Daily Archives: July 25, 2012

Our Daily Bread – Remembering The Reason

READ: Mark 10:35-45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. —Mark 10:45

Joe Morris flavors his ice cream with ingredients ranging from chocolate and strawberries to green tea and dried chipotle peppers. He’s one of three ice-cream makers for a successful Texas company known for its quality, creativity, and innovation. But Joe hasn’t forgotten why he does it.

He told reporter Ricardo Gándara that one of the longtime employees always reminded them, “Why are we making ice cream? It’s a happy food. We’re here to make people happy.” And that’s why Joe Morris makes ice cream.

We know that it’s extremely important to remember the reason for what we do as followers of Jesus. If we forget, we become like the disciples when a dispute over who was most important created anger and division among them. Jesus reminded them that “even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:35-45).

If our goal is to share the good news of God’s love with others, we won’t become impersonal or harsh if someone resists or ridicules our appeal. As we follow our Lord’s path of loving service and sacrifice, we are reminded that He came to serve and save.

That’s the reason for everything we do. —David McCasland

He whose right was heaven’s glory
Chose to serve on earth below,
Leaving us a clear example
Of the love He’d have us show. —D. De Haan

Keep your eyes on the Lord, and you won’t lose sight of life’s purpose.

Copyright © 2012, RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI 49555 USA

Believe and Receive

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria Osteen
Has God spoken things to your heart that haven’t come to pass yet? Anytime you step out to believe God, the enemy will try to distract and discourage you in order to get you off course. But when you receive that promise by faith, when you hold it in your heart, when you picture it in your mind and declare it with your words, you begin to feel more confident. You feel empowered and settled in your heart. You begin to have joy and peace because you know God is working behind the scenes on your behalf.

I encourage you today, grab hold of the promises of God and don’t let go! Can you see it in your mind’s eye? Can you see yourself healed? Can you see yourself paying off that last debt? Can you see yourself at your ideal weight? Can you see yourself sharing the gospel with a family member or coworker? Ask the Lord to give you a vision for your future. Open your heart and allow His thoughts to become your thoughts. Receive His promises by faith, and just like it says in today’s verse — whatever you ask for in prayer will be yours!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank You for another day to serve You. Thank You for the gift of faith. I ask that You search my heart and mind and remove anything that does not please You. Give me Your thoughts of peace and joy today so that I can learn to receive all You have for me today in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

© 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie

Who doesn’t love a Reesa cup as I call them. LOL. I mean when Chocolate & Peanut Butter are joined together in the mist; What a combination. And this dessert is no exception. Just picture a Oreo cookie crust, smooth peanut butter filling, fresh whipped topping and loads of  chopped Reese’s cups on top. Oh Baby!

Ingredients

Filling
1 Oreo cookie pie crust
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream

Whipped Cream Topping (for garnish)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

ganache or chocolate ice cream topping for garnish
Mini Reese’s peanut butter cups for garnish

Instructions

In a mixer, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth and airy. Now in a separate COLD bowl whip heavy cream until it hold soft peaks. (Be careful DO NOT over whip; It will turn into butter if you do). Next fold in the whipped heavy cream to the peanut butter mixture until fully incorporated. Spoon peanut butter mixture into crust and stripe with chocolate ganache or chocolate ice cream topping. Refrigerate pie until set.

Now it is time to make the topping for garnish. In a separate COLD bowl whip heavy cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds peaks. (Again DO NOT over whip because it will turn into butter). Decorate pie with whipped cream and roughly chopped peanut butter cups. Mmmmmm…..

*Chef’s Note – If you want a more lower fat recipe just substitute the sugar with splenda, and the cream cheese with reduced fat cream cheese.

Butterscotch Oatmeal

So I grew up on the stuff that came in a little package that you simply add water to. That was until I met my husband; who introduced me to the old school way of oatmeal. I tried it once and have never looked back. It is So Simple, So Good; Not to mention So Good For You. No more instant for me. I want the real deal.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Instructions

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, brown sugar and egg. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-7 minutes or until mixture boils. Add oats; cook and stir for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat. Add butter; cover and let stand for 3-5 minutes. For garnish sprinkle some extra brown sugar on top.

* Chef’s Note – For an extra touch garnish with your favorite fruit like sliced bananas or blueberries.

