Made In God’s Image

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen 1:26-27, NKJV)

Every human has within their heart a deep, subconscious longing for eternity. The Scriptures declare that God made each and every human being in His own image—the image of the eternal God. Just a few verses later we read that God intended for the man and woman to live in the Garden, watching over and caring for the animals (Gen 1:28) and cultivating the ground (Gen 2:15), without any contract or conditions for that work to end. And in Genesis 3 we read that when the man and woman sinned against God, only then did God cast them out of that Garden, and one reason is so they could not eat from the tree of life and live forever (Gen 3:22-23).

Science says that humans are animals. They say this based on a combination of observable physical traits, biological drives, social norms, and genetic information. I don’t challenge those observations. But who developed the classifications? Humans. Which means those classifications are only as valid as the finite empirical evidence and soundness of logic from which those classifications are deduced.

Consider the following questions: where in the animal kingdom do we see groups of animals forming councils, writing constitutions, debating laws, and arguing about money? Where in the animal kingdom do we see groups of animals building hospitals, forming rescue services, and pursuing justice and equality? Where in the animal kingdom do we see groups of animals erecting exclusive boundaries, hoarding natural resources, exploiting the labor of others, and killing for any reason other than basic sustenance or debilitating sickness?

All of those things, good or bad, are uniquely human things. None of those things are animal things. Clearly, there is something unique about humanity, something not shared by any other living creature on the planet. What is it that makes humans uniquely human? It is that image of the eternal God written on our hearts, breathed into us by the eternal God Himself (Gen 2:7).

The Gospel of John explains the image of God in terms of light. Concerning Jesus, John wrote,

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men… That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world (John 1:4, 9).

Why did Jesus come? To bring the light into existence? No—the light already existed in Him. Jesus came to bring light to humankind. You see, every human has a darkness residing deep within their heart called sin. Sin is anything we do or don’t do that doesn’t line up with the standard of goodness defined by the attributes and actions of God. Humankind’s sinful rebellion against God began in the Garden when Adam and Eve thought they knew better than God and they rejected the instructions He gave them about what not to eat. And we see the outworking of that sin throughout human history in every evil action ever committed by humans. Humanism says people are basically good. However, history begs to differ, demonstrating time and time again how utter depraved the human race is when left to its own governance.

So, what are we to do with this desperate, unfulfilled longing for eternity? Go to Jesus. God loves us so much that, though we are sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). And his death on the cross paid the price of atonement for our sins with His blood. Not just once and having to be repeated annually, as the Old Testament rituals required, but once-for-all, as the Old Testament rituals looked forward to, finding their fulfillment in Christ.

For believers, our longing for eternity is satisfied in Jesus Christ. Because, as the Scriptures promise, when we believe in Him, we find life in His name (John 20:31).

Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada Casserole

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs 93% lean ground turkey (Jennie-O) – 1 packet low sodium taco seasoning (Market Pantry) – 1 15oz can heart healthy cream of chicken condensed soup (Market Pantry) – 1 15oz can plain whole kernel corn (Market Pantry) – 1 8oz packet red chille enchilada sauce (Frontera) – 1 cup restaurant style salsa (Archer Farms) – 5 whole wheat taco size tortillas (Guerrero) – 1 7oz package reduced fat Mexican style shredded cheese (Market Pantry)

Directions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, brown the ground turkey. 2. Stir in the corn, cream of chicken soup, enchilada sauce, and taco seasoning and simmer on low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Spray a large electric skillet with nonstick cooking spray and spread 1/2 cup of salsa on the bottom. 4. Cut the tortillas into 4 strips (about 2 inches 2 inches wide). Lay 6 tortilla strips on the bottom of the electric skillet. 5. Layer 1/3 of the ground turkey mixture on top of the tortillas, then sprinkle 1/3 of the shredded cheese on top. 6. Make 2 more layers of tortilla strips, ground turkey mixture, and shredded cheese. Finish with the other 1/2 cup of salsa. 7. Cook on medium for 15-20 minutes. If using SaladMaster, cook on Rice 2 setting. 8. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
About 365 calories per serving. To bake, use a 9×13 casserole dish and cook at 375 for about 25 minutes.

