“It is critical to stop the unraveling of the American military family.” MG (Ret.) Bob Dees
Who do you know who has a spouse serving in a military war zone? When is the last time you reached out to the family left behind?
Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, (Mark 10:43b; NLT)
Everybody professes to hate email forwards. Ever noticed that? Yet, if everybody hated them, you would think they wouldn’t participate in the very behavior that they don’t like. But yet, I have seen no decrease in the number of forwards that have been coming to our mail boxes. Have you? Finding the people who like forwards is kind of like trying to find someone who voted for the loser in the last election, isn’t it? (Well maybe the most recent election is an exception.)
Well, I have to admit that sometimes I like forwards. Another tic-mark for your “Jerry’s so weird scorecard.” The reason I “sometimes” like them is because sometimes I receive some pretty good stuff. With the amount of stuff that’s being put out on the Internet these days, the forwards act somewhat like a filter to screen out the terrible and mundane and pass through those with promise. That’s the story behind today’s DG. I would have never found this particular video if it hadn’t been forwarded to us by a dear friend, Sue Cunningham.
Without this forward, I probably would never have heard of North Platte, NE and it’s history-making significance way back when I was still in diapers. I may have never learned that Campus Crusade has an arm or a branch that ministers to the military. (See http://www.militaryministry.org/, and while you’re there, don’t overlook the obscure invitation to watch the short “6 Pillars Video.” In that video, I learned that this last year divorce rates among Army officers went up 78%, suicides among Marines went up 29%, suicide rates in all the services have gone up since 2002 with the real victims of this situation being the military children. Staggering numbers…especially given that we live in a military area. So, thank you Sue. You have made me more aware.
Regarding the video that I’m encouraging you to watch today, the originator of the email (whom I don’t know) wrote, “This is a wonderful story. It makes me want to live in that era, even though times were also hard. People really cared about others and wanted to help regardless of what they did or did not have to give. They just did it out of love and pride of their country. Times have really changed. Somewhere the greed stepped in and selfishness took over.”
To that I offer a hearty “amen!”
Father, we thank You for this country and the values upon which it was founded. We’ve seen a bit of erosion in recent years, and we pray that You would intervene in our hearts to restore that attitude of putting the needs of others ahead of our own.
Link of the Day
North Platte Canteen
Blessings on you as you reach out to a military family this week.
“Potage Crécy: French for ‘It’s cold outside–you need some creamy carrot soup.'” Terry Blue
When was the last time you indulged in some potage?
And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: (Gen. 25a:29; KJV)
Well, our month of chocolate recipes have ceased! Let me know how you enjoy the recipes once you’ve tried them. Please let me know too if you make adjustments to the recipes. Since I personally create most of the recipes, I know they are NOT perfect and can always use tweaking. Feel free to tweak…and let me in on it.
I had a lovely looking butternut squash sitting in the vegetable basket on the kitchen floor, staring up at me last week. Hmmm…what can I do with you? It was a cold, windy day. I wanted to create a tasty soup using the squash. I started thinking of various flavors that might be good in a squash soup. Then, I began looking at a few recipes. As is typical, I read through several recipes, walked away from them and begin thinking and picturing how I wanted the soup to look and taste. Onion and carrot would be good and perhaps some apple for sweetness. Ah, I enjoy the taste of curry powder and thought that might add a unique flavor. The soup isn’t heavy with curry, though. So, if you’re a curry lover, feel free to add more. Some organic pre-made chicken broth hastened the soup making process. I also knew I wanted to add something creamy but alas, no fresh cream on hand. I reached for my all-time favorite coconut milk. Nice touch.
Once I made the soup, I needed to name it. I had heard the word “potage” before but didn’t know the exact meaning of the word. Potage, pronounced poh-TAHZH is a thick soup made with cream, according to dictionary.com. Wikipedia says: “Potage is a category of thick soups, stews, or porridges, in some of which meat and vegetables are boiled together with water until they form into a thick mush. Some potages that were typical of Medieval cuisine were frumenty, jelly (flesh or fish in aspic), mawmenny (a thickened stew of capon or similar fowl), and pears in syrup. There were also many kinds of potages made of thickened liquids (such as milk and almond milk) with mashed flowers, or mashed or strained fruit.” So, there you have it. More information on this funny word than you ever wanted or needed to know. But other than this recipe not containing any meat specifically, I’m satisfied with using potage in the title. Enjoy!
