Leaves For Healing

July 14, 2012

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river.

Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear,

 because the water from the sanctuary flows to them.

Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

 Ezekiel 47:11-13

I came to this scripture and it got me thinking . . . I’m sure they ate meat in Bible times, and we have read as much, but I wonder if they ate anywhere near as much as we do today?  The words “leaves for healing” struck me too as “leaves” are one of my favorite food groups.  lol  Okay, I’m not your typical vegetarian.  I am not yet a vegetarian at all, actually but I get closer to it by the day.  That being said, each time I go onto my Facebook account I see my friends who have “green thumbs” showing pictures of their huge harvest and I think of two things.  They need to live closer to me geographically, and man I wish I had a green thumb.  lol 

It’s funny really but growing up I spent a lot of time at the dinner table.  No, not because I ate too much, but because I hated veggies.  I laugh now because I am finding myself loving them more and more and liking meat less and less.   I don’t avoid it out of respect for Bessie the cow and in sympathy for her ancestors who became my double cheese burgers of the past years, but frankly the more I find yummy new ways of preparing them the more I load up on veggies and the more I find meat losing it’s appeal.  I’m not really “dieting” since I am not suffering, but instead loving what I’m eating and I’m losing weight, firming up, in a better mood, spending less money . . . duh!  Veggies are good.  lol 

Seems that meat was and in many places in the world still is a treat and not the huge portion on the plate.  Seems to me I am finding it’s not even that much of a treat to me anymore.  Offer me a spinach and cheese quesadilla and watch me smile!  A plate of roasted veggies will get me so excited and will be eaten so quickly that the steak you serve with ’em will hardly be touched.  I’ll be much too full of my peppers, brocoli, mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, etc., to think of touching my steak. 

This got me to thinking of other things like the fact that our bodies are a gift from God and my gift to Him is taking better care of it.  Just for fun, I did a quick search for how many times the word garden appears in the NIV Bible.  It comes up at 60 times.  For more fun, I checked out vine, which makes me think of leaves, fruit, veggies . . .  well, that brought in a harvest of 186 times the word appears in the Bible.  Clearly there is something to this.  I know the words are used for a lot more than for Jesus to discuss dinner options, but He used teachings which represented “real life” concepts and values.  If He chose vines and gardens in His teaching it was because they were a big deal and people would more likely understand the message He was conveying in the use of such an analogy. 

As I say this there’s a yummy 3/4 of a spinach Quiche in the kitchen waiting for me.  I’m the only one here to eat it and that’s fine.  It’ll keep, it tastes as good or better left over, and it’s too hot to cook too often, so win-win situation for me.  I did offer to share it with a busy friend and “brother” whose wife is away and whose dining habits, I suspect, are bad when she’s away, but he was too busy to take me up on it.  Oh, dear.  More for me.  lol  Oh, spinach – healthy leaves like the quote above states.  Okay, they weren’t speaking of spinach but they could have.  It’s said to have vitamins A, C, E, and K and a lot of other assets to the body and it’s YUMMY. 

So, when you think of dinner, think of how healthy those vines are . . . and stay away from the pasture a bit more.  You’ll find you hardly miss the big huge portion of meat when you try your hand at seasoning up some nice veggies.  I wish I could tell you how I make my spinach Quiche, but it changes each time I make it.  lol  Play with your food.  Really!  Life’s too short to fuss about reading the directions.  lol  Okay, read ’em but the only rules you have to follow are the ones from God, the rest are negotiable.  lol 

For more good ideas on food and recipes, here are a couple of friends’ blogs you’ll want to check out.

Mary’s Blog:  http://maryaquino.wordpress.com/  Are you a dog lover?  Talk to Mary about that too!

Trisha’s Flying Meatballs: http://trishasflyingmeatballs.wordpress.com/  Ask her to tell you the flying meatball story!

 

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Jesus Changes Hearts and HIPS?

June 19, 2012

Okay, stay with me, guys!  I heard a wonderful sermon on Sunday on Jesus changing us.   You heard the rumor that people can’t change?  Amazing what the Lord can do when we give our lives to Him!  Let me also interject that if you are in the Charleston SC area and need a church, my church and my priests – Fathers Rick, Chris, and Charlie – will truly bless you.  So, getting back to the point . . . yes, we can change – Jesus is ready to bless us in ways we cannot imagine.  We cannot change ourselves in the ways that are vital to our souls, but He can do all things. 

