The Covering Makes All the Difference!

28279775_10214869769836075_9002010879911261171_n

Baked chicken, spinach, and mushrooms … edible enough on their own .. but taken to a whole other level in this recipe with a covering of herbed cream cheese and melted mozzarella! The covering makes all the difference!

                                                                                        Mozzarella Chicken, Mushrooms & Spinach
Serves 6

Ingredients
:
6 thin sliced chicken breasts
1 container of green onion cream cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Large package of sliced mushrooms
1 small bag fresh baby spinach
Sprinkle of herb & garlic seasoning (Mrs. Dash or Weber or similar)
Sprinkle of pepper
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions
:
In a 9×13 baking dish, lay the chicken out in a single layer, top with spinach and mushrooms. Sprinkle the seasonings over the top. Soften cream cheese and whisk in olive oil and chicken broth. Pour over mixture. Lay a piece of foil over the top, but do not seal. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 20-25 minutes, then sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or until starting to brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve with a side salad and perhaps some buttered garlic bread!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT
Just as a simple chicken dish can be changed and greatly enhanced by the application of a wonderfully rich covering, so too can a sinful human being. Jesus said, “For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)  “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!” (Psalm 32:1-2)

The covering makes all the difference. Praying you are abundantly blessed!

— Cheri Henderson

What Makes a Chicken Salad Mexican?

Mexican Chicken Salad
                                                                                                      What makes a Chicken Salad Mexican? Ingredients like taco seasoning, chopped jalapenos, and shredded Mexican blend cheeses, that’s what, mis amigos! Not your typical chicken salad, this recipe is a quick and flavorful cold chicken salad with a Mexican flavor!  
                                                                                                                                                Mexican Chicken Salad
Serves 4
 
Ingredients:
 
2 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped into 1/2″ squares 
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Mexican shredded blend cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno peppers
1/2 tsp. taco seasoning mix
 
Directions:
 
In a small bowl, stir together chicken, celery, mayonnaise, shredded cheese, tomato, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and taco seasoning. Serve wrapped in a lettuce leaf or on a crisp bed of lettuce, a warm tortilla, or on a piece of flat bread! Muy deliciosa!  
 

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT

 

Just as certain unique ingredients are the things that make a Chicken Salad Mexican, what unique ingredients make a human being Christian?
 
Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ. What’s interesting is that Jesus himself never actually gave that name to His followers, and the early Church only a few times referred to themselves as Christians. In fact, the word “Christian” only appears three times in the entire Bible. The title which was most often used was “saints.” The Greek word for saints is hagios which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious”, and it is almost always used in the plural—“saints.” This reflects not just the individual, but the connection to a group of people set apart for the Lord and His Kingdom.
 
Unfortunately over time, even the word “Christian” has lost a great deal of its significance. Many people, in fact, consider themselves Christians simply because they go to church or they live in a “Christian” nation. However, going to church or living in America are not the “ingredients” that make people Christians any more than parking in a garage will make them automobiles. Outward action without inward change is simply a “slather of salsa on an empty taco shell”. 
 
The word “Christian” literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or “ambassador or follower of Christ.” So what are the specific “ingredients” that cause a human being to become a Christian?
 
Realize You Are a Sinner
Romans 3:23 tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” No human being in his or her own strength can remain sinless. Why? Because God’s “mark” is absolute, total, complete, flawless perfection! Jesus said, “Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). 
 
Repent of Your Sins
To repent means to “change” or to “turn.” It’s like driving down the highway, doing a complete 180 degree U-turn and heading the other direction. It’s more than simply being sorry; it is a word of action. Many people feel remorse for their sin, but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry; repentance is being sorry enough to stop. 
 
Believe in and Receive Jesus Christ Into Your Life
The Bible says, “But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). You believe in and receive Jesus Christ in your life because you realize that He is the very Son of God. He is the One who loves you so much that He died on a cross for you over 2,000 years ago to pay the penalty for your sin, and then rose from the dead three days later. 
 

That’s it in a taco shell, kiddos! Not only are these the ingredients that will help you recognize other Christians and be able to truly call yourself a Christian … it’s the complete recipe for eternal life!

 
— Cheri Henderson
 

Warning! Garlic Ahead!

