HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Chili for a Chilly Night


“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,” ~ Acts 2:46b

The First Sampling

Joining the Food on Friday gang at Ann Kroeker’s Blog. Getting this one in just under the wire! And it’s been a loooonnnggg time since I’ve participated. Forgot how fun it was! click the broccoli below and join us!

Food on Fridays w/ Ann Kroeker

Our church is going on a community outreach tomorrow afternoon. We will be introducing our church to the surrounding community with awesome gifts and the testimonies of our hearts. At the end of our day we will gather for a Chili Dump and Bon Fire Fellowship.

Chili Dump? I know you’re asking … Yes, let me define this rather awesome delicacy.

Each family makes a family sized pot of chili, their favorite recipe. We all gather around a huge pot over and outside flame and dump our pots into the huge pot, mixing the recipes together throughly. The result is the most amazing chili you’ve ever tasted!

Every family makes it differently, hey let’s be honest, every family pot of chili is probably different each time, at least a smidge. Some use beer and some are vegetarian and some (I don’t know why) use Worcester sauce. Yet once combined these flavors the mild, the hot and the turbo combine to make a heartily flavorful chili that any stomach can handle!

I was skeptical my first time too! But I promise you! This fellowship tradition is fabulous!

Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili

11/2 pound of ground beef

1/2 pound of pork roast cubed

1 bag of dry black beans

– soaked according to the directions on the package – then cooked for 1/2 hour before adding other ingredients to be sure the beans soften. Drain and reserve the water from the beans for later.

1 cup of small chopped onion

1 large red and 1 large green bell pepper chopped

2 10 ounce cans of Rotel diced tomatoes and chilis (I used mild)

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cheyenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

* Combine all the ingredients with the cooked through, drained beans in a large dutch oven. Add 2 cups of the black bean water you reserved earlier and cook until all the flavors marry together. This takes 2 to 4 hours.

** All these ingredients can be put into your crock pot (after you’ve cooked the beans through) and slow cooked on low for 6 to 8 hours. ** Garnish your chili with shredded Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream and or chopped onions (all optional) **

Now I also ventured into making corn bread for our fellowship meal …

Corn Bread

Looks pretty right? No so much now. It was a mexican corn bread recipe that added things like jalapeno and creamed corn to a box batter …

My Baking Lesson (from my baker son) baking is a chemistry thing … adding extra wet ingredients to a dry box is mix never a good bet! Live and learn! 🙂

My cornbread never became bread … wet doughy middle … yukkk! But the picture looks pretty! 😀

Do you have a favorite chili recipe?

Does your church have a fall fellowship tradition you’d like to share?

Join us here or tell us in the comments! I, for one, would love to hear about your chili and fellowship!

Blessings Loves!


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Victory Over Temptation is in The Word!


Let My Words Be Few Thursday

“Let My Words be Few” Thursday

Here at HOPEannFaith I am challenging myself to be concise in my writing, and I invite you to join me. It is my hope to write spirit filled, inspirational posts touching our Spirits, not just our minds and flesh. I also hope this will improve my writing skill set, while deepening my spiritual walk. If you would like to join me in this challenge simply leave me a link to you ‘Let My Words be Few’ blog post or simply leave your post in the comments, and I will link your post into mine for that week.Your post can be about anything positive! The goal is to be inspirational while using the fewest words. You can see I’m still working on that, so there is NO word count requirement.

 You may use the Thursday if you like, but it is not a link…I don’t know how to do that! 🙂 I’m a writer not a techie! Just manually link the picture to my blog from yours and we will be good to go, and your readers will be able to join us. Thanks for reading Loves! I welcome the company.

I’ve been thinking today… 

I went to the Cardiologist yesterday and all vitals are IMPROVING! God is amazing!

Even as I am unhappy that my weight has gone up.

Even though from time to time I still feel winded or fatigued.

Even as I question if I am doing well…

God remains faithful.

Faithful!

I claim to be a Woman of Faith. However, came to see where I was not so strong in my faith in the last several months. My Heart Event and Gurney Encounter with God showed me that I had not been faithful in trusting God in all  areas of my life, particularly my Health.

Now I am Faithfully on the fast tract to Health and Wholeness!

Lysa TerKeurst in her book, Made to Crave and the free 21 Day Challenge said that God had much to say about our food and how we eat, in the bible. Our diet is very important to God. He cares what and how we consume all kinds of nourishment.

While reading the MTC book I’ve found that during sermons and scripture readings these verses on food and our consumption of food have been jumping out at me! Giving me the encouragement I need to continue this journey to wholeness. As well as the confirmation that I am using the right tool {MTC}.

Last night’s sermon at FCMC was one of those confirmations from God. The message was on the Holy Spirit and the difference between experiencing temptation and testings.