Bacon Egg Spinach Scramble

Bacon Egg Spinach Scramble

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs (Market Pantry)
  • 8 servings egg substitute (Market Pantry)
  • 8 slices turkey bacon (Market Pantry), pre-cooked
  • 3oz baby spinach (Ready pac foods)

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and egg substitute.
  2. Spray a large electric skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Pour the whisked egg mixture into the skillet.
  4. Dice spinach to desired size and mix in to egg mixture.
  5. Dice bacon to desired size and sprinkle on top of egg mixture.
  6. Cook on medium for 15-20 minutes. If using SaladMaster, cook on Rice 2 setting.
  7. Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting and serving.

About 255 calories per serving. To make on the stovetop, use a large, nonstick skillet with deep sides and cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes. To bake, use a 9×9 casserole dish and cook at 375 for about 25 minutes.

 

Basic Audio-Video Settings on a Mac

Apple computers are especially well-suited for audio and video projects. But if you’re new to using Macs, changing audio and video settings can be challenging. Here’s a simple guide to changing basic audio and video settings.

Changing the Audio Settings

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left on the menu bar (if the menu bar is hidden, move the mouse to the top left corner and it will unhide).
  2. Click “System Preferences,” then click “Sound” (the speaker icon).
  3. If you’re sending audio from the computer to another source, change the output setting appropriately (for example, you might be using the headphones jack to send audio to a mixer).
  4. If you’re bringing audio into the computer from another source, change the input setting appropriately (for example, you might be using an audio interface to record audio from a mixer).
  5. The output volume can vary greatly depending on your setup. I typically set it about halfway on the computer and let the source I’m sending audio to handle additional volume adjustments.
  6. If you’d like to access this menu easily in the future, click “Show volume in menu bar.” This puts a speaker icon in the right of the top menu bar that you can single-click to bring up some quick settings and a link to this preference window.

Changing the Video Settings

  1. Click the Apple icon at the top left on the menu bar (if the menu bar is hidden, move the mouse to the top left corner and it will unhide).
  2. Click “System Preferences,” then click “Displays” (the computer screen icon).
  3. To change the display resolution, click “Scaled” and choose the desired resolution.
  4. If you don’t want the screen to “Automatically adjust brightness” then uncheck this option.
  5. If you have a second screen connected, you can the options for both screens to show up on the current display by clicking “Gather Windows” in the bottom right corner of the window.
  6. If you have a second screen connected, you can turn mirroring on and off by clicking the “Arrangement” tab and (un)checking “Mirror Displays” (note: screen resolutions might have to be adjusted after switching this setting).

Creating Image Posts with the Divi Theme

The Divi Theme is incredibly powerful. It’s also incredibly complex, which can be intimidating and confusing. Here’s a gentle introduction to working with posts with the Divi Theme showing how to create an “Image” style post.

Creating a New “Image” Style Post

  1. Log in to the Dashboard for your website.
  2. On the left menu, hover on “Posts” and select “Add New.”
  3. Give the post a meaningful title (this may also appear in the url).
  4. Click the purple button under the title labeled “Use The Divi Builder.”
  5. Click “Insert Columns” and choose the long rectangle at the top left.
  6. Click “Insert Modules” and choose the “Image” module.
  7. Click the black button at the top right labeled “Upload An Image.”
  8. Choose the file in your Media Library or click the tab “Upload Files.”
  9. To upload a file, follow the prompts on the screen.
  10. Click the blue button at the bottom right labeled “Set As Image.”
  11. Go to the Design tab to adjust styling (like centering and box shadow).
  12. Click the green button at the bottom labeled Save & Exit.
  13. Adjust the page settings (like No Sidebar) and check the Categories.
  14. Click “Publish.”

