Archives for : November2013

Have You Had Enough Fun Today?

_DSC1539Have you had enough fun today?  “Busy-ness” seems to be the newest addiction. Rather than worrying about whether it carries a stigma, as most other addictions do, we tend to flaunt it as a badge of honor.

Many of us can’t resist talking about how packed our schedules are, how rushed we are, and how it would be impossible to squeeze in one more thing–especially at this time of year. Hoping to let people know how much we are in demand, how productive and essential we are, we pile it on.

But, frankly, too much busy-ness sort of takes the fun out of life.  One evening as I was helping my then-three-year-old son get ready for bed, this usually happy-go-lucky child began to cry.

“Jonathan, what’s the matter?” I asked.

“I haven’t had enough fun today,” he said.

I know the feeling, don’t you?

My blogging partner Mary recently recalled a pastor’s provocative statement: “All addictions are a disorder of worship.”

She and I have been pondering that puzzling quote lately as it applies to busy-
ness. There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

So at this busiest time of the year, we’re asking ourselves, “Who or what are we worshiping?”

This same God says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).

So let’s be still and recognize Who God Is. (Hint: It’s not you, and it’s not me.) Take a break. And if anyone asks why you’re goofing off, tell ’em God gave you permission.

Happy THANKSgiving from the Country Cousin and the City Cousin,

Sharon and Mary

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

_DSC0002This easy dish can be done the day before, refrigerated, and microwaved on the
day of your gathering.
All you need is:
  • One large cooking pot
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • A sprinkling of brown sugar
  • A little butter
  • A teaspoon of salt
With a peeler, clean up the sweet potatoes by peeling like you would a white
potato. Slice them across into rounds. Cover them with water, about a teaspoon
of salt, and gently boil about 15 minutes. They don’t need to be completely
Drain the sweet potatoes and place in an ovenware casserole serving dish. Dot
with butter and sprinkle on brown sugar to taste.
Make a TOPPING of flour, sugar, and butter by kneading and mulching it together
with your hands. Use about:
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
Bake about 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
Mary Z.

Five-Ingredient Baked Chicken

For a recipe that’s both easy and elegant, you can’t beat this quick-to-make dish!

Five-Ingredient Baked Chicken
photo 1
1 1/2 cups crackers (I use Ritz crackers.)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 ( 1 1/2 lbs. total weight) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1)  Heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
2)  Combine crushed crackers, Parmesan, and pepper in a shallow dish; set aside.
3)  Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally, so you have 8 pieces total.  Pound each piece between two sheets of plastic wrap until very thin.
4)  Coat chicken in butter, then dredge in cracker crumbs.  Firmly press crumbs onto each piece.  Lay chicken in a single layer on baking sheet.  Bake about 12 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Life On the Scrap Heap

_DSC0125A couple of weeks ago while I was sharing with the God Chicks, a group of

women that I lead, we were studying the topic: “Does Jesus really work in the

struggles of life?” I was reminded to share with the gals how tangled my life

felt 35 years ago. I seemed to have no control over the messy, complicated

circumstances I was going through, and I felt like I had been thrown onto the

scrap heap of life.

Drowning in a pool of grief, sorrow, shame, and despair, I would come up

for air, only to be pushed back down by yet another wave of circumstances

beyond my control.

Today I know I can resist my natural tendency toward a fear that leads to all

kinds of unhealthy behavior. Instead, I turn to God’s Word for guidance and


“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for hope and a

future!” Jeremiah 28:11

Mary Z.

How You Can Change a Life with a Shoe Box

For the past twenty years Operation Christmas Child has shipped shoe box gifts to needy children all around the world.  By packing an ordinary shoe box with small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and other inexpensive gifts, you can bring tremendous joy to a hurting child.

Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization led by Franklin Graham, has distributed 103,720,570 shoe box gifts worldwide since 1993.
To learn how you can make a difference in a needy child’s life this Christmas, go to or call 1-800-353-5949.



Principles for Living



These 12 principles for living are vital in addiction recovery, but they are an effective lifestyle tool for anyone.  By practicing these principles and listening carefully to our hearts, we encounter a basic truth: Any progress we make on our journey to wholeness and freedom is an absolute gift from God.

Recovery wheel

A Lesson at the Supermarket

photo (5)-2The other day I was standing in a checkout line that was being held up by one of those annoying price checks.  However, this time it was not only annoying, but embarrassing, since it was my item that was holding things up.  I looked back at the line that had formed and saw that others were becoming impatient.
I turned to the kind-looking older gentleman standing directly behind me and apologized for being the cause of the delay.
“Take your time!” he replied.”I’m in no hurry.  I’m just happy to still be alive at 87 years old.  And when the good Lord decides He’s ready to take me home, I have faith that Jesus will see that I arrive safely.”
What a refreshing attitude!  And what a terrific reminder that compared to all the things I have to be thankful for, minor annoyances aren’t even worth noticing.
I was reminded of a quote by the ancient Roman philosopher, Seneca, who said “Unhappy is the man, though he rule the world, who doesn’t consider himself supremely blest.”
M. Zigan