Tuesday’s Treats #57

McGuire’s Irish Pub

Location: Destin and Pensacola, FL

If you’re in the Destin or Pensacola areas, McGuire’s is definitely a bucket list adventure for lunch or dinner. The atmosphere is great, and the food is delicious. Until last December, we had always read about this on Trip Advisor, but we had yet to try it. Now, we can’t believe we never did! The staff is friendly and helpful. The atmosphere is very “Irish-esk,”  and the food just as much. There are $1 bills posted all over the walls and ceilings, which I kind of think takes away from the deep wood appeal, but in true Irish flair, the $1 bills are said to bring you “good luck;” so, that’s their thing. 😉

img_1162

TA reviews had mentioned the wonderful nachos, and they did not lie! Oh my goodness!! As you can see from the pic, these are piled high; however, you will have to order them to see that they really are piled high! These were shared amongst 5 adults, 2 teens and 2 younger kids, and we still had some left over. This was served with a side of sour cream, salsa, and they also brought out the most yummy warm, brown, honey bread as an appetizer. Oh. My! I could have filled up on these two items alone. They, also, have a “Senate Bean Soup” you can order for 18 cents, but beware, if you order it alone (without an entree), you’ll have to pay $18.00. Read the menu for more information. 😉

Our oldest loves root beer, and McGuire’s makes their own in-house brew. It is not like your average store bought brand. This was yummy, topped with its own “green cherry bomb.” Among our party of nine, we ordered the fish and chips, burgers, popcorn shrimp, steaks, and salads. Everything was great, but by far, the absolute best thing was the steak and baked potato. Oh my goodness, the steak was so tender, you could cut it with a dinner knife (not steak knife)! It was soooo delicious! My husband got this as his meal, and I had wished I’d gotten that instead of my burger. The baked potato with which it was served was cooked perfectly, just as if it had been timed exactly right to sit over a campfire till it arrived at perfection. I was really glad my husband was so full from the nachos, bean soup and bread; so, I could enjoy a few bites.

My burger, complete with bacon, smoked gouda cheese and lettuce, was huge and very tasty…too much to finish but very good. The fries were not too thin, not too thick and yummy. The sweet tea was perfectly Southern style, and the coffee was hot, but maybe not my first choice. Since, the Irish are well known for their “drink and be merry” moto for life, if you’re into ales and such, they’ve got plenty of those from which to choose, and they even have some homemade brews. I’m sorry, I’m not into All that; so, I could fill you in on that part. 😉 They’ve, also, got “The Grand Burger” which they serve with champagne, and a “Garbage Burger” with all that you could think of on top, not really either of my choices in burgers, but hey, to each his own, I suppose.

Because we were all absolutely stuffed, we didn’t even think about dessert, but they do have a few. However, I can’t rightly remember what those might be. They’ve also got an Irish gift shop right next door, complete with all kinds of Irish gift items, as well as, a pizza shop and other Irish adorned shops along the little strip (*This is all at the Destin location).

Finally, it might seem very strange to include the “bathroom signs” on a restaurant review; however, I thought it important to warn you that when you are at McGuire’s, you need to be sure to read these signs very carefully. Otherwise, you might get quite a surprise…LOL! 😉 When I’m on the Gulf Coast, it is hard for me to bypass the great seafood for a different cuisine; however, McGuire’s is worth the trip, and we will definitely be going back! To check out their website for locations and menu items, click here.

Oh, and one last note, if you’re wondering about the tint of color on each of these pics, I did not have trouble with a camera filter, nor did my processing go wrong, this is the lighting within McGuire’s. So, be prepared when you walk inside, the lighting will seem a little “off,” but after a few minutes, your eyes will acclimate just fine. 😊

Life Speaks

I saw this picture today, and it really hit home…


I hope that my life and my actions always line up with who I say that I am. It is so disconcerting to me how easily, it seems, some people can speak good words, smile and give a look of love and concern; then, that same person can turn and completely tear another to pieces. I know there are times when we have to “smile and nod,” simply because it’s not the time or place to handle a certain situation, or maybe, you’re in the public eye, and it’s best for your leadership, your reputation and your “good name” to just keep your mouth shut, smile graciously and handle someone with kindness. However, when there is underlying resentment and hatred, you can be guaranteed that will come shining through your actions! I don’t care how masked you think you are!

It is a matter of the heart. I’m sure you’ve heard it said, “If there’s trash on the inside, trash will eventually come out.” Or as the Bible says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If there’s junk on the inside, it doesn’t matter how beautiful you paint the face, that junk will eventually come to the surface, and when it does, it’s not going to be pretty!

My prayer is that I can keep a clean heart before God and not try to hide my “ugly” from Him. He sees it anyway; so, why should I try to think otherwise? If I will just spend more time with Him, listening, talking, receiving instruction from Him, being honest with Him about what’s on the inside, and allowing Him to change the ugly, I won’t have to worry about what I do on the outside, because I’ll become more like Him and so much less like me. 😉

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Wednesday’s Ode #29

I love AUTHENTICITY.

It seems, we lack so much of it today. There are those who act happy when they’re mad. Others act downtrodden when, inside, they are elated by the “gracious giving” they receive. Some pretend to choose right simply to plan an attack. Still others, rebel against peace believing they’ll, somehow, reveal it.

When we strive to live within a contrived shell, it will eventually choke the very life we seek. When we strain to paint a pretty picture, when the interior is filled with death and disease, we desecrate our own attempt of majesty. When we give the illusion of stability and grace when there is only chaos and sin,  we diminish the only integrity and character to succeed. 

