“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought. They can have a powerful influence for good when they’re on the positive side, and they can and do make you physically ill when they’re on the negative side.” Peace Pilgrim
How many times do you say, “I can’t” during an average day?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13; NKJ)
Have you ever heard that if you grew up in an average household, that by the time you were 18, you had been told “no” almost 150,000 times. Is it any wonder that behavioral researchers are now telling us that as much as 77% of everything we think is negative, counter-productive, or works against us? Along those same lines, medical researchers are saying that as much as 75% of all illnesses are self-induced.
Rather than continuing to be a victim to all this negative programming that we’ve received through the years, why not begin to take responsibility and make some changes. Over the next several DGs, I would like to make several suggestions along those lines. Suggestions that should help you begin to reprogram some of that inherent negativity and then observe the effect that will have on your daily circumstances and overall outlook on life. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I will say that I’m not nearly as negative in my thinking as I was just a few short years ago.
Let’s start with becoming aware of how often we think or say, “I can’t.” You know, I can’t do this, or I can’t do that. I can’t afford that. I can’t change. I can’t believe that. I can’t go on. I can’t make it. I can’t forgive. I can’t recover. I can’t get it done. I can’t find a job. I can’t find a spouse. I can’t go back to college. I can’t pay the bills. I can’t figure this out…and the list could go on and on. We’ve been told that “you can’t” by well-meaning people who were trying to protect us from harm and/or disappointment for so many years that we’ve totally bought into the lie that we can’t.
Look at today’s Bible verse. Do you suppose it means what it says? Or is it just a nice little, “feel-good” myth that has no bearing on reality? Whose report will you believe? You know, once we ascribe to a belief, our brain is wired to look for things that will enforce that belief and ignore or reject those things that conflict with that belief. Have you ever been guilty of reciting that particular verse and truly believing it (in your head), and then turn right around and say, “I can’t” innumerable times before your head hits the pillow that same night? Your head is believing one thing and your heart, or subconscious, is believing just the opposite. Let me assure you, in a conflict like that, your heart will win every time.
Mary Kay Ash, Norman Vincent Peale, Henry Ford, et al have all been quoted as saying, “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.” Who said it first doesn’t really matter. It’s still true. The adage implies a choice. In other words, you can choose to believe you can or you can choose to believe you can’t. It’s up to you. And you’ll be right no matter which choice you make. Hmmmm…which choice would you rather make? Whose report will you believe?
Permit me to suggest a really low tech approach to changing your thinking here…assuming you want to change your thinking. Grab a 3 x 5 card and each time you catch yourself thinking or saying “I can’t” for the next couple of days, make a little tic mark on your card. Use that data to estimate how many times a day you say or think, “I can’t.” Now, purpose to change that habit. Anytime you catch yourself saying or about to say “I can’t” change it to, “I choose not to…” Instead of “I can’t afford that,” rephrase it to say “I choose not to spend my money that way at the current time.” Make a game of it. How creative can you be to rephrase your I can’ts? I’m convinced that if you play this little game for several weeks, you will find your thinking to be far more positive that it was before you started. I challenge you to give it a try.
Lord, forgive us for not believing Your Word. Forgive us for falling into the trap of believing the lie that says “I can’t.” Give us the grace to make the change in our thinking to remove the self-imposed boundaries that are keeping us from living our lives as You intended.
Link of the Day
I Can Do All Things
Blessings on you as you purpose to become aware of how often you say, “I can’t.”
“Boston Baked Beans: Really “Indian” Baked Beans as they were originated by the Indians three centuries ago…baked in earthen pots. In early New England, they were traditional Saturday night fare.” Betty Crocker Cookbook; 1950 ed.
When are you going on a picnic?
