“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. ” Lawrence J. Peter
What does patriotism mean to you?
Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, replied to them, “Today we know the LORD is among us because you have not sinned against the LORD as we thought. Instead, you have rescued Israel from being destroyed by the LORD.” (Josh. 22:31, NLT)
I’m headed in an unplanned direction today as I write this. But I received an email containing a video link on Saturday that stirred up some deep emotion. As I sat there and watched and listened, I felt chills up my spine as I fought to hold back a tear…a tear of pride.
As I confessed in a DG a couple of weeks back, I’m a sap for stories and pictures of kids and animals. Well, I’m equally emotional about stories and songs that herald patriotism. Bottom line, I’m incredibly proud to be an American, and am forever grateful that God blessed me to be born in this amazing country.
Here is the video that “blew me away” Saturday night when Sharon and I watched it (a couple of times). Read more on Two Sides to Every Story…
“Not all puddings come in a box with the word ‘Instant’ on the package.” Sharon Graham
When was the last time you tasted (or made) homemade pudding and pie filling?
Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. (Ezek. 3:3; NIV)
Chocolate Pie? Many of you may be wondering how I can talk about healthy eating, eating organically grown food, exercising and going to the gym, and then write a recipe for chocolate pie! Healthy treat foods are acceptable! If someone is not in a health crisis or fighting a dangerous weight situation, occasional healthy treats made with the best ingredients possible can be a part of a wholesome and healthy lifestyle.
Most people are familiar with the big-name brand of pudding and pie filling found in a box. A box full of sugar and artificial ingredients, I might add. And I know there are ready-made puddings available, although I’ve never bought one. Read more on Homemade Chocolate Pie!…
“You either master your mind and guide it intelligently, or your mind will master you and only produce the programs that have been installed upon it and within it from a world that operates from a scarcity and limited thinking.” Mary Morrissey
When is the last time you said to someone, “I was wrong?”
Then Pharaoh urgently sent for Moses and Aaron. “I finally admit my fault,” he confessed. “The LORD is right, and my people and I are wrong. (Exod. 9:27; NLT)
It’s been said that all our problems are mental in nature. In other words, they’re only in our head. Psychologists tell us that every individual is controlled by his convictions, whether he is aware of it or not. Such convictions largely determine the nature of our thinking.
If there’s truth in that, and I believe there is, then that becomes just cause for us to seriously examine some of our convictions or our beliefs. We need to be able to point to good, sound reasons for the views that we hold. If we honestly challenge some of our beliefs, I am quite sure that we will find many that have no basis in reality whatsoever. However, I’m convinced that we too often get lazy and just allow many of those old convictions to just lie (pun intended) there and drive our behavior in ways that don’t truly serve us.
This opportunity take on some new ways of seeing things seems to have happened to me a lot over the last several years. I’ve shared some of that with you over the past 15 months…sometimes with fear and trepidation. I’ve discovered that even when I’ve become convinced that a new way is better than the old, it’s still very hard to let go of the old. I read somewhere that a fellow named Jack Boland once said, “Don’t let your present good become the enemy of the better.”
All this to say that I’m feeling the urge to start challenging some of my (and your?) thinking and convictions over the next several weeks. I’m not exactly sure where this is going, but hopefully you’re willing to come along for the ride. For an extremely recent example of this challenge to my thinking, you have only to go back to Monday’s DG. As a died-in-the-wool conservative, I thought that liberal and patriot was an oxymoron. Back a couple of weeks ago, I was reacting to the impact of The Shack on some of my theology. The list is longer than I care to think about.
It seems that when you open your mind to the possibility that you’ve been wrong…all kinds of opportunities seem to come out of nowhere. Perhaps some of the most powerful and life-changing words to come out of our mouths just might be, “I was wrong.”
Care come along and be challenged with me?
Father, we thank You that You recognized our humanness made provision to redeem us from the many times we are wrong. Grant us the courage to be able to more freely admit our errors
Link of the Day
Admit You Are Wrong!