Photo To Inspire

Keep The Passion In Your Relationship

Remember a time when you couldn’t keep your hands off your partner? When with one look, one touch, you’d spend all day glowing in what felt like an all-consuming passion?

You used to have endless energy and time for romance and lovemaking, but now that you’ve been together a while, things have changed. Your days are filled with to-do lists and social obligations rather than steamy all-nighters and love notes. When your partner caresses you, you might get sleepy rather than turned on. A nap or watching TV might sound better than sex. You love your partner, but maybe you’re just not “feeling it” anymore.

When we first fall in love, the romantic thrill happens effortlessly because pleasure-boosting hormones create a neuro-chemical cocktail that drive us toward greater intimacy. Nothing is more important than being with that one person who makes you feel like you’re on fire. It certainly didn’t take planning or feel like work to keep the flames of lust burning and your interest in one another growing.

Unfortunately, this euphoria rarely last forever, especially when the demands and responsibilities of real life take over. Suddenly, there’s precious little time or energy left over in your day for an affectionate caress, an intimate conversation or a night of romance.

It isn’t long before your partner seems more like a roommate than a lover. You lay down each night next to a person who feels miles away from you. You begin to wonder if you even know each other anymore. When this emotional disconnect starts to happen, you’re entering the danger zone.

For monogamous couples, is it just a matter of time before the romance is dead and the relationship begins to drift apart?

Not necessarily. It depends on the little things you do on a daily basis that can mean the difference between a passionate, thriving relationship and one that’s on a slow death walk towards infidelityor divorce.

Is it really possible to keep the passion and romance alive after 5, 10, 20 years together?

Absolutely. Giving each other a daily dose of what I call the 3 A’s — attention, appreciation and affection — are the critical factors in keeping any relationship alive with interest and desire.

If taking a nap, watching TV, being on Facebook or chatting with friends sounds better than making love to you, here are six strategies to immediately apply to get the enthusiasm and closeness back in your relationship, pronto!

1. Show your love in small ways.

Try this: Leave a love note on your partner’s pillow or stuck in their purse, briefcase or the book they’re reading. Bring home a special treat you know your partner will love. Text, call or email them to say “I’m thinking of you.” Write a list of all the reasons you love and appreciate them and whisper each one into their ear. Sometimes it’s the little gestures that make the biggest impression.
2. Shake things up.

Break through the ho-hum, “I’m so bored” barrier that often plagues long-term relationships by learning something or doing something new together. Sharing activities of mutual interest is the glue that makes relationship work and creates happiness. Go ice skating, take a salsa lesson, rent rollerblades, go for a full moon hike, rent a bicycle built for two or celebrate a milestone other than your anniversary — like the anniversary of the first day you made love. It’s amazing what getting out of your normal routine and pushing your comfort boundaries will do for your love life.
3. Be generous with praise

What you focus your attention on, grows. Say “thank you,” offer a hug, pay your partner a compliment — anything that communicates you acknowledge and value how important they are to you and that you appreciate them.Accentuating the positive and what is good in each other and in the relationship is a win/win for both partners. When you feel grateful for the good things in your life, you attract more of those good things to you.
4. Touch and embrace often

So many couples hold back kissing, touching or holding each other until they have time or the desire to have sex. Researchers have found thatholding hands may relieve stress and affectionate touch boosts the body’s feel-good hormones. Let’s face it, touch is a fundamental part of our existence since we were born. So even a simple hug each day is actually good for your health and well-being. Hold hands. Stroke your partner’s arm or shoulder softly as you walk by. Give your partner a 20-second kiss when they walk in the door or are leaving for the day. Affection is the way to make love all day outside of the bedroom.
5. Create intimate time

Nothing says “I love you” like spending quality alone time together. Before rushing out the door in a frenzy in the morning, get up one hour earlier and share breakfast in bed, read an inspirational passage aloud or go for an early morning walk. At the end of the day, instead of plunking down in front of the TV or computer, give each other a massage, take a shower together or do something novel like reading erotic literature out loud or telling each other steamy stories before turning in for the night. Carving out time during the day to be intimate and present to your partner strengthens your bond and builds the desire for affection, setting the stage for great lovemaking.
6. Communicate clearly, honestly and frequently
Talking is the main tools we use to connect with each other. When we extend ourselves and let our partner know who we are, what we need and how we feel, we open the doors to greater intimacy. Take at least 30 minutes and put out your ‘do not disturb sign’ to the world. Turn off the phone, close the door and tell the kids not to even think about knocking unless there is an emergency. Then sit down and take a few minutes to breathe and settle in with each other. Ask your partner what he or she needs from you. Take turns. Openness and honesty are essential. The goal is to show more and see more of each other, rather than defend the status quo. It takes time and patience, but it’s worth it.

