Lent Devotional: Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Thessalonians

exalting-jesus-in-1-and-2-thessalonians

I believe that practicing discipline in our spiritual devotion causes a natural overflow of life into every aspect of our lives. Today’s post is an excerpt from Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Thessalonians edited by Mark Howell—which analyzes Paul’s letter to the Thessalonian church. We’ll be diving deep into a small portion of 2 Thessalonians 3 in today’s excerpt. Before we dive in, I’d like to mention that through Friday, March 6, at 11:59 p.m. (EST) you can get Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Thessalonians for just $2.99, exclusively on Vyrso. 

2 THESSALONIANS 3:6-10

In his letter to the Colossian church Paul sets forth an all-encompassing pattern for how Christians should conduct their lives:

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ. (Col 3:23-24)

Because Christ’s followers aim to please Him, they seek to live their lives and do their work with passion and excellence. Christians will thus be guided by a different set of convictions about why they work and a different standard for how they do their work.

Although Paul previously taught the Thessalonians these things, some in the fellowship had failed to take his instruction to heart. Even a cursory reading of this passage reveals Paul’s deep concern for how their poor work ethic was reflecting on the Lord and His church. As this passage vividly illustrates, Paul had little tolerance for lazy Christians. He tackles this matter head on by drawing their attention to two reasons why they should avoid laziness: the traditions they received and the example he set.

 

Be Informed by the Truth (2 Thess 3:6,10)

“The tradition” refers specifically to Paul’s previous teaching on the subject of work. In his first letter Paul gave them the following instruction:

But we encourage you, brothers . . . to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone. (1 Thess 4:10-12)

Considering the profound theological instruction found in the Thessalonian letters, we might wonder why Paul would devote such a significant amount of time on the mundane idea of work. For Paul, Christianity was worthless unless it found its way into the fabric of life. How the church lived said much about what the church believed. If we take God’s Word seriously, then we will take it to work with us. That is, how we do our work will reflect on the One we claim to worship.

So adamant is Paul that Christians should lead by their example that he reminds them of his previous injunction: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat” (3:10). His use of the imperfect tense of the verb indicates the repetitiveness with which he previously issued this command. In the strongest words possible, Paul wishes to persuade the irresponsible Thessalonians to go to work. Those who refuse this directive must be subject to the discipline of the church.

 

Be Challenged by the Example of Others (2 Thess 3:7-10)

Added to their reluctance to heed Paul’s instruction was their unwillingness to learn from his example. With confidence that his life was patterned after God’s standard for how to live and work, Paul challenged the Thessalonians to “imitate” him (3:7,9). Morris notes the significance of such a claim:

No preaching of the gospel can ever be really effective unless the life of the preacher is such as to commend the message. Those who hear must feel that they are listening to one whose life shows his sincerity and the power of the message he brings. (Morris, First and Second, 254)

The Greek philosopher Aristotle described the preacher’s trustworthiness, sincerity, and credibility as ethos (Rhetoric and Poetics, 1356a, 1–21). The audience’s receptivity to a message is closely connected to the credibility of the one who shares the message. Paul makes clear to the Thessalonians that his credibility is not in doubt, and he appeals to their personal observation of his life to back this up:

For you yourselves know how you must imitate us: We were not irresponsible among you; we did not eat anyone’s food free of charge; instead, we labored and struggled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you. (3:7-8)

In other words, Paul recognized the vital importance for the matching of his life with his words.

Avoid the temptation to move past these words too quickly. There exists today an unhealthy sense of entitlement among many who claim to be called to serve as ministers in God’s church. All too often, before considering a new pastorate, the first question many pastors ask is, “What’s in it for me?” While churches have a responsibility to care for those who serve (1 Tim 5:17; 1 Cor 9:3-14), those who are called to lead the church can learn much from Paul’s example. Paul, Silas, and Timothy provided for their own needs and at the same time poured their lives into the Thessalonians. Their willingness to support themselves and thus not to burden the church reveals much about the depth of their love for God’s people. One could imagine their diligent work at their jobs during the day and passionate preaching of the gospel at night. It is no wonder that Paul notes how they “labored and struggled” to keep from being a burden to the church (3:8). Such a commitment had to be exhausting. To have more concern for the people to whom they preached and the message they were charged to proclaim than for their own welfare reveals much about the character and integrity of these men.

