Friday, November 25, 2016

Refocusing During Trials

I have spent much of this morning trying to get my focus re-adjusted and came across this verse. (I was also encouraged by a post written by my friend, Ellen, about how we tend to focus on only getting out of our trials and miss so many of the things we should be thankful for). We aren't defined by what our circumstances currently look like. And God is faithful to deliver us from the "nets" (complicated circumstances/snares/trials/evil intentions that our enemy tries to trap us in). Because remember, what man intends for evil, God can turn it unto good. (Gen 50:20). No matter what you are going through, you know, and I know, it is a daily struggle to keep our eyes focused upon the Lord, so I encourage you to stay in His Word and in constant communication with God. You can talk to Him silently all throughout the day. I also know one of the purposes of our pain and trials is to encourage others. We all need the experiences of the victories of God bringing us through circumstances so we can help others someday, sooner or later. So, please, don't give up, but instead, keep your eyes lifted up. Repeat and commit to memory Colossians 3:2 or if you are really ambitious, memorize Philippians 4:8. #BeEncouraged

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spinach Artichoke Parmesan Soup Recipe




Lately, we have been trying several new recipes at Team Gage Headquarters.  Sometimes the quest to be budget conscious and waistline friendly can be a daunting task.  But we have found some tasty recipes lately that fit both categories and we want to share them with you.  So, every once in awhile, we are going to share a recipe that Team Gage has tried and loved.  (We will also post some tasty, not so good for you recipes, because, let's face it, we all want a "treat" now and again!)

Soups are often on our weekly menu, no matter the season.  We recently tried this Crock Pot Spinach Artichoke Parmesan Soup and it was a hit!  



While this recipe link (from redefinedmom.com) is also pinned on my Pinterest account, I will include the step by step directions below:

http://redefinedmom.com/slow-cooker-spinach-artichoke-parmesan-soup-recipe/#_a5y_p=4422862


Recipe Yields: 4-5 Servings
Ingredients
8 ounces frozen spinach
14 ounces artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped roughly
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp pepper
1⁄8 tsp red pepper flakes
1⁄2 cup evaporated milk
1⁄2 cup milk (any kind)
1⁄2 cup flour
4 ounces cream cheese, cut in 4 chunks
1⁄4 parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large slow cooker, add spinach, artichokes, onion, garlic, olive oil, broth, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook on high for 5 hours, or low for 7-8 hours.
2. After spinach mixture has cooked throughly, in a separate bowl, add evaporated milk, milk, and flour; whisk to combine completely. Add milk mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes.
3. Remove cover, add cream cheese and 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, stir to combine.
4. Serve in bowls garnished with additional parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.
5. Enjoy

May you be Blessed and Encouraged today!

Much Love from,
Simply Team Gage

https://www.pinterest.com/clgage/

Friday, March 11, 2016

Our Punctuality and God's Timing



Hello!  It's been quite awhile hasn't it? Really, it's been too long in my opinion.  But like I said last week, "we're back", for hopefully some consistency (which happens to be my word for 2016) and follow through. Better late than never right?  Not all would agree with that phrase.  Promptness is, after all common courtesy, right?

"If you're on time, you're late; but if you're 15 minutes early, you're on time",  isn't that how the saying goes?


I feel very strongly about this issue, or area of  "common courtesy", shall we say, because of an ongoing experience I endured growing up. Meaning, I had a mother who was ALWAYS the last one to arrive anywhere!  It was embarrassing and frustrating, but until I got my license to drive, I was stuck with being tardy. (She was so late for my wedding rehearsal, she almost missed it.) So I made it a priority in life, once I was out of my parent's house, to be on time or early.  Even when I had two toddlers to get ready for church, I just woke up earlier and made it happen.  I've realized staying involved in life helps develop and keep this good habit.  When people depend on you to be somewhere at a particular time, whether it's arriving at your job, volunteering for PTA, meeting the guys at the gun range, participating in an area of service at church, showing up for baseball practice, etc., you tend to stay on schedule and develop a routine that works.

But, it's not as easy to be on time when you feel you aren't needed, or you're not involved, or you don't feel like anyone cares if you show or not.  When we make ourselves an island, suddenly promptness doesn't matter as much.  When you have a job, an area of church service, are attending a class, are invested in someone's life, etc. you make sure you're there. You are accountable to people in those different areas.

I will admit, as big of a proponent as I was to always being on time, not ever wanting to let someone down, showing others I could always be counted on . . . I have fallen into that habit of thinking, "well, no one will notice if I'm a few minutes late', or "I don't need to get ready just yet, there's plenty of time" . . . but when my husband comments, "we are going to be late again." I snap to and a huge sense of dread envelopes me like a cloak of failure, because I realize that I'm doing exactly the thing I loathed growing up.  

Being habitually late is a selfish act, and I, for one, never like to admit that I'm being selfish.  But I am. I'm selfish. And selfishness is a sin. Period.


