Summertime Food

I’m a married woman now! Along with the excitement and adjustments of married life, there comes a practical reality that two people have to eat. Every day. The first month Erick and I coasted along and enjoyed eating out. After we looked at our finances, we decided that we should consider cooking more. This brought about a new world of discovery for me as I began to dive into new recipes. Here’s one of my most recent favorites that I wanted to share from a cookbook that I got as a wedding present. You can find this Newlywed Cookbook from Anthropologie and I promise you won’t be disappointed at the colorful recipes that call for many fresh and flavorful ingredients!

Summer Corn Soup (serves 4-6)

  • 6 ears of fresh sweet corn
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups of water
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small summer squash, diced
  • I large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves torn or thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill

Trim the corn kernels from the cobs using a serrated knife and reserve the cobs. Add the kernels, salt, and the water to a deep pot. Use the back of the knife to scrape the reserved corn cobs, scraping all the leftover kernels and milky white liquid into the pot, and then add the cobs. Bring to a simmer, season with pepper, and cook until the broth tastes of sweet corn, about 20 minutes. Keep warm on the lowest heat.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the summer squash and cook until golden but still a touch crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add the onion and cook until soft and light brown in some parts, about 8 minutes. Set aside.

Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of your best olive oil and set aside.

Add the half-and-half to the pot with the corn. Remove the cobs with tongs and discard. Stir in the squash and onions and season with additional salt and pepper. Divide between soup bows and spoon the seasoned tomatoes in the center of each bowl. Sprinkle with herbs. Serve warm.


This was a huge success! I forgot to add the water at the beginning so it took longer than it should have, but it is a pretty forgiving recipe. Since there are only two of us, we obviously had leftovers and they were just as good the next day. Here’s to summer eating! Bon appetite.

-Julie Anne

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Moving On

This has been an exciting and refreshing season for me. I just graduated two weekends ago and have so much anticipation for the future. This Sunday I am packing up and heading to sunny South Florida to begin a lwith with my fiancée and jump into ministry at Coral Ridge Presbytian Church. 

I think one of the most exciting things for me is the fact that the opportunities are limitless. Now I am finished with school and I have the chance to pursue self education in areas that I love. I can’t wait to dive into songwriting in fresh ways, pursue more music technology, continue to grow in my musicianship, and be a part of a vibrant ministry. God has brought me to this next chapter of life exciting eager to see where His hand leads me.

Let’s talk about Christian hypocrites.

Let’s talk about Christian hypocrites. I’d love to have a discussion. Let me know your thoughts!

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own posession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not recieved mercy, but now you have recieved mercy.”        1 Peter 2:9-10

It’s crazy for me to think about a “holy nation” here on earth. I know the group of people this is referring to: the church. I’ve seen it and trust me, it’s not always holy in conduct. How can a nation of sinful people be called “holy”?

“…that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into marvellous light.”

The whole point of our lives is to give recognition to Jesus who redeemed us from sin. The fact that He calls us holy is a gift and assurance from Him that we are all right in His eyes. That is the incredible mercy that the verse proceeds to talk about. The beauty and glory in the situation of sinners now being called holy is this: Jesus gets all the glory.

Just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean I’m more moral than a generous philanthropist.

That’s not what being a Christian means. The point is that we’re called holy even when we’ve got sin. This is what sets us apart- our identity. The world sees actions which is why morality is greatly praised and confused with Christianity. Jesus came to redeem, and to buy back our hearts from sin’s tyrrany.

The wonderful reality is that when we realize our great salvation, we will want to act in ways that please Him. In order to fix the problems on my life, let me go back to my understanding of God’s mercy.

If good works are the ultimate end to life, then I would say pursue any means to get there. Try harder. Do more good things. Don’t stop. It’s all up to you.

But I want a life that overflows with deep devotion and peace where good works are a joy, second nature, not the main focus. I want my religious activities are not a chore or a source of guilt, but an outpouring of gratitude.

How do I get there? Let me condier the One who brought me from darkness into marvellous light by dying in the cross and praise Him for it!

I know I’m a hypocrite beacuse I don’t always practice what I preach. I get that. But thank GOD that my Christian life is not based on me, but Jesus’ gift of salvation to me!

PASSION 2012- The Gospel stands forever

This week at Passion 2012 in Atlanta many lives intersected with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot sleep tonight because I am so excited about the revolutionary power of Jesus! The amazing part about this week was the fact that 45,000 people were motivated to action on behalf of 27 million enslaved people. But the most incredible part to me was that behind the 3 million dollars that we raised to fight slavery was a deep, rich foundation in the freeing Gospel of Jesus Christ. THAT is what makes me so excited. Obedience that is motivated by guilt, Christian “should do’s”, or high emotion does not last. However, the Gospel of Jesus Christ stands forever.