27331832_10214656203417048_5096134799804782722_nI LOVE any recipe that calls for garlic (and I’m sure many who have crossed my path at one time or another have come to a quick realization of that fact!) Not only is garlic a delicious addition to many recipes, it is good for you! Garlic contains vitamins C and B6, manganese, selenium and other antioxidants. Recent evidence-based research also suggests garlic may be effective against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, colds and some cancers. 

 
As we all know, however, along with the benefits of garlic, comes a lingering odor some people find offensive.  That’s because when minced or crushed garlic is ingested, it releases volatile sulfur compounds that can offend those with a sensitive sense of smell. The potent compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream and then become vaporized while going through the lungs. Furthermore, the garlic aroma is not limited to your breath; it is also excreted through your pores and is a lingering “fragrance” that can last for twenty-four hours or more after consumption. And if you eat it on a regular basis, you’ll like earn a reputation and notice some people purposefully dodging you because of the offensive fragrance that consistently emanates from you.  Still, it’s SO worth it!  And this recipe, in particular!
Chicken & Bacon Pasta in Garlic Cream Sauce
Serves 4
Ingredients
6 bacon strips, cooked, drained, and crumbled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Italian seasoning
 2 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes (drained)
7 oz. diced tomatoes with green chiles
3 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/3 cups Half & Half
1-1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tsp. salt
10 oz. penne rigate
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
Directions:
In a small skillet, fry the bacon, drain, and crumble. Set aside on a paper towel,
In a separate, large skillet, heat olive oil on high heat until hot. Keeping the burner at high heat, add chicken breasts, sprinkle with paprika and italian seasoning, and cook on one side for 1 minute. Flip the chicken over and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Remove chicken and slice into thin strips. Reduce the heat to medium and place back into the pan for several minutes until no longer pink in the center. Remove 2/3 of the chicken from the pan and keep warm.
Add tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and half of the bacon and mix together. Add half & half and bring to a boil. After the half & half starts boiling, add grated Parmesan and immediately reduce to simmer and stir for 1-2 minutes (no more than 2 minutes) until the cheese melts and the sauce is creamy. Then immediately remove from heat. 
Add the salt, stir in the pasta, the remaining bacon and strips of chicken. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with a fresh, green salad! Wonderfully delicious!
 
Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT:
In a similar way, the reactions received by others to a consistent consumption of garlic is a good analogy for what we, as followers of Jesus Christ, will experience when we continually spend time in His presence, read His Word, worship, honor and live for Him. As we daily “taste and see that the Lord is good”, we will be filled with His presence and have the unmistakable “scent” of Christ.  2 Corinthians 2:14-16 says “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. The Message Bible quotes that verse this way: “In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma rich with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.” 
 
I LOVE Jesus! He is the Giver of Life and He is so very Good! I pray I am consistently emanating the exquisite fragrance of Jesus to everyone I encounter … and that the aroma is pleasing to you. If it isn’t, it can be! Taste and see, my friends!
 
-Cheri Henderson

Prepared in Advance!

14502924_1172902349415698_1841196629929695107_n

Here’s a delicious, new recipe I prepared night-before-last, so I could just put it in the crock pot and turn it on before leaving for work yesterday morning! Sometimes it takes a little advance preparation to be able to fully satisfy the hungry ones you’ll be feeding the next day, doesn’t it?

Red Beans, Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew
Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 15 – ounce can no-salt-added red beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
8 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
8 ounces boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 14 1/2 – ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups chopped green sweet peppers (2 large)
1 14 1/2 – ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 10 – ounce can tomatoes and chopped green chiles, undrained
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Sour cream to taste if desired

Directions:

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine beans, sweet potatoes, chicken, broth, sweet peppers, diced tomatoes, tomatoes and green chiles, Cajun seasoning, and garlic. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Remove 1 cup hot liquid from cooker. Whisk in peanut butter. Stir into mixture in cooker. Add sour cream to individual serving if desired.

Food for Thought
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Sometimes it takes a little advance preparation to be able to fully satisfy the hungry ones you’ll be encountering the next day … and as followers of Jesus Christ, that same concept applies on a spiritual level. Will you be prepared to “feed” someone who God might put in your path tomorrow? “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

Prepare in advance: Pray, study the Word, and spend time in the presence of the Lord. You might need to feed someone tomorrow!