Oh Lord, we magnify You and all of Your goodness and grace to us. We offer thanksgiving to You for every breath we take.
Link of the Day
Curried Apple Squash Potage
Blessings on you as you enjoy some potage.
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled. There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’. It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls, for the times they are a-changin’. Bob Dylan (over 26 years ago)
When is the last time you were frustrated with a product you had purchased because of poor quality or poor service? What did you do about it?
It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city. (Prov. 16:32; NLT)
Sunday morning I received a blog post from Seth Godin that really caught my eye. I’m passing it along to you as today’s Link of the Day. I was so much in agreement with what he wrote that I posted his link along with a recommendation on both Facebook and Digg. By late afternoon, I had received a couple of comments from the Facebook post which tells me that the article is resonating with lots of folks. That’s what motivated me want to share it with you.
I had just finished reading a book written by Godin the night before in which he made the point that the rules of commerce are changing, and that you can’t rely on the old tried and true techniques to work any more. The driving force behind the shift is Web 2.0, an innovation to the Internet that allows us as consumers to engage in conversation with the manufacturers and marketers of products. This may sound relatively insignificant on the surface, but the implications are proving to be mind-boggling.
Now if the consumer doesn’t like a product, feels it’s a rip-off, receives poor (or no) service, the consumer can step up and essentially tell the world via the Internet. Smart manufacturers had better respond quickly or they will find themselves out of business in short order. These new rules also eliminate the “gatekeepers” from arbitrarily (or for payola?) promoting a particular product while killing another just by ignoring it. The gatekeepers I’m referring to are primarily the media, e.g., newspapers, radio, TV, et al. For example, it is becoming irrelevant that some newspaper food-columnist dude, who thinks he is an expert, writes about his experience in a particular restaurant and thereby causes that restaurant to rise or fall accordingly. The power is rapidly shifting to where it truly belongs…to the consumer.
As you might expect, the large manufacturers, Madison Avenue advertising firms, media moguls, etc. are resisting this power shift with everything they can muster. This will require them to make major changes to adapt to the new rules or be left behind. Think about it…newspapers are not as important as they once were; the three major TV networks are no longer calling all the shots as they once did; large manufacturers are no longer defining all the products as as in the old days because now consumers are going to the smaller manufacturer who can quickly adapt to what the consumer wants to buy. This is a seismic shift of incredible significance. Careers and fortunes are being made or lost accordingly.
But back to Seth Godin’s blog post that generated my little tirade. In his blog he points out that trade associations or guilds, in their attempt to serve their constituency, are actually impeding the advent of a greater good to satisfy a few who don’t want the rules to change. This is definitely worth a read.
These are truly interesting times to be alive.
Father, we are so grateful to be living in times such as these. Change is indeed uncomfortable for all, but we celebrate Your continual grace and presence to be a ready help and encourager as we take each step, one at a time.
Link of the Day
Beware of trade guilds maintaining the status quo
Blessings on you as you step up to make your voice heard.
“A new study carried out at Wake Forest University and published in the medical journal Neurology has found that HRT drugs literally shrink women’s brains.”
How aware are you of the side effects of the drugs you’re taking?
Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured. (Jer. 46:11; KJV)
Mike Adams recently wrote about a new study that revealed that the use of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) drugs is actually shrinking a woman’s brain. “Subjects who took HRT drugs for an extended period of time showed a loss of 2.37 cubic centimeters in the frontal lobe of the brain.” I don’t know about you, but I want to keep ALL of my brain that God gave me. The thought of a drug actually shrinking my brain…well, causes my hair to stand on end. (Enjoy the pun.)