When we realized that we are free by the power of the cross, we desire from the heart to love God by bringing freedom to the captives. Only when we realize that we who were once dead were are made alive by the rich grace of Christ will we truly have the power to influence this world. My deep desire is that God would continue to stir us to deeply cherish and treasure His message of freedom and that it would continue to set us free from slavery to sin. The result of this is incredible. We are literally unstoppable because we rest in the shadow of the cross. There is complete freedom when we are hidden in Jesus. The chains of human approval, “Christian goodness”, and looming guilt are obliterated when we realize the saving righteousness that Christ has given to us as a free gift! From that place of peace, we are equipped to spend all that we are in joyful service because we have nothing to lose and our righteousness has already been attained. May God continue todo an amazing work through His church!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Mission Trip 2011 Destination?

Hey friends!

It’s been a year since my last trip and since my last blog post for the matter. This year has been one full of surprises, joys, challenges, and LOTS of growth. If I could summarize what I’ve been growing in this whole year in 2 sentences this would be it:

1. The Gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection is not only what I needed the day I was saved, but it is something I desperately need every single day.

2. The law is given for one reason, to crush my self-confidence and drive me to the feet of Jesus in need of His Gospel of Grace.

With these truths fresh on my heart, I come to you with exciting news! I have the chance to travel to Rivas and San Juan Del Sur, NICARAGUA from July 25th-Aug 2!

I’m going with a group of 70 from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. My boyfriend Erick and I have been interning there in the youth group this summer. I’m excited about this opportunity for a week of evangelism and service for a few reasons:

1. I get a chance to continue to connect with the students I’m now working with on a weekly basis. There will be great opportunity for discipleship and connection with the girls especially. We can build a foundation as brothers and sisters in Christ that will last for eternity!

2. We will not only go for a week and leave, but Coral Ridge has made a partnership with this city for the next 10 years. This will not be a serve and leave kind of trip. These relationships with the people we will serve will continue in the coming years. That’s very unique and strategic.

3. There is a high emphasis on meeting both physical needs and spiritual needs. The leaders that I’m going with fuel their ministry with the Gospel and delight to see that change lives. That matters to me the most.

We will be doing construction projects, but mainly be working with kids by putting on a Vacation Bible  School program daily. This is an exciting chance to get to have fun with the kids while making Christ very evident.

Please pray for us! We have less than a month to go. Right now, I need to raise $500.00 more dollars. Please prayerfully consider how you can help spread the Gospel by sponsoring my trip. God has swung the doors wide open for me to go on this trip and it’s pretty last minute! But, I know that He will provide for what He’s called me to.

Interested in supporting me? Praying for me? Following my updates leading up to the trip? Check back on this blog in the coming weeks for updates. Making a donation online is very easy. Follow this link: http://www.crpc.org/nicaragua and click the $ icon and then click “Create Account” and complete the necessary information to create your account which also ensures we properly record your gift for tax purposes.  Once your account is created, return to this page, click the $ icon and complete the donation form. You have an option to click my name under the drop down menu.

Thank you all for your love and support. God is continuing to shape us who believe into the Image of His Son. What an amazing privilege. All praise to Him!

Julie Anne

I’m baack! Where do I begin?!

Hey all!

I’m home from Peru! What a trip! God is good.

Can I leave it at that? I mean, that’s all there really is. Oh, well, I suppose you want a few details! I will try to sort out my many thoughts! It might take me a few posts…But! Here goes.

I went with a local church called IBB. They sent out 3 teams: one team to Cuzco, Peru, one team to the Amazon River, Peru, and one to Columbia. Our teams practiced dramas to perform in the countries we were visiting. My team learned 4 dramas about the gospel- they were so impactful! Even before the trip, God was working on my heart through the dramas.

We flew into Iquitos, Peru- a city in the middle of the Amazon jungle! After a few days in the city, we got on a boat and spent 8 days traveling down the river. We performed dramas in 1-2 village churches a day. Our drama uniforms were black sweatpants, black t-shirts, and black drama sneakers. After the first day, we realized that we were going to be very stinky and very hot in our drama clothes! The weather was in the 80’s and early 90’s the whole time!

The neat thing about our trip was that we visited villages that rarely see outsiders, let alone Christians who perform dramas! For almost all, this was the first time they’d ever seen anything like us! It was so amazing to see the faces of the children. Their eyes were glued to us and their mouths hung open. In so many of the adults, I could see the wheels turning in their heads and I know God was working in hearts. So many accepted Christ! God worked powerfully in our group and in the lives of those we visited.

At times we did get tired and were uncomfortable, but God gave me the words “love them like I do”. I felt God’s urgency and love in my heart for others, and that was a powerful force to keep me going! At the beginning of the trip, I told God that I wanted to accomplish everything He asked of me and I didn’t want to walk away with any regrets. I wanted to spend myself completely on behalf of the Gospel. God was faithful to complete His work in me! I know He was smiling me and our group.

When everything comfortable is stripped away, God speaks in a very unique way. My heart focused on the Lord, and He showed me that everything I hold dear is nothing compared to His purpose and His kingdom! Eternity is what matters!But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt. 6:33. God says seek me, and I will give you what you need and desire. How true that is in my life.

After this trip, I realize that I have a track record with Jesus. Though I’ve only lived 20 years, I KNOW Him and I’ve SEEN Him. He has been so faithful to me, and living for Him is so richly rewarding.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your prayers and your emotional and financial support. God used each of you in a unique way to accomplish His purposes! May He continue to bless you as we seek to bless HIM in all we say and do.