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Get Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Thessalonians for $2.99 today! We’ve also discounted Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs for $2.99 through through Friday March 6 at 11:59 p.m. (EST).

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Get Four Titles on Spiritual Discipline for 50% Off

the-discipline-of-spiritual-discernment

As we mentioned yesterday, this week we’re focusing on spiritual discipline. We’ve created a bundle dedicated to the topic of discipline you can learn more here. We’ve also discounted a number of individual titles through March 1 that you can download for 50% off. Learn more about discipline with these four ebooks:

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke—get it for $6.50!

Reading is a discipline and takes focus, especially with all of the distractions today. Learn how to read better, what to read, when to read, and why you should read with this helpful guide from accomplished reader Tony Reinke. Offered here is a theology for reading and practical suggestions for reading widely, reading well, and for making it all worthwhile.

Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn—get it for just $4.50!

Note to Self is a practical introduction to daily discipline of preaching to ourselves. Pastor Joe Thorn delivers 50 brief, devotional chapters that model preaching the gospel to ourselves and its practical implications. Readers will be challenged by the book’s direct, personal exhortations to apply the law and the gospel to their own lives.

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies—get it for just $6.50!

Written by a leading evangelical blogger, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment is an uplifting, scripturally grounded work that explains the need for discernment, its challenges, and the steps that will cultivate it. Author Tim Challies does not do the discerning for readers; he simply shows them how to practically apply scriptural tools, principles, and wisdom so that their conclusions about everything-people, teachings, decisions, media, and organizations—will be consistent with God’s Word.

Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes—get it for just $6.50!

The “dread” of a disciplined life will be replaced with desire and anticipation as you find that there is no greater purpose than loving God in every moment, every activity, and every thought. Using poignant stories and faithful reminders, Barbara opens her own heart to help you find the joy of full surrender. Her honest and encouraging look at the Word of God reveals the keys to living a truly godly life. And to strengthen your walk day to day, she offers hymns and praise psalms for your devotional times, a long list of recommended books that will lift your spirits, and Bible study helps to remind you that you’re not alone.

Don’t miss your chance to get these four ebooks for just $14.99 with the Spiritual Discipline Bundle!

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A Lent Devotion: Wrestling with God

A Lent Devotion: Wrestling with God

Today’s Lent guest post is by Daniel Hochhalter, author of Losers Like Us, an ebook that shows how our worst mistakes and greatest failures bring us to a place of teachability, egolessness, brokenness, and empathy. 

People often describe discipleship and the Christian life as a series of hills and valleys through which Jesus leads us. But to me, discipleship is more like a struggle, a wrestling match with God. And during Lent, as we wrestle with sin vs. redemption, I think of Jacob—the ultimate wrestler with God.

In Genesis 32, Jacob gets ready to meet his older brother Esau—who he tricked, years earlier, out of the birthright and blessing (Genesis 25, 27). Thinking Esau might still be a little peeved about that, maybe even peeved even to kill, Jacob spends a night alone in the wilderness, preparing himself.

Thus begins a series of strange events.

During the night—a detail both literal to the story and metaphorical to the spiritual journey— a mysterious man appears and for some odd reason, the two immediately start mixing it up (verse 24). This man turns out to be God (verses 28, 30).

Then it gets even weirder.

At daybreak (verse 25) —again, a detail literal to the story and metaphorical to the spiritual journey —God realizes that, incredibly, he cannot overpower Jacob. So he does what referees would call cheating: he cripples Jacob by wrenching his hip.

Yet even after this crippling, Jacob refuses to concede; instead, he demands: “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (verse 26). And God does bless him: he changes his name and identity from Jacob, meaning “heel grabber,” to Israel, meaning “struggles with God” (verse 28).

Finally, when it’s all over, Jacob makes an amazing claim: “I have seen the face of God” (verse 30).