I recall from my anatomy and physiology days that the frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for our thinking ability and our memory skills. Hmmmm…could there be a correlation between women who use HRT and the increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in these women? The study suggests as much.
Mike Adams writes, “Are HRT drugs part of a campaign to keep the women in society barefoot, pregnant, and stupid? It just so happens that these drugs — which are mostly pushed by men — keep women in a state of cognitive impairment in which their thinking skills are suppressed. (It turns smart women into stupid women.) The shrinkage of their frontal lobe also causes them to be unable to make good decisions about getting OFF the medications, and that plays right into the hands of Big Pharma’s profit schemes.” Ouch! Pretty direct, Mike.
Apparently, HRT drugs aren’t the only drugs with this shrinking side effect. ADHD drugs have also been proven to cause stunted growth and brain shrinkage in children and teens. So, at least for the ladies among us, there are alternatives to HRT. Become informed about what these drugs could be doing to you and begin the quest for natural answers. They are readily available. Feel free to write to me if you need some help.
Keep all the brain you’ve got!
Father, thank You for our bodies and our brains. May we seek You to do all that we can to take proper care of them and bring glory to You in all we say and do.
Link of the Day
More Bad News For HRT Users
Blessings on you as you learn about the side effects of drugs that you or your family may be taking.
“Worry a little bit every day and, in a lifetime, you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.” Mary Hemingway
What is it in your life that causes you the most worry?
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Phil. 4:6; NLT)
The following message is one that particularly spoke to me as I read it yesterday. I would rather have sent it as a Internet link rather than just copy it here, but the way it came to me made that impossible. I feel that the message is far too significant and timely to not share with you. Please note that the author of what follows is Ken Keis, President of Consulting Resource Group.
Research reveals over 90% of the things we worry about never happen. Studies show that people who worry a lot are generally less effective than those who don’t; they get less work done and are often less happy. And worriers are slower to respond than nonworriers–presumably because worrying burns off mental energy that would be more effectively applied elsewhere. According to Gary Marcus, Professor of Psychology at New York University, a recent laboratory study at Yale and Pennsylvania State University found the mere opportunity to worry for 5 minutes is enough to bring down a person’s mood.
Worry is costing all of us something. Everyone worries, but most worry is about some negative possibility in the future, not right now.
- What will happen if I lose my job?
- Will my partner ever really love me?
Such questions are worthy of consideration but are not the sort of thing that can be solved by worry.
What we need to do is relax and think clearly, but our mindset and society often lead us in the opposite direction. Worry can breed anxiety, paralysis, and depression, rather than creative solutions. The word worry comes from a Middle English word wyrgan–to strangle. And that’s what worries often do; they seize us by the throat until we can’t think about anything else. When worry takes on a life of its own, it becomes a huge and often pointless drain on our time and energy.
Worse, chronic worry may take a toll on our hearts. Last year a study from Cambridge University linked the banking crises to an increased number of heart attacks, perhaps because chronic worry and stress can lead people to drink more, smoke, eat too much, and get less exercise. According to Dr. Robert L. Leahy, all this worry can affect your physical as well as your mental health. Worriers tend to be over-utilizers of the health care system, meaning they see their doctor for just about every ache and pain. Worriers are more likely to have irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, fatigue, and aches and pains. In addition, 93% of people with generalized anxiety disorder also have an overlapping psychiatric disorder such as depression.
Does worry increase your bank account, get you a new job, improve your relationships, or make you feel better? The answer is No, No, and No. In fact, the opposite occurs–what you are worrying about is actually attracted into your life. If you are worried about getting cancer, you are able to fulfill this worry with the real disease. Who wants that?!
Focusing on what we want produces feel-better hormones and conditions in our body. In the end, we are all personally responsible for our own thoughts and our emotional state. We have the choice to look at things negatively with worry or positively in anticipation of preferred results. For example, instead of worrying about our kids getting involved with drugs or gangs, we can focus on their being engaged, happy individuals, doing what they love.
