“Only Jesus!” And Concert Highlights

Welcome  What a blessing for me and my family to attend the Casting Crowns “Only Jesus” concert a couple weeks ago.  When heading out for a night like this, one must be prepared to be moved in a spiritual way.  My husband, daughter, and I each walked away with our own unique experience, but all positive.

Food For Thought  This was only the second concert my daughter has attended, so attending a concert was in itself an exciting experience for her.  Her favorite singer is Zach Williams (Fear is a Liar; Chain Breaker; Survivor) so seeing him as an opening act for the show was definitely a highlight.  But as I watched her through the night, I saw a glow in her eyes that I’ve not seen.  I saw her lift her hands and close her eyes, worshipping God like I’ve never witnessed.  But it didn’t stop with the concert.  It’s carried over into her daily life.  She’s started picking up her Bible more, by her own choice.  She’s working on memory verses with new enthusiasm.  And she’s sharing the love of Jesus with her peers.  That is not an easy task to undertake in our current world, but I see that she “gets it.”  She has the joy in her heart and she knows that’s worth sharing with others.

My husband has only started listening to Christian music in the past couple years, at my request.  As parents, he is beginning to understand that it is important to be picky about what we let our daughter hear and see, including the music she listens to in the car.  So his car station is set on one of two Christian music stations.  When we asked if he would be our “date” to the concert, he said he would be happy to accompany his girls.  So even after working a full day at work, he was willing to be out until midnight so he could share in this wonderful evening with us.  And I got to witness him moved to tears by a song.  This has only happened a few times, so I knew he was feeling something big.  The song was East to West by Casting Crowns.  He didn’t elaborate, but simply said, “That song really got to me.”  Now, whenever I hear that song, I am moved to tears myself.

Then, God used a song to speak to me, as well.  I knew close to every song by every artist there that night.  I’ve heard them all many times.  I know the words and I sang along.  I knew I would be particularly moved by certain songs, like Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams and Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns.  But the song that spoke volumes to me that night was Only Jesus, a song released last year by Casting Crowns.

I know a little something about trying to make a name for myself.  I too have been caught up in chasing dreams, success, and the need to feel important.  But I was reminded, very strongly, that IT’S NOT ABOUT ME!  I’ve even written about leaving a legacy and what, if anything, I’ll be known for when I’m gone from this earth.  BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER!  What does?  Only Jesus.  I have felt called to do something different with my life, something that is not often accepted socially these days, and that is proclaim my faith.

I’ve gone full-circle in this faith walk of life.  I’ve been the eager young recruit.  I’ve been the bogged down, hanging on to faith-by-a-string working mom.  I’ve been the miserable, middle-aged woman who wants to cash it all in, including my trust in God.  And now, I’m walking a path that tells the story of not what I can do for God, but what He does for me.  I share what He can and will do for you, too.

I need to get over myself.  I’ve been struggling with numbers and rejections, but even bigger, I’ve been struggling with my own pride and ego.  And that’s when I need this reminder…”I don’t need to leave a legacy.  I don’t care if they remember me.”  It’s not about me, ONLY JESUS!

Today’s Scripture

Today’s Recipe  Yes, our concert experience was amazing.  The whole night was fun with faith and family.  With one exception…dinner.

My husband and I have always enjoyed Red Robin’s burgers.  They are quite tasty and bottomless steak fries can’t be a bad thing, right?  We don’t eat there very often, though, as it’s a bit more out of the way than a lot of other eateries.  It had been at least a year, if not longer, since we had visited this restaurant.  There is one close to the concert venue, so we decided that would be our pre-concert dinner.  The food was still good.  The bill…was not!  It was $60 for my family of three to eat burgers, fries, and soft drinks.  No appetizers.  No add-ons.  No desserts.  No alcoholic beverages.  But $60!!!  That is WAAAYYY too much to spend on a meal of that caliber.  We could have had really good Mexican or some filling comfort food from a country-style eatery for cheaper.

These days, our budget is always a consideration when it comes to evenings out.  Had we known the end bill would be that high for that little of food, we would have chosen another place.  In the future, we will need to consider this better.  Luckily, our family doesn’t eat out that often.  Instead, I can make some pretty great tasting burgers and potato wedges right here in my own kitchen, like these Chili Garlic Cheeseburgers and Salt & Pepper Potato Wedges.

Chili Garlic Cheeseburgers

I recently found this great product in the “specialties” section while shopping at Aldi.  It was a jar of minced chilis with garlic.  It looks like the jar of minced garlic I buy at the store on a regular basis.  Except, it’s bright red from the chilis.  Just take a look at those burger patties with their chunks of garlic and chilis.  So much flavor there!  If you are not able to find a product such as this, you can substitute (for two pounds of meat) a tablespoon of minced garlic from a jar and a tablespoon of chili paste, found on the ethnic cooking aisle in most grocery stores.

You can top these burgers with traditional lettuce and tomato, but we really like them topped with slices of avocado!

Ingredients

1 1/2 to 2 lbs lean ground beef

2 to 2 1/2 TBS minced chilis with garlic

1 pkg of hamburger buns

Pepper Jack cheese slices

Directions

Mix the ground beef with the chilis and form into 6-8 patties.

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.

Cook hamburger patties to desired doneness, about six or seven minutes per side for medium-well to well done.

Top each burger with a slice of pepper jack cheese and melt.  Place on buns and serve with desired condiments.

Salt & Pepper Potato Wedges

Ingredients

3-4 Russet potatoes

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Turn oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and dry each of the potatoes.  Cut each potato into wedges.

Toss the potato wedges with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread on prepared pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper (go easy on seasoning at first.)

Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  Serve with ketchup or a spicy ranch dipping sauce (but also very good plain!)

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