Lysa was clear in her descriptions of the temptations of food, and scripture confirmed this for me with revelation last night.

In Matthew 4 we read about the Temptation of Christ.

Jesus, after his baptism by John, was led to the desert by the Holy Spirit, where Jesus fasted for 40 day and nights. Then the tempter came and the first temptation was a dart to the heart of Jesus’ hunger.

Jesus was hungry! And the temptation was food! Verse 3 says. ” The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered,” It is written: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’.

The enemy strikes when we are at a place of weakness, and my loves changing our dietary lifestyles is a place of weakness as we begin the journey, before the changes actually become our lifestyle!

Jesus passed all the tests and so will we, when we use the Word to battle them.

Verse 11 tells us, “Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”, and this is a promise for us as well.

When we use the Word of God to battle the craving temptations of our situations; our emotions, our wants, our perceived need and deserve, as Lysa puts it so aptly in MTC, we can be Victorious.

Two of the words to put over the numbers on the scale, from MTC, are Able and Victorious. These sung to me when I paired MTC with the revelation God gave me last night!

We are able and victorious through Christ! Philippians 4:13 and 1 Corinthians 15:57

These bright pink reminders are posted all over my office…for health reasons I cannot put them over the numbers on the scale as I need to know if I’ve gained more than a pound a day to avoid another battle with C.H.F.

My new motto is from MTC.

I WAS MADE FOR MORE THAN THIS!

I’d like to share with you the scripture God gave me this morning. The Word of revelation He gave me that spurred this post.

“dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3

Simply put, stay in the Word that God has provided and nourish yourself with His Word which is faithful to the promises of God!

Whatever addiction it is you are trading for God, you can rest assured that YOU were MADE FOR MORE than the craving of anything above God.

YOU can purchase Made to Crave by hitting the link above, or at Amazon.com or any store that sells books.

By the way, Congratulations to Lysa; Made to Crave made #5 on the NY Times Best Seller List!

Blessings Loves! ♥


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My Quest for Flavor! a food on friday carnival post “)


 

Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

My Quest for Flavor

 Psalm 22:26 “The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him— may your hearts live forever!”Since June 2, 2010, when doctors pronounced that there were dire heart issues to contend with I have been on a quest for Whole wellness. This quest has led to some severe dietary and lifestyle changes. As if that were not difficult and frustrating enough, I had to remove salt from my diet. That was the instruction from the first cardiologist at the first hospital.Since going to Deborah there has been a bit of improvement on the seasoning side of my diet! Dr. Ambrose, a fellow cardiologist at Deborah Heart and Lung Center, told me I could have 2,000 milligrams or 2 grams of sodium a day. Just under the RDA guidelines by 4,000 milligrams. This means about 3/4 of a teaspoon of table salt, a day, give or take a granule! S, I continue to not use the salt while cooking or added at meal times.This allows me two things, as I see them, and ALLOWED, is a great thing!1. It gives me a way to find healthier salt in natural foods, like parmesan cheese, and other cheeses to flavor my meals, (in moderation of course).  

2. When I eat out or at a friend’s home, they nor I must worry about how to season a meal.  

With that said, with the help of my Chef, Cook and Foodie friends, here and abroad, thanks to FaceBook, I have found some very interesting ways to take my meals from Beige to Bright!

  

The Flavor Beige

 Thanks to Laureen, Claudia, Dorothy, Valeen and Brenda…and all my other girls, who support and encourage me too! Ladies you are the bomb!     

…Much Love to you all!      

 I went shopping just yesterday, buying an array of different foods than has been the norm in the past. My youngest, adult son, came out from putting away the last of the food complaining in a 16-year-old fashion, “…there’s nothing to eat!”. As much as some things stay the same, you would hope that a young adult would be a little less childish in this area, by 23! :D…”all you bought was meat, fruit and 2% milk! What happened to the whole milk?” 

 
His complaint was really that everything had to be cooked. There was no processed foods or “microwavables” in the house! Oh well, he has a job!  
 
I have successfully found that seasoning foods to have a salt like bite is quite easy.See what rising above the frustration can do!
 Lemon is great for a salad, fish, chicken and even a new thing I found called Citrus Rice. I also, at a birthday party for a friend last weekend, got a quick recipe for Cold Corn Salad, apparently it’s great on hot dogs? I don’t know because I no longer eat hotdogs. Didn’t really eat them before, either, but for some reason I  began a new “wanting of things” that I  didn’t want even when there were no restrictions. Anyway,  made with sweet corn, sweet red bell peppers, white or vadalia onion and Hellman’s Mayonaise Lite, cold corn salad begs for  a bit of salty, to it. What to do? What to do?
LIME! The juice of one small lime gives this salad just enough bite and the latin feel this salad begs for! Delicious. Thanks for that recipe from Jen’s step-mom, Maria.
 