Like Jacob, my experience with God has been a throwdown. I demand explanations from God. And I don’t want clichés; I want real answers.

So I wrestle with him until he cripples me.

My divine crippling came in February 2008. After seven years of study in a British postgraduate program, I flew to England to defend my thesis—the final step toward the PhD degree I needed to teach college. While there were no guarantees, my supervisor deemed my thesis “ready to submit” and explained that by far the likeliest outcome was that it would pass, with some changes required.

At the appointed time, I walked into the examiners’ office.

An hour later, I staggered out with . . . nothing. My thesis was utterly rejected, with no grounds for appeal.

All that time, money, and effort —gone.

It was a long, somber flight home.

To this day, I am certain God led me into that program. But what kind of God would lead me into such a death-trap? Isn’t he loving enough to fight fair? Isn’t he strong enough to subdue me without cheating like that?

Seven years later, I still have few answers. However, those years have affirmed some key points in my understanding of discipleship.

First: Discipleship is messy and unpredictable because we can’t tame God; we never know what he will do.

Second: Sometimes discipleship involves believers mentoring each other, but other times it’s a long, solitary night of just one person, wrestling with God.

Third: In the wrestling match called discipleship, human motivations may vary, but God’s motivation is always the same—to give us a new identity and draw us closer to him.

Since my PhD disaster, out of my wrestling with God have come two unexpected new directions: a book (Losers Like Us – Redefining Discipleship After Epic Failure) which I wrote about my own broken life, reflected in the lives of Jesus’ twelve disciples; and a new focus on encouraging other broken people.

Yes, I still limp. My PhD failure will limit me, at least in academia, for the rest of my life. Yet at the same time, God has blessed me: he has renamed me from Daniel the Failure to Daniel the Published Author—a new identity I still can hardly believe.

I can’t say the wrestling is over; I continue to mix it up with God, demanding answers for things too hard to understand. But I can say I’m amazed to discover how creatively determined God is to pursue intimacy with me, at all costs.

And that discovery is the heart of true discipleship.

During Lent, I urge you to wrestle with God. Shout out your rawest, angriest, most painful questions. Go for the headlock and yell: “I will not let you go unless you bless me!”

By baring your soul and laying everything on the altar—all your hopes and dreams, dead or alive—I truly believe that you, like Jacob, will be able to say, “I have seen the face of God.”

I may not see it fully yet, but I am getting a glimpse.

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Discipline: a Keyword During Lent

discipline

Discipline. Athletes know the concept of dedicating oneself to a thought, idea, or concept better than most. A runner strives to win a championship regardless of the cost, pushing through physical and mental barriers. Rowers get up before the sun rises to condition and train while the water is still like glass. Swimmers practice swimming lap after lap, kicking hundreds of meters, fine tuning each portion of their race with focus and determination. As we move into the second full week of Lent we’re going to focus on the concept of discipline.

Like an athlete, we must be disciplined in our Christian faith. A daily devotional time takes discipline, remembering to pray consistently takes discipline, resting takes discipline. Every day we encounter thousands of choices, opportunities to practice the discipline of following Jesus. As you continue your practice of Lent, whether you’ve committed to reading the Bible more or fasting for the season, you’ll need discipline to stick with your commitment.

To help in the journey we’ve created an ebook bundle specifically on the concept of discipline. You can get the Spiritual Discipline Bundle for $14.99 through March 1. Here’s what you’ll get in the bundle:

Sacred Waiting: Waiting on God in a World that Waits for Nothing by David Timms

In a world that waits for nothing, Sacred Waiting helps readers learn to wait on God. David Timms challenges believers to be attentive to God like the faithful from Noah to David, Paul to John, and all the saints in between. He demonstrates that their best moments arose from God’s timing, not their own. In the process he reveals deep, transforming truths for those who want to go deeper into their relationship with God. Grounded in the stories of Scripture and everyday illustrations, Sacred Waiting explores a vital yet often neglected or misunderstood spiritual discipline.

