Daily Archives: August 1, 2012

Don’t Miss The Season Of Grace

Today’s Scripture:

For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. – Proverbs 1:32, NKJV.

Today’s Word With Joel & Victoria Osteen:

God will never ask you to do something without giving you the ability to do it. You may get passive or complacent and think, “Yes, I know I need to do that. Maybe next week.” Well, next week turns into next month. Next month turns into next year. When we put off what God has told us to do, we miss that season of grace. But, if you’ll deal with things as soon as God brings them to light, you’ll have a special grace, a special empowerment. You’ll feel God’s enabling power helping you to do it.

Today, is there something you’re putting off? Something you know in heart that you are supposed to do? Don’t let the season of grace pass. Don’t let complacency destroy you. Your destiny stands before you. God has something amazing in your future. Be bold, be strong. Step out in faith, be obedient, and embrace the good things God has in store for you!

Prayer For Today:

Father, thank You for the grace to do exactly what You’ve called me to do. I choose to step out in faith; I choose to follow Your commands. I choose to be faithful because I know that You are faithful. I love You and bless You today and always in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

Our Daily Bread – But God

Read: Romans 5:8-11

Howard Sugden, my pastor when I was in college, preached many memorable sermons. After all these years, the one titled “But God . . .” still makes me stop whenever I come to those words in the Bible. Here are a few examples of verses that encourage me with the reminder of God’s righteous intervention in human affairs:

“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to . . . save many people alive” (Gen. 50:20).

“Their beauty shall be consumed in the grave . . . . But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave” (Ps. 49:14-15).

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26).

“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:7-8).

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard . . . the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9-10).

Whenever you feel discouraged, look up some “but God” verses and be reassured of God’s involvement in the lives of those who love Him.

Creator of the universe
Who reigns in awesome majesty:
How can it be that You’re involved
With such a one as me? —Sper
God’s involvement in our lives should reassure us of His love.

Porter House BLT Salad

Usually when we make a salad we just use whatever we have in the fridge. And today is no exception; A classic BLT sandwich turned salad. Delish!

INGREDIENTS

4-6 strips of cooked bacon
1 bag of Dole American Blend Salad mix
1/2 cucumber, peeled & sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheese
2-3 hard boiled eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

Brown bacon until done. Drain on paper towel. Cut into pieces and set aside.

Wash all veggies well (make sure you dry the lettuce when finished). Peel and slice 1/2 of a cucumber, set aside. Next peel and roughly chop hard boiled eggs.

Add salad to a large bowl. Top salad with bacon, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese and eggs. Serve with your favorite dressing.

Best Restaurants In The South

Oh the Deep South. How do I love thee? This is where I was born. This is where I was raised. This is where I spent all my yesterdays. I mean whats not to love about this place where a lazy afternoon is spent on the front porch sipping lemonade, where speaking to passer-by’s is a common courtesy, where next to God football is king and where you can find the finest cuisine. And I’m not just talking about good ole’ fried chicken and homemade buttermilk biscuits. I talking about dry-aged prime USDA steaks, fresh local seafood, sauce dripping down your arm Bar-B-Que  and everything in between. So come on down and visit with us a spell. We’ll welcome you with open arms and while you’re here go ahead and “Put Some South In Your Mouth!”

Bern’s Steak House, Tampa, Fla.

Quick, where will you find the restaurant with the biggest wine list in the world? That’s right, Tampa, Fla. Founded in 1956 by the late Bern Laxer, Bern’s Steak House is still a family-run restaurant, with Bern’s son, David Laxer, at the helm. The wine list isn’t the only draw here, of course. With some calling it the country’s best steak house, the food isn’t bad either.

Commander’s Palace, New Orleans

A slice of New Orleans dining history — it opened in 1880 — this culinary landmark has long been collecting accolades for everything from its service to its wine list to its “haute Creole” cuisine. The gold standard of family-run restaurants, Commander’s offers a dining experience that could win you over on its Southern charm alone — but you’d be remiss to not order the turtle soup, practically synonymous with the place.

Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami

“Eat at Joe’s” may have been a running joke in classic Warner Bros. cartoons, but this almost 100-year-old establishment is a serious Miami institution. The old-school seafood house boasts a massive menu, but your order is simple: stone crab claws (jumbos if available, nothing smaller than large), hash browns, and Key lime pie.

The Pit, Raleigh, N.C.

Barbecue is religion in the South, and without question, pitmaster Ed Mitchell is one of its patron saints. The legendary barbecue baron oversees this destination-worthy joint, specializing in North Carolina-style whole hog, pit-cooked ‘cue. The word “authentic” should only be dispensed with caution when it comes to food, but Mitchell’s generations-old family recipe is the real deal, widely regarded as the standard for its genre.