Then  there is my Greek Yogurt fetish! More protein than conventional American yogurt, less salt and full of flavor this treat is a filling and delicious breakfast choice. Having tried all the varieties, Oikos, Chobani and even Yoplait’s newest version. My grocer finally stocked Fage (FA-yea) Total. This is the greek style yogurt that the Greeks stock in their fridges!
 
With the texture of cheese cake and a good fruit compote greek yogurt is decadence without the dietary problems!  Better yet, I found quite on accident, that the plain with a table-spoon of Polaner All Fruit is even better than some of the flavors! Right there I control the fat, calories and sugar intake in my breakfast! And I actually like the sugar-free all fruit. 🙂
 
A small modicum of control over my diet at last! ((((Yay!!!)))) for me!
 
Then there is the first suggestion I received from my friend Dorothy, from Ireland, finely minced garlic! This gem of a trick (and why I didn’t know, this I don’t know) adds a nice salt like bite to eggs, sauces and soups! Having a family recipe for Spaghetti Sauce, or gravy if you prefer, I always followed the smidge here and 2 cloves there direction, which is now just a knowing. Well,  about 3 finely minced cloves gives the salty bite, while the 2 sliced, added as well, provides the proper balance of garlic flavor, basil and oregano and you are good to go. Italian style!
 
Dorothy and Laureen also gave me the Hot Sauce suggestion, and at about the same time I was considering it. On eggs and in rice or soups just a few drops will do you! Add while cooking is the trick to avoiding the really hot sensation of using hot sause as a topical seasoning;  your eggs and soup will have the flavor you desire without the excess sodium. Finding the balance, may be a bit tricky if you don’t like spicy hot. FYI: some believe that hot sauce and hot peppers kick start one’s metabolism! Good to know if you like spicy foods.
 
  

Vibrant Flavor

 
There it is. My diet rescue! All it took was putting an end to my pity party and some experimentation in the kitchen, which I enjoy, because I like to cook. Here I thought my Joy of Cooking was over. Not so.
Brown rice and grains are my next venture.
 
Wild Rice is what I am in search of. I should say, inexpensive wild rice. At my local grocer (Shop Rite) a box, for a single meal is $8.95! Out of my range, for sure. My husband’s  response when I teared up at the grocery store was, “Wow! That wild rice must be really hard to catch!” Poor guy! At the time the humor didn’t work, but it’s funny now. 🙂  All of the processed rice that contain wild rice are incredibly high in sodium, too.
 
I really wish we had a Whole Foods store here in Central New Jersey!
 
A new friend, Brenda, brought me a grain called Teff, from Ethiopia, the tiniest grain on earth. The word “teff” is derived from the *Amharic “teffa” which translates as lost. Due to its tiny size, teff can easily be lost if dropped!
*Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia.
 
One of my dearest friends, Valeen, a former vegetarian who still strives for healthy eating, suggested Barley as a change-up for cereal and side dishes that were healthier. Made with sauted garden tomatoes, garlic, onions and mushrooms cooked into a rice or couscous consistency, topped with good shaved parmesan cheese, the barley was a hit. Next I am going to add it to fresh made soup tomorrow.

Whole Grain Goodness

 
So lunch today, I now eat 4 to six smaller meals a day, was European style. Now these Europeans are lean and healthy, at least on tv, right. 3 Wasa crackers (low cal. and low sodium), with cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, peach all fruit and a medium bunch of grapes, and a half cup of coffee. Delicioso!
 
You would be surprised at the satisfaction of flavor in this small meal. As well as how surprisingly good cheddar and peach preserves taste together, another wonderful accident!
 
So far I’ve lost 48 pounds in 4 months and still losing. I hit a  plateau, at 46 pounds, about two weeks ago, so I removed another white food from my diet; white potatoes. Dorothy says they are poison! 😀 I don’t know about that, but removing them from my diet jump started my weight loss again. I lose, on average, 1.6 pound a week now and my goal is 2 pounds a week.
 
At this rate of loss I can lose 100 pounds or more by the start of next summer, Praise God! Really, Praise God, because obedience and the Word of God have made much of this much easier to accomplish. All of my success has come from God honoring my obedience and faith in Him to finish what He began in me!
 
My next venture is the health food stores! On goes my quest!
 
Stick with me girls (and guys) we gonna be getting healthy!
 
Blessings Loves!…
 
 
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‘Be ye removed and cast into the sea….”


Quality Time with God...

† † †  Happy Day after Easter~Resurrection Day everyone.

The Son  ☼ has risen and it is a bright new day!

My devotions were marked this morning by a brand new joy. Actually, a joy that has been building for several weeks now. Odd, how the mourning turned to joy…just checked it and I am right!