Blessings on you as you choose to approach someone close to you and say, “I was wrong.”
“Make fresh (or frozen) vegetables and fruit your culinary best friends.” Lucy Beale
How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions of losing weight and getting fit?
Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed. (Prov. 16: 3; NLT)
Well, the month of January is already behind us. We know that January is often designated as the unofficial weight loss month with many people starting the new year full of determination and commitment to losing weight and getting fit. Perhaps you too have made some serious changes in how you’re taking care of your body. How are you doing at staying on track with your goals?
Here are a few tidbits to help you maintain your commitment. People who keep food diaries lose twice (that’s twice) as much weight as people who don’t. Keeping a food diary makes you conscious of every bite you put in your mouth. My most successful clients working on weight loss goals have kept a food diary and then sent their journals to me so that we could discuss them on our coaching calls.
Next, keep your caloric intake above 1200 calories a day. Eating less than that will put your body into “starvation metabolism,” which will cause your body to increase fat stores.
“Make fresh and frozen vegetables and fruit your culinary best friends.” Eat at least 3 servings per meal along with 3 ounces of lean meat, fish, poultry, or eggs. Continue to eat foods that are low-glycemic. High glycemic foods will increase insulin and cortisol levels causing weight gain, especially around the midsection.
Vary your exercise program. Do something different each day. Use a different machine or try something new that you’ve not done before. If you spend all of your time on the same exercise equipment, you’ll not only get bored, but your body will accommodate to that exercise and your overall conditioning level won’t increase. Don’t be afraid to push yourself to higher levels. Even at “my age,” I still get excited when I can lift more weight or run for longer periods of time.
One more thing that will be helpful with your weight loss goals is to avoid high fructose corn syrup and all artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose. Stevia and agave nectar are healthy, low-glycemic sweeteners. Be encouraged as you continue with your health and weight loss goals.
Father, thank You for Your grace as we purpose to walk in Truth in all areas of our lives.
Blessings on you as you stay on track with being the healthiest you can be.
“Any belief can be contagious and a fatalistic belief has a fatal contagion in it.” Mary Morrissey
Do the natural limitations of life come at you or do they come from you? Why do you believe that to be true?
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 23:7a; NKJ)
We are created for a specific purpose and created in the image of God, so most would agree that we’re here to do God’s work. God’s work is creation. As agents of God and since God is the creator, we were given creative faculties. We’re here to create; to create a better world first of all for ourselves and then for everyone we come in contact with. (Note the order…”Parents, put the oxygen mask on yourselves before you put it on your children.”)
The primary tool for creation that God has given each of us is our mind (not synonymous with our brain). Every thing that man ever created started with a vision or a dream in his mind. Some visions are positive and for mankind’s benefit, others are totally self-serving and often to mankind’s detriment. Some of course, are neutral.
If one were totally honest with oneself, a look back at what was going on in their mind prior to any situation coming their way, more often than not they could see the direct correlation between what they were thinking about and what ultimately happened, i.e., their circumstances. Of course, sometimes the thoughts are going on in the subconscious mind and we’re not even aware of them. But, if we are really curious about what we were thinking, all we have to do is look at our circumstances. To believe anything else is an admission that we are but helpless victims of life.
To really grasp this concept can be absolutely life changing. It certainly has been for me. I no longer wake up in the morning and wonder what is going to happen to me that day. Now I wake up fully believing that it’s going to be a magnificent day…because I expect it to be so, and therefore think and behave accordingly. Now I have my days when it doesn’t work as effortlessly as it should, but even those are getting fewer and fewer.
When something happens that is not quite what I would have preferred, I am learning that if I consciously choose what I would like to think about that event, then I get to choose what I make out of it rather than allow the event to “choose” what to make out of me. In other words, I’m responsible for how I react…or more accurately, how I respond. Life takes on a whole new meaning when I recognize that I’m not a powerless victim.