Father, we are reminded of how many times Your Word tells us “worry not” or “do not worry.” Yet many of us seem to spend major portions of our day doing just that. Grant us the grace to rise above that destructive habit and truly live worry free.
Link of the Day
Just Say No to Worry!
Blessings on you as you choose to have a worry-free weekend.
“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.” Laurie Colwin,
How are you doing with getting more vegetables into your daily diet?
Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry. (I Kings 4:20; KJV)
I realize that we’re coming to the end of the cold weather soup season, at least here in lovely Virginia Beach. However, minestrone soup is one of those favorites that really can be served in any season. It’s easy to make and also quite economical.
Minestrone is one of the cornerstones of Italian cuisine, and is just about as common as pasta on Italian tables. In Italian, minestrone means, “the big soup”, the one with many ingredients. Minestrone is a variety of thick Italian soups made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.
There is no set recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or contain a meat-based broth. The word “minestrone” has become a synonym for “hodgepodge. Homemade chicken or beef stock can be used. However, organic chicken and beef stocks are available in cartons, making the soup-making process one of ease and convenience.
I’ve been making minestrone soup for years…and never really make it the same way each time nor do I really measure the ingredients. So, after reading many recipes and attempting to remember what I usually do, I’ve created one for this week’s post. The amounts don’t have to be exact and other vegetables can be added. Dark greens such as spinach or kale can be added toward the end of the cooking time adding more color to the soup.
Various types of beans can be used. Many recipes call for kidney beans. I like white kidney beans or even great northern beans. Again, dried beans can be soaked and cooked instead of using canned beans. Canned, organic beans are one of those conveniences that I take advantage of on busy days. Garbanzo beans tend to go with Italian cuisine so I enjoy some of those in the soup as well. And even though most minestrone soup recipes call for pasta, the soup is still great without it. I used a small amount in this recipe. Spelt or whole wheat elbow macaroni or rotini work great. So, look in your refrigerator and in your vegetable bin and round up some soup. Your family will thank you!
Father, may we be ever grateful to You for this glorious day that You have made, and may we seek You for all that we are to do on this day.
Link of the Day
Blessings on you as you enjoy some homemade soup.
“Food historians tell us the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking.” www.foodtimeline.org
How are you doing with the health goals that you started at the beginning of the year?
We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost — also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. (Nu 11:5; NIV)
How well do you like French Onion Soup? Is it one of your favorites? I can still remember of going out to a restaurant as a teenager and having my first taste of this “rich, can’t stop at one bite” soup. It was one of my Dad’s favorites so I began experimenting with various recipes a number of years ago. And there are so many variations to this recipe. Many recipes call for the use of wine. I’ve not used much wine in cooking so I developed this recipe without it. Feel free to use about 4 ounces of red or white wine if you’d like.
Many recipes call for beef broth instead of the chicken broth that I use. It’s difficult to find organic beef broth, especially in the cartons. And most of the commercial, canned beef broths contain additives and MSG. One could always make their own beef stock from beef if time wasn’t a factor. I’ve used the organic chicken broth many times and am pleased with it. The addition of organic Tamari and a bit of unsulphured molasses brings out the flavor and deepens the color of the cooked onions. The rich flavor of the soup actually comes from the caramelized onions.
Caramelization is the process in which onions are cooked very slowly at a low to medium temperature until the onions cook down and become brown. This can be accomplished within half an hour, but many chefs allow for hours of cooking to bring out the complex flavors of the onions’ sugars. I’ve also read of a recipe that called for cooking the onions in the oven for several hours to enhance the flavors.
Another key ingredient to the soup is melted cheese. Gruyère cheese is traditionally used. It is a hard yellow cheese made from cow’s milk, named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland. Gruyère is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavor that varies widely with age. I used to use this cheese exclusively for French Onion Soup. However, in recent years I use whatever organic cheese I have available and the soup still tastes great.
Father we are so thankful to You for all of the wonderful foods that You have created for us to eat and enjoy. Bless our readers with health and strength for this day.
Link of the Day
French Onion Soup
Blessings on you as you enjoy some French Onion Soup.