So now I'm going to switch gears here, just a little bit, because this got me wondering about all the sayings about "God's Timing".  Is He always on time? Hmmm, I notice we tend to ask ourselves questions like, "Does His answer always happen by the date a bill is due?  Or before the death of a loved one? Or in time set aside for a meeting already scheduled well in advance?"

His answers don't always happen on our time, do they? Now, that's not to say God doesn't honor a person who makes it a priority to be where he says he's going to be when he says he's going to be there.  But God's awesome plans for our lives and solutions to our problems don't always fit into the scheduler, planner or calendars on our smartphones.  He doesn't limit Himself to our short sighted view of life or of our problems.  I think we would be amazed at how much more wonderful life would be if He were invited into every little decision.  We often tend to try and figure out the "little" decisions on our own,  not inviting God into the process and never giving thought to how they may affect the BIG situations in our lives. And then, when things get out of hand and the situations become a BIG deal, we remember, "Oh Yeah, I should pray and ask God to fix this!" Perhaps had we (and I am speaking BIGTIME to myself here) included Him in on EVERYTHING, we would be experiencing His Peace throughout our daily lives, no matter the size of our circumstance! His ways far exceed what "fixes" we can come up with ourselves.

But if His time isn't fitting in with the commitments we've made and if God's not selfish, what is really going on here?

One of the reasons I'm writing on this subject is because we have experienced God's timing, not just in the "when" but in the "how" several times in our lives.  And it's not always the big "issues" of life, it happens with the small things  too, and what a Joy and Blessing when we realize it!



Here is one example of how we have experienced "God's When and How". There was a meeting that needed to happen in  another state on a specific day, for my husband's line of work. But phone calls were going  unanswered and emails were not responded to. It didn't look like it was going to happen and this was going to reflect very poorly on my husband. Flight and hotel arrangements had already been made. As it turns out on the MORNING OF THE MEETING he received confirmation at 5:00am that the meeting would indeed happen, just at a later time than originally requested. Well, that particular timing ended up being a HUGE BLESSING because there was a transportation issue, that no one (but God) anticipated when trying to schedule the original meeting. Had the earlier time been confirmed, my husband would not have had transportation to get there. But God knew all of this, and in his perfect timing the meeting was arranged for a later time when transportation was available. He knew and He took care of it! My husband was in awe and very thankful. He inspires me when he sees the little things in our day that God works out. I'm striving to be more attentive in these matters.

Another example I'll share involved a banking mistake and miscommunication that really was going to put us in a bind, I overreacted, thought the worst,  wasted so much energy with my "sky was falling" attitude. But, God worked it out THREE DAYS EARLIER than the bank said would be possible! So, I wasted a BUNCH of energy being stressed out, worried and angry about that situation. 


I'm still learning and hope you will be encouraged to do the same each day as you journey through this life, "On Time" and with "God's Timing".

Much Love,
Team Gage

#BeEncouraged

P.S. Feel free to comment below and share your experiences with God's Timing. We'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

We're Back!



Hello!  Remember us?  The Simply Team Gage Blog?  Yes, that's the one! Well, we're back after a long, unintentional break.  Didn't plan it, just happened . . . well ok . .  no, it didn't "just happen" . . . we let other things get in the way. But it has been weighing HEAVILY on our hearts to start writing again, so we are putting it out here and on social media that we are back up and running!  So much to share, so many things in the works for you all! We are praying it all will be a blessing and encouragement to you!

Sometimes it is very difficult to put yourself "back out there" once you have pulled back from relationships, service, commitments, activities, etc. (We will blog more on this specific topic soon!) So consider this your announcement - or warning - that we are putting ourselves back out into the "blog-o-sphere"!

And that means we are accountable and must keep our word! So please, if a week goes by and you don't see a Simply Team Gage blog post, call us out on it! 

Be blessed!

Much Love,

Team Gage



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Who is a "Child of God', really? And what does it have to do with a 'Gift'?



 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I think Reverend Billy Graham said it best when he quoted John 3:16 and said: 

"Now that is the Gospel in a nutshell, everything you need to know about redemption and salvation is in that one verse of scripture.  Twenty-five wonderful words!"

We write, post, chat, speak of and blog a lot about being a "Child of God" and the benefits that go along with that title.  A child of God is a phrase that has been used to speak of all human race, but it is actually meant for those who have made a decision to trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior:

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26 KJV)




Acts 16:30: "...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

Maybe you wonder, like the jailer did in Acts 16, what do you do to be called a child of God?  My purpose in writing this piece is not to stir a debate, I write this to simply inform those who wonder, who desire to know, how to be saved (and while John 3:16 is really all you need, I'm including a few other verses to help you with your decision).

Ask yourself some questions, then find the Biblical answer, then pray to accept His gift, which is available to all mankind, though not all mankind will choose to accept it

Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

1 John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God"

Realize God loves you:

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Realize you, along with everyone else, are a sinner:

Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."