Excellence: True Champions Pursue greatness in all Areas of Life by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes

The Excellence devotional provides inspiration to go beyond just getting by and instead to honor our commitments, pursue innovation and creativity, value quality over quantity, and be wise stewards of the spiritual, material, and relational resources entrusted to us. Learn how discipline and hard work lead to excellence, how to beat the odds in pursuit of excellence, and how to raise the standard.

Relaxing with God: The Neglected Spiritual Discipline by Andrew Farley

Bestselling author Andrew Farley calls this for what it is–works-based religion–and then shares with readers biblical wisdom on the neglected art of resting in Christ. Anyone longing to experience true release from the crushing expectations that the world throws their way will find life and rest in Farley’s revolutionary message.

The Disciplined Life by Calvin Miller

For those desiring a deep relationship with God, Calvin Miller guides us beyond three superficialities of modern culture: our misdirected appetites, the allure of material things, and the tyranny of the urgent.

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Start living a disciplined life today with this unique bundle. Through March 1, get the Spiritual Discipline Bundle for just $14.99—that’s a savings of $29.98! 

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Lent Devotional: An Excerpt from “Revealing Christ”

revealing-christ-a-40-day-prayer-journey-for-lent

Today’s post is an excerpt from Revealing Christ: A 40-Day Prayer Journey for Lent by Charisma House. Based on insights and teaching from classic men and women of God, such as William J. Seymour, John G. Lake, Smith Wigglesworth, and others, Revealing Christ is focused on helping you find new revelations of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice, and his life, death, and resurrection. Through February 25 you can download this devotional for just $4.99.

 

THE BAPTISM OF A CLEAN HEART

 

Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

[Luke 4:1, MEV]

Jesus is our example. Upon His clean heart, the baptism fell. We find in reading the Bible that the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire falls on a clean, sanctified life. For we see, according to the Scriptures, that Jesus was filled with wisdom and favor with God and man before God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost and power. For in Luke 2:40, we read, “[Jesus] waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” Then in Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

After Jesus was empowered with the Holy Ghost at Jordan, He returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about. He was not any more holy or any more meek but had greater authority: “And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all” (Luke 4:15).

Beloved, if Jesus, who was God Himself, needed the Holy Ghost to empower Him for His ministry and His miracles, how much more do we children need the Holy Ghost baptism today. Oh, that men and women would tarry for the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire upon their souls!

—William J. Seymour

POINTS TO PONDER

Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit for ministry. Below is a list of the ways Luke’s Gospel says He was empowered by the Spirit.

Jesus was . . .

• Conceived by the Spirit (Luke 1:35)

• Descended upon by the Spirit (Luke 3:22)

• Filled with the Spirit (Luke 4:1)

• Led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1)

• Empowered by the Spirit (Luke 4:14)

• Anointed by the Spirit (Luke 4:18)

• Filled with the Spirit’s joy (Luke 10:21)

What Spirit empowerments have you experienced in your own Christian walk? How have you seen the Spirit at work in your life previously?

Are you doing anything in your life to hinder the Spirit right now?

How do you desire the Spirit to touch your life right now?

PRAY . . .

God, cleanse my heart with Your fire, that I may receive the baptism of Your Spirit. Amen.

 

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3 Resources to Help You Read the Bible During Lent

bible-cross-candle

Getting into the Bible on a regular basis can be a difficult habit to start. If you don’t have a daily Bible reading habit, starting and committing yourself to reading your Bible on a daily basis will be a valuable building block for your spiritual health this year.

If you’re intent on starting a new discipline of reading or studying the Bible during Lent, here are three resources to help get you started:

  • Visit everydaybible.com (or download the app) for a daily devotional and Bible reading plan that covers the entire Bible in one year. Accompanying the study are inspirational pieces of Bible artwork depicting a daily verse. You can share the artwork with your friends, save it as a background on your phone, or as an image on your desktop.
  •  Download the Logos Bible app or the Faithlife Study Bible and subscribe to a daily reading plan or devotional. You can even set up notifications to get a daily reminder if you need the extra reminder to read the Bible when life starts getting busy.
  •  Start a Lent devotional from a list of incredible authors like Charles R. Swindoll, Sue Mink, and Donna E. Schaper. Going through a set devotional this season of Lent is a great way to stay committed to daily study and reflecting on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Personally, I love having a smartphone being able to access my Bible anywhere I go. Even with the demands of work, church, and family, I can take a few minutes in the morning, during lunch, or in between meetings to have an ongoing time of devotion.

