“The Land of Opportunity is more than a place…it’s a state of mind. It is an openness to new ideas, a willingness to listen, an eagerness to learn, a desire to grow, and the flexibility to change.” from “A Peacock in the Land of Penguins”
Are you being your true self? If not, why not?
The king had a fleet of trading ships that sailed with Hiram’s fleet. Once every three years the ships returned, loaded down with gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. (1 Kings 10:22; NLT)
Many of you who know me, know that one of my many “quirks” is my disdain for neckties. I believe that comes from 25 years of “paying my dues” in a large corporation acting the part and playing the game. In retrospect, one of the greatest gifts ever given to me was the opportunity make a very graceful exit by taking advantage of a rewarding down-sizing program. That opened the door for me to enter seminary in my late 40’s and virtually start anew.
That’s the backdrop to the delightful wisdom presented in the latest creation from Mac Anderson that arrived in my inbox just yesterday. As I’ve used his material several times in the past, you may remember that Mac Anderson is the founder of Simple Truths and Successories, Inc., and is widely acknowledged as a leader in designing and marketing products for motivation and recognition.
The short, three-minute movie has some priceless corporate America lines like, “You could have a bright future here…you just need to change to fit in.” “Why don’t you put on a penguin suit?” And “This is the way we’ve always done things here.” Interestingly enough, coming out of seminary, I was disappointed to learn that these very same lines are pretty popular in churches as well. Could that be some of what is causing so many to view the church as increasingly irrelevant?
Anyway, all that “personal baggage” aside, I think you’ll truly enjoy today’s link. And remember, “The Land of Opportunity is more than a place…it’s a state of mind.” BTW, what state is your mind in these days?
Lord, give us the grace to remember that an open mind, a desire to grow, an eagerness to learn, and the flexibility are all wondrous gifts from you. Help us to be cognizant of those times when we have chosen to not operate in those gifts.
Link of the Day
A Peacock in the Land of Penguins
Blessings on you as you allow yourself to fully express and be proud of who God has made you to be…even at you’re workplace.
“Perhaps there is no ‘free ticket’ to eating all the sugar-free products you want without paying a high price physically — even weight gain!” Dr. Janet Starr Hull
How familiar are you with a substance called sucralose?
This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. (James 3:15; NAS)
I wrote a Daily Gram on December 4, 2007, called “Not So Splendid.” In that post I exposed some of the dangers of using sucralose, more commonly known as Splenda. Splenda continues to be used more and more by food manufacturers. It’s even used in energy bars and protein powders found in health food stores. It’s found in inferior quality vitamin and mineral supplements along with many children’s medications. Many people don’t realize that they’re actually eating Splenda.
One has to peruse the ingredient label of a particular food product and look for the word Sucralose. It won’t say Splenda in the ingredient list as that is the patented marketing name used for the artificial sweetener with the chemical name of sucralose.
Sucralose sounds similar to sucrose, which is common table sugar. Is that by design, I wonder? Although there are many deleterious effects to eating sugar, most nutritionally sound individuals would agree that sucrose isn’t as much of a poison as sucralose. So, why am I revisiting this after writing an article just nine months ago? I just received new research from a study done at Duke University published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.
“James Turner, chairman of the national consumer education group Citizens for Health, expressed shock and outrage after reading a new report from scientists at Duke University. ‘The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component, sucralose, pose a threat to the people who consume the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side effects from using Splenda and this study, published this past week in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A, confirms that the chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning label,’ said Turner.”
The article goes on to explain that Splenda reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50%. That is a startling fact. All of us need ALL of the good bacteria in our intestines. None of us need less! There are huge ramifications from this.
The article also stated that Splenda increases the pH level in the intestines and contributes to increases in body weight. Wait a minute….don’t people eat Splenda because they think they’re losing weight? Duped again!
Lastly, Splenda affects the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the body in such a way that interferes with how the body reacts to specific medications. Today’s link is from Citizens for Health.