Editing an Existing “Image” Style Post

  1. Editing an Image style post is nearly the same as creating one.
  2. Just go back to step #7 above and choose or upload a new image.
  3. Then continue through step 13, and click “Update.”

Make God Your Resolution

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Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For if you refuse to let them go, and still hold them, behold, the hand of the LORD will be on your cattle in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the oxen, and on the sheep—a very severe pestilence. And the LORD will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.” ’ ” Then the LORD appointed a set time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land.”

So the LORD did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died. Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead. But the heart of Pharaoh became hard, and he did not let the people go. (Exodus 9:1-7, NKJV)

Many of us know the Exodus narrative. How God called Moses from birth to deliver the Hebrew people from their slavery in Egypt. How Pharaoh ordered all the male Hebrew babies killed, but Moses’ mother hid Moses in a basket in the river. How Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and rescued him. So, Moses grew up in the Pharaoh’s palace, saw the bondage of his people, killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, fled to the wilderness of Midian, and lived as a shepherd. Then, at Moses’ lowest, God spoke to him through the burning bush, and despite all Moses’ protests, God was adamant that He would deliver the Hebrew people through the leadership of Moses. And here, in this passage, we read how Moses, with Aaron’s help, is waging God’s war against Egypt through the plagues until Pharaoh finally lets the Hebrew people leave.

Tomorrow begins a new year. Many of us are thinking about resolutions. Maybe you want to lose weight, manage your money better, be a better mother, father, sister, brother, friend. Find a job. Get a promotion. Whatever it is, there’s probably something on your heart you’d like to see happen in the New Year. I’d like to suggest one additional resolution for each of us to make.

When God started the plagues in Egypt, they were a sign to Pharaoh about God’s power, an attack against Egypt’s God’s that would ultimately provoke Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people leave Egypt. But with some of the plagues, like the flies and the livestock, God adds another element: a difference between His people and Egypt.

Spiritually, we can look at Egypt as a picture of the world and the Hebrew people as a picture of the church. As believers, we live in this world, working alongside believers and unbelievers, providing for our households and improving our communities. But even though we live in and work among the world, God has called us to come out from the world, to be different—to come and worship Him.

Our worship offends the world because our world doesn’t understand God. But God doesn’t call us to change this world by Christianizing governments, arguing with skeptics, or slaughtering unbelievers. God instructs us to go and make disciples. He commands us to love Him and others with our whole being and to show that love by our actions toward others. And He describes those acts of love as being light in a dark place, salt to preserve the world (Matt 5:13-16).

As we begin this new year, I want to encourage you to let God’s invitation to His people—to come and worship—be your invitation as well. God wants to make a difference between you and the world, bringing His light into this dark world through you. But He makes that difference by changing your heart and renewing your mind (Rom 12:2). How does He do that? By His Spirit, through prayer, through the Word, through fellowship with believers, and through circumstances, day-by-day, moment-by-moment, as you yield your heart to His presence in your life.

Let God change your life. Let Him make a difference between you and the world. Let God bring His light into this world through you. Let God be your resolution this new year.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Honey Oat Bars

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Honey Oat Bars

  • Servings: 25 bars
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Ingredients

  • 1 jar (16oz) Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 cups quick oats

Directions

  1. In a large sauce pan, spray with nonstick cooking spray, then cook peanut butter and honey on low for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. While peanut butter mixture is cooking, prepare 9×9 metal cake pan with non-stick spray and/or parchment paper.
  3. When peanut butter mixture is very smooth and well-mixed, stir in oats.
  4. Transfer peanut butter oat mixture to cake pan. Spray a spoon or spatula with nonstick cooking spray and press bars into cake pan.
  5. Cool bars in fridge or freezer for at least 1 hour. For harder bars, cool in freezer for longer time. For softer bars, cool in fridge for shorter time.

About 150 calories per bar.