That is Isaiah in 61:3  To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, 
The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” 

There’s proving the scripture in Romans 8:26-28…the Holy Spirit will most definitely bring to memory those things that God taught us!

Obviously the writer’s block is gone…Praise God. I guess my inability to write anything but dark or mourning poetry was just that, mourning. A very spiritual friend on one of the artistic sites I frequent returned. He’d been gone for a few months and he brought with him encouragement, honesty and mostly friendship. So I am back on track with a plan, that I believe God is manifesting in me.

My plan is to continue on my path to wellness…to wholeness. This God has confirmed, reinforced and proven is my current path…The Word @ the River of late has been journey and wellness…most of my friends/church family are seeking wholeness and remaining on God’s path for their lives. We appear to be of likemind and in unity…in all areas. I must say these things; lifestyle changes, are easiest when it is done with a family attitude and atmosphere.

So the key scripture is this today: Mark 11:23  

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

As a practicing Christian, who has matured quickly, this powerful scripture is one we learn to rote very quickly. In that rote I think, sometimes, we lose the power of it. The true message in it. We believe it for others, see it happen in others; maybe even ourselves and our lives here and there. However, we should practice this daily…not to have it be rote, rather to have it be a tool…a well sharpened response to roadblocks and well, mountains that set themselves in our path.

Mark 11:23 says that when we believe what we say – that we Will have what we say!

Prayer and communion with God, in reference to the goals we have for our lives, is pertinent. However, that is not enough.  We must believe that we have what the promises and scriptures we are praying say. God cannot lie, the bible tells us this, so if he said it, it will be done. Though, only if we trust him to do it…to keep the promises.  We must believe what we have declared and refuse to accept, tolerate or even look at any other possibility.  This is the condition of obtaining what we’ve declared.

Revelation 12:11 clearly states that; “they overcame him [the dragon; problem] by the blood of the lamb and by the Word of their testamony., and they did not love their lives to death.

In english…to move those mountains we must overcome all doubt; whether that be our mindsets and habits, other loved one’s views and opinions and what the world instills in us.

It stresses that it is by the Word of our testamony that we do not love our lives to death.

In english….our testamony must be the Word of God; what God says about our situation. This means read the bible and locate the promise that covers your situation or insures you goals. Then have it be God’s Word, that promise, be your testamony!

What exactly does “they did not love their lives to death” mean? Does that part confuse you? I know it did me for awhile.

In english…that I do not demand to remain in my fleshly lifestyles and attitudes and expect God to keep His promises. Each promise has a task or condition…this one is that we can overcome ANY situation in our lives; blocking our way, IF we are willing to change the way we live. IF I am willing to live and change into who God intended I be.

The Word Promises that we have those things that already belong to us.

  • We must KNOW this.
  • We must take FIRM HOLD; STAND FIRM to see it come to pass and become fruitful in our lives.

I now FIRMLY take hold of this and DECLARE this mountain moved:

I speak to this obesity and command it to die, at the root source. At the source that gives it life. I command the obesity die and come out of my body, NOW, in JESUS’ NAME. I decree, today and for eternity, that obesity will NEVER come back on my spirit, mind or body, EVER again. Obesity is, at this very moment, cursed at it’s source and I claim it dead. I command it NEVER again can it come against me. AMEN

I once told someone that I was trusting God to take care of my obesity problem, because I could not do it myself, which is obvious.  Another woman, sharing fellowship with us that day, turned while passing and made that scoffing sound some people do, and asked “Do you really think God can help you with that?” while she looked me up and down.   🙂     This was how she spoke to her friends, regularly, very discouraging, especially if you heard it all the time. My response was simple and polite, you see the friend I was speaking with was her mother! I looked at my young friend and asked, “You don’t?!” As she turned back to respond, she said something else disparaging while realizing that not only had we heard her, so had the whole room and her husband, who was appalled. She turned and saw her husband and turned back to me as if to say; did I say that outloud?! Again?!

 I tell you this to show you this; we reveal ourselves by the words that come out of our mouths…so don’t speak disparaging doubt over your situations, or anyone elses, for that matter; it will only delay your victory. 

So back to work I go! I have finished my writer’s lunch…Here is what I enjoyed, really enjoyed, while writing this post:

A cup of freshly cooked Jasmine rice with lightly sauted in olive oil and just a touch of butter; lemon peppered mushrooms, shallots and asparagas tips. A large glass of homemade black iced tea; in my grandma’s mason jar glass. Ending with a beautiful, but almost flavorless red delicious apple…out of season fruit I guess. A bit of salt cured the dullness.

  

A good and healthy meal. I have prayed for more stamina and a desire to move more; and the purpose to move more when I do not feel like it or up to it. Thus far God has fulfilled these requests.

Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

God is Good. Life is Good…. Enjoy the lovely spring weather…I know I am. Blessings Loves


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A Personal Wilderness


My Personal Wilderness

I’ve been in my own personal wilderness for awhile now. In January God began putting the idea of fasting in my path. I struggled, as things in my life continued to get complicated. I became interested in the idea of Lent. Of older more traditional practices of a religion I have never practiced. I find it interesting the way I began to be interested in the Lenten Season.

 
Matthew 4:4  4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” resonates in all of this for me. Fasting, Lent and pressing into God…
 
It began with devotions and articles I would come across about fasting. Again, an obvious sign God was speaking to me. The consistant coming around to the same subject matter in different places; articles, tv news programs, sermon messages, even daily devotionals on the subject. I heard God loud and clear, and knew He was focused on my desire to be healthy. I had talked to Him about it, a lot. Yet I hesitated, procrastinated, ran on an alternate path called avoidance.
 
Of course I did other things. Subsequently while I avoided God’s urgings, my life got bogged down with complications. Nothing God did, just life doing what life does. I had a lot on my mind. Honestly things were not all bad, although some were. I know, even knew, that to be obedient to God’s direction would have made my day to day journey easier to deal with. It could have even seen to it that some did not occur at all, but my humanity took over and I pursued other avenues that were not quite obedience.
 
 I wrote an article on the Daniel Fast. It formed itself out of the research I did so I could do the fast properly. I was seeking a fast that would help me to get well. I had over the holidays begun to feel not well, again. My left leg was swelling up again, and I had leg tensions at night, again. I had begun experiencing monthly migraines, again. Two or three a month, usually attributable to a rise in hormones. Illness symptoms that had gone by the wayside since the summer. It dawns on me that all of these things were at some point gone, all of them.
 
Then it dawned on me that I had begun a quest to wellness in the spring of 2009. I had entered a contest on the Helium site where I wrote on the subject of teas. Earlier in 2009 I had begun to be interested in researching teas, as each time I wasn’t feeling well my grandmother would tell me what teas would help me. Over the 4o some years of loving this woman, it took those 4o years to hear her. So I researched and found the medical wonders of tea, and implemented them in my life. It worked, on my asthma and leg issues and my weight.
 
At the same time I was pursuing God with a vengence. To finish what I had begun years ago. My friends and loved ones were not always happy with the changes in me. I was. My quiet startled and left them unsettled, but I was renouncing sarcasm and negativity in my life. Our personal changes force others to change, at least how they are around the person changing, and sometimes they reject it. Sometimes they reject you, whether the changes are bad or good. Odd, but in our twisted world personal improvement is not always celebrated, even by those who love us.
 
So Lenten. In my search for a fast, I discovered that the Daniel Fast, which I had done incorrectly a few years ago for 21 days, was considered a suitable Lenten fast. Well, now my quest to be obedient became wrapped up in Lent! And there were articles to be written, for yet another contest. God is funny and persistent! I didn’t write those articles, but I did research them.
 
On Clean or Shrove Monday I began my fast. I am fasting beverages. I planned, and have been successful, thus far, in drinking only water and tea, for 40 days. You see the Daniel Fast allows one to consume only things that originate from the seed and water. Tea comes from the Camellia Plant, essentially from a seed, so it works! I am now combining the fast with Lent, how odd of God!  🙂   He led me straight to what, I believe, He intended for me to find.
 
Then I found HighCallingBlogs.com, you can hit the link on this page. And what was some of their articles about? Lent.
 
As I said, I feel as though I have been in my own personal wilderness for quite a while now. Refusing to listen to anyone but God, alone, in all areas of my life. And again, family and friends do not necessarily take well to this. I have stood firm though. Taking every suggestion and piece of advise to God.
 
The reward for this has been amazing. Illness and the shadow of death has been looming over my immediate family for months, possibly years now. Right now we are contending with the possibility that my uncle is dying. The Uncle who may have been the closest thing to a father in my childhood. During all of this I pressed into God like never before, resulting in a heightened experience with God.
 
Focus! Lent! 
 
I found in my research and on the blogs on HighCallingBlogs.com was many things. In an effort to glorify God, since the dawn of Christianity until now,  people and religions, observed periods of fasting for cleansing and repentence. Being born again, I know that I should only fast when led by the Holy Spirit. I know, as well,  that I only need to repent once for my sins, God does not find it necessary for me to live in my sinful nature by reliving it at the beginning of each spring.
 
However, the traditions of old still have purpose. Fasting gives a body a good healthy cleaning while reminding to focus on God. I wanted healing, I asked God for healing, and I found:
 
 
I got an e-mail from HighCallingBlogs.com that I, now, cannot find. However, it said that Lent is about being in touch with our humanity. A place I have been forever, it seems. Being in touch with one’s humanity means many things. For me it means that I realize that God chose me with ALL of my imperfections, as if they didn’t exist. Therefore I have to trust God, that those imperfections do not exist.
 