Anybody out there got any stories about this to share?
Father, show us the truth to this simple, little, half-verse in Proverbs. Our rational, Western minds tend to dismiss something as simple as our thoughts as having any bearing on our life. Help us to get just a glimpse of the power that You have built into each and every one of us.
Link of the Day
You Are What You Think
Blessings on you as you purpose to “Make it a magnificent day!”
“Everyone is governed by law, whether they know it or not.” Bob Proctor
When you walk into a dark room and flip the light switch, assuming the light is not burned out and the electricity is on, what do you expect to happen? If you flip the switch 100 times, how many times would you expect the lights to come on? How can you be so certain?
People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord. (Prov. 19:3; NLT)
We live in an orderly universe (even though at some times it may seem more chaotic than ordered). But as we have explored in some DG’s I wrote last August there are a number of laws that many label universal, meaning that they are inviolable. The favorite example most usually cite is the law of gravity; Believe it or not, like it or not, it always works the same way every time. That’s why it’s a law.
Men have learned how to overcome some of the constraints of gravity, not by arguing with it, but by combining the totally predictable effects of gravity with the totally predictable effects of other universal laws, e.g., the law of thrust, the law of lift, et al. So many of the conveniences of our age are due to the insightful combination of existing laws.
It’s sometimes fun to muse on the fact that everything needed for electric lights, for air and space travel, TV, radio, computers etc. has always been here. But it was the imaginative combination of those always present elements that yield what we consider to be modern inventions. Where is all this going?
Well, have you ever seen others (or maybe yourself), pray and expect God to waive one or more of those universal laws and then be bummed when He doesn’t? Or blame the lack of an answer to the prayer as being God’s choosing to withhold whatever was prayed for. That’s kind of like sitting at the bottom of a hill and praying to God that you be on top of the hill, but then refusing to stand up and walk up the hill. “Well, I guess it just wasn’t God’s will for me to be up there.” Sometimes it’s absolutely amazing what God gets blamed for.
This applies to our thinking as well. How ridiculous is it for us to ask God to deliver us from a bad habit (including bad thinking) and then willfully choose to expose ourselves to situations that feed that habit. “Deliver me from fear and worry,” and then continue to feed on a diet of fear and worry served up by the mass media. “Oh well, I guess it’s not God’s will for me to be free of this burden that I carry.” (Hint…it’s never God’s will for you to be fearful nor to worry.)
My point today is simply that life is a whole lot less disappointing when we recognize and deal with these natural laws in a way that is consistent with the blessing they were intended to be to us. When we recognize who is really responsible for our situation, the path to improve that situation becomes crystal clear.
Father, forgive us for the times we have blamed you for our own shortcomings. Help us to realize where the real problem (and solution) resides.
Link of the Day
Don’t Blame God
Blessings on you as you take responsibility for your own situation today.
“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” Thoreau
What one thing can you do this week to serve someone you love?
We love because He first loved us. (1John 4:19; NIV)
Ah, Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching! A day for remembering all those we love and care about in a special way. Jerry has said for many years that we have Valentine’s Day every day at our house! We continue to grow in our love and admiration for one another, even after all these years! I enjoy making a fuss over special occasions, although admittedly time pressures and growing older have decreased my “fuss-making” somewhat.
Years ago when Jerry worked at Eastman Kodak, I packed his lunch every day. One year for his Valentine’s lunch I made everything in the shape of a heart. I cut his bread with a large heart-shaped cookie cutter, giving him a heart-shaped sandwich. I made him heart-shaped cookies and I recall that I arranged carrot strips and fresh fruit in containers in the shape of a heart.
I also used to make a heart-shaped chocolate or carob cake each year for Valentine’s Day. I haven’t made this cake for a number of years, so am now resurrecting the recipe for our readers to have a healthy alternative to celebrate “Love Day.” I use all whole food ingredients. I grind my flour fresh with a grain mill. If you don’t have a grain mill, buy organically grown, whole spelt flour. The combination of coconut oil and butter makes the cake soft and moist.
