#Blessed #twofortuesday

Welcome How many of us have used #blessed in our social media interactions? I know I have! I’m going to give a few perspectives about this extremely popular hashtag today. And it’s Tuesday, so we get two recipes, both on the brunch menu today.  Thanks for stopping by. Note–I may receive small compensation from advertisers or affiliate links seen on this blog. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.

 

Food For Thought  First of all, I want to share credit for the idea of this post today.  We are doing a series at church right now called “Vertical with Jesus.”  The general idea is about how we have to keep our eyes vertical, on the Lord, in the midst of endless horizontal, or worldly, distractions.  I’m pretty sure everyone can identify with that!  A couple of weeks ago, our minister, let’s call him CW, opened with some examples of how #blessed is being used in social media.  So, the idea is not originally mine, but these are my perspectives on the topic.  Let me explain further.

This hashtag is extremely popular.  As of right now, there are almost 80 million Instagram posts with the tag #blessed.  Even Bruno Mars makes this reference in his song “24K Magic” designating success as “blame it on Jesus, #blessed!”  Even I’m guilty of uses this moniker.  A couple of months ago I was enjoying writing for my blog with my brand new laptop out on my deck.  It was sunny, lightly breezy, and about 73 degrees.  I was thinking about how much I enjoy doing this blog, my gladness over not dealing with first-week-of-kindergarten stress, and taking in my surroundings of our home, deck, and wooded backyard.  I was definitely feeling #blessed, so I took a selfie and posted it to Instagram and Facebook to let everyone else know how blessed I am.  Was there anything wrong with this?  Not really, because I do consider those things blessings and wanted to label them as such.  But as CW pointed out from his Twitter research, people are using this hashtag in some interesting ways.  There was the football player who won the game and ran a fantastic number of yards in the game…he shared the news with #blessed.  An 18-year-old was gifted a brand new truck from his parents, and of course he was feeling #blessed.  He even shared the example of someone eating a delicious fresh bagel at a café that counted as a #blessing, with “prayer hands.”  He shared some other examples, which led the congregation to chuckle and my daughter to roll her eyes.  I think it’s great that so many people are “counting their blessings” (remember when # meant number?) and sharing them with the world.  Except it leads me to wonder if people are truly recognizing that everything we receive is a blessing, whether a delicious breakfast or brand new truck, or a struggle and opportunity for growth.  I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to say #blessed when I’m going through a painful trial in my life.  Parents and friends suffering illnesses are not necessarily something I want to write about in my gratitude journal.  And I rarely stop to thank God for that disagreement my husband and I just shared.

So now we’re going to get a little serious.  I want us to look at Matthew chapter 5, verses 3-12.  You may be very familiar with this teaching of Jesus often titled “The Beatitudes.”   I want you to think about who are really #blessed here.  Blessed are the poor.  Blessed are the mourning.  Blessed are the meek.  Blessed are the hungry.  Blessed are the persecuted.  Blessed are the insulted.  Let me tell you, I have experienced some of these events in my life, and I wasn’t feeling very blessed at the time.  But I was blessed…far beyond measure, and will continue to be blessed more than I can fathom.  I know this because God doesn’t just leave His word at “you are blessed.”  He gives promises, too.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”  “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Every single thing I have on this earth, no matter the size, is a blessing from God.  Receiving these spiritual blessings and rewards will be far better than any material blessing I could post to Instagram or Facebook.  When I start to live my life as though I’ve already received my blessings through Christ, then I will truly be #blessed.

Today’s Prayer  My Dear Heavenly Father, I know that all things come through You for my own good.  You bless me in every way, every day.  I thank You for all of the blessings–material, spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, and so much more.  Thank You most of all for blessing me with a savior, Your Song, Jesus Christ.  In His Name, Amen.

Today’s Scriptures  In addition to reading Matthew chapter 5 today, I encourage you to read the following verses about blessings.

Psalm 1:1  “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.”

Proverbs 10:6  “Blessings crown the head of the righteous…”

Genesis 27:29  “…May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”

Today’s Recipes  So many hashtags!  Oh, I use them too, trying to attract traffic and visitors to my blog with tempting recipes and food choices with tags like #sweettreats, #yumanddone, #comfortfood, or simply #foodblogger.  A great tag for today’s recipes would be #brunch and #easy.  Enjoy!

Sausage Cheese Puffs (makes 24 puffs; originally seen as an appetizer recipe on plainchicken.com; I have adjusted ingredients and amounts to serve as a brunch or breakfast dish.)

  • 3 cans refrigerated Pillsbury Grands Flakey Layers Biscuits
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage (we like Tennessee Pride)
  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese
  • 1 8-oz pkg. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Preheat oven to 375 and spray 2 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray.  Brown sausage in skillet.  When cooked through, add cheeses and stir until well blended.  Place a biscuit in each cup of muffin tin, spreading out and up the sides of the cup.  Fill each biscuit-lined cup with sausage and cheese mixture.  Bake 15-18 minutes.

Easy Loaded Potato Casserole

  • 1 pkg Simply Potatoes Steakhouse Seasoned Diced Potatoes (in the grocery refrigerator section)
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 TBS chives, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 8-oz pkg shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Kraft parmesan cheese
  • Garnishes-sour cream, chopped chives, and crumbled bacon
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees and spray large casserole dish with nonstick spray.  In large bowl combine potatoes and remaining ingredients (except garnish).  Place in casserole and bake 25-30 minutes.  Serve with sour cream and additional chives and bacon.

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