Archive for January 29th, 2011

Beans and Greens with Herbed Polenta

Polenta
1 ½ cups coarse yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (rosemary and parsley are especially good)
4 cups hot water
Olive oil for greasing

Beans and Greens
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 cups chopped onions
3 cups chopped Swiss chard, kale, or spinach, or a combination
1 24-ounce pasta sauce (I use Classico – Spicy Tomato and Basil)
1 can cooked cannellini beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Polenta
1. In a 3-quart pot, combine the cornmeal, salt, herbs, and water, making sure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, 3 minutes or until the polenta is thick and comes away easily from the sides of the pot.

2. Grease an 8 x 8 glass casserole dish. With a rubber spatula slide the polenta in to the casserole dish. Make the corners as square as possible. Allow the polenta to set at least 30 minutes.

For the Beans and Greens
1. In a large, deep-frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until it turns golden. Add the onions and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the greens and sauté, stirring, until wilted.

2. Stir in the tomatoes and beans and simmer 15 minutes.

To Serve
1. Cut the polenta into four equal rectangles and then cut each rectangle into four triangles. Place the triangles on oiled aluminum foil or an oiled grill under the broiler and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the exterior is a spotted brown. Remove from the heat.

2. Ladle on the bean mixture and top with extra basil.    Serves 4 to 6.

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Live It Out

Philippians 2:14-18 (NIV)
14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

In other words we should not be phony. We need to be blameless. Blameless is a word that means genuine, real, and authentic. It doesn’t mean sinless, because no one on this earth is sinless. But we should be blameless. Not only are we to be blameless but we are to be innocent or pure. I like this definition for pure. Pure is someone who is inexperienced with evil. We live in dangerous times because our culture is bankrupted of a moral conscience. But we as Christians need to be different; we need to be unwavering in our walk with Christ. And since we are children of God Paul says we need to be faultless. Faultless means without blemish. We need to live a straight life in a crook and depraved world. We are to be Faultless. Now, nobody is without fault but we should live our lives so that if someone said something scandalous about you or me that the people who know us would never believe it. That is our reputation. Our witness is compromised when we don’t live a life that is blameless and faultless. We all have this responsibility to be blameless. Now you may say to yourself that is just too much. How can I possibly live like that, that’s not me. You are right that is not us, that is Jesus, and Jesus is living in us. God will never ask us to do something that we can not do. So if God says to be blameless, pure and faultless in this world than by the power of God you can do all things in Christ Jesus. So, Live It Out.

How many of us have lost are testimony because of all the complaining and arguing we have done. How many of us can walk by a 100 blessings a day and complain about one little thing. We all know what happens when we begin to complain or argue selfishly. It ends up destroying lives, churches, and breaking God’s heart again and again. Remember, that Christ was obedient to God, even to death on the cross. Jesus never complained because He understood His job was to obey God and God was in charge of the rest. We complain because they forget that God is in control. Just like the children of Israel. 

Are you a complainer? Do you like to argue? Do you live a life that is blameless and pure? During your time of prayer and fasting ask God to lead you to a life that is free from complaining or arguing but live a life that is blameless, pure and faultless.

2) Pray for Pastor Josh’s ministry focus.

  • Pray that he has a clear vision from God.
  • Pray that he has a commitment to biblical priorities.
  • Pray that he remains true to his God-given gifts and strengths.

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