How are you planning on being intentional with your Bible study this Lenten season?

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An Ash Wednesday Devotional

40-days-to-the-cross-reflections-from-great-thinkers

Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the first day of Lent. To help you prepare for this season, we’ve pulled an excerpt from Lexham Press’ ebook 40 Days to the Cross a devotional edited by Jessi Strong and Rebecca Van Noord. If you’re still looking for a devotional to read during Lent you can get 40 Days to the Cross on sale for just $4.95 through February 28.

Ash Wednesday

Confession: Psalm 51:1–4

Be gracious to me, O God, according to your loyal love.

According to your abundant mercies,

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and from my sin cleanse me.

For I myself know my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, only you, I have sinned

and have done this evil in your eyes,

so that you are correct when you speak,

you are blameless when you judge.

Reading: Mark 8:27–33

And Jesus and his disciples went out to the villages of Caesarea Philippi, and on the way he asked his disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, saying, “John the Baptist, and others Elijah, and others that you are one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to him, “You are the Christ!” And he warned them that they should tell no one about him.

And he began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be killed, and after three days to rise. And he was speaking openly about the subject, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning around and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan, because you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but the things of people!”

Reflection

If Peter. . .was called a stumbling-block by Jesus—as not minding the things of God in what he said but the things of men—what is to be said about all those who profess to be made disciples of Jesus, but do not mind the things of God? [What is to be said about those who] do not look to things unseen and eternal, (but mind the things of man) and look to things seen and temporal? Would they be seen by Jesus as a stumbling block to Him, and because they are stumbling blocks to Him, as stumbling blocks to His followers also? In regard to them He says, “I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,” so also He might say, “When I was running you caused me to stumble.” Let us not therefore suppose that it is a trivial sin to mind the things of men—since we ought in everything to mind the things of God.

—Origen

Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

Response

How are you mindful of the “things of people”? Are you harboring mindsets, possessions, goals, and desires that are incompatible with God and His kingdom? Make a list of these things and pray about them.

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A Lent Devotional: 40 Days to the Cross

40-days-to-the-cross-reflections-from-great-thinkers

Today’s guest post is by Jessi Strong, the senior writer for Bible Study Magazine. She has also developed content for Faithlife Study Bible and Lexham Bible Dictionary, and is the author of 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers, a Lexham Press ebook.

I grew up in non-denominational community churches that placed little emphasis on a traditional liturgical calendar.  I discovered Advent somewhere along the way, but Lent was a total mystery, except for its connection to our neighbor Ernie, whose wife to give up cigarettes for a few weeks every spring. He hung out in the same spot in his driveway, leaning on the hood of his truck, but without his customary cigarette, he was crankier—yelling at the kids who veered their tricycles from the sidewalk onto his well-kept lawn (an offense that normally engendered no more than a grunt.)

When I went away to college, I learned a new vocabulary for celebrations of the faith: Tenebrae, Ash Wednesday, and Lent. These celebrations, so unlike my spiritual upbringing, were even more special because of their uniquness.  Lent was no longer just a game of abstaining from a favorite vice; it became a time of reflection and waiting.

The season of Lent marks a period of mourning for our sin and the fall of humanity—for the state of the world that necessitated the death of the son of God. Mirroring the 40 days Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert, the church traditionally spends 40 days leading up to Easter in fasting and prayer.

My impatient nature is tempted to skip to the happy ending, but I’ve found that Lent’s intentional meditation on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ made the celebration of his resurrection so much sweeter. I’m more deeply grateful for Christ’s saving act when I reflect not just on his love, but also on the price he paid. [Click to tweet!]