Through the Atonement we are cleansed, freed from our sin mentality. It is our job to rid these things, these imperfections, generational curses from ourselves. God will assist and support us in all manners of this, but it is our job to get it done. To determindedly rid ourselves of what is contrary to God within us. Because when we indulge in these memories, these family lies about health and religion, we stop in our forward movement. When we stop God continues on, and we can miss blessings and miracles that are planned for our lives.
 
Lent and the practices within the observances give us a vital way to press into a loving and forgiving God. A Father who will gently guide us through the processes of seeing ourselves as He sees us. Perfect and free. It is our inheritance, we are the children of the King of Kings. All of this, from Clean Monday to Resurrection Sunday was about us. About God’s desire to be reconciled to His children.
 
The practices of Lent transcend any specific religious belief. They are simply a vehicle for each of us to realize that regardless of what we have done or will do, our humanity makes us the apple of God’s eye.We have been redeemed.
 
Lent and fasting is allowing me to find a closeness to my God that I didn’t have even 2 weeks ago!
 
You see, in my obedience to fast, when it was necessary to press into God for real answers a few nights ago the experience stepped up several notches. Honestly in the early hours of February 15th, God forever changed they way we communicate, the experience of His presence when I press in and the way I pray. Past that,  I cannot seem to articulate the experience effectively yet. I simply know that it is all wrapped up in the observances of Lent and the practices of fasting.
 
Blessings Friends.   🙂
 

Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker


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Fasting for Healing…What Daniel Did.


Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

I have been moving toward going on a fast. Let me be clearer. I have been hearing God tell me to fast and I have been avoiding it. Instead I wrote an article on Helium.com about the Daniel Fast, while attempting to have enough will power to begin the fast. While I have begun to change my eating habits of late, I have not gone on a true Daniel Fast.

The Daniel Fast is a fast geared toward healing and prevention. Actually several years ago I completed an adapted 40 day Daniel Fast. Adapted in that I drank protein drinks to sustain when I felt it necessary. Also, it wasn’t a true Daniel fast in that it was the first real fast I ever attempted for more than a day and I was not aware of all of it’s restrictions.

The Daniel Fast is what the secular world knows as the Raw Foods Fast or a Vegan Fast. Only fruits, vegetables and water, completely cleansing the body in 10 to 21 days. And most everyone knows that anything successfully changed in a 21 day period can very likely become permanent.

I researched the Daniel or Raw Foods Fast and found it quite interesting. The body requires Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats to survive. Infact the body requires these nutrients to lose weight!  My question was just what fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains contained all of these nutrients? The answers were vast:

Nutrition: The Benefits of the Daniel Fast by Andrea D. Hutchinson

  Biblically, the Daniel Fast was a refusal by Daniel, while under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, to defile himself with the rich and unhealthy diet of the royal table. The king told the head of his palace staff to get young men, from the Israelite royal and noble families, who were healthy, handsome, intelligent and well educated for leadership training in the royal court. In other words boys who were “perfect specimens”. They were to be taught and indoctrinated in the language of Babylon, and the lore of magic and fortunetelling.

The king ordered that these boys be served from the same menu as would be served at the royal table. The best foods and the finest wines of the royal court. After three years of this indoctrination they would be given positions in the king’s court.

Daniel, refused to be defiled by the rich and luxurious foods and beverages of the king’s table. Daniel believed that he was called by God to do this, to glorify Him and that it would protect him. In the end it did just that.

Determined, he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. Afraid of the king, the steward was reluctant because he believed that they would not be nourished well enough and that the king would notice. Daniel appealed to the steward, “Try us out for ten days with a simple diet of vegetables and water, then compare us with the other young men who are eating from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see.” Agreeing, the steward allowed them their simple vegetable and water diet for ten days. At the end of those ten days the four young men looked better and more robust than the others. So the steward allowed them their raw food and water diet for the remainder of their training period. Daniel 1 ~ the Message Bible.

In the King James version of these scriptures David asks the steward, ” Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and give us pulse to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1:12

The proof at the end of the ten day fast would be the first documentation of the benefits of the Daniel Fast, also called the Raw Food or Vegan Fast. The health benefits were evident, as described in the Book of Daniel. After ten days the boys appeared healthier and were more robust, or energetic, than the boys who had indulged in the rich foods and wines of the royal table.

Daniel’s intent was to remain physically and spiritually clean for God, while he was being trained in things contrary to what they believed to be God’s will for His people at the time. Thus, fasting was a means to cleanse oneself, glorifying God.

Fasting in these modern days is utilized for the same purpose, cleaning out one’s physical system. As well as, for some, it continues to be a way to worship and glorify God. It has become popular, once again, to fast for spiritual cleansing.