This whole world benefits when we are authentic. It doesn’t mean we all agree. It doesn’t mean we all tolerate. It does mean we can breathe without fear of suffocation. It does mean we have freedom to live and speak and share without sheltering truth from those who don’t believe as we do. When we are authentic, and we allow others to be authentic, we may not live in perfect harmony; yet, we will create a beautiful symphony to be heard. 

Assuming

Expectations. 

Assumptions. 

We all have them. We all give them. Yet, sometimes, I think we have too many, and we assert them too quickly…let’s be real for a minute…I know I do, at times…and I’m working on that.

We can’t assume we know the person nor from whence they come lest the road alongside them we travel. This can, especially, happen in the blogging world, can’t it? Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about…

I was reading a blog entry on day, and this young woman had written about the man she was missing. “…can’t breathe. Can’t sleep….sad…he’s been gone two years…” The impression was, for me, she was missing him from death. I commented to her of prayers for her loss, praying she would find comfort and grace. Then, as I read other comments, and her response, I come to realize the guy just keeps coming back and leaving. Ok, so, that was a little annoying! (Just being honest here) At first, I felt bad for her, as she grieved; however, it seemed to, now, be a pattern which she was allowing. That isn’t true grief; that’s being used and making room for it. 
Another blog entry from someone else showed pictures of beauty, words of joy. It was inspiring, encouraging. After I sent a comment, the reply I received proved she was heartbroken and desperate.
We truly can never judge a book by its cover. We can never judge a life by its appearance and, sometimes, not even by their spoken words. There are so many hurting, dying people in this world, and they will simply paint a face of happiness to shield them from further pain. They will simply withdraw; so, no one realizes the depression…because, after all, the outside world never really understands that emotion much anyway. If you don’t believe me, just open the paper and read of the heartbreaking suicides where the friends state they had no clue the person was unstable, because they simply did their job and went home. 

We can only truly know a person’s heart when we walk hand in hand, when we gently ask and are allowed inside the gates of a guarded soul, when they allow us to see their vulnerability and their truth. Sometimes, this can come simply by asking. There are those who are just waiting for someone to show they care. There are others with whom it will take days, months or even years to crack the solid built encasing of their heart, because they have fortified it for years. 

We have to determine how much we truly care and how much time we are willing to give in each relationship. Sometimes, we are too busy to give the adequate care, and so, we simply assume a certain thing, and never try to understand. Other times, we don’t have the right tools to do the hard work of listening and learning, because, after all, that’s not our personality, not our gifting, or even, not our calling. Often, it may be that the other person doesn’t have the ability to give, because so much has been taken from them. The stories and scenarios are endless. It’s so hard to know. 

Yet, for those whom we truly love, for those with whom we find our worlds colliding, we must be able to give the time and attention to break down the expectations and put away the assumptions so that true friendships and deep relationships will last. We may not understand, but the longer we walk the road together, we can learn together. We begin to see “by and by.” 

Perfection

If we could have achieved perfection on our own, we wouldn’t have needed Jesus. – Jennifer Dukes Lee

We work so hard to have perfection in every area of our lives. Yet, whose perfection are we working to achieve? Is it the perfection of the Pinterest mom?  Do you feel the need to be extra crafty, a perfect, DIY gal, making all the cute little cupcakes and crafts for the party? Is it the homeschool supermom who knows exactly what her child needs in every subject and on every lesson? Is it the grill perfect dad, knowing just when to turn that perfect steak, when to add that very last seasoning to make the meal of a lifetime for all your friends to drool? 

Or maybe it’s that perfect businessman, knowing exactly when to press in for the deal and when to walk away, leaving them begging for more? Maybe it’s the A+ college student…you know, the one who can achieve the highest scores in her sleep while writing that pristine perfect 20 page paper in a day, just after she read the 1500 page novel for American Lit! What is this “perfect” that we seek so hard to find??

Too often, it seems, we seek to find the perfection we think we see in someone else. We look. We examine. We analyze everyone else’s perceived goodness and realize our lacking. We compare our faults to their “greatness,” and we are left wanting more. Who told us they are by whom we should measure ourselves?? 

Who convinced us of their perfection? They are not the answer. They are not the picture of perfection. What they do or don’t do should never be our focus! Who are “they” anyway?? They can never satisfy our longings. They can never fulfill our dreams. They can never transform us from who were once were to whom we are destined to be!

Only the Creator of our lives can bring about perfection. Only Jesus should be our goal of perfection! He is the only one who was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, dies for us, rose again and has promised to come again. Only HE is the picture of perfect by which we should examine our life. Only HE should be sought after for our value of perfection. 

The only way we can reach to His perfection is to first be real with our imperfections and realize we can never achieve absolute perfection until He perfects our earthly bodies with a heavenly one. We can only reach to His perfection by becoming more like Him and so much less like ourselves. It’s a daily struggle, a daily walk toward His cross and away from our flesh…It’s a daily journey in realism. Why don’t we try a little real-ness in our search for Him? How about a little authenticity in our daily lives? 

Are you ready for a little honesty…a little truth? Let’s drop the games that we play, and let’s get real. Let’s live lives of authenticity. Let’s live lives more like Christ: love, joy, peace, patience and truth…these are the makings for perfection! Let’s chase after Him rather than all those who would try to make us think they are perfect. 🙂

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 4:48