Fonda San Miguel, Austin, Texas

In a town full of great Tex-Mex places, Fonda San Miguel stands out for its superbly made “interior Mexican” food, from tacos al pastor and spinach salad with toasted pasilla chiles and panela cheese to Gulf shrimp in chipotle cream sauce and crêpes filled with goat’s milk caramel.

Cochon, New Orleans

A cult favorite since it opened in 2006, Cochon is the domain of pork-loving chef Donald Link, proprietor of the popular Herbsaint and winner of a 2010 James Beard Award for his cookbook Real Cajun. Inspired by Cajun and Creole culinary traditions, Link serves up dishes like deep-fat-fried hog head cheese with field beans and ravigote and Louisiana cochon (roast pig) with turnips, cabbage, and cracklins’ as well as such non-porcine delights as fried alligator with chile garlic aïoli and rabbit and dumplings.

Galatoire’s, New Orleans, La.

This is what you should know about Galatoire’s: the food is classic Creole and all-around New Orleans in style and it’s not on your diet; the menu has changed little over the past century-plus, and is full of things like turtle soup au sherry, crabmeat au gratin, eggs Sardou (with creamed spinach, artichoke bottoms, and Hollandaise), and Louisiana seafood eggplant cake; and you’ll have a good time if you go hungry — and a better time if you go hungry with a regular at your side.

Kreuz Market, Lockhart, Texas

Definitive Hill Country barbecue — meat on butcher paper — in a big barn of a place perfumed with woodsmoke.The brisket is what it’s all about, but there are also fans who drive for hours for the housemade sausages, including the impossibly delicious “regular” and the more complicated jalapeño cheese links. Side dishes include German potato salad and sauerkraut alongside the usual cole slaw and beans — a reference to Kreuz’s teutonic origins.

Restaurant August, New Orleans

John Besh is one of the most interesting and ambitious chefs in the Crescent City today. The American menu at this splendid eatery betrays his love for, and understanding of, French, Italian, and high-level American cuisine, much of it interpreted with a New Orleans lilt.

Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue, Austin, Texas

Texas barbecue gets a new look at this friendly, casual, but gastronomically serious establishment. Crispy wild boar ribs with Cabrales blue cheese, oak-smoked brisket with brown sugar and coffee rub, cold-smoked rainbow trout, waffle fries with Spanish smoked red pepper — this is not your father’s ‘cue.

Fearing’s, Dallas, Texas

Located at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas, Fearing’s features modern Southwestern-American cuisine with a farm-to-table approach. Choose from one of the many dining venues on site, from the outdoor patio to the more upscale Gallery; if you’re dining chef-side in Dean’s Kitchen, or at the Chef’s Table, look for the ebullient chef Dean Fearing himself, who is often present.

Hominy Grill, Charleston, S.C.

Located in downtown Charleston, Hominy Grill, located in a onetime barbershop, features chef/owner Robert Stehling’s classic Lowcountry cooking, served with relaxed, at-home feel. Don’t miss his stone-ground grits, house-made sausage, or rich Southern-style desserts like buttermilk pie or butterscotch pudding.

Reef, Houston, Texas

Peer into Reef’s buzzing open kitchen to watch renowned chef and devoted Houstonite Bryan Caswell expertly craft elegant, fresh seafood dishes that show his patrons the true meaning of Southern coastal culture. Caswell grew to fame under culinary greats like Charlie Palmer, Alfred Portale, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Thoughtful touches, such as presenting the lump crab lollipop with claw intact, express Caswell’s devotion to the ocean.

Eugene, Atlanta, Ga.

Eugene pays homage to those who grow the local produce they use right on the menu. The list typically includes around two dozen farms, dairies, and even elementary school gardens, and pays tribute to the ingredients by altering them as little as possible while making everything in the kitchen from scratch. Named as one of Food and Wine‘s Best Chefs of 2009, Linton Hopkins offers refined dishes, such as his wild mushroom tasting plate, that come from the ingenuously rustic roots he describes as “folkways meeting Escoffier.”

The Fearrington House Restaurant, Fearrington Village, N.C.

The Fearrington House Restaurant has kept its AAA Five Diamond rating for 16 years and is the only restaurant of its caliber to receive Green Certification from the Green Restaurant Association. Executive chef Colin Bedford offers a highly refined blend of classical French and New American cuisine, inspired by his commitment to environmental sustainability.  Unsurprisingly, it was also mentioned in our list of 10 Inns Worth Dining In.

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami

According to Michael Schwartz, winner of the 2010 James Beard Award for Best Southern Chef, the most important thing you can take away from dining at this New York Times Top 10 establishment is: Know Your Source. The restaurant procures its Old World rustic-breed chickens, for instance, from North Carolina’s Joyce Foods, the only producer of Label Rouge poultry in the U.S.; heirloom tomatoes figure not only on the menu (more than once), but as decor in the minimalist dining room.

The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.