Whatever the reason for one’s fast, the Daniel Fast is a good fast to begin with. In general fasting cleanses the body of the toxins one has attained consuming a modern diet. Fasting removes all of those chemicals and preservatives that our body retains after we have eaten processed and pesticide laden foods. Cleansing one’s body allows one to, technically, start over with a healthier diet. Removing toxins and the remnants of chemicals that have built up in one’s system, is a definite benefit. Typically today, one enters into the Daniel Fast for two physical reasons: (1) when we are ill and require healing, or (2) the prevention of illness or disease.

The Daniel Fast, or the Raw Food Fast, does this most effectively. The Daniel Fast is limited to vegetables, fruits and water for a 10, 21 or 40 day period of time. The Daniel fast mimics many of the restrictions of the Lenten Fast, in that it restricts all animal related foods; meat, eggs, milk, and butter, or anything that is processed or made with animal products. As well as ‘rich’ foods such as cakes. Basically desserts of all kinds, sweets.

Again, like the Lenten fast, it restricts all refined sugars and caffeine products, as well as any additives, chemicals or dyes. It is a completely natural diet. Therefore all refined sugars; corn syrup and white sugar, as well as any artificial sweeteners and flavors are restricted. No foods that are chemically processed are allowed either.

In Proverbs 23:3 it says, “be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat”.

The ‘dainties’ in one’s diet today look good, taste and smell good, but are definitely not good for the body. The same was true in biblical times. Often our ‘dainties’ are processed to remove calories and fats (both essential to the body, by the way), and then after removal by chemical processes like hydrogenation and other equally dangerous processes, what is left is returned to the product changed irrevocably, and not for the better. Both the American Heart and Diabetes Associations recommend that these products be reduced or removed from one’s diet.

So in the Daniel fast, the ‘Pulse” Daniel refers to is described as being foods grown up, naturally, from a seed. Barnes Notes defines pulse as that which grows up from seeds, such as would be sown in a garden. It also defines pulse as a vegetable or raw.

The Daniel fast will adequately cleanse one’s body within ten days. The down fall to this fast is that you will experience hunger, longer than say in a simple juice fast, as the body does not shut down it’s digestive processes. Having to digest the vegetables and grains, the digestive process will continue to tell the brain that it is hungry. The benefits outweigh the lengthened hunger pangs, however, while one’s body becomes accustomed to the new diet.

From a nutritional aspect, many feel the Daniel or Raw Food fast to be unbalanced. They report that it does not meet the carbohydrate needs of the body and that it could cause a lack of vitamin B12 (found ONLY in animal foods such as milk and eggs). They also report, that there would be a lack of protein in this diet.

There are three types of nutrients the body requires for overall wellness. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These are necessary, as well, to maintain a healthy diet regime. If one is fasting as a part of a weight loss program these three nutrients must be present to lose the weight one intends to lose. Yes, carbohydrates and fats must be present in the diet for successful weight loss. All foods, with the exception of oils and fats, contain carbohydrates and proteins.

While carbohydrates, proteins and fats are needed for wellness, these can be found in naturally grown fruits and vegetables. Meeting the criteria for the Daniel fast.

There are two main types of carbohydrates. Simple sugars that are readily found in fruit and fruit juices. Complex Carbohydrates are found in yams, potatoes and breads. Breads, even of the whole grain kind, do not normally meet this fast’s particular criteria. This is because most breads eaten today are commercially made, and it is almost impossible to purchase commercially produced breads and cakes that do not use animal products or utilize processes that do not meet the Daniel criteria. Therefore breads and pastas do not meet the Daniel fast criteria.

To meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates in one’s diet one can meet them with the fruit, juice and potatoes that are obviously allowed in this fast. Carbohydrates, for informational purposes, contain 4 calories per gram. It is recommended that we eat 45-60 calories of carbohydrates to meet the RDA. Carbohydrates equate to the sugar and water needed for a body to remain well and meet one’s energy needs. As for the RDA of Protein they recommend that one consume .36 grams of protein for every pound one weighs.

As mentioned before these, including fat, can be found within the parameters of the Daniel fast criteria. It is suggested that one combine the components from each group to make flavorful meals and to meet the RDA in each group of nutrients.

From apples to watermelons all fruits contain carbohydrates. Good choices for variation and moderate to high carb content are:

Apricots Bananas Cantaloupe

Grapefruit/juice Grapes Kiwi

Mango Orange/juice Peach

Pineapple/juice Raisins Watermelon

Fruit juices from concentrate

Sultanes (a bright, sweet fruit with a vague orange/peach flavor all at once).

