Archives for April 2013

5 Reasons Bad Things Happen to Good People

Creative Commons License photo credit: Squire of Cydonia

With all of the recent tragedies including the Sandy Hook Elementary Shootings and the Boston Marathon Bombings, I couldn’t help but want to dig into scripture. The Bible has a way of comforting, even when the words aren’t always what you expected.

In the past few months, I’ve also been given my fair share of personal trials and I can’t help but wonder why do bad things happen to good people? This is the result of my journey through scripture and why God says we are called to go through the hard times. I pray that this will not come off as inconsiderate, but as encouragement to get you through hard times.

1) To Get Us to Pray

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

– Romans 12:12

There’s nothing that brings us closer to God than prayer. After all, this is our time to make our concerns known to Him and to give thanks for our blessings. While trials can sometimes blur our vision of the good, behind the scenes God is delighted when we lean on Him.

We have a tendency to pray more intensely when we are in trouble, crying out to the Lord for help. Sometimes even in desperation. He wants us to be desperate for Him. It’s our chance to be reminded of hope.

When we’ve neglected to pray during times of joy and happiness, sometimes it takes a bad situation to bring us to our knees and cry out to the Lord.

2) To Remind Us of His Suffering

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

– 1 John 4: 12-13

Jesus Christ is not just our Savior, he was a physical man. Just like we don’t deserve some of the bad things that come our way, Jesus was undeserving of His suffering. The verse above actually encourages us to be glad! (I’m sure you’re thinking yeah right) Our trials make us partners with Christ. Have you ever considered that?

Your bad “stuff” gives you only a small glimpse of what He went through for us. This puts your suffering in comparison with His. Anybody second guessing anxiety about a bad hair day right now? Sometimes when I am in the middle of a hard time, I’m drawn to remember the cross. Everything else is but a shadow beneath it.

3) To Fulfill God’s Purpose

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

– Romans 8:28

How many times have you been going through a hard time and someone say God has a plan. And you think, well why in the world is losing my job part of God’s plan? Or did God really plan for my dog to die this young? Or may it’s something bigger or something very tragic. How can we possibly wrap our heads around something so horrible being something that God has planned for our lives?

The verse above says that And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God… Everything excludes nothing. It is ALL a part of his master plan for each of our lives and according to His purpose, though it may be hard to see at the time. It could be days, months, even years before we can look back and see why we were put through that trial in our life. In all things, He has control.

4) To Give Us Endurance

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

– James 1:2-4

I found that the word endurance means bearing hardship; staying power. We’ve addressed that when we have hard times that we are called to prayer, to be reminded of His suffering, and to carry out God’s will. Each of these things work together to get us through our own sufferings. What happens when we come through difficulty? We make it to the other side! Praise God!

I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. This might just be exactly what was meant by the verse above. But did you realize that adversity could actually make us well-developed? With each challenge, God says to consider it a gift. An obstacle overcome gives us another badge on our spiritual Brownies vest. (Do they wear vests?) Our endurance through one difficulty prepares us for another. We build knowledge and maturity that strengthens our faith.

The thesaurus has the words patience, perseverance, and courage listed as synonyms for endurance. I’m not sure that you can have any one of these without each other. We should be comforted to know that what we are going through will have a reward in the end and make us a better person.

5) For His Glory

Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.

– Psalm 50:15

Perhaps one of the most important reasons that we are called to go through trials and tribulations in this life is for God’s glory. After all, this was the precise reason that we were created. And what an honor it is to have such a purpose.

Bag things happen. It’s a part of life and the evil that exists in this world. Though God did not create evil (man and free-will did), He can rescue us from it. And yet the only thing that we must give in return is praise and glory to our gracious Savior. This alone thrills Him. Isn’t that amazing?

We aren’t called just to glorify Him in the bad, we are to glorify Him at all times. Through sickness and health, for richer and poorer, until we go to be with our precious Father.