If you’d like to know more about this evil, yellow packet, do a google search on “Splenda toxicity.” You’ll find more perhaps than you wanted to know.
Father, thank You for continuing to give us wisdom and understanding of how we can take care of our bodies and protect ourselves from harmful substances.
Link of the Day
FDA Should Review Approval of Splenda
Blessings on you as you educate yourself on the dangers of using Splenda.
“Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” Bill Meyer
How’s your day going so far? What keeping it from being a great day?
This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psa. 118: 24; NLT)
How many times in the average day do you hear the phrase, “Have a good day?” Often used as a substitute for or supplement to good-bye, it has almost become trite because just like the standard greeting “How are you,” most people are just mouthing the words with no real sincerity or interest behind them. If you’re like me, you probably use those phrases as much as everybody else. It’s become a habit for many of us because when we say those things we don’t have to stop and think.
As I was reflecting on what to write about today, I remembered Monday’s DG wherein we talked about the Law of Comparison or the Law of Relativity and how anything that happens is neither good nor bad until we decide what to compare it to. Therefore, we can choose to compare it to something worse and it is therefore good; or we can choose to compare it to something better and thereby declare it to be bad.
Well, if that is the case, and I truly believe that it is, then the already trite and meaningless “Have a good day” makes even less sense because it suggests that we are helpless victims to the circumstances that happen to come our way, and the well-wisher is simply hoping that there will be more good events than bad events so that we can feel like we’ve had a good day.
If those circumstances or events can be interpreted by us to be to be good (or bad), then that takes the victim out of it completely. Now it’s fully our responsibility about how those circumstances or events are viewed and we can choose to have either a good day or a bad day. (Why anyone would choose to have a bad day is beyond my comprehension, but I’m sure there are some who would make that choice for any number of reasons.)
So, given that we have been given the power to make the choice, wouldn’t it make much more sense to end a conversation with “Make it a good day” or better still, “Make it a great day.” Now it still might not be offered in a sincere manner, but nevertheless it carries the strong implication that the hearer has a choice in the matter. Maybe if we were reminded enough times, it might just begin sink in that we do have the power to choose to have a good day.
I don’t know about you, but I am going to choose life instead of choosing death. Sounds like a lot more fun.
Lord, remind us to choose life and to interpret things that happen to us in a positive fashion. Help us find the good in everything so that we can sincerely celebrate life on a moment by moment basis.
Link of the Day
How To Have A Good Day Every Day
Blessings on you as you choose to have an awesome weekend!
“I never considered myself unique, but people are constantly telling me, ‘I am a miracle.’ To me, I was just an ordinary ‘guy’ with realistic goals and big dreams. I was a 19-year-old student at the University of Texas and well on my way toward fulfilling my ‘big dream’ of one day becoming an orthopedic surgeon.” Michael Jordan Segal, MSW
How would you cope if your “big dream” were snatched from you with no hope of recovery?
That night the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you! (1 Kings 3:5; NLT)
A couple of times last week I wrote about the Law of Comparisons (aka the Law of Relativity). Sometimes as I read about some of these universal laws and then turn around and try to write about them, I find myself amazed at the logic and wisdom they convey, but privately wonder how they would work with the “big” things in life. You know what I mean? It’s one thing to choose to look for the good with something that is relatively minor, i.e., more of a nuisance than a catastrophe, but what about a big, life altering events? Obviously this kind of thinking has to move from your head to your heart so that it becomes automatic or instinctive.
I ran across a true story sent out by one of my mentors, Bob Proctor in his newsletter. He passed along the story of a fellow named Michael Segal who wrote the following:
“Life is full of people who are not satisfied and not thankful for what they have. Many times people are constantly dwelling on what they have lost, rather than being satisfied and thankful for what they still have left. Believe me, I speak from experience.
