One Foot In Front of the Other

So I’m out here in the middle of nowhere and I’m trying to find a place, y’know? I don’t know what place, just any shelter that’ll keep me warm and dry and out of the elements. And it hits me, “Hey! This is just a training ground.” – it’s not even supposed to matter that much, the suffering, that is. When it’s all said and done what is left in the pot? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. We came here empty-handed and we’ll leave here empty-handed. So what difference does any of this make?

The difference, if you must know, is love. While we are here we can learn to love each other. It’s a choice. We can either be grumpy and mean and self-centered or we can embrace and enliven one another. Tall order for a manic depressive. We tend to be locked in a battle of self – we’re either on top of the world and everybody is our friend or we’re sitting on the beach staring out at the water thinking how peaceful it would be to just give it all up to the deep blue. We fight a battle with emotions daily. Most days are fraught with despair and depression, the manic episodes don’t last near as long, at least not for me. I’ll sit in a cycle of depression for 3 or more weeks (I’m locked in one now) and yet, my manic episodes last for maybe 7 days (if I’m lucky).

So what does love have to do with it? Well, love is the great equalizer. No matter your station in life, you have the ability to love someone and doesn’t it make your heart skip when you have found someone you like a lot and love even a little? That is a true treasure, my friend. Hold onto it and practice using it in other places on other people. For me, it gives me a feeling of joy when I’ve helped someone, when I’ve given someone something that nobody else can give. Just so you know, I’m homeless but I’m not bad off. I have my car and I have a couch available to me when I want it, but I have to tell you, there are folks who are worse off than me and I enjoy reaching out and touching their lives. I often give out sandwiches or hand over five bucks and it makes my day. I’m not perfect and there have been times when I gave without a smile on my face, kinda grumpy, but I kept plugging away at that love thing and it always turns my heart around.

Being Bipolar doesn’t have to be a life sentence, but it is. I have this for life. I take pills every….single….day and I will for the rest of my life just so I can be a functional, sane human being and a contributor to society. But Bipolar doesn’t have a lock on what I choose to focus on on a daily basis. Sure, it’s a struggle and a lot of times it sucks but there are more joys than doctors will tell you. There are the smiles, the hugs, the twinkle in people’s eyes and there is God.

God is a challenge too. I struggle daily with keeping to the cross. As a Christian I have given my life over to Jesus. Or so it is said. Not every day do I follow after Christ. I know that I am a sinner and that He has saved me from my debt, but I am also human and I forget that He loves me even in my condition. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect, not even close, because He knows I can never be perfect. So the dichotomy lives on, perfectly forgiven yet perfectly a wreck, a sinful being. The tug of war goes on and on and it reminds me of my Bipolar struggles. There are good days and there are not-so-good days. But all days belong to Him. And as long as I try and as long as I acknowledge the new creation in me, I can and will succeed.

So that lonely place out in the middle of nowhere? I’m here all the time….searching for that shelter. Searching and finding peace. Every now and again.

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Taqueria Style Tacos -Carne Asada

Tacos Carne Asada
This recipe is SOOOOO Good! It’s a bit of work, but it is So Very Well Worth It. And if you team it up with some Fiesta Beans. You will be so satisfied and full. Enjoy!
Prep time: PREP 25 mins COOK 10 mins READY IN 1 hr 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins (more like 30 minutes by the time you’re done with all the meat)

Servings: 16

Ingredients:
3 pounds flank steak
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

1 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced

2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 white onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 dried new mexico chile pods
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

1 (32-ounce) package corn tortilla
2 cups grated cotija cheese (optional)
2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions:

Lay the flank steak in a large glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, juice of two limes, and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Whisk until well blended, then pour over the steak in the dish. Turn over once to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and marinate for 1 to 8 hours.

In a small bowl, stir together 1 chopped white onion, cilantro, and the juice of 1 lime. Set aside to use as a relish for the tacos.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Toast chile pods in the skillet for a few minutes, then remove to a bowl of water to soak for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Place the tomatoes, 1 onion, jalapenos, and 4 cloves of garlic onto a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until toasted but not burnt. Place the roasted vegetables, and soaked chile pods into a blender or food processor, along with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the marinated flank steak into cubes or strips. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Warm the tortillas in a skillet for about a minute on each side to make them pliable. Tortillas may also be warmed in a microwave oven. Arrange two or three tortillas on a plate, and lay a generous amount of beef over them. Top with a sprinkle of the onion relish and a large spoonful of the pureed salsa. Add as much cheese as you like. Garnish with lime wedges, and serve.

Do Good Unto Others

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Galatians 6:1-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

Bear and Share the Burdens

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.

Be Generous and Do Good

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

 

We shall be known by our works. Do we reap everlasting life or do we reap corruption? We are called to do good to everyone, not just those people we like, but also to those people who we don’t like so much. To those people who do us no good, who talk bad about us, who make fun of us. We are to do good to EVERYONE.

That’s a hard thing isn’t it? Because we are more often than not faced with negative situations and many times we are on the defensive. But God says, go on the offensive and be loving, be long-suffering, be hopeful. God wants us to act like Jesus acted. And that is our reasonable service, isn’t it? We can put on the Spirit of Peace and answer every man according to his need.

God doesn’t want backbiters and complainers in His ministry. He wants do gooders. People who know how to take a bad situation and make it shine with the Light of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (On Love)

“4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

And that, coupled with the fruit of the Spirit (But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.) causes us to ask the question, “Am I all that God wants me to be?”

In all things seek the best for others. In all things be kind. “For I am meek and lowly in heart..”.. We must take on the character of Jesus if we are to see our reward in Heaven. We must treat our neighbors and our enemies as if they are family. And we must seek to do them good.

Where do you stand today? Are you a Christ-ian? Are you a complainer? Are you a backbiter? Be Christ-like. Be loving. Be free.

Way on down

4 June 2016

I don’t like this. This BiPolar thing. It is draining. It is bothersome. It’s a ride I don’t want to be on.

For the past week and a half I have been riding the depression train. It has altered my sleep schedule, took away my desire to meet the world, and left me for dead. I am uninterested in everything.

I have no appetite and I have no joy. The only things I want to do are sit and listen to music and drink. But I’m tired of drinking water (I drink 2 gallons a day) and I don’t have enough money to keep buying juice. So I’m stuck.

It’s taken me three days to get up enough verve to write this. But God is good. That’s what I”m supposed to say. And though it is true, God IS good, I don’t feel very Christian today. My faith is not lacking but my joy is. My need for Christ is not lacking but my experience is. Whatever happened to “Life more abundantly?”

Thank the Lord for these meds. Otherwise it would be a lot worse. Who knows the trouble I’d be in if it weren’t for lithium and ziprasidone.

That’s all folks. I’m done for the day. This is not fun. I”m sorry for being a downer. I’ll talk to you again and I hope I’ll be on an up swing.

Peace