— Cheri Henderson

Chicken Hunters!

13939476_1141602919212308_7760415485007450174_n

Another Henderson recipe favorite is Chicken Cacciatore! Did you know that Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian? In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with onions, herbs, usually tomatoes, and sometimes wine. So what do you say? Let’s go hunt us some chicken and make up a batch!

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4-8

Ingredients:
2-3 onions
2-4 pounds chicken (breasts or thighs, skinned and boneless)
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or broth
2 tablespoons capers
20 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped coarsely
1 bunch fresh parsley or basil, stemmed and coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
Cooked angel hair pasta

Directions:
Place sliced onion in the crockpot and cover with chicken. In a bowl, stir tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and white wine together. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until chicken is tender. Stir in capers, olives and herbs just before serving. Serve over cooked pasta.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT

Just like a “chicken hunter” goes after the main ingredient to create a wonderfully nutritious and appealing meal, so too, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be “soul hunters”, going after the lost ones so they can give their hearts to Jesus, experience new life, and become part of a spiritually nurturing, beautiful Body of Christ! And Jesus said unto them, “Go everywhere and announce the good news of Jesus Christ to every living person you meet. He who believes [in Me] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of God’s wrath and judgment]; but he who does not believe that I died in their place as the penalty for their sins and rose from the dead so that they, too, could do the same, will be condemned to an eternity of isolation, darkness, burning wind, and flames of unquenchable fire“. (Mark 16:15-16)

“I love them too much to see this happen! So get busy! Go hunting … and bring them to Me!”

— Cheri Henderson

A Birthday Blessing for my Husband

13907141_1141578329214767_1176086549494632198_n

A couple of weeks ago, my sweet husband celebrated a banner birthday, and so for each evening of his “Birthday Week”, I decided to prepare one of his favorite meals. This recipe was the first one I made for him because it is one of his very favorites! He was very pleased!

Parmesan Turkey & Rice Bake
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped cooked turkey (or chicken)
4 cups chopped celery
2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons finely chopped onion
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, combine turkey, celery, mayonnaise, rice, cheese, onion, lemon juice and salt. Spoon mixture into greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Top with almonds. Bake 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Great served with sliced tomatoes or a garden salad!

Food for ThoughtInstead of sharing a “Food for Thought” devotional this time, I just want to take a moment to honor my husband, and to say how VERY glad I am that he was born!!! He is such a blessing in my life and his birthday truly is MY gift! And so, this a blessing I want to speak over him for the rest of his days:

“The Lord continue to bless you and keep you; the Lord continue to make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord continue to turn his face toward you and give you peace!”

My partner, my love … he is so much a part of me that it’s impossible to imagine what my life would have been without him. Thank you, Lord, for the precious gift of my husband! Happy Birthday, my sweet Timothy! The adventure continues and I’m looking forward to all that is ahead! I love you so much!

–Cheri Henderson

It’s “Thyme” to Eat a Great Meal!

14232567_1156144964424770_1397815406292080888_n

 

 

The “thyme” has arrived to share one of the most incredibly delicious recipes I have ever tasted!

 

Cider-Braised Chicken, Sprouts and Apples
Serves 6

Ingredients:
5 slices of bacon, chopped
4 bone-in, skin-on on thighs
4 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts
2 red apples, cut into wedges
1 12-ounce bottle of hard cider
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, stripped from the stem
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups trimmed and halved brussel sprouts

Directions:

Strip 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme from the stem and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the whole grain mustard, kosher salt and hard cider and set aside.

In a very large skillet, cook 5 chopped slices of bacon over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Add the thighs and chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook 8 minutes on each side or until browned; remove from pan. Add the apple wedges and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides and remove from pan. Discard the drippings. Add the mustard, salt, and cider mixture to the pan, scraping up the brown bits. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and return the chicken to the skillet. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the halved brussel sprouts and cook covered for an additional 10 minutes. Add the apple wedges and cook uncovered for 5 minutes or more or until the chicken is done and tender. Sprinkle with bacon bits and serve.