“When I was 19 and well on my way to fulfilling my life-long dream of becoming a surgeon, I walked into a convenience store which was in the process of being robbed. One of the thieves shot me in the back of my head, leaving me for dead. However, I fooled everyone. Sure, I have my disabilities and I used to constantly dwell on the many things I had lost, being negative, saying, ‘Before I was shot I was athletic, now I can barely walk (with a significant limp), my arm is very weak, I speak somewhat slowly, my voice is hoarse. Before I was shot I could do 500 things really well, after the shooting, I can do only 200 things well. For a long time, I was constantly dwelling on the 300 things I had lost.’ However, eventually I began focusing on the 200 things I could still do. It wasn’t easy and it took me a long time, but refocusing one’s attitude is crucial — not merely for people shot in the head, not merely for people who are sick, but for everyone. Having a more positive attitude is vital and essential.
“One of my friends had a stroke. I would always try to encourage him by trying to get him to refocus on the positive. It was not easy but it was slowly working and he was improving. He still had a long way to go but he was getting there. He was always asking, ‘How long did it take you to walk? I hope I will be able to walk again.’
“I would say to him, ‘Everyone is different. Even though I have problems walking, my hopes and prayers are that one day you’ll be able to walk.’ With that statement I limped out of the hospital room.
“When I visited my friend the next week I immediately asked him to ‘tell me something good.’ He started by saying he had walked 60 feet with a cane in therapy, but just then his doctor (whom I knew) came in and asked how he was doing.
“‘Fine,’ replied my friend, ‘but I just want to be able to walk perfectly again — just like Mike.’ I stood there, a little shocked, but I said to myself, ‘He’s just started on the road to recovery. He’s beginning to think positive.’
“Another friend of mine once told me that he used to feel sorry when he would see people who needed walkers. However, I will never forget what he said after that: ‘I would give anything if my daughter (diagnosed with a possible brain tumor and currently needing a wheel chair) could progress to the point where she just needed a walker.’ He prays for that; I pray for that; and many other people are praying for that.
“Again, ‘Be thankful for what you have, and set your goals for higher things.’ The world is full of many horrible things, as well as many wonderful things. Sometimes a person is constantly looking at the ‘horrible’ things. However, my hopes are that they will be able to find the beauty in life. It’s there — if you look for it!”
Clearly, Michael Segal has demonstrated how effective this way of thinking really can be. I’m so thankful that I have been blessed to learn and practice these laws on little things. I can unequivocally testify that my attitude (and life) has transformed drastically over the last four or five years, and I (and everybody around me) is so grateful that it has. Try it…it works!
BTW, Michael Segal was shot in the head during a robbery, and defied all odds by first surviving and then returning to college. He then earned two degrees with honors, married his high school sweetheart, Sharon, and became a father to their daughter Shawn. Mike is a social worker at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and an author (currently he has two book projects he’s working on: an autobiography and an anthology of his short stories — as well as very soon he will have a CD of some of his best stories available). He also is a popular inspirational speaker sharing his “recipe” for recovery, happiness, and success. For more information see the Link of the Day below.
Lord, we are so grateful that You have given us the gift to manage our thoughts. We further ask that You would give us the grace to instinctively manage them in a constructive way in time of great stress.
Link of the Day
Michael Segal’s Web Site
Blessings on you as you continue to practice making wise choices about what you’re thinking about.
“And you want your beans to be flavorful, so satisfying that you’ll find yourself standing alone eating them in the kitchen, sprinkling a little salt and drizzling a little olive oil over them as you go.” Chef Kelly Myers
When was the last time you cooked dried beans?
They also brought wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans and lentils, (2 Sam 17:38: NIV)
I’ve made chili dozens, probably hundreds of times. Until yesterday, I had no recipe. I’ve never used a recipe for chili and have never measured the ingredients. Jerry might tell you that the chili at our house has never tasted the same way twice. Chili happens to be one of Jerry’s all-time favorite foods. If I want to make a special meal for my wonderful man, chili is at the top of the list.
