Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Orient(al) Express



Revelation 4:11
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

For those of you who are new to Meditations of My Heart, you may not be aware that my husband, Danny, is the chief chef here at what we like to call The Orlando Cafe.  It's not that I don't or can't cook - I've pitched in plenty of times - but unlike me, Danny absolutely loves to cook.  It is as creative a task for him as writing is for me.

Last week, I glance over from my computer to observe Danny intently perusing his own screen.  He is so absorbed in what he is viewing, it piques my curiosity.

"What are you looking at, honey?"  I ask.

"Recipes," he answers.

"Recipes?  But you have a whole notebook full of them," I protest.  "Why do you need more?"

"Because I feel like I'm in a rut," Danny confesses.  "If I don't try something new, I'm afraid my creative juices will dry up.  I need some fresh inspiration.  What do you say we go Oriental this week?"

"Sure, that's fine," I say, knowing that in times past, when Danny has attempted an Asian dish, it has never quite turned out in a way that met his high standards.  I'm glad he's thrown down the gauntlet and is willing to strengthen his skills in this culinary zone that, thus far, has eluded him.

But the entire week?  I have my doubts at first, but there's no stopping Danny.  He's on an egg roll!







P. F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps




Pan Fried Dumplings 


Asian Garlic Noodles


Beef Noodle Stir Fry

And yes, every single meal in this Oriental Express is not only appealing to the eyes, but is bursting with mouth-watering flavors.  Danny's determination to change things up and embrace new challenges truly pays off.  It has certainly brought out the best in him!

~

Even in our spiritual lives, we can fall into a rut.  Maybe we only read scripture from one Bible instead of trying different versions now and then.  Perhaps our prayers have become a perfunctory performance instead of the priceless opportunity to converse with God.  Even worse, in our busy, hectic and harried lives, have we pushed the Lord to the back burner, made Him, who should be our first focus, just an afterthought?

The season of Lent begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday.  This is the perfect time for us to change things up in our Christian walk as we prepare our hearts for the coming of Easter and the celebration of Jesus' glorious resurrection.

I hope you will take a hard, honest look at where you are in your faith journey.  If you're feeling stale or uninspired, pray that the Holy Spirit will give you a new perspective, and lead you to challenges that will draw you closer to the Lord.

And bring out the best in you.

~

Do you observe the season of Lent?

Prayer:  Father, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, always and everywhere.  Turn our hearts to Yours so that we may worship and praise You in the way You deserve.  Refresh our relationship with You and inspire us to do Your will.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.


16 comments:

  1. It is 8:46 in the morning and my saliva is flowing after looking at the food. Shame on you! :) i grew up in a tradition that never observed Lent. I still don't. However, I have challenged myself several times the past few years. My challenge this year is to do without any pop (there goes my Dr pepper 10 or Diet Dr Pepper) and chips. I thought about chocolate but then figured I couldn't sacrifice that much. ROFL

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    1. I was afraid of just that, Bill. Lol!
      And that's a good challenge to take on, giving up the soda and chips. I'm with you when it comes to chocolate, though. Don't take that away!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. Those dishes look wonderful, maybe he should make a cook book so others can purchase it and make them too.

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    1. He certainly could, but since Danny gets recipes from other folks on line, they wouldn't be his originals. I have encouraged him to start a food page on Facebook where he posts both photos and the recipes. Maybe he will!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. My goodness, that looks delicious! My wife and I learned to cook together after we got married and we love to try new things. We love experimenting! As far as spiritual ruts, that's why I started a "read through the Bible in a year" plan after not doing one for a couple years. I felt like I was only reading "favorite" passages of scripture and not pushing past the comfort zones. Good challenge to us! Thanks Martha.

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    1. That's so neat that your wife and you cook together, Jason. Danny is so focused when he's creating a dish, I've learned it's better to stand aside. :)
      And that is a great endeavor - reading the Bible in a year - I began doing so at the beginning of Advent and am sticking with it for the first time ever. It feels great!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Hi Martha! Maybe your Fat Tuesday is going to be extra delicious! Yes, we observe Lent, and I agree with your thoughts about making this time a holy, intentional one. I am praying to be more in touch with my soul. God lives there, and I need to trust and hear His voice!

    Honest, hard looks are challenging, but how do I ever move forward without those?
    Happy Fat Tuesday :)
    Ceil

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    1. What a marvelous goal for Lent, Ceil, to be more in touch with your soul where God lives and learning to listen closely for His voice.
      And yes, our Fat Tuesday will be delicious - Asian tacos! Lord, we can't seem to get off that Oriental Express! :)
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. You can say that again! :)
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  6. Martha, Danny's creations look amazing and delicious! It's good to change things up from time to time--I try to do that so I won't fall into a rut. While I study from the King James, I try and read from a variety of Bibles. This a great time to get a fresh start in how we spend time with the Lord.

    As for Lent? I grew up in a tradition that didn't celebrate Lent. Now that I'm in the UMC I do at least know about, even if it's not a huge focus. At this point, I'm planning one for sure (and possibly another) post on Lent for my blog. For our Lenten small group study (at church), we're using the War Room materials.

    I guess for Lent this year, I want to continue to focus on abiding in Christ and on making space through decluttering.

    Love and blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, wow, Kim, your Lenten small study group sounds wonderful! I've yet to view that movie, but have been wanting to. Lent would be the perfect time to see it.
      Looking forward to your upcoming post on Lent and how you are observing it. Yes! Continue to focus on abiding in Christ and making space in your life, physically and spiritually. You can't go wrong there!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  7. Oh my what a blessing he is! Cooking isn't my favorite either and in retirement Bill has decided to learn to cook so will fix dinner once/twice a week. I so enjoy that and we have found new recipes due to his new interest. yummy

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    1. So glad Bill is stepping up to the plate when it comes to meal preparation. That's such a help!
      Yes, I count Danny as one of my greatest blessings in life. I'm one fortunate woman. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Yummy looking pictures and I so adore his thought. It is so true for each one of us in our routine work too.

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    1. Yes, indeed, Privy! We can get so bogged down in our routines, we miss the opportunity to be creative. Life's too short to do that. :)
      Love and blessings!

      Delete

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