They brought sleeping mats, cooking pots, serving bowls, wheat and barley flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, butter, sheep, and cheese for David and those who were with him. (2Sam 17:28, 29a; NLT)
June is a busy month. Weddings, graduations, showers, and reunions are added bonuses to our social calendars. Picnics brand the summer season of fun and fellowship. Even certain foods are made primarily for summer fare and picnic season. Growing up in the north, we only ever made iced tea in the summer. (I know that seems odd to the southerners in our midst.) For the month of June, I’ll feature recipes for picnic menus.
Today’s recipe features Boston Baked Beans. There seems to be almost as many recipes for baked beans as there are beans on the planet, but I’ll share a simple recipe that does require some planning. Making baked beans from scratch using dried beans is well worth the time. And they are very cost effective!
Look for dried navy beans or great northern beans. They’re both white in color. Great northern beans are larger and hold their shape when cooked for extended periods of time. Navy beans are smaller and were once a staple on U.S. Naval ships, thus the name, “navy beans.” Most baked beans you buy are made using navy beans. Dried beans need to be “rehydrated” or soaked. I usually soak beans overnight in a large bowl, but they can be soaked during the day as well. Always use “good” water to soak the beans, not tap water, since the beans are sitting in the water for so many hours.
Another vital ingredient in authentic Boston baked beans is molasses. However, not all molasses is created equal. There are three major types of molasses with varying degrees of sweetness, color, and processing. Unsulphured molasses is the finest quality. It is made from the juice of sun-ripened cane and the juice is then clarified, concentrated, and blended.
Unlike unsulphured molasses, sulfured molasses is a by-product of the sugar making process using green sugar cane that has not matured long enough. During the processing and extracting process, the green cane is treated with sulfur dioxide and then boiled from one to three times. I avoid buying any food containing sulfur dioxide if at all possible.
The third type of molasses is blackstrap molasses, which comes from the third boiling and contains little sugar. Dark and bitter, it is used primarily in the manufacturing of commercial cattle feed. However, due to the high iron content and low sugar content, blackstrap molasses has been considered a health food by some.
Even though today’s recipe uses dried beans, canned beans can also be used to make excellent tasting baked beans.
Father, we thank You for creating summer for our enjoyment. We thank you for green grass and trees and for the beautiful blue sky. We thank You for friendships and for the occasions to have fellowship and fun.
Link of the Day
Boston Baked Beans
Blessings on you as you plan your next picnic.
Age is not a number, but a state of mind. Unknown
Have you thought about how you will embrace the aging process?
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. (Prov 16:31; NIV)
Sixty five years ago today, Gerald Lee Graham came into the world, as a birthday gift to his own father, no less. What a joy and delight it is for me to honor this humble and gentle man on his 65th birthday. He does epitomize the word “gentleman”, by the way. The true meaning of that word became quite clear to me soon after we were married.
Many of you know Jerry only from reading his writings in the Daily Grams. And there are many of our readers who know the man in a personal way. I believe you’ll concur with me that “To know him is to love him.” Jerry is the more quiet one in our family. In a group setting, he’ll sit back, listen and observe. He’ll make comments when he feels he has something of value to contribute. Several friends have made the comment that Jerry is much like E.F. Hutton. When he speaks, people listen. He is known for his wisdom and counsel.
Jerry is a man of principle and integrity. He’s also a servant. Through the long years of my being ill, he continually exhibited unconditional love for me through many acts of kindness and service that many men would find extremely difficult. Since I was unable to shop in malls or stores, I sewed most of my clothing. That meant that Jerry learned how to shop in a fabric store. He learned to choose a pattern, buy the fabric and all the notions necessary for me to sew a dress, skirt or outfit. He also had to do all of the other shopping for the household. Never once did I hear him complain or utter disgust over the major burden that my being ill caused our family.
We continue to grow young together. At 65, he’s undoubtedly in better physical condition than he was when he was in his forties. He continues to challenge himself in his daily workouts at the gym, lifting more weight and setting new high-water marks for himself. He still maintains a size 34 waist; the size he wore when we were married over twenty-five years ago.