I’ve added all sorts of ingredients to our chili over the years to vary the flavor. Cashews add a nice crunch and raisins add a hint of sweetness. I’ve also varied the type of beans used in chili. We prefer pinto beans over the classic kidney beans. Lentil chili also has exceptional flavor.
If you’ve never used dried beans before, don’t shy away from experimenting with them. Dried beans are one of the most economic and nutrient dense foods we can prepare. The key to using dried beans is in soaking them. They need “rehydrated.” Soaking beans allows the dried beans to absorb water, which begins to dissolve the starches that cause intestinal discomfort. Soak most beans in two to three times their volume of cold water for six to eight hours before cooking. They will “multiply” in volume.
After soaking, drain the beans by pouring them into a colander, getting rid of the soaking water. Many people believe this helps decrease the “flatulence factor” associated with eating beans. Then place the beans in a large stockpot and cover with fresh, pure water. Don’t add salt or seasonings at this time. Bring the beans to a boil and then allow them to simmer until soft. The cooking time can vary depending on the freshness and age of the beans. If you discover a bag of navy beans in the back of your cupboard that you bought for Y2K, they’re going to take longer to cook than some that were harvested in 2008! Sixty to ninety minutes is an average, although I’ve had some beans take over 2 hours to get soft. Beans are done when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork. Always test a few beans in case they have not cooked evenly. Cooked beans freeze easily. I usually cook large amounts of beans at one time and freeze them in containers for future use. Let me hear about your experiments with cooking dried beans.
Father, we thank You that You are our source and strength. We thank You for the peace that You so lavishly pour out on us.
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you experiment with some dried beans.
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” Christopher Reeve
How are you coping with all the financial news these days?
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Rom. 8:25; NIV)
As you can tell by some of my recent DGs, I’ve been continuing to process the irrefutable laws I featured back in August. I’ve also been reading information from others who have written on those same laws. Over the last several days I have found myself drawn to the promise of hope offered by the Law of Seasons (8/18/08 DG) and also known as the Law of Rhythm by a number of other authors.
Let me be clear from the outset that given my personal beliefs as a Christian, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind where my hope lies–but since He is also the maker of the universe, I have no difficulty in thinking about the hope offered by a irrefutable or universal law clearly put in place by the “Manufacturer.” As a parallel idea, note that we have no difficulty attributing the force that keeps us from drifting off into space as gravity while simultaneously acknowledging the source and wisdom of that gravity.
All that aside for a moment, where does the title “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming” come from? Many of you will recognize the title as a often repeated line in a very famous sermon preached by Marshall Shepherd, Sr. at a mostly black church in West Philadelphia and heard by Tony Campolo, Ph.D., who went on to use the line as the title of one of his most popular messages as well as the title of one of the 35 books he has written. Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University and for ten years was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. (BTW, a link to an mp3 file of Campolo’s famous message is today’s link.)
The message revolves around the events of Easter weekend, with the bleak outlook presented by the crucifixion of Christ on Friday, but with the complete turnaround due to His resurrection on Sunday. What’s all that got to do with the law of seasons? Follow my line of thinking for a moment if you will. I have never heard as much doom and gloom, fear, panic and concern in my entire life as we’re experiencing right now with the financial crisis that our country and the world is facing. The only thing that comes close in my memory was Y2K which pales in comparison to this. The media is having an absolute field day. And when I say that I’m not trying to minimize the seriousness of the issue, but to observe that the sensationalist headlines and news stories we are hearing are simply fanning the flame to make the fire much hotter than it would probably otherwise be. Borrowing from Campolo’s message…It’s (clearly) Friday!