For our readers who don’t care for chocolate or don’t care to eat it, carob powder can be substituted for the cocoa powder in equal amounts. I actually used carob for most of the years I’ve made this cake as I didn’t eat chocolate until the last few years. Sucanat and pure maple syrup give the cake its sweetness but it’s not overly sweet.
If you’ve never made 7 Minute Frosting, it’s a great treat that’s not difficult to make, it just takes some time and patience. Many frosting recipes call for cream of tartar. I’ve used it from time to time but didn’t use it for this recipe and the frosting is smooth and fluffy. Bear in mind that this frosting won’t be lily white since I used maple syrup and Sucanat. It’s a lovely silky beige color.
Have a great Valentine’s Day. Let me know how you liked the cake.
Lord, we thank You that You love us every day. You pour out Your love on us continually. May we honor you with all we do and say.
Link of the Day
Chocolate Heart Cake
Blessings on you as you find ways to bless those you love.
“When we change our thinking for the better, we automatically change our life for the better.” Bob Proctor
When is the last time you discovered that you were totally wrong about something that you were totally sure about? How did you react?
Enjoy prosperity while you can. But when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. That way you will realize that nothing is certain in this life. (Eccl 7:14; NLT)
Have you ever noticed that we’re always thinking? Oh yes, we often hear the phrase, “just empty your mind,” but I confess I’ve never experienced an empty mind. (And don’t think it’s anything I aspire to, either.)
Now, I will confess that there are times when my behavior must seem to others as if I wasn’t thinking about anything, i.e., empty-headed. But what invariably is the case in such instances is that I was thinking about something else at the time instead of thinking about what I probably should have been paying attention to. (BTW, before I turned grey, I used to be blonde. We could have some fun with that couldn’t we, but I promise not to go there.)
But back to my point, i.e., thinking is a perpetual process. Thinking, thinking, thinking…we’re always thinking. And the interesting and scientifically validated fact is, that all this thinking we are doing every minute of our life is producing results that are highly visible to those around us, for our lives are like a mirror of our thoughts. Scary, isn’t it?
Modern psychology has conclusively demonstrated that a change of our thinking pattern must precede every change in life. Note that that change in thinking pattern can be from negative to positive or, heaven forbid, from positive to negative.
It has also been observed that there are various levels of development of a mind. When I say level of development I am not referring to the amount of information stored there, but instead to the breadth of thought, openness to alternative views, freedom from prejudices, narrow convictions, and unwavering opinions. That’s what some have called a small mind. I’m sure we’ve all known individuals who have an alphabet of letters behind their names who are “puffed up” with all that knowledge and thereby extremely narrow minded, closed to new ideas, highly prejudiced, and highly opinionated…on everything.
Note that lots of knowledge is not a pre-requisite for a small mind. Often the lack of knowledge can produce the same result. So we can see that the level of a mind’s development really has little to do with the amount of knowledge it has access to. Indeed, the case could be made that it has more to do with attitude than anything. The good news is that the small mind need not stay small or underdeveloped. it can grow to greatness. The path is really quite clear. But I’ve run out of words for this post. Let’s explore that simple path in the next DG. OK?
Father, recorded history is filled with dogmatic individuals and groups who were certain about things which have since been proven to be totally untrue. Help us to see that we are not any less susceptible to falling prey to thinking more of ourselves than we ought.
Link of the Day
Get a Better Mirror: Overcoming Negative Thoughts
Blessings on you as you are willing to open your mind to a new idea this week.
“Drugs never cure chronic diseases.” Lorraine Day, MD
Have you contemplated cutting back on your personal health goals?