Romans 3:23 " For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;"

Realize sin has a price that must be paid:

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all man, for that all have sinned:"

Realize Jesus Christ died to pay YOUR price:

Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."




Confess and Pray and Accept:

Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, 

I know that I am a sinner.  Please forgive me of my sins.  I accept you as my Savior.  I am trusting you to take me to heaven when I die.  Thank you for saving me.  In Jesus' name, Amen.




"If any of you desire to be saved by works, remember one sin will spoil your righteousness; one dust of this earth's dross will spoil the beauty of that perfect righteousness which God requires at your hands. If ye would be saved by works, ye must be as holy as the angels, ye must be as pure and as immaculate as Jesus; for the law requires perfection. The power to receive is scarcely a power, and yet it is the only power needed for salvation. Come along and take what Christ doth freely give you. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe intensely." - Spurgeon

Our family has been blessed to be members, since 1998, of a Bible believing church that teaches these scriptures and encourages all to share and to lead others to Salvation in Jesus Christ.

We'd love to hear from you if by the reading of this post you made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, and/or led someone else to the same decision.  Let us know at: teamgage28@gmail.com

Praying for all who may read this,
Team Gage

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Creamy Chicken Pesto Primavera


I cooked up something WONDERFUL with these veggies!

We have a new favorite chicken dinner!  And it's called Creamy Chicken Pesto Primavera! Sans pasta - I promise you won't even miss the pasta!  Not one little bit!  I spotted this on the 'Low Carbing with Friends' facebook page and decided to give it a try, and boy are our taste buds glad I did!  You have to try this!

Go ahead and make your grocery list, right now, with these ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup basil pesto (I bought a jar, but you can make your own)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless chicken, cut into strips (I bought tenderloins)
1/4 large bunch of broccoli, including stalks, cut into florets (I used the whole bunch and did not include the stalks)
2 small green zucchini, cut into half moons (I used one large, wished I'd have used two large)
1 bunch of asparagus cut into 1 1/2 inch sticks
1/2 cup of real bacon bits
1 cup of parmesan cheese
16 leaves fresh basil, whole or hand torn
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

NOTE: Have everything prepared and ready to go, because this is done quickly with a very hot pan.  You can do two pans at the same time or in two quick batches, which is how I did it.

- In bowl, mix together your pesto and whipping cream, set aside. 

- Since olive oil burns quickly when it's added to a hot pan, go ahead and toss your chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

- Heat a large saute pan over high heat.

- Sprinkle you chicken around the bottom of the hot pan and let it sear and get nice and golden on one side. Do not crowd the pan.  Drizzle any extra oil from the chicken bowl into the pan.

- Add broccoli and toss together with the chicken.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook for about one minute.

- Add zucchini half moons to the pan and toss.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook for about one minute.

- Add asparagus to the pan and toss.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook for about two minutes.

- Add bacon bits to the pan and cook for about one minute.



- Pour pesto cream sauce into the pan and swirl all the ingredients together.  When the cream sauce begins to noticeably thicken, about one to two minutes, dust the pan with the grated parmesan cheese and toss the ingredients together.

- Serve topped with fresh basil leaves.



It is fantastic!!!!! My youngest and I competed for the last lunch leftovers!



For the full recipe info click here:
www.djfoodie.com/chicken-green-things

Hope you enjoy as much as we did!  

Much love from,
Team Gage

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The YOLO Mindset


YOLO has been a popular saying among our youth.  I recently heard on the radio that "YOLO" was ranked #1 . . .

...in a list of the 'Top 10 Most Annoying Slang Words'. For those of you unfamiliar with this slang word/acronym, it simply means: You Only Live Once.  Basically the premise behind the "YOLO" mindset is an attitude of: "If it feels good just do it", or "who cares, why not".


So, I would say, "Since you only live once, so let's go for it"! Which isn't necessarily a bad modus operandi. Now, hear me out . . . It's true, we only live once, so why wouldn't we go for it? By "going for it" I mean to live in a way that is pleasing to The Lord by truly being a difference maker.  

Live in a way each day as to make a difference for your life and for others in eternity.  In the BIG things and the little things . . . in everything!  We want to challenge you to DEFINITELY live with the YOLO mentality, but with a Godly mission and purpose.  Just be a Blessing!



I saw a t-shirt once that said "YOLO, but what will happen After you Die?" Hmmm, there's some food for thought and some purpose for our mission.

"And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgement:  So Christ was offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin  unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:27-28)

I recently posted on our Team Gage facebook page:

We all have a limited amount of time with which to honor God. What if today, we started living and "doing" with the mindset of this, "Everything I do today is somehow connected to life in eternity, so I'm going to do it well, praying it's pleasing to Him."

Colossians 3:17 tells us:

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."


YOLO,
Team Gage

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