I’ll have to explain this in greater depth in my next DG (interestingly enough on a Friday), but my message to you is that the law of seasons or law of rhythm offers us the incredible hope that it may be Friday, but Sunday’s coming! Yes, this too will pass. Many adjustments will undoubtedly have to be made, but if the law is truly a law (i.e., no exceptions), then one day we will be able to look back on this very difficult time with gratitude and see that most of those corrections and adjustments were for the good. Next time I will spend more time on the law itself and hopefully make all this just a little clearer. In the meantime, I encourage you to read or re-read the 8/18 DG.
Lord, we’re so grateful that no matter what’s happening, Sunday’s coming! We ask for grace to be able to keep our eyes on the good news that’s coming no matter how bleak it looks at the present time.
Link of the Day
It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming (mp3 file)
(Click to load and listen, right click to save as to your computer/mp3 player)
Blessings on you as you contemplate the ramifications of the Law of Seasons.
“Properly fermented (soy products) like natto and tempeh have been consumed for centuries and do not wreak havoc in your body like unfermented soy products do.” Dr. Joseph Mercola
How well are you doing with setting some personal health goals? What changes would you like to make?
Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; (Prov. 2:2; NAS)
Soy continues to be a popular subject in the news, and on the Internet. You’ll recall that I recently wrote a post on September 18 entitled, “I Was Wrong.” I talked about some of my journey with the soybean. A friend (and health professional) that we greatly admire and respect, lovingly sent an email to me after that post. I’d like to share some of what this individual had to say. ”The bioflavonoids in soy are also in many vegetables, even in higher concentrations in some. They have balancing effects for estrogen receptors and can be used beneficially in a program for someone who knows what they are doing.
“Also the protein can be used, especially if one has trouble digesting other proteins. But like anything…it is part of a diet. The real trouble comes about because TODAY, over 90% of all soy beans are genetically modified. So one needs to make sure they get ‘original’ or non-genetically modified. Most research doesn’t even mention the type ingested. There is a lot more to this story than just this is bad or this is good.”
Yes, there is more to this story. I do know of other health professionals that don’t believe soy to be as ominous as I have come to believe that it is. Like most things in life, the soy story isn’t totally black or white, or all bad or all good. My purpose in writing about soy is to raise awareness and educate readers about the many “fake” foods available that are using soy as a base.
Today’s link is again from Dr. Joseph Mercola. I received the latest e-newsletter yesterday with the first article entitled, “The Evidence Against Soy.” Dr. Mercola goes on to say that not ALL soy products wreak havoc with the human body. Traditionally fermented soy foods such as tempeh, miso, and nattokinase can be very beneficial for our health.
So, what is so wrong with soy? The article goes on to say, “Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities–protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products.” Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story, (that I’m still reading), says. “Today’s high-tech processing methods not only fail to remove the anti-nutrients and toxins that are naturally present in soybeans but leave toxic and carcinogenic residues created by the high temperatures, high pressure, alkali and acid baths and petroleum solvents.” And as our friend pointed out to me, the majority of current day soy comes from plants that have been genetically modified. So, more food for thought…as you reach for your next soy burger!
Thank you Father that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You for Your great faithfulness to each of us. We bless You Lord!
Link of the Day
The Evidence Against Soy
Blessings on you as you continue to gain wisdom and understanding about what you’re eating.
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Dale Carnegie
What do you predict will be the outcome of the current financial crisis?
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Rom. 12:12; NIV)
As discussed in Wednesday’s DG, the financial crisis that looms before us is truly a picture of the line that declares “it’s Friday,” while the irrefutable law of seasons or (as some call it, the law of rhythm) assures us that “Sunday’s coming!” This law states that everything is in a constant state of flux, moving to and fro, forward and backward, high tide and low tide, high feelings and low feelings, winter and summer, spring and fall. This law is expressed in the saying, no condition is permanent. Or…this too shall pass. You could also say, “When you feel down be assured that an upswing is coming.”
It always has come, and according to this law, it always will come. Some uncomfortable changes may have to be made, but interestingly enough, those are usually changes that desperately needed to be made in the first place. In reality, we were never willing to endure the pain of the change, unless we were forced to do so…as seems to be happening right now.
