Archives for : November2016

Waking up to Truth

Addiction and Recovery

Waking Up To Truth

The upcoming months can be stressful as we begin the holidays. Especially for people like myself with a food addiction. We may not “look” like an addicts, zoned out and falling down drunk. Therefore, overeaters sometimes get brushed off as “we really don’t understand” what having an addiction is like. The truth is most of us feed our illusions with excess food and the illusions get bigger and stronger until we surrender to a power greater than ourselves. God then leads us into the truth of who we are….which penetrates and dispels illusions.

Since it is truth that sets us free…free from crippling fears, we come to love this truth, even when it hurts. It was mainly fear that kept us from recognizing the truth about ourselves. Loving truth means that we acknowledge it to be too big for any of us to grasp completely.

Happily, each day is a new start to devote time and energy in striving for truth in all that we think, say and do. And guess what, God is abundantly glorified, and we are walking fully awake!

Mary Z.

Thanksgiving – It’s Not About the Food

Practice Being Thankful.  It’s a good deal!

By Sharon Sheppard

As a freelance writer and former teacher of writing, I’m occasionally asked to help people write letters.  I’ve never been asked to do a love letter or a “Dear John” letter, but one of the most extraordinary letters I’ve helped with did have to do with the heart.  Not a valentine, but the kind of heart that pumps.

While my husband was at Mayo Clinic recovering from a stem cell transplant, I met Scott, a young man in his 30s who had just undergone a heart transplant.   I asked whether I could interview him and write his story, and he agreed.  After the interview, he said, “I need to write a thank you letter, and I don’t know what to say.  I mean, it’s such a huge gift, how do you say thanks for a heart?  I don’t know where to begin.”

The family who donated their teenager’s heart had declined to meet the recipient of this gift, but the thank you letter was required by Mayo, and they would deliver it to the family.  Scott came to me with a rough draft, which needed only a little tweaking.  It was sensitively written and filled with abundant gratitude, as he expressed how important it was to him to be able to live to help raise his two little boys.  He had been at death’s door, and only a donor heart could save his life.  In his letter he told the grieving parents of the donor that his goal was to get out of the hospital in time to walk his five-year-old son, Chase, to school for his first day of kindergarten.  It was the most genuine and profound thank you letter I’ve ever read.

Most of us will not be required to write a letter of that magnitude, but we are constantly showered with gifts:  air to breathe, food to eat, stunning scenery and natural wonders we often fail to give more than a passing glance.   Many of us take the Creator and His work for granted.

Not long ago Forbes Magazine published an article written by Amy Morin, in which she cited a number of scientifically proven benefits of gratitude—physical, emotional, and even social.  Studies show that people who practice gratitude have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, higher levels of optimism and happiness, fewer physical aches and pains, and feel less isolated.  That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

There is a Donor who gave His life for you and me.  It was an amazing act of grace—incalculable in value.  It was the act that made it possible for us to be forgiven for our sins.  No medication or treatment or white-washing of our sins could make us whole.  He died so we could live.  If we offered only one prayer on Thanksgiving Day, it should be this:  Thank you, Jesus, for dying in my place!  I don’t deserve it, but I accept your Gift!

The Apostle Paul gave us this recipe for happiness.  It’s found in I Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

Ultimate Green Bean Casserole

November.  Are you already thinking of that special Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings?

If your holiday includes Green Bean Casserole like ours does, where we open a can of creamed soup and it is oh so quick and easy? Well, I ran onto the most delicious “Ultimate Green Bean Casserole.” You will agree it is worth a little more effort because your guests will be wowed!

I am including the complete recipe, however, if you would like more detailed step-by-step instructions, here is The Daring Gourmet’s Website: www.daringgourmet.com

 

Ultimate Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces fresh button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, halved, and blanched (boil 5 minutes, place beans in ice water for a couple of minutes, drain)
  • 1 can French fried onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in the same skillet and whisk in the flour. Once combined, continue whisking for another 2 minutes until the mixture has slightly deepened in color. Add the half-and-half and chicken broth while constantly whisking to prevent lumps. Once slightly thickened, add the cheese and whisk until melted and combined.
  4. Next add the mushroom/bacon mixture along with the salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the green beans. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour the bean mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish and sprinkle the French fried onions all over the top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serves 6-8 ENJOY!

Mary Z.

Practice Giving Thanks

Practice Being Thankful.  It’s a good deal!

By Sharon Sheppard

As a freelance writer and former teacher of writing, I’m occasionally asked to help people write letters.  I’ve never been asked to do a love letter or a “Dear John” letter, but one of the most extraordinary letters I’ve helped with did have to do with the heart.  Not a valentine, but the kind of heart that pumps.

While my husband was at Mayo Clinic recovering from a stem cell transplant, I met Scott, a young man in his 30s who had just undergone a heart transplant.   I asked whether I could interview him and write his story, and he agreed.  After the interview, he said, “I need to write a thank you letter, and I don’t know what to say.  I mean, it’s such a huge gift, how do you say thanks for a heart?  I don’t know where to begin.”

The family who donated their teenager’s heart had declined to meet the recipient of this gift, but the thank you letter was required by Mayo, and they would deliver it to the family.  Scott came to me with a rough draft, which needed only a little tweaking.  It was sensitively written and filled with abundant gratitude, as he expressed how important it was to him to be able to live to help raise his two little boys.  He had been at death’s door, and only a donor heart could save his life.  In his letter he told the grieving parents of the donor that his goal was to get out of the hospital in time to walk his five-year-old son, Chase, to school for his first day of kindergarten.  It was the most genuine and profound thank you letter I’ve ever read.

Most of us will not be required to write a letter of that magnitude, but we are constantly showered with gifts:  air to breathe, food to eat, stunning scenery and natural wonders we often fail to give more than a passing glance.   Many of us take the Creator and His work for granted.

Not long ago Forbes Magazine published an article written by Amy Morin, in which she cited a number of scientifically proven benefits of gratitude—physical, emotional, and even social.  Studies show that people who practice gratitude have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, higher levels of optimism and happiness, fewer physical aches and pains, and feel less isolated.  That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

There is a Donor who gave His life for you and me.  It was an amazing act of grace—incalculable in value.  It was the act that made it possible for us to be forgiven for our sins.  No medication or treatment or white-washing of our sins could make us whole.  He died so we could live.  If we offered only one prayer on Thanksgiving Day, it should be this:  Thank you, Jesus, for dying in my place!  I don’t deserve it, but I accept your Gift!

The Apostle Paul gave us this recipe for happiness.  It’s found in I Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.