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT

Several herb guides suggest thyme has an earthiness that pairs well with pork, lamb, or chicken. This “earthy” description reminds me of a similar description for another kind of “time” … a lifetime. “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust (earth) you are and to dust (earth) you will return.” (Genesis 3:19)

How long do we have before such a thing will happen? “You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)

I saw a Facebook meme yesterday, written by Samuel Decker Thompson, that said “We are all just a car crash, a diagnosis, an unexpected phone call, a newfound love, or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person. How beautifully fragile are we that so many things can take but a moment to alter who we are forever” … even ending this life as we know it, obliterating it in an instant as our spirit man enters into eternity. Life is fragile, time is short, and eternity is forever. We need to be ready for this eventuality because no one will escape it.

For God so greatly loves and dearly prizes you, that He gave His One and only begotten Son, that if you would just believe and trust in Him as your Savior, you will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) “And there is salvation in no one else (but Jesus Christ); for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” (Acts 4:12 Amp)

If you haven’t yet bowed your knee to the One who died on your behalf so you could spend eternity in heaven with Him, you need to … and soon! “Behold, now is the favorable Time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

And if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the time in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matthew 25:13) “Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil. Therefore do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Time. It’s short. Use it wisely.

–Cheri Henderson

Say “Cheese” & Smile!

12733604_10208068439047056_7696966460834834525_nOkay; I admit it. I am quite the cheese lover!

Whether alone, breaded and fried, included within or melted over an entrée … it is a great pleasure to my palate! Macaroni and cheese, ham and cheese, grilled cheese, pepperoni and cheese, cheesy mets, etc., etc.  Yummo!!!

In that regard, the following recipe is one of my very favorites!

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
(Serves: 8)

Ingredients:
2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken onto two-inch pieces
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimentos, drained
2 cups reserved chicken broth from the pot that cooked the chicken
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup additional grated sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:
Cook two to three boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes. Cut the cooked breasts into ½ inch pieces to make two cups. Cook the spaghetti in the same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When the spaghetti is cooked, combine it with the 2 cups of chicken breasts and the remaining ingredients, except the one cup of additional sharp cheddar.

Place the mixture in a casserole pan and top with the remaining sharp cheddar. You can cover and freeze it for up to six months, cover and refrigerate for up to two days, or bake it immediately at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on the top starts to brown, cover it with foil).

Then say “cheese”, smile, and enjoy this scrumptious dish!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT

As you probably know, photographers for years have instructed their subjects to say “cheese” right before the picture is taken. Why? Because speaking the word “cheese” causes the corners of the mouth to turn up, cheeks to lift and teeth to show, giving the appearance of a smile whether genuine or not.

There’s also another word that, when said, can bring a real smile to our lips and genuine joy to our hearts. It is THE Word … the first Word, the only Word, the final Word … the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us, the Word that has existed from the beginning, was with God, and was God. The Word is Jesus!  There is something about that Name!  And as we speak His Name, recognizing the power that’s in it and all that it provides, how can we not smile?

Eternal Salvation!

  • Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  – Acts 4:12 (KJV)
  • Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:9-11 (KJV)

Strength, Healing, Deliverance, Restoration & Protection!

  • By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. Acts 3:16 (NIV)
  • And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. – Mark 16:17-18 (KJV)
  • And she did this for many days. Then Paul, being sorely annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit within her, I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out that very moment. – Acts 16:18 (AMP)
  • The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and are safe. – Proverbs 18:10 (KJV)

Answered Prayer & Complete Joy!

  • Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.– John 16:23-24 (NIV)

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a lot to smile about, don’t we!

So say His Name … smile, and have a joy-filled day!

–Cheri Henderson

Another Boneless Chicken Recipe

BonelessChickenRanchAs I was preparing this recipe last night, I began to laugh as I remembered Gary Larson’s “Far Side” illustration of the “Boneless Chicken Ranch”.  When it first appeared in the newspaper back in the 1980’s, my husband and I thought it was so funny, we displayed it on our refrigerator for months! Those poor chickens!  What a terrible way to live!

But when it comes to making a recipe, I’m very thankful for the availability of boneless chicken breasts! I realize they are a little more pricey than buying bone-in chicken, but I find the ease and time saved from not having to remove the bones is worth it!