Once we realize that our purpose in life is to glorify Him, it doesn’t matter if we’re having a joyful, encouraging day or a down and dreary day. We should not neglect to bring Him honor with our praise, especially through our trials and tribulations.


If you’re reading this today and are going through something challenging in your life. I’d love to pray for you. You can leave a comment here with your prayer request or feel free to email me. You don’t even have to tell me what for if you’re not comfortable.

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2-Ingredient Homemade Magic Shell

Ever since I can remember, I have been in love with the dipped cones from Sonic. I remember as a kid, we’d be coming home from church or school and I’d close my eyes and imagine that my parents’ blinker would come on once we got to Sonic. Oh the joy that would come when I’d hear that click click click. And if we did stop, sometimes that joy would be crushed by my dad eating the tip off my dipped cone. I still have a complex about that to this day…

I also adore that Magic Shell liquid that you pour over your ice cream. You know the stuff. It starts as a liquid, but the minute that it hits your ice cream it starts to harden and forms a shell. It’s basically the same thing as the dipped cones from Sonic. No wonder I love the stuff.

It was only recently that I found out how extremely SIMPLE it is to make magic shell. You can pay around $3 bucks for a bottle of it at the store. After you read this recipe, you may never purchase it ever again. I know I won’t.

There’s something about the fun of starting off with a liquid and watching it turn to a solid. Brings me back to high school when we would do science lab. I was usually pretty bored until we did the hands-on experiments.

You see the TWO ingredients that are used to make this lovely, tasty, and sweet ice cream topping combine together to make your own little science experiment each time that you eat a bowl of ice cream. Coconut oil is the ingredient that essentially causes the hardening with contact to the cold. And then of course, you have your chocolate chips that mix with the coconut oil to create the “shell”.

Therefore, you end up with a liquid that becomes a chocolatey, yummy, shell on top of your creamy ice cream. And to think that this recipe only contains two ingredients that takes only seconds to make. You’ll never go back to store-bought, I promise…

 You can use your favorite flavor of chips to make this. Use butterscotch chips, white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk, or semi-sweet. I store mine in an old chocolate syrup bottle. With the coconut oil as an ingredient, it tends to harden in the bottle after a while at room temp. Simply pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and it’ll be back to liquid and ready to create a chocolate shell over your ice cream.

Recipe courtesy of I Wash, You Dry.

2-Ingredient Homemade Magic Shell
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: I Wash, You Dry

With just 2 ingredients, you can create your own magic shell without a trip to the store!
  • 1/2 c. Coconut Oil
  • 12 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (or your choice)
  1. In a large microwavable bowl, combine the coconut oil and chocolate chips.
  2. Microwave at intervals of 30 seconds at 50% power, stirring between intervals.
  3. Pour over ice cream and allow to dry and harden.
  4. Store in an airtight container at ROOM TEMPERATURE.

If your magic shell hardens in the bottle, microwave it for about 30 seconds to get it back to a liquid again.


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Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Well hello there! Long time no….er….blog?

As I was preparing the pictures for this post, even my husband made the comment about my lack of my snapping of photos of our dinners. Yes, I am usually known as the papparazi of food around here, but for the past couple of months there have been some awesome things happening around here and needless to say, I’ve been just a bit preoccupied.

But have no fear! I have a recipe today. One that even the least of cooks can throw together in minutes and makes for a family pleasing meal. Crockpot Chicken Tacos only take 3 ingredients and one of them is water. Your HUSBAND could make these.

He might get a big head afterwards. Just tell him that he did fabulous on dinner and that you adore his culinary skills. You didn’t realize that Crockpot Chicken Tacos could help you stroke your husband’s ego did you?

The most important ingredient in this one is, well, chicken! You need about a pound to a pound and 1/2. I used fresh because I got some on clearance, but frozen will also work. You’ll just need to adjust your crockpot setting depending on how fast you’d like it to cook.

Use tenderloins, breasts, thighs, whatever you’d like. It’s going to get tender and you’ll shred it anyways.