Vegetables with moderate to high carb content:

Beets Sweet Potatoes

Carrots Swede (turnip family)

Parsnips Sweet Corn

Pototoes Yams

Like carbohydrates many fruits and vegetables contain proteins:

Fruits:

Brazil nuts Peaches

Figs Coconuts

Dates Pineapples

Walnuts Mandarin Oranges

Hazelnuts Avocados

Pears Watermelons

Apples Oranges

Bananas Strawberries

Tomatoes

Vegetables moderate to high in protein are many:

Asparagus Aubergine (eggplant family) Beans/Legumes

Beet Root Broccoli Cabbage

Carrot Cauliflower Celery

Chicory Cucumber Fennel

Gourd Leeks Mushrooms

Okra Onion Onion Spring

Parsnips Peas Peppers

Potatoes Pumpkin Radishes

Spinach Swede (turnip family) Sweet Corn

Tomatoes Turnips Watercress

Yams

Fruits and vegetables with fat content, while they exist, they are much smaller lists. Much of your fat, found within the fruit group, will come from nuts.

Fruits:

Avocados Olives Passion fruit

Nuts:

Chestnuts Cashews Pistachios

Peanuts Almonds Walnuts

Hazelnuts Pecan Macadamias

Brazil nuts

Vegetables:

Brussels Sprouts Okra

Parsnips (*2.3 gms) Peas

Sweet Corn Tomatoes

Watercress

As can be seen from these lists there are many choices to be had to fulfill both taste and the RDA needs in all three essential nutrient categories.

Brown Rice and oats, barley, millet, whole wheat tortillas, popcorn and rice cakes are permitted. Many feel that brown rice is difficult to make and is not flavorful. Just follow the directions on the package, without the butter, and season according to the meal you are making. All seasonings are appropriate for the Daniel fast provided they are not chemically based or within the restricted group; sugars and animal based seasonings. Vinegar, salt, pepper, herb and seasonings are allowed.

Nuts and Seeds, this is where one will get the appropriate fat content to remain well. Also cold pressed and virgin type oils from olives or nuts is appropriate to cook and season your vegetable dishes with. These include these nuts and their oils if available; Walnuts, Cashews, Peanuts and others. And these seeds, too; Sesame, Sunflower, and Pumpkin.

Today people have access to foodstuffs and seasonings that were not available to Daniel in biblical times. We have imported fruits and vegetables that are plentiful.

Another suggestion, as well as having a wider variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from, one has many different ways to get one’s foods. While a raw fast speaks to food that is grown from a seeds, the food does not have to remain raw when consumed. One can acquire your vegetables and fruits canned, dried or frozen. However, read the labels, making sure there is no sugars, animal products or chemicals used for preservatives.

Those who desire dairy products, soy milk and soy products like Tofu are permitted, as they are derived from the soy bean.

As one can see the Daniel Fast is a safe fast to choose, with great nutritional benefit. Done correctly one can cleanse the body and spirit safely. The Daniel fast, as said before will heal your body and prevent illness and disease when utilized properly.

 

One final scripture tell us of it’s biblical and medicinal benefits.

Isaiah 58:6,8

Is not this the fast that I have chosen…[that] your healing shall spring forth speedily.”

 

So having been trapped in the house by the last two blizzards at the Jersey Shore!

Weathering the Storm

 

I began to feel very heavy in body and spirit. In my solitude I pressed into God as best a depressed person can do and found that I needed to begin once again to LISTEN to God. I was no longer drinking the life giving teas that I had researched over the summer. I was drinking seltzer water instead, and not feeling well. I was not drinking enough water. And I was eating garbage. Three weeks since my husband’s surgery, a month from my grandmother’s illness and I had fallen into the trap of eating badly. I was craving sweets and just not putting into practice the things I had put into place over the last several months and I was, am still, feeling it.

My slow but sure journey to a healthy body and hopefully a healthy body weight, from this tremendous obesity, had ceased! And in such a short period of time! So I wrote the article and adapted it a bit to fit what I think is best at this time…while the fast calls for NO dairy products I am eating yogurt and cottage cheese with my fruits. In a bit I will possibly remove the dairy, I will let you know.

For now I am off with my ice water and cup of green tea…don’t ask, I always have ice water along side my hot beverages???…to research my new article: Healthy Foods that Alleviate Depression. Maybe it will be done for next Fridays FOF!

Blessings my Friends. Happy Eating!

 

 

 


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Writing Prompts from dA DailyLitDeviations ~ Prompt #1


Food on Friday Carnival hosted by Ann Kroeker

  

Eat_  

for life…  

Indulge to live well. 

Overindulge to die well. 

Weapon? Life force? Death’s warm tool? 

Nourish energy. 

Overindulging fatigue. 

Emotions begging. 

Surrender soul pain. 

Render unto life death’s need. 

Meals of desire. 

A Haiku I wrote as a writing assignment for a literary club I belong to on Deviant Art.  

Happy New Year!  🙂