nudge and soften her to relinquish to You her will and her heart
Because You’ll work things together for good to bring her out of the dark.

I ask all this in Jesus’ name as I hear You knocking on her heart’s door
Of course, You knew already that it’s me I’m praying for.

by Tanya Vasilik

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 Days

I'm probably not supposed to share this. But I guess I would like some moral support.

This morning- 4:30 am before clinical I decided that I would take part in Lent this year!
Ok, no I am not Catholic.
Yes, I am serious.
After some Google searching I decided that this is a good idea.
Yes, maybe wacky. And pretty non-traditional seeing as how I am Pentecostal.
But I have noticed over the last few weeks how much time wasting I spend on Facebook/Instagram.
Especially with nursing school, I need to give my brain a rest from studying once in a while, so I do that by logging onto Facebook or Instagram.
Honestly, there is nothing wrong with social media! It's awesome!
But I have found that instead of finding rest in those websites, I should first be seeking rest in the refuge of my Father's arms. 
Can I get an amen? :)
Today, Feb. 13th starts Lent and it ends on March 30th. So why 40 days? These forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by Satan.
Wow, that is really a long time. 6 weeks. 

Oh yeah, on top of abstaining from social media- I won't be watching youtube episodes of Masterchef (my favorite show ever) or any movies. 

Anyway I'm already having trouble with not checking my Facebook. How sad is that!? Lol.

Now I have a question for you... What would you give up for 40 days?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lasagna & A Song

Tanya made this lasagna for a struggling family in our church (yes, she is a natural cook!), it makes a huge portion so we had to keep half of it. It was good! 


1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced. 
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pan, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Now to another subject. I was listening to Pandora last night and discovered this song! If you know me, you know that I LOVE songs that have emotion. Though I may not have understand all the words, I was touched deeply. 

Oh yes, translation for you non-Spanish speaking common folk:

Answer me quickly, O Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.
Psalm 143:7-12

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Praying for Rain During the Drought

Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are earnest in a matter which concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God, and never for a moment gave way to a fear that he should be non-suited in Jehovah's courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but "Go again."** We must not dream of unbelief, but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel's brow, and if nothing is beheld, she sends again and again. So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled, but not abashed: her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint, and miss the blessing. Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. At last the little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man of like passions with us: his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire.
Charles H. Spurgeon

**Referring to:
 . . . Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon
the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go
up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There
is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the
seventh time, that he said, Behold, there arises a little cloud out of the sea,
like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot,
and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the
mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there
was a great rain . . .

1 Kings 18:42-45

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hating the Waiting

 Hating the waiting? Me too. 

I hate waiting. 
Waiting for my exam results to show up on Angel.

Waiting for the old grandma to turn in the intersection- (you can turn right on red!!)

Waiting for my mom to get to the point.

Waiting for a bouquet of flowers to appear at my doorstep... (a girl can dream.) 

Waiting for God to answer a prayer. 

Waiting for healing.
Waiting for wisdom.

Waiting is hard. Sometimes it means staying inactive, until something happens.
 One can pray and seek... and nothing seems to happen.
Complete stillness, blank nothingness. So boring. Heart wrenching. Painful.

That's probably how Martha and Mary felt when Jesus didn't come to heal their brother Lazarus. John 11:6 says Jesus knew all about the sickness His friend Lazarus was suffering through. He knew His friend was dead, yet didn't even come to visit! Rude!! Jesus, You were a few miles away, You could have at least walked over! Actually, He didn't even have to walk over, He could have said the word and Lazarus would have been healed. Instead, He waited 2 extra days.

Why? (We love asking that question, mere mortals we are.)

Lazarus was already dead for four days. There was no hope for healing. No breath in his lungs. But Jesus had other plans. He came. He prayed. He healed. Breath came back to the dead lungs. The hard cold heart began pumping warm blood. Those muscles and joints began walking. Impossible! Yes, impossible. For us. But with God all things are possible.

Jesus likes to come when our human efforts are extinguished. That way- all the glory goes to God.

So if you are like the farmer waiting for that seed to grow into a beautiful crop- just wait. Maybe you are like me and hate waiting. You will want to dig up the seed and check if everything is under control "Hellooo, are you germinating there little guy?" Don't be silly, just wait. God will provide. God will do it all. Yeah, we can water it. But all we are left with is faith. Faith that something is going on under that dark soil. We can't see it- but God does.

Keep waiting (stop hating it). Because God is doing something. I hope this served as encouragement to you!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Veggie Burgers


1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil 


  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Roughly mash the black beans with a fork leaving some whole black beans in a paste-like mixture.
  3. Mix the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg into the black beans using your hands.
  4. Form the black bean mixture into 5 patties.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  6. Cook the patties in the hot oil until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.