Jerry is also the consummate learner. There was a time when I lovingly quipped that he had been in school over half of our married life. Our number of years being married has now surpassed that figure. But Jerry will never stop learning. He was born to learn and to teach others what he’s learning. Many men think of retirement when they turn 65. I doubt that my husband will ever retire. He’ll continue to learn and pass on to all who will listen about his latest study.
Lastly, Jerry certainly does model a Christ-like behavior. He honors and esteems me as his wife and is quick to forgive me when I blow it. There is no doubt in my mind that he would quickly “lay down his life for me.” What a joy and privilege it is for me to celebrate this 65th birthday with my beloved husband! Happy Birthday Honey!
If Jerry has been a blessing in your life, I invite you to send him a Birthday greeting.
Father, we thank You for the gift of life and I especially thank You for the gift of Jerry’s life. Lord, I pray abundant blessings on this man who has enriched my life in innumerable ways and touched the lives of many throughout this country and even around the world.
Link Of The Day
Jerry Turns 65
Blessings on you, dear Jerry as you celebrate this your 65th birthday.
“New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that household antibacterial soaps and other products offer no protection whatsoever against infections.” Mike Adams
Are you aware of what you’re using to wash your hands?
They washed whenever they entered the Tent of Meeting or approached the altar; (Ex 40:32a; NIV)
Last Thursday I wrote about the importance of washing our hands. Have you made any changes since reading that Daily Gram? Are you becoming more aware of what is being carried around on other people’s hands as well as on your own? Even though I’m a regular hand washer, writing that article has me more conscious of what I’m touching (and who just touched it) when shopping!
For years my fingernails were soft, would break easily and wouldn’t grow. I now realize that was just another indication of a lack of health. Since regaining my health, my nails are strong and grow rapidly. They’re a pretty white color and well shaped. On several occasions I’ve let them grow to a popular length. Now, I know I won’t win any points with lots of my female friends, but long fingernails are receptacles for collecting and storing “germs” and bacteria. “Critters” love to live under there in that nice, warm, protected environment. I now keep my nails short. (I actually have to use toenail clippers to cut them since my nails are so strong.)
Another aspect of hand washing is what to use to wash our hands. In recent years, antibacterial soaps have been marketed as the answer to preventing infections and diseases. You’ll see from the links I offer today that not only has that been marketing hype, but the agent used to “fight bacteria” is actually harmful to us. The most active ingredient used in most antibacterial products is triclosan, an antibacterial agent that kills bacteria and inhibits bacterial growth. But not only does triclosan kill bacteria, it also kills human cells.
Antibacterial ingredients have become so prevalent in the United States that there are now antibacterial soaps, laundry detergents, shampoos, toothpastes, body washes, dish soaps, and many household cleaning products. However, research and studies now reveal that household antibacterial soaps and other products offer no protection whatsoever against infections.
There are soaps and detergents available that are safe to use. Avalon is a company that manufacturers products without common, harmful chemicals. I use their liquid lavender soap for general hand washing. Dr. Bronner’s is another common brand without harmful chemicals. There are others but these are two that I use and that are readily available.
Father, thank You for Your protection for us. Thank You for giving us wisdom to live a healthy and balanced life.
Links of the Day
The Truth About Antibacterial Soaps–And Why You Should Avoid Them
Research shows antibacterial soaps to be useless; ingredients may be toxic
Blessings on you as you continue to take care of the only body you will ever have.
“Where you end up in life is not determined by where you start. It’s what you choose to do with the seconds you have–it’s what you choose to do with your potential that shapes your destiny” Patrick M. Powers
What is your purpose in life? How do you see your destiny?
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Prov. 8:10,11; NIV)
Patrick Powers, an Internet friend of mine, put together the YouTube presentation that is today’s link. It is filled with wisdom and I felt I wanted to share it with you.
On a related note, Dr. Randy Peck and I are teaming up to do an online journaling course designed to move you closer to discovering your destiny. Toward that end we have scheduled a series of free webinars next week entitled “Uncommon Journaling for Breakthroughs!”