May you take time to reflect on the somber aspects of the Lenten season, and may you find the hope and joy of the resurrection all the more full.

If you’re looking for a Lent devotional reading, make sure to download a copy of 40 Days to the Cross on sale for $4.95 through February 28. This devotional will guide you through a time of confession, reading, and reflection during the 40 days leading to Easter. It even includes reflections from Basil of Caesarea, D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, and others.

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5 Ebook Picks on Relationships, Love, and Marriage

5 Ebook Picks on Relationships, Love, and Marriage

If one thing is certain, it’s that relationships take work. Whether you’re single, dating, married, or just want Christ-centered advice for strengthening your relationships, reading on a variety of topics is a great way to start having better relationships with others. Here are five staff picks for ebooks focused on building (and repairing) your relationships in life, dating, and marriage:

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? by Dr. Gary Thomas

What if your relationship isn’t as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God? In Sacred Marriage, Dr. Gary Thomas explains how marriage can be a doorway to a closer walk with God, designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply.

The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Sex, Marriage, and Redemption by Matt Chandler

The Mingling of Soulsfeatured on our Authors to Watch in 2015 list—looks at The Song of Solomon to unpack and navigate romance, dating, marriage, and sex for both singles and married couples. This new release from Matt Chandler looks at topics such as dating, courtship, sex, and even arguing.

A Year of Blind Dates: A Single Girl’s Search for “The One”  by Megan Carson

An honest, funny read, A Year of Blind Dates is Megan Carson’s adventures in dating as she searches for “Mr. Right”, not just “Mr. Right Now.” Readers follow Carson as she uses a dating service to find a man of God and goes on some good, bad, and really, really bad dates along the way.

Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus by Jessica Thompson

“How can we build and heal relationships with people who, like us, are bound to mess up?” Jessica Thompson sets out to answer this question in her latest ebook, Everyday Grace. Thompson teaches that it’s not our job to “fix” the people we’re in relationship with, but instead to reveal and receive the grace of Jesus in everything, including small, daily interactions with people.

You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Lisa and Francis Chan

You and Me Forever sets aside typical marital topics to take on an outward focus for marriage and capture the bigger picture of marriage as a mission. Francis and Lisa Chan look at married relationships through a different lens and unpack Scripture that helps put marriage in the light of eternity.

What are some of your favorite ebooks on relationships, love, and marriage? Let us know in a comment!

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Last-Minute Super Bowl Dish: Cheesy Broccoli Bites  

cheese-broccoli-bites

Tomorrow the Seattle Seahawks will take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. Wherever your loyalties lie—whether with the Seahawks, the Patriots, or the creative commercials—you’ll want to bring an incredible dish to your Super Bowl party. We’ve asked Dashing Dish blogger and Vyrso author Katie Farrell share an incredible dish that will wow your friends and family.

Cheesy Broccoli Bites

Estimated Time: 35 minutes

These broccoli bites are salty, cheesy, and almost too good to be true! I can honestly say this is one of the tastiest ways I have created, to date, to eat your veggies! These broccoli bites make for a delicious protein and veggie-packed light meal, side, or snack. Who knows, this may just be YOUR favorite new way to get your veggies as well!

3 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed, steamed, and squeezed dry (or fresh broccoli, steamed)

1/8 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pinch of pepper, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

Optional:

Pinch of sweetener that measures like sugar

3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin with silicone or foil muffin liners. Spray muffin liners with nonstick cooking spray.  Chop florets into small pieces (no bigger than the size of a marble).  In a large bowl add the broccoli, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg whites, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and minced onion. Stir until everything is well combined.  Scoop 1/8 cup broccoli mixture into each muffin cup. Lightly press broccoli mixture down with fingers in each muffin cup.  Sprinkle each bite with shredded cheese, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and enjoy warm!

Yields 12 servings (1 broccoli bite per serving)

Nutritional Information: 20 calories (without extra cheese) per serving; 1 gram fat; 1 gram carbohydrate; 3 grams protein

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Get even more recipes to prepare for your Super Bowl party with a wide selection of cookbooks on Vyrso!

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