So, recently several of my articles have spoken of storms in the spiritual lives of many of us.  If we focus too much of our attention on the storms, we can’t see and thus cannot accept the blessings EVEN WHEN THEY ARE RIGHT THERE WITH US.  Sometimes, we are so focused on the storms, that the blessings are being poured over top of us by a loving and protective Lord and we STILL can’t see them. 

Need an illustration?  Okay.  Here’s the deal with the hips.  I do not own a scale.  They are depressing and I threw mine out when I moved to SC from MA.  I am either healthy or not.  The number bums me out, so I’m not looking.  Can’t.  Scale went to the dumpster almost five years ago.  So, that being said, I’ve been wanting forever it seems to lose weight and get in better shape.  I’ve found, to my amazement, that vegetarians are NOT nutty.  Veggies, when you don’t buy them in cans (which I grew up with) have flavor, texture, color, nutrients . . . I actually LIKE them!  Know what else?  Meat?  It’s really not all that great.  Not even talking about the treatment of animals here.  I am finding if faced with burgers or spinach, I get more excited about the spinach!  It’s good!  It tastes better . . . my thoughts on this have little to do with the fact that Bessie the cow is cute, either.  Veggies are good!

So, as I dress in the morning, I have been frowning over the fat lady looking back at me.  Seemed like things should have been different.  Why do I look so bad.  I try.  I do the right thing, a lot of  the time.  I ate the radishes and celery and didn’t miss the potato chips.  Why is the outlook so bleak? 

Took my Mom to a favorite thrift store today.  Mom is having health issues . . . losing her sight and now losing her hearing as well.  This weekly trip to the thrift store raises her spirits.  I love thrift stores and really really appreciate this one for everything is washed, dry cleaned, pressed, polished . . . and still the prices are awesome!  So, as Mom poked about being in no hurry for me to take her home, I wandered about and saw a pair of designer jeans.  Looked at the tag.  Wow.  These are actually new!  They are fashionable.  Wow, it must be nice to be able to wear that current style.  Look, they’re only $3.00.  Wow. 

Suddenly, I HAD to try them on.  Didn’t want to.  I knew that trendy jeans were for other people.  I knew the breaks (low price, etc.) were for other people too.  I knew I could never . . .  I could not walk away from them.  Truthfully, I did walk away last week from this very pair.  Amazingly, nobody bought them yet.  A little voice kept telling me to try them on.  I ignored it.  A voice inside me pointed out that nobody would see . . . I’d be in the fitting room.  No risk of public embarrassment.  Why not take a couple of small steps into the nearby fitting room with those high-end designer jeans? 

I did it.  I DID IT!

Guess what?  Those smaller size and trendy styled jeans?  The ones in a style I could never wear?  Had never in my adult life been able to consider?  They fit!  I walked out of the fitting room with them on.  Yes, into the store where people could see me!  People in the area all looked at me.  I didn’t die.  I didn’t blush.  I smiled.  When you have the ability to wear the close-fitting, stylish jeans, why schlep through life in the baggy butt ugly ones? 

We settle for baggy butt jeans in our spiritual lives too.  Jesus is right there offering us the high-end designer jeans of our soul . . . but we’re used to those baggy butt jeans.  They are comfortable.  Nobody laughs at us.  They keep us warm enough.  We’ve had them a long time and we’re okay with them.  Why try something else?  It might not be . . . .

Know what?  We have the Light of Christ in us.  We are not made to hide our Light under a bushel or in a pair of baggy butt jeans!  We are made to shine that Light!  We were not made to be okay!  We were made to be AMAZING!  Do you want AMAZING?  Give Him your heart . . .  and your hips, too!   He loves you! 


Sonshine . . . Dear Friends . . . Pot Roast Cooking!

May 8, 2012

Today is a totally delightful day.  Not saying everything is life is perfect for we know that this side of heaven can’t be exactly that, but my smile is as bright as the sunshine would be if I weren’t wearing dark glasses! 