Think back on your own life. You won’t have to think too hard to see examples of this cycle in action. Everything was going great, then something happened to change it all, and after the pain subsided and the adjustments were made, you now find yourself strangely grateful for the new outcome. Note that those adjustments likely wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
Properly understood and used, this law should cause us to look with hope and gratitude on the “high” that is coming. Admittedly, that takes some effort and discipline, but if we choose instead to look at the “low” we are currently experiencing, or worse yet, how much lower we could go, we will simply exacerbate the pain of the adjustment. Don’t forget that what you focus on always grows.
Unfortunately, the reality is, that bad news sells and good news doesn’t. Therefore we are the unwitting victims of the frenzy created by the media as they seek to “keep us informed.” But, we always have a choice. We don’t have to be victims. We can choose to look with great anticipation at the coming mountaintop instead of worrying about the current valley. Pollyannaish? It’s your choice.
Now, if you’re thinking ahead, you see that this law has a corollary. If you’re experiencing a high…then a low is coming. Great observation! Let’s talk about that on Monday. Make it a fantastic weekend. Remember, Sunday’s coming!!!
Lord, we can’t deny that to think positively during negative times is hard. We admit that we need Your help to persist through times like this. Help us to be able to confidently relax and keep our eyes on the hope that’s ahead.
Link of the Day
Today’s Economic Issues – Prosperity Lost?
Blessings on you as you turn your eyes to the hope that’s before you this weekend.
“So when you are down, expect to go up. When you are up, expect that one day your ‘up’ won’t be enough to keep you happy and it will feel like a down. It’s all good.” Leslie Householder
Are you up or down today? How are you feeling about that?
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice! (Phil. 4:4, NLT)
How’s that for a strange title given the fact that this is being published on a Monday. Wouldn’t “Sunday Came” be more appropriate? Well, if you’ve been following me in this series so far, you recognize that in the metaphor I’ve been using, it’s still Friday, but Sunday’s coming. If none of this makes any sense, please go back and read last Wednesday’s post as well as last Friday’s post. We’ve been talking about the Law of Seasons (or Law of Rhythm, if you prefer), and how we should be remembering that law as we seemingly move into some pretty turbulent times (a “low” for many). With the proper application of that law, we should take solace in the fact that better times are ahead (a “high” or Sunday is coming).
My premise is that if we know that better times are ahead, we would do well to focus on them rather than to focus on the difficulties that we are currently experiencing. However, when we are on a high, that same law tells us that a low is coming. Using the same logic, should we then focus on the coming low? Au contraire, but let me quickly confess that I used to think that way. When I was down, I was worried about how down I was and how much lower I might go, and then when I was up, I was excited about that, but worried about what tomorrow would bring. In case you haven’t noticed, worry is a habit…every bit as destructive as smoking, drinking, overeating, or any number of “bad” habits.
So, what should we be thinking about the upcoming low if we’re currently experiencing a high? Well, use the universal or irrefutable laws to your advantage rather than to your detriment. Remember the Law of Comparisons (Law of Polarity to some) that says nothing is ever good or bad until you choose to make it so? (See the 9/29/08 DG.) That particular law tells us that even the worst of circumstances are actually fabulous. That’s what we should be thinking when things are going well. Yes, it’s inevitable that a low is coming, but understand that a low is only the absence of a high.
Think of life as a giant staircase. You climb to a new high and it feels great. After a bit, if you don’t continue to climb, you will actually stagnate (stop changing) and the feeling of exhilaration from the high will invariably morph into a feeling of low. (To feel requires change.) Now if you let yourself focus on feeling low, you are very likely to actually regress and start slipping backwards. But if you continue to focus on progression and the next high while you’re feeling low, the feeling will soon pass and you will begin another upward assent, leading to a new high. So learn to view those lows as important resting places as you climb higher and higher. Reflect a bit on your life…haven’t you seen this phenomenon in action?