Folly delights a man who lacks judgment, but a man of understanding keeps a straight course. (Prov 15:21; NIV)
We’re hearing it everywhere we turn…people are cutting back on their spending. Shifts and changes are being made in how and where people are spending their money. Financial crunches can create stress among families and in the body itself. Stress creates inflammation and inflammation brings cellular and tissue breakdown resulting in illness and dis-ease.
I’ve had clients wanting to cut back on their personal health goals by reducing their gym memberships, stopping their coaching commitments or cutting back on their vital nutrient supplementation. Don’t be tempted to think that cutting back on these crucial areas of your life will bring any benefit. What may seem like a short term economic “fix”, could well end in disappointment and even tragedy down the road.
Daily, I read articles proving how necessary certain supplements are for our health and well-being. A nutrition newsletter that I read last evening stated how critical anti-oxidants and fatty acids are in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. Nutrition Journal published a study showing that people who take multiple supplements have fewer health problems than those who do not. NutriNews devoted an entire publication to the worldwide epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency. On and on it goes. Probiotics are needed for any type of normal digestion and elimination.
So, in looking at your overall health and well-being, why not look at ways that you can insure yourself with the best nutrition and care so that you can remain in optimal health. Taking care of your physical body is not an option, even though many people act like it is. How many times do you eat out in a week or a month? Could some of that money be spent on taking care of your “temple?” Prepare a simple meal at home for much less than eating out, freeing up funds to maintain your health goals. May I challenge you to seriously examine your health priorities? What is standing in the way of you taking the best possible care of the only body you will ever have?
Father, we thank You that You are our provision and we thank You for our amazing physical bodies. May we do all that we can to take care of them in a way that brings glory to You.
Link of the Day
From Farm to Table: Nutrient Losses in Fruits and Vegetables
Blessings on you as you look for ways to support and care for your body.
“As you and I learn to improve and enlarge our ideas or mental pictures, to improve and enlarge our thinking, our life falls in form with this just as if we’ve moved the camera and took a different picture.” Mary Morrissey
What do you envision your life to be like in 5 years? What about 10 years? What are you doing to move toward those dreams?
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Phil. 4:8; NLT)
Last time we were together, we were discussing the various levels of development of a person’s mind. I made the point that the amount of knowledge that a person has really has very little to do with whether that person’s mind was highly developed or little developed, i.e., a small mind. I went on to suggest that a person’s attitude was more important than knowledge when it comes to their level of development. I concluded with the bold statement that a small mind need not stay that way and that indeed, there is a very clear path to raise the level of development of anyone’s mind. That’s when we ran out of space.
Picking up from there, let me say that it is a universal law that no mind can be greater than its conceptions, or no greater than what it can conceive or create (imagine) with that mind. Therefore, working with that law simply means that a person who has an attitude or desire to grow need only imagine a new reality as great as their imagination will allow them to go…and no further. They don’t need to reach for the stars, if all they can imagine is reaching the moon.
Once there is a clear envisioning of that preferred future, that person need only to begin to think and act in alignment with that desired future. So once we start to improve and enlarge our thinking, our life begins to fall into place in congruency with that raised level of thinking. Remember the oft repeated Proverb 23:7a that says “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Hopefully you can see that the effort is not in reaching for the new level, but rather in maintaining a continual and sustained focus on the reality of that new imagined future.
Do you begin to see the natural upward spiral that we’re pre-programmed to follow? Contrast that with the good (?) advice offered by the world that says, “Stop daydreaming! Get your head out of the clouds.” Sounds like the advice of people who want you to stay down at the lower level with them.
So, let’s pause this for the weekend and check for any feedback or questions. I encourage you to use the comment box below. Are you resonating with any of what I’m saying, or is it like rubbing a cat from the back forward. Make it an awesome weekend and we’ll continue this line of thinking next week.
Father, we thank You for programming our minds with a built in path for improvement. That’s a clear statement of Your unfathomable love for us.
Link of the Day
Raising Your Consciousness
Blessings on you as you choose to travel the upward spiral.