A very dear friend who I have not seen in 7 years has flown in to visit me and be my houseguest for a week!  He is a wonderful man who is full of life, full of the love of Christ, is eternally young, and is a retired Episcopal priest.  I am smiling as I say retired priest because I don’t know any priests who’ve pulled off retirement . . . I think they just live on and one day they say “go in peace to love and serve the Lord” and find themselves face to face with Him.  Vocation . . . . it’s so much more than work.

Many of you are aware that I’ve been seeking a “job” or more correctly financial provision since relocating to SC 4 plus years ago and a permanent answer hasn’t yet come, but spiritually life is AMAZING so no complaints.  That being said the Lord has planted a seed in me which can only be described as a passion for a vocation and not just a job.  I am beginning to know what that is, only just beginning. 

I ask you to pray with me that I will continue to hear His voice and follow Him faithfully in the path and plan He has for me and kn0w that though He asks me to do things that make me gasp sometimes, I have never known more joy in my life than when I follow Him NO MATTER WHAT HE ASKS OF ME.  He is always there with me.

This will be a delightful week for me and I am sorry if I am a bit off schedule on sharing with all of you but fear not, I will have lots to share when time permits.  Meanwhile, having an extra person in the house and it being a man with a healthy appetite literally, spiritually and otherwise, I’ve got an excuse to do a lot more fussy things in the kitchen than what I usually do as this house usually is home to just my elderly Mom who is on a restricted diet, and me.  I   enjoying having someone to spoil lavishly.  Just now I have a pot roast with all the expected accompaniments cooking and can I tell you my house smells great?  There will be home-made bread in the house, home-made corn chowder, and all sorts of scones, muffins, other elaborate things to feed the body with as we share at table and feed our hearts and souls. 

Time to check my roast!  Can you smell it?


Grab a Large Coffee THEN Hit the Gym!

December 30, 2011

Okay, I realize this piece is a departure from my usual writings here, but since many of us are suffering the aftermath of holiday eating, I couldn’t hold this back.  I found a study on the link between coffee (or tea) and a BETTER WORKOUT.  There really has been testing on this, so read on . . .

 

For me, and for a great many, there’s no better way to start the day than with a good cup of coffee.  A hot fresh one in my favorite mug, the morning paper or another favorite morning read, and a few minutes to relax and get ready for the day ahead . . . oh, yeah!  Thinking about that cup of coffee, I’d have to say that it makes just about any time of day just a bit better . . . but a better work out?  Hmmm.

 

There was a study recently done which sought to prove just that.  Specifically, the study was seeking a link between caffeine and exercise and whether in fact that cup can make you a better sport!  Does it enhance performance?  Will it enhance your enjoyment of your workout?  We have known for years of the jolt from coffee and athletes have been clear on the benefits shown in their running, their cycling, and in Olympic events, but now the question is whether these same benefits can be shown linked to less aerobic physical activity?  If it benefits those who perform in sports with constant activity, does this also mean it has those same results for other sports with less continuous action?  Why or why not?

 

Well, scientists at Coventry University in England wanted an answer and conducted the study.  Some details of the study:

·        Participants:  13 healthy young men

·        Asked to drink a sugar free caffeine laden drink one hour before a weight lifting routine

·        Asked on another occasion to drink the same without caffeine prior to the same workout

The results?  The participants in the study performed longer and stronger with caffeine than without.  It is interesting to note that not only were they less tired, but their general attitude toward working out was improved and the participants who drank a beverage with caffeine were more eager to get in another workout!

 

According to an author of the study, “Essentially, we found that with the caffeinated drink, the person felt more able to invest effort,” says Michael Duncan, a senior lecturer in sports science at the University of Exeter in England and lead author of the study.  Caffeine is know to increase the level of fats in the blood and thus the originally known fact of certain athletes able to perform stronger made sense.  However, for the men performing a weight lifting routine, the increase of fats in the blood would not have had the same effect.  It is not entirely known why they found both a physiological and psychological benefit.  Clearly, however, the results of this study did show this.  The doctor believes that the caffeine enables muscles to contract with more force by fighting against substances in the blood which fight against this, however more study is needed to confirm this. 

 

While the full analysis on caffeine consumption in general, quantity, in what form, etc., is not yet totally clear, one can reasonably consider that this does show many will find the travel mug in the car will perhaps see more attention on the way to a workout!  Stayed tuned for further study results on  this exciting news!


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