Hooked On Caffeine?

If you can’t get by without that morning jolt or afternoon pick-me-up, you could have a caffeine addiction. Here’s how you can know for sure.

By Regina B. Wheeler Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

Do you rely on your morning coffee to get you out the door — and reach for another cup as soon as you get to work? You could be feeding a caffeine addiction. And once you’re hooked, kicking the habit can be tough.

You might not realize it, but caffeine is the most common mood-altering drug in the world. It is a mild stimulant that works on the central nervous system. Just ask any java junkie — caffeine can make you more alert, give you an energy boost, and keep you from snoozing when you need to stay awake.

Caffeine can be found in many products like tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and some over-the-counter medications, but coffee is the leading dietary source of caffeine among American adults. Generally, three 8-ounce cups of coffee per day is considered moderate consumption and won’t hurt you, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, excessive caffeine use — more than 10 8-ounce cups of coffee per day — can produce physical side effects including tremors, anxiety, insomnia, and a “crash” of extreme fatigue once the caffeine starts to wear off.

Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal

The brain fog and headache that some people get if they don’t have their typical amount of coffee or other caffeinated beverage might actually be a sign of caffeine withdrawal syndrome, according to a recent study.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore and American University in Washington, D.C., reviewed 66 experimental and survey studies on caffeine withdrawal. They identified these common symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Depression and irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches

Typically, symptoms began 12 to 24 hours after stopping caffeine and peaked within one to two days. Some subjects reported symptoms that were so severe they couldn’t work. Generally, the heaviest consumers of caffeine reported the most bothersome symptoms, but even people who missed 100 milligrams, or one regular cup of coffee, experienced withdrawal symptoms. Study participants agreed that avoiding withdrawal helped motivate them to continue using caffeine.

Caffeine Tolerance Is on the Rise

Daniel Evatt, PhD, research fellow in the department of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, says people can stop feeling the effects of caffeine, or become tolerant, leading to the need for more and more to feel alert. But Dr. Evatt also points out that most people find a comfortable level and stick with that. “It usually doesn’t keep going up forever, and not all caffeine users develop tolerance.” However, high doses of caffeine (more than 750 milligrams over the course of every day) can produce complete tolerance. That means the drug no longer has a discernible effect.

The Warning Signs of Caffeine Addiction

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms and tolerance are signs that you are becoming physically dependent on caffeine, Evatt says. He also notes that if you are experiencing the following signs and symptoms, you may have developed an unhealthy caffeine addiction:

  • You experience insomnia, frequent headaches, or difficulty concentrating
  • You continue to use caffeine despite being told to stop by a health professional
  • You have difficulties cutting down or quitting even if you want to

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) doesn’t recognize caffeine addiction as a mental disorder, but it may be included in the updated DSM-V. The World Health Organization’sInternational Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) does recognize caffeine addiction as a disorder.

Kicking the Caffeine Habit

Evatt is part of a Johns Hopkins team working on a caffeine dependence treatment program. If you want to quit, “I would first recommend becoming aware of how much caffeine you are consuming daily,” Evatt says, adding that many people underestimate their use. He advises people against trying to quit caffeine cold turkey. “Withdrawal headaches can last days in some individuals,” he says. Instead, cut down slowly to lessen withdrawal symptoms.

The American Dietetic Association gives these tips for cutting down on caffeine:

  • Mix decaffeinated coffee in with regular coffee
  • Drink a latte with more low-fat milk than coffee
  • Brew tea for less time
  • Pick soft drinks without caffeine

If these measures don’t work and you think your caffeine consumption is turning into a troublesome caffeine addiction, it might be time to find an addiction specialist for treatment.

Copyright © 2012 Everyday Health, Inc.