Isn’t all this just so much positive thinking mumbo-jumbo? Well, with all due respect, I don’t believe so. I believe that positive thinking is trying to define something as positive without basis. That is simply wishful thinking. What I’ve been talking about over the last several DGs is solidly based on universal laws. Laws that are just as irrefutable as gravity. Yes, it is certainly is thought management, i.e., choosing what to think about, but when you choose to think on something that is inevitable due to law, it’s not wishful thinking. Hoping, yes…but not wishing. There is a huge difference, and the kind of thinking that I’m advocating here is backed by a plethora of Scripture passages. The Bible clearly tells us to manage our thoughts and to not worry. In fact, I’m feeling led to make Wednesday’s DG about worry–seems rather timely. See you then!
BTW…don’t miss the pictures at the end of today’s link. You will rob yourself of a real blessing if you choose not to look.
Lord, I thank You again that You chose to give us the power to choose. You gave us the capability as well as written instructions on how to properly use that great gift. Forgive us for those many times when we ignored the wise use of what You intended to make us the “head” rather than the “tail.” And especially for those times when we arrogantly blamed You for the outcome.
Link of the Day
The Law of Polarity – Principle of Prosperity (Don’t miss the pictures at the end of this link!)
Blessings on you as you choose to see you’re lows as a launching point for new highs.
“Black Beans and Rice is one of the most colorful, tasty, and nourishing dishes we know of.” Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders & Bronwen Godfrey writing in “Laurel’s Kitchen”
When was the last time you enjoyed some black beans?
Dear friend, I am praying that all is well with you and that your body is as healthy as I know your soul is. (3 John 2; NLT)
Staying with our dried bean theme for the month, today’s recipe highlights the colorful black bean. Black beans could not be more succinctly and descriptively named. They are commonly referred to as turtle beans, probably in reference to their shiny, dark, shell-like appearance. With a rich flavor, black beans have a velvety texture while holding their shape well during cooking.
When our daughter, Tracy was a little girl and learning to navigate the waters of her parent’s vegetarianism, one of her all-time favorite foods was black beans and rice. She would frequently ask for this meal. I was always happy to oblige, feeling gratified that this was a healthy, wholesome meal that she enjoyed.
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry says that black beans are as rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins as are grapes and cranberries. When researchers analyzed various types of beans, they found that, the darker the bean’s seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram for gram, black beans were found to have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.
When buying dried black beans, I suggest paying a little more to purchase organic beans. I accidently bought commercially grown dried black beans one time. When I opened the bag, the pungent, chemical odor nearly took my breath away. I didn’t even use the beans! Again, when using dried beans, a key is in soaking the beans in water either overnight or for 6 to 8 hours during the day. Pour off the soaking water and use clean water to cook the beans. Don’t add salt or acidic ingredients until the beans are soft as that will cause the beans to be tough.
Black beans and rice make a great marriage of flavors. I use organically grown, brown basmati rice. If you’ve not tasted brown basmati rice, you are in for a tremendous treat! It smells like popcorn as it cooks. And its nutty, rich flavor compliments the black beans like no other. I recommend soaking the rice as well. It’s easier to digest and brings out the flavor of the rice. I pour 1 cup of rice into a bowl and cover it with water. It won’t expand like dried beans do. And you don’t need to soak rice as long as beans. One to four hours is sufficient. Drain the rice and then add it to 2 cups of boiling water. You can add salt to this water. Cover the rice and allow it to simmer on the stove for about 45 minutes. When ready to serve, place a bed of rice on the plate, top with the cooked beans and garnish with sour cream (organic), freshly, chopped tomatoes, and scallions. Enjoy!
Father, are so very thankful to You for all of your wonderful provision for us. Thank You for Your divine Hand of favor for each and every one of our readers. Bless them Lord as only You can do.
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Black Beans and Rice
Blessings on you as you experience the treat of eating some black beans.