Friday, February 1, 2013

Rocks, Donkeys, and Pickles?

One of my all time favorite quotes comes from Lisa Harper. She was the speaker/teacher at a Christmas Tea I attended with my mother and little sister, when I lived outside of Chicago. After hearing Lisa's message my little sister turned her life over to Christ. One of the best days ever. A few years later I had the opportunity to hear Ms. Lisa Harper speak/teach again. This time it was at a retreat for Wheaton Bible Church and I actually got the chance to meet her in person and let her know what a blessing she had been in mine and my sisters life. She grabbed me and hugged me and told me I was so kind to let her know, she was so humbled and so modest giving all the glory to God and told me "remember that God often uses donkey's and rocks for His purpose." This quote has sunk into my inner being and I will never forget it or forget how she allows God to use her in any way He can for His purpose. If you ever get the chance to be under Lisa's teaching do it, go online to and find out where she will be or just get one of her books you will not be disappointed, her teachings will bless you.

 Well when we look further into how God uses rocks and donkeys the Bible tells us in Exodus 17:1-7 God uses a rock to bring forth water for the Israelites to drink while wondering in the desert. God also uses rocks as memorials 1 Samuel 7:12  12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” When I moved from Illinois to Georgia (which was a huge God thing), I made sure we put a rock/boulder in my front yard landscaping and named it Ebenezer for I know God has been faithful and He has brought us thus far.
 Now for the donkey in Numbers 22&23 God uses a donkey to basically save Balaam's life, not once, not twice, but 3 times.You should take time to read about Balek and Balaam in Numbers. In Judges 15:14-17 God uses not even a whole donkey, but He allows Samson to kill thousands of Philistines with just the jawbone of a donkey. My all time  favorite use of a donkey is when God uses a donkey to announce the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem as the king in Matthew 21:1-10. The profit Zechariah for tells of this event:  Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Rejoice indeed! A donkey is used to hail in the reign of King Jesus and our way to Salvation.
 How cool is that!

Well by now you have to be wondering how in the world can God use pickles? That brings me to Christmas time 2011. I was looking for a gift for my brother and his girlfriend, they are foodies like me. I figured I would send them all kinds of local foods from the Athens (a town full of foodies) and Northeast GA area. I came across Phickles Pickles, the name intrigued me and they had all kinds of pickles, not just cucumbers. They had carrot sticks, okra, asparagus and green beans; and to top it off they were made right here in Athens. Bingo I had found a winner for the lil' bro's gift bag. Well I got quite curious, as I often do, about who would create such wonders of deliciousness. So I journeyed online and found the blog. ( ) I enjoyed getting to know Angie Tillman, her husband Phin and her sweet Phamily through her blog. The blog came alive as her joy for life, her family and her pickles just jumped off the screen and drew me in. I found the Phickle Chickle on facebook and liked her page (you should also). That is when I found out where her joy comes from, the Lord. She posts about her daily life struggles and joys in this world while looking upward for her source of  guidance, all the while loving her family and making pickles.Let me tell you for the past year or so, God has used this beautiful lady and her daily life through her posts, to inspire me and lift me up just when I needed it. There are times in your life when the least expected person or thing will be used by God for you. This is one of those times and I just want to say thank you  Phickle Chickle for allowing God to use you and your jar of pickles.

This recipe is for the two of the most beautiful women, inside and out Lisa Harper and Angie Tillman thank you for allowing God to use you for the benefit of others.

Slow Cooker Cuban Style Pork Tenderloin
2 to 3 lb package of pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons pineapple or orange juice
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
1 teaspoon cilantro paste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

 Completely incorporate oil, juices and spices in a bowl and set aside.

Then place pork on platter or cutting board. Poke holes in tenderloins on both sides, so spice mixture can penetrate the meat. 
Then pour about 1/3 of the mixture over both tenderloins and rub into meat.

Place tenderloins into slow cooker. Pour the rest of the spice mixture over top of  the tenderloins, place lid on tight and cook on low for 6 hours.
Turn your tenderloins over after 3 hours. Cover and continue cooking on low for 3 hours more.

After cooking time is up. Take two forks and shred tenderloins into pan juices.

You can serve it either beside the rice and beans or over top of the rice with beans, but one of my favorite ways to serve it is as leftovers on a sub roll with provolone cheese melted and top with Phickles Pickles Spears (pickled asparagus)  I also pour a little of the pickle juice over it as well. YUM YUM!

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