Brace yourself, this is where it gets a little tough. You must open a packet of taco seasoning and sprinkle over the chicken. I know, I know. How could I ask you to do such a laborious thing? Well suck it up. You’ll live.

Here’s the last step. Add the amount of water listed on your taco seasoning packet to the crockpot.

Place the top on your crockpot and walk away. Go update your status. Take out the trash. Clip your toenails (you know who you are). Hey look, now you have time to make a dessert! Might I suggest Salted Caramel Brownies

I usually let it cook for about 6 hours on low when I’m using fresh chicken. Towards the end of the cooking, I usually add just a tad bit more water and then shred up the chicken. It’s so tender that just stirring it usually shreds it without hassle.

Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

We’ve started having what we’re calling Taco Tuesday. Some form of taco will be made on Tuesdays. Whether casserole, soup, or plain tacos, that’s our theme. And beef is good, but sometimes chicken feels a bit healthier. Plus, it’s a nice change.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Recipe Type: Main, Crockpot
Author: Pennywise Cook

With only 3 ingredients (one of which is water) and a crockpot, you can have chicken tacos for dinner tonight!
  • 1- 1.5 pounds fresh or frozen chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs (your choice)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • Water listed on taco seasoning packet + a bit more
  • Toppings of your choice
  1. Place fresh or frozen chicken into crockpot.
  2. Sprinkle with taco seasoning.
  3. Add the amount of water listed on the seasoning packet.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours (fresh chicken) or medium/high for 6 hours (frozen).
  5. Add a little water, about 1/4 cup towards the end. Let absorb then stir and shred.
  6. Serve with tortillas or shells and add your favorite toppings!


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The Supernatural Bell Boy

Creative Commons License photo credit: chattygd 

So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” – 1 Samuel 10:22 (NLT)

Have you ever looked around and compared yourself to others? For instance, maybe you’re sitting and enjoying a cone at the local ice cream shop and notice a family come through with 5 extremely loud and obnoxious kids. You think wow, I’m really glad that I don’t have 5 kids. What a nightmare! Or maybe you see a couple arguing outside and you think to yourself, I’m so glad that we don’t argue like that. It’s so easy for us to use others as a means to justify who we are, isn’t it? For the past 3 months, I’ve been on a journey. An incredible, spiritual, freeing journey.

Have you ever packed for a vacation saying that you’re really going to try and pack light this time? I think I say this every single time.

And yet each time, I find that I have at least 2 suitcases full of junk that I will never actually wear. I just think that I need those extra changes of clothes for comfort. Comfort in knowing that if I don’t like this outfit, I can wear that one. Comfort in knowing that if I eat too much that day, I can wear these elastic pants instead of those tight, hip-hugging jeans. At the end of the vacation, you end up with half a suitcase full of clothes that you never wore. And yet, you have lugged around this suitcase for days when had you just packed it lightly in the first place, you could have saved yourself an arm workout.

In the same way that I tend to overpack for vacations, I have carried “baggage” for years in my life. If this baggage were physical suitcases, there would probably be 10 of them stuffed to the brim.

You know, where I have to sit on top of them to actually get them to close.

I’ve never needed a bell boy to help me with my baggage. I have a tendency to want to carry them all by myself. After all, if someone helps me, they might see all of my ridiculous baggage and try to remove some of them from me. Wouldn’t that be scary. Not only that, but I hate tipping. But you see, after carrying around this “stuff” for years, I realized that there’s always been a bell boy standing there just waiting to lighten my load. He doesn’t even require a tip. His name is Jesus Christ. Seems so simple doesn’t it? Just drop your suitcases and this supernatural bell boy will carry them for you. It really is that simple.

I’m praying for the right time to write and share this baggage of mine. It has become my testimony and my faith has grown in leaps and bounds.

This supernatural bell boy can take your baggage too. And keep your tip. He doesn’t need it. He just needs you to drop your worries, cares, struggles, burdens and give them to Him.

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