Crispy Cheddar Chicken
Crispy Cheddar Chicken
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:
2 lbs. chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Sauce:
1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoon butter

Directions:
Set oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

Crush crackers in a gallon-sized zip lock bag. If using chicken breasts and not tenders, cut each chicken breast into 3 large pieces. Pour the milk into a small bowl and in another bowl, stir together the salt and paper, cheese and crackers. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then the cracker/cheese mixture. Generously press and mold the cracker mixture around the chicken with your fingers and lay the chicken inside the pan. Once all of the chicken is in the pan, cover with any remaining cracker mixture and sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.

In a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken.

Delicious! And wonderful served with mashed taters and a vegetable or side salad!

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT:
When Christians lack the power to stand, I wonder if the enemy views us in a similar way to the boneless chicken ranch . . . as “spineless little chickens”, prime for his recipe of destruction? In that scenario, what an easy target we would be for a good kick in the head . . . or perhaps a 40-yard punt into a territory we were trying to avoid!

When faced with a situation where we’re feeling a little “weak in the knees”, what is our best recourse? How do we remain standing?

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  (Ephesians 6:10-17)

And the last verse of this passage is key:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6: 18)

The best way to remain standing is to first kneel.

“For this reason [seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name].  May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].” (Ephesians 3:14-16 Amplified)

Amen?

Amen!

–Cheri Henderson

Bogged Down and Sour No More!

Baked Cranberry Chicken

Cranberries by themselves can be a pretty sour eating experience!

But when combined with other complimentary foods, spices, or sugars, they contribute towards a unique blend of flavors . . . and a nutritious, finished entrée!

Here’s a perfect example!

Baked Cranberry Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

4 (5 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – flattened
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
¼ cup white wine
1 cup stuffing mix
1/3 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup melted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a glass baking dish by spraying with cooking spray.

Place chicken breasts into baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Stir together chicken soup and wine; pour over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with stuffing mix and cranberries, drizzle butter over top.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Food for ThoughtFOOD FOR THOUGHT:

According to “How Stuff Works.com”, cranberries are a very sought-after crop because they’re versatile and packed with nutrients and antioxidants. They also grow in a most unique environment – a bog … which is a wetland full of sphagnum moss, acidic waters, and peat deposits.

While growing in a bog, cranberry plants have to contend with a host of unfavorable conditions, and it’s amazing they have the durability to survive in this habitat.  Cranberries need fresh water to survive, but bogs consist of mostly acidic water. God has designed this plant, however, with tough woody stems and small leaves that have a leather-like consistency. This design enables the plant to retain as much fresh water as possible by restricting the amount of usable water that passes through. The plant’s fine roots also absorb and use organic nitrogen to survive, despite the scarcity of nutrients in the bog’s sterile soil. What’s more, cranberry vines are resilient — an undamaged one can last indefinitely. In fact, some vines have been found to be more than 150 years old!

Considering the cranberry’s delicate nature and vibrant ruby red glow, it’s hard to imagine that the ideal environment for its survival would be such an unusual and harsh place. But God created it to survive and thrive . . . just as He has each of us. When we gave our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, we became new creations that day, old things passed away, all things became new … and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives from that point forward has given us the “durability to survive in this habitat”!  “The Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” – Romans 8:26.  We live in an unusual and harsh place, but we are not part of it! “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” – 1 Peter 2:11“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10.

“Bogs filled with acidic water” may surround us, but John 7:38 tells us “He who believes in Me, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” And just as the cranberry plant’s fine roots absorb organic nitrogen to survive … if it were left up to the nutrients of this world, we would spiritually starve to death!  Jesus is, however, the vine from which we draw our nutrients!  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5.

And just as the cranberry vines are resilient and can last indefinitely, we too will live forever! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.

Lastly, just like cranberries by themselves can be a sour eating experience, Christians facing tough times alone may find their walks weakened and their dispositions soured.  That’s one reason why God places the children He has adopted into spiritual families, the faith communities where we both give and receive encouragement.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:23-25.

Those of us who follow in the steps of Jesus are called to fellowship with each other, to encourage and build one another up. And as we do, the unique gifts He’s given to each of us will blend together to deliver a spiritually nourished church full of love and good deeds!

— Cheri Henderson