The dates and times are:
–Wednesday, June 11, Noon – 1 pm
–Wednesday, June 11, 8 – 9 pm
–Thursday, June 12, 4-5 pm
Participants in these webinars will be given the option to join a 5 week (35 day) online journaling course in small groups of up to 15 people. Each student will be taught and expected to journal every day. After 35 days, journaling will become an enjoyable, steady habit. Randy and I will be coaching students regarding LIFE Focus. We encourage you to seize this UNCOMMON Opportunity!
I encourage you to register for one of the webinars. Simply click here to register. In the meantime, have an awesome weekend!!!
Lord, grant us to recognize that You are the architect of our destiny. Show us ways that we can cooperate with You to fulfill our life purpose.
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you purpose to be more aware of the choices you make every day.
“The Journal is a powerful journaling and writing tool that can help you take control of your life.” David Michael
What is the lead domino for YOUR life?
Now go, write it before them on a tablet, And note it on a scroll, That it may be for time to come, Forever and ever. (Isaiah 30:8; KJV)
As I mentioned last Friday, Dr. Randy Peck and I are teaming up to do an online journaling course designed to move you closer to discovering your destiny. The following is from Randy’s daily devotional (http://yourdailyblessing.com/blog/) of last Friday.“As mentioned in yesterday’s devotional, I have come to the conclusion that God wants me to coach people in groups of 15 and 1,000 to journal in UNCOMMON ways to experience breakthroughs and for LIFE Focus. Dr. Jerry Graham, my top mentor for the past year, has agreed to partner with me in this endeavor.
“Before my ‘UNCOMMON Journaling for Breakthroughs’ webinar yesterday, I prepared a PowerPoint presentation. That will serve as the basis for my upcoming devotionals. Here is the basic outline of what I cover in my introductory journaling webinar and what I’ll be covering in this series of journaling devotionals:
Why journal? (Benefits)
How do you journal? (Styles)
Why journal ONLINE? (Power)
History of Dr. Peck’s journaling
Demo of Dr. Peck’s journaling
Fruit of journaling
So What? Now What?
“It’s amazing how when you take a step in the direction of your destiny, God takes 10 steps toward you. Today, Jeff Bernstein, founder of Gates of Zion, called me out-of-the-blue. He told me that he recently started journaling using outstanding software that he downloaded from the web. There’s a 45 day free demo if you are interested. To learn more, visit today’s Link of the Day.
“Take a step toward discovering and fulfilling YOUR destiny and REGISTER TODAY for one of my FREE webinars titled ‘UNCOMMON Journaling for Breakthroughs!’
Wednesday, June 11, Noon – 1 pm
Thursday, June 12, 4-5 pm
Thursday, June 12, 8-9 pm
“I like what Bill Gates (Microsoft) says, ‘If we don’t act on a good idea within 24 hours, we are less than 50% likely to ever act on it. If we haven’t acted on it inside of days, then we are less than 2% likely to ever act on it.’”
Heavenly Father, we praise You as the God of HIStory. You told Your people in the Bible over and over to “Remember!” One of the best ways to remember what You’ve done and to discern what You are doing is to journal. Bless my readers to comprehend the significance of journaling. May many of them choose to learn more by participating in one of my upcoming webinars. May they refer their friends to do likewise. Thank You Jesus. Amen and hallelujah!
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you step out to explore the topic of journaling in depth!
“3-bean salad is one of those quintessential American summer picnic foods.” Elise Bauer
When did you last enjoy some Three Bean Salad?
From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence. (Prov. 13:2; NIV)
We’re going on picnics during the month of June. Last week we had Boston Baked Beans. Today we’ll enjoy some Three Bean Salad. I really didn’t grow up eating Three Bean Salad. My mother probably didn’t care much for it, so she didn’t make it. Perhaps you grew up in a family that didn’t eat many beans at all. As I’ve mentioned several times before, beans are a nutritious and low-cost food.