9 days away!

Dear Friends and Family,

Only nine days until my missions trip to Peru and the Amazon River! These past couple weeks have flown by! As each day passes, God continues to prepare my heart for what lies ahead in the South American jungle. He has given me a specific theme for my heart to focus on heading into my trip: “Find your complete satisfaction in me.” Through many different circumstances, verses, and people, God has been shouting this message loud and clear into my life.

When I first started praying and preparing to go, one of my biggest desires was that God would reveal Himself to me, break me down, and then fill me up with only Him. But as I continued to seek His face and pray about what He has in store, I realized that my focus was off. God’s been teaching me that I am already completely FILLED with Him! He’s given me so much, but yet my prayer has been that of an overstuffed Christian, “Lord, more, more, more!”

Jesus didn’t only preach “If anyone is thirsty let Him come to me and drink.” (John 7:37. The very next verse He says, “Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Jesus isn’t only about filling us with Him and quenching our thirst. He fills us so we can be poured out. We are most satisfied in Jesus and with Jesus when our hearts overflow to others and He is glorified through us!

“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…” (Matthew 5:13, 14) Why does Jesus say this? He’s put us here for a purpose– yes! We have purpose through Jesus Christ! Our lives are to overflow with Jesus in order to bring others to Him. Salt makes you thirsty. If we are the salt of the world, our purpose is to make people thirsty for Jesus. And, if we are the light of the world (a city on a hill), we must point people to a destination.

So, my prayer for this trip has changed. It’s no longer, “God break me down and fill me so that I can be a stronger Christian.” It is: “God, let me be the one you use to make people thirst after you, and may I point them to YOU, the only one that satisfies the longings of their souls.” I think that is the prayer that God is pleased with. And guess what? I know that when I pour my life out to others, God is going to continue to fill me because Jesus never runs out!

Would you pray with me that God will move in the hearts of those we are going to reach? 10 of us are traveling along the river in a houseboat and stopping at many different villages to preach the Gospel. I have no idea what to expect, but I KNOW that God has some awesome things in store!

I am $200 away from my trip cost, and today is the deadline set for all funds collected. I’m praying that God will provide a little extra so that I can get the supplies needed for the trip. He is so faithful, and He’s used many of you to help make this trip possible! Thanks for going with me and being obedient to Him. Love you all!

Julie Anne

5 day deadline and 300 more to go!!

Hey all!

Wow, since my last post, I’ve raised $400! The countdown has begun, only 14 days til my trip! 2 weeks FROM TODAY. Unreal.

Thanks for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray that God will bring in $300 dollars by my June 15th deadline!

To donate online go to: http://www.ibbmiami.org, and click on the English page. There is a button to give online. Click on TIME on the drop down box. They will call you to make sure the money goes to my trip!

Julie Anne

700 down, 1300 to go!

Many thanks to all who supported the Smiles For Peru event this past Sunday! 25 families participated by taking family portraits. The atmosphere was one of giving and celebration. Many gave beyond the suggested donation, and I am truly grateful that so many people have caught the vision of missions!

We raised $327 Sunday morning! I want to thank our two professional photographers and the volunteers that made this event possible. In a manner of speaking, I’m taking everyone to Peru! So many people have helped make this trip become a reality!

Between the Smiles for Peru Event, the Chick-Fil-A night, and various donations, I’ve raised $700.00. This is awesome! God is providing! However, I need to have the additional $1300 by June 15 in order to go on the trip.

To donate online go to: http://www.ibbmiami.org, and click on the English page. There is a button to give online. Click on TIME on the drop down box. They will call you to make sure the money goes to my trip!

Thanks and God bless!

Julie Anne

Smiles for Peru!

Hey all! Here’s an update about my trip! Right now I have $300 raised out of the $2,000 needed, so I need $1,700 more. God has provided in amazing ways already, and I know that He will take care of the rest! This is an event happening this weekend at Oasis to raise money for the missions trip! Here are the details!

————————————————————————————————————————–

This is a chance to get a family portrait by an established, talented photographer: Ms. Beca Companioni.

WHEN? Sunday, May 30th after every service.

WHY? To give you and your family a chance for a wonderful and lasting memory while supporting Julie Anne Osterhus who is going on a mission trip to Peru and the Amazon River for 3 weeks.

**Monies will help reach our goal to build connections with TIME International this year so we can send more teens in the future. Julie will be staying and helping Rudy Johnson. Rudy, as most of you know, is one of the missionaries we are privileged to sponsor as a church for the quality and faithfulness of his service to Christ in Peru.

So, get ready! Dress nicely and come prepared.

The SUGGESTED Donation is $10 per famiy portrait. Just look for someone in the Information Booth wearing a black SURGE Tshirt. They’ll be ready to assist you.

WHEN WILL YOU BE ABLE TO COLLECT THE PORTRAITS?: Sunday, June 6 at the Info. booth after each service.

NOTE: If you wish to sponsor Julie Anne besides Smiles for Peru, please, contact her at julieo@visitoasis.org.

A Little Bit of Everything