Monthly archive for May 2019

Finding Joy in Eating Well

Finding Joy in Eating Well

God’s beauty, glory, power, creativity, and care for us is displayed all around us in the beauty of nature.  We can find such peace in spending time in that beauty when we take a walk on a beautiful day, play with our kids in the grass, or work in the garden.  It’s displayed in the array of colorful fruits and vegetables that nourish our bodies. That leads us to the first of three steps to finding joy in eating well. Take a Little Time to Enjoy the View My favorite section of the grocery store is the produce aisle, and I want to make it yours, too. The next time you make your way through that area of the grocery store, take the time to enjoy the view. The colors, the textures, the smell of a peach.  Look for something you’ve never tried and put it on your menu for

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Joy Busters

Joy Busters

“If you only knew my circumstances.” How many times do we defend a poor choice because of a pothole we encounter on our journey? The enemy works hard busting our joy with challenges to our life’s order. He intends to convince us that we should abandon our healthy habits when life gets tough. The world’s faulty thinking teaches us to approach our problems on our own with self-reliance. We are told to pull up our own bootstraps. Then when we falter, he works overtime with feelings of shame and inadequacy. We isolate ourselves as we try to “deal with it” on our own. Jesus understood this when he said, “…the cares of this world… choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). Jesus understands what it feels like to be overwhelmed. He challenges us not to be caught up in our cares and no longer focused on the Lord.

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Berry Dessert Nachos

Berry Dessert Nachos

3/4 cup fat-free or light dairy sour cream 3/4 cup frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed 1 tsp vanilla 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon 3 8-inch plain or whole wheat flour tortillas 1 tbsp melted butter 2 tsp sugar 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon 3 cups fresh raspberries and/or blackberries 2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted 1 tbsp grated semisweet chocolate Preheat oven to 400° F. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, whipped dessert topping, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cover and chill. Lightly brush both sides of each tortilla with melted butter. In a small bowl, stir sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges and arrange on two ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely. When ready to serve, divide the tortilla wedges among six dessert plates and top with raspberries and/or blackberries and sour cream

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Peachy Lemonade

Peachy Lemonade

3 cups cold water 1 cup lemon juice 3/4 cup sugar substitute lemon slices 1 16-oz can of peach slices (juice pack), chilled and undrained Prepare Lemonade as above. Place half of the can of peach slices in a blender with 1 cup of the Lemonade. Cover and blend until smooth and then pour into a large pitcher. Repeat with remaining undrained peaches and 1 cup Lemonade. Stir in remaining Lemonade and serve over ice. If desired, garnish with peach slices. Serves 4. Nutritional Information: 42 calories; (1.1% calories from fat); trace fat; 1g protein; 12g carbohydrate; 1g dietary fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 4mg sodium.

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Southern Black-eyed Pea Salad

Southern Black-eyed Pea Salad

2 tbsp cooking oil 4 cups yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin 2 to 4 fresh chopped jalapeno peppers, seeded if desired 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed 2 15-oz cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup sliced green onions 2 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro or parsley 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups chopped tomatoes In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add squash, peppers, garlic, and cumin; cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until squash is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool. In a large bowl, combine squash mixture, black-eyed peas, green onions, cilantro or parsley, and salt. Cover and chill. When you are ready to serve, toss the pea mixture together with the 2 cups chopped tomatoes. Serve with whole-wheat crackers or pita bread. Serves 8 (3/4-cup servings). Nutritional Information: 205 calories; (18.2% calories from fat); 4g fat;

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Grilled Chicken with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

1 cup fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth 1/3 cup cherry preserves 1/3 cup ketchup 2 tbsp cider vinegar 1 1/2 tsp minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 1 1/4 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp ground allspice 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat Stir cherries, broth, cherry preserves, ketchup, vinegar, chipotle peppers, thyme and allspice in a small bowl. Transfer to a shallow dish that is large enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken and turn to coat thoroughly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Preheat the grill to high and oil the grill rack. Remove the chicken from the marinade and transfer the marinade to a medium skillet. Reduce the grill heat to medium and grill the chicken until cooked it is through and no longer pink in the

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Asian Chicken Wrap

Asian Chicken Wrap

Note: These are great for a picnic lunch. If you have a fire or outdoor grill at your picnic, grill the tortillas for 2 to 3 minutes until grill marks appear all around them. Remember to store these wraps in your cooler until it is time to serve them. 4 8-inch flour tortillas (preferably whole wheat) 4 oz light cream cheese 1/2 cup Asian plum sauce 1/2 cup chopped green onions 3 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger 1 small (2-lb) roasted chicken 1 bunch watercress, stemmed Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the tortillas and follow with a thin layer of plum sauce. Divide evenly and sprinkle green onions and ginger over tortillas. Cut chicken meat in thin slices and place on top of each tortilla. Lay watercress on top of chicken and roll tortillas into tight rolls. Serves 4. Nutritional Information: 413 calories (26.4% calories from fat);

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Take Out the Trash

Take Out the Trash

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. PROVERBS 19:11 What an experience to be a landlord! We just evicted renters for the first time. They left the house in a huge mess! Trash was piled in each room, including the garage. Unwanted furniture littered the rooms, and the carpets were incredibly dirty. The filth on the floors, cabinets, and counters took many cleanings. The tenants even removed and ruined the garage door to get their belongings out. The job seemed to be more than my husband, and I could manage on our own. A sense of hopelessness overwhelmed us. But as I started to work, I began to feel hopeful, knowing that the hard work would be rewarded with a clean, livable house once again. It would not happen on this day, or even after two or three days of hard work,

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The Joyful Journey to Health and Happiness

The Joyful Journey to Health and Happiness

How do you picture joy? After turning in my manuscript for my newest book, Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience, I thought I would create some lovely photos with inspiring verses on them. I opened my graphics AP and typed in “JOY.” What I anticipated seeing were images of giggling children, cozy families, faces of smiling friends, maybe some inspiring nature shots, breathtaking sunsets or perhaps a strong, fit person reaching the pinnacle of a mountain top. NOPE. What I saw were pictures of sugary desserts: cookies, cupcakes, seven-layer chocolate cakes, ices cream, cheesecake—more and more sugar! Righteous indignation rose up within me. “Satan, you are such a LIAR! That is not JOY. These foods lead to bondage and brokenness.  God wants to give us JOY!”  Phil 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. (Phil 4:4 ESV) To rejoice is a verb,

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That’s My Kind of Joy!

That's My Kind of Joy!

I hung up the phone laughing; I could not contain myself. I just spent 40 minutes listening to a dear friend share with me her new found Joy in the Lord. She just completed the Bible study, “Forever Changed”, and she is. And she could not stop laughing at what God has done in her life! Every other phrase was interrupted with spontaneous uncontainable joyful laughter! All I could do was listen and smile. Joy is contagious. Mother Theresa said, “Joy is the net by which we catch souls”, and she caught mine. Rejoice – re Joy, re joying all the time, Joy over and over. We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord at all times. That may seem difficult and almost impossible. It bids me ask: can Joy and sadness exist in a woman’s heart at the same time? I think so. I have great Joy that my

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