There are many, many variations to Three Bean Salad. Most recipes use various types of beans in a sugar, vinegar type dressing. It appears that most recipes use canned green beans. I’m not a fan of canned green beans. So, I recommend using either fresh or frozen green beans and lightly steaming them until crisp tender. They’ll soften more as they marinate in the dressing.
I also prefer pinto beans over kidney beans, although kidney beans seem to be one of the common staples in Three Bean Salad. Garbanzo beans or chick peas is another staple bean in the salad. They’re readily available in cans and organically grown.
Since I don’t do sugar, I developed this recipe using raw honey. It mixes in easily with the vinegar. I also use Tamari (instead of salt) which is a healthy form of soy sauce without added colorings and MSG. It’s easily found in the condiment aisle of the natural food section. A pinch of cayenne pepper adds a nice, final touch to this cool, refreshing, and easy to make picnic delight.
Father, we are so grateful for this wonderful time of year when Your bounty of fruit and vegetables begin to appear. We are thankful for our friends and families and that we can enjoy special times with them.
Link of the Day
Three Bean Salad
Blessings on you as you experiment with some new picnic foods that you’ve not experienced before.
“Journaling, the writing out of our prayers and God’s answers, provides a great new freedom in hearing God’s voice.” Dr. Mark Virkler
How would you describe your life purpose?
Then Yahweh answered me and said, ‘Write the vision down, inscribe it on tablets to be easily read. (Habakkuk 2:2; NJB)
As you undoubtedly know by now, Dr. Randy Peck and I are teaming up to do a 5-week, 35-day on-line course in journaling with a special emphasis on understanding your life purpose or destiny. This is an exciting combination of two of the most significant learning experiences I’ve been blessed with in my life, i.e., journaling as a means of engaging in a two-way dialog with God, and coaching with a specific emphasis on the “discovery” of one’s life purpose and destiny.
The combination makes perfect sense. There is a line in a fantastic movie that Sharon and I rented last Friday night entitled “Bella.” (If you haven’t seen it…by all means plan to do so!) The line went something like this…”If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” (A little Google research shows that the line was not original to the movie, but I still highly recommend the movie.) Anyway, wouldn’t it make far more sense to ask God about His plans for you? Yes, but…God doesn’t talk to me. Or does He?
Over 25 years ago, I was taught to journal as a means of hearing God’s voice by Dr. Mark Virkler, who has since become a good friend and ministry colleague. Mark developed a seminar that he continues to teach to this day around the world, called “Communion with God.” Highly acclaimed, the seminar is best described by Tommy Reid, Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Tabernacle in Orchard Park, NY when he wrote, “The problem [that keeps most Christians from an active prayer life], I believe, is not commitment or lack of desire. The problem is rather the monotony of the prayer life itself. One hardly desires to carry on a monologue. It is understandably ‘boring’ to talk to anyone who fails to talk back. Thus our prayer lives are plagued by an improper understanding of biblical prayer.”
Link that perception of journaling as a dialogue with God with a theology that is founded on the notion that God designed each of us for a specific purpose and, toward that end, fully equipped us with all the gifts, talents, temperament, and opportunities to fully fulfill that purpose and I believe you begin to see the potential impact this on-line course could have on your life.
It’s not too late to join Randy and me on one of the introductory journaling webinars and learn more about what we’ve got planned. There are two more webinars scheduled for later today. To attend, just go to REGISTER TODAY.
Lord, fill us with the desire to hear Your voice clearly and the desire to discover the purpose You had in mind when we were so “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Link of the Day
Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice
Blessings on you as you step out to explore the topic of journaling in depth!
“Appetite and diet are highly personal matters, and many people struggle with weight problems.” Mike Adams
How aware are you of what you’re eating and how often you’re eating?
Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. (Prov. 23:3; NIV)
I know people’s love/hate affair with food is extremely personal. By writing our Daily Gram’s, our hope and prayer is that our readers will continue to educate themselves and take more personal responsibility for their own health.
Most of today’s thoughts come from an article in NewsTarget.com. The facts were rather shocking to me. The article presents a common scenario on a typical day of the eating habits of an American male.
The man, who we’ll call John, stops at a fast-food drive-thru for breakfast on his way to work and grabs an omelet sandwich, hash browns, and what he thinks is a healthy carton of orange juice. He woofs down his breakfast as he drives, navigating to his favorite coffee house where he orders his usual….grande mocha double espresso supreme with light crème. He also grabs an innocent looking raspberry scone (fruit’s good for us, right?) for later. Later comes in about 60 seconds after he’s back in his car.
Mid-morning finds John visiting the vending machine at work for a quick pick-me-up. Hmmm that soft drink and bag of potato chips should do the trick. Lunch finds him at a nearby burger stand where he inhales a bacon double cheeseburger, a bag of fries and another soft drink. “Oh, and what the heck, super-size that for me, would ya?”
By now, my mouth was dropping open from shock that people really do eat like this. But, wait, there’s more. By mid afternoon, John is back at the vending machine looking longingly at those candy bars calling his name. For dinner, he stops and picks up Italian. Spaghett, meatballs, dinner salad, and garlic bread. “Gee, since I’m serious about watching my waistline, I’ll pass on dessert tonight.”
Now, for the cold, hard facts. John has consumed almost 7000 calories for the day, 312 grams of fat, almost 8000 milligrams of sodium and 322 grams of sugar.
In one day, John has consumed almost 3 times the calories, 5 times the fat, and 4.5 times the sodium recommended by the food industry-friendly USDA, and 7 times the amount of sugar recommended by the World Health Organization. This didn’t even mention how many carbohydrate grams he consumed. Scary thought! When John’s doctor strongly suggested that he make some dietary and lifestyle changes, John asked for drugs instead to cure his physical aliments.
Now, I know that none of our readers can relate to this story! <smile> Perhaps you might see John in your office though. Take a risk and share with him that there is a better way.
Father, Jerry and I thank You for our readers. Bless them, Lord, with the willingness and ability to make the best choices for their health.
Link of the Day
To read more of this NewsTarget.com article
Blessings on you as you become more aware of when and what you’re eating.
Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever. ~Author Unknown
What does Father’s Day meant to you?
And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord. (Eph. 6:4; NLT)
Sunday is Father’s Day! I couldn’t let the day go by without a special tribute to all the Dads among our readers. I had a very special Dad…I was actually born on his birthday. He’s been gone for many years now, but I still think of him often. Interestingly enough, I still want him to be proud of me.
For the last 25 plus years, I’ve enjoyed being able to call Sharon’s Father, my Dad. He’s an equally special Dad. He’s always there for us and I’ve sure been blessed to be part of that family.
A little research shows that Father’s Day doesn’t carry a lot of weight for most folks. Answers.com reports, “In the US, there are fewer dollars spent on gifts [compared to Mother’s Day], and retailers say the shopping is more last-minute. Even Google confirms that online searches for dear old dad’s day don’t measure up to those for his partner in procreation. In fact, the only area in which Father’s Day is No. 1 is… collect calls. Not phone calls as a whole, just collect calls; phone call volume in general doesn’t rise, according to Verizon.”
So, I couldn’t let the opportunity go by to buck the trend and offer a salute to all the Fathers on their special day.
BTW–I have an idea…before your kids call you to wish you a happy Father’s Day, maybe you could call them…and don’t forget to reverse the charges.
Have a great weekend!
Lord, as we approach this special day set aside for our Fathers, we want to also remember our heavenly Father. We thank You for all the love and protection You send our way 24/7…the epitome of what being a Father is all about.
Link of the Day
Sing Me A Song Again, Daddy
Blessings on you as you remember Father’s Day this Sunday.