The cuisine is so emblematic that it has inspired a new category — Foothills Cuisine, a term that has actually been copyrighted. Truly farm-to-table, the Barn uses the farm estate’s produce and products for a dynamic menu of Smoky Mountain regional dishes with a global flair.

Quinones at Bacchanalia, Atlanta

Consistently considered one of best restaurants in Atlanta, the dining room at Quinones, adjacent to the older and also acclaimed Bacchanalia, has only 11 tables. The menu, which changes daily, boasts a collection of dishes that mixes modern and classic Southern cuisine, with the results skillfully prepared.

Lonesome Dove, Fort Worth, Texas

At the premier establishment from renowned cowboy-chef Tim Love, the culinary style is what Love calls “Urban Western Cuisine”. This translates to Texas-style meat and potatoes with an edge of sophistication. Located in the historic Stockyards District of Fort Worth, Lonesome Dove proposed a menu featuring large servings of protein — whole fish, cowboy steaks, roasted turkey, and a variety of wild game among them.

Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, Ala.

Christopher and Idie Hastings, the chef-owners of Hot and Hot Fish Club, located in a historic building on Birmingham’s Southside, pride themselves on crafting what they call “memory cuisine”, using simple ingredients to create dishes that trigger a sense of nostalgia in their diners. Fish is — no surprise — the specialty, but vegetables picked at the optimum point and top-quality meat and poultry are also treated with respect and skill.

McCrady’s, Charleston, S.C.

McCrady’s is an establishment richly steeped in Charleston history, residing in a structure, built in 1788, that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Landmarks. Juxtaposed against the staid surroundings, the menu at McCrady’s is anything but traditional, though chef Sean Bock, who received the James Beard award for Best Chef Southeast in 2010, weaves touches of Southern tradition into the otherwise highly modern cuisine. The bar has become known for its specialty pre-Prohibition-style cocktails.

Copyright © 2012 Spanfeller Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

New York Couple, 85, To Remarry 48 Years After Divorce

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — They got hitched while still in their teens, divorced 20 years and four children later, and are getting remarried after nearly a half-century apart.

For Lena Henderson and Roland Davis, both 85 years old, the second time around is finally here. The couple plans to get married again on Saturday, with four generations on hand to see it happen.

“It’s every child’s dream, every child who has ever been in a family where divorce has occurred, that your parents would come back together,” their youngest daughter, Renita Chadwick, said Tuesday as wedding preparations were in full swing.

“We are all so ridiculously excited. We’re like little children again,” said Chadwick, herself a grandmother.

Henderson and Davis met as teenagers in Chattanooga, Tenn., and were married by a justice of the peace. There was no reception or honeymoon.

“Oh no,” Henderson recalled with a laugh. “He went to work and I went home.” Davis was a hotel bellhop at the time, about to begin a career in the military.

This time around, a church wedding is planned, at Elim Christian Fellowship Church in Buffalo, followed by a reception at an Amherst restaurant.

Still no honeymoon trip, though.

“I’m just happy that we’re here,” said Davis, who recently moved to suburban Buffalo from Colorado, where he was living alone following the death of his second wife in January. Henderson also was widowed after re-marrying.

Davis proposed to Henderson over the phone around Easter and she accepted, even though they hadn’t seen each other since a family funeral in 1996. Before that, the two hadn’t been face-to-face since splitting up in 1964, though they had stayed in touch and kept up with each other’s lives through the children.

Their oldest daughter, Johnnie Mae Funderbirk, had been urging her father to return to New York since his wife’s death.

Davis was receptive, especially to the idea of reconnecting with Henderson.

“I had always kind of had that in mind, mostly because of the children,” he said. “You never forget someone that you cared for at one time or another.”

Henderson and Davis both said it was “nice” to see one another again, this time as an engaged couple.

The children are less reserved.

“I’m as excited as some 9-year-old whose parents are getting back together,” Funderbirk said, “and I’m 65 years old.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Girl Grabs Wheel When Grandfather Dies In New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — As the pickup truck she was riding in careened down the road at 80 mph, 12-year-old Miranda Bowman knew one thing: She had to stop it.

Miranda’s grandfather, Paul Parker, was driving her home July 24 from an afternoon of go-karting when he told Miranda he didn’t feel well. He asked her to keep talking to keep him alert. She asked about things she spied on the side of the road — the racetrack, the unfinished bleachers. A few seconds later Miranda heard her grandfather’s head hit the driver’s side window.

Parker, 63, had just died of a heart attack, and his foot was pressing on the accelerator.

“He was like, `Miranda I’m scared, I’ve never felt like this before,'” Miranda said during a phone interview from her Burlington Township home. “I was scared because he would never say that. He was a tough cookie.”

After a “30-second freak-out” during which she cried, “Pop-pop, Pop-pop, Pop-pop,” Miranda realized the car was speeding up and drifting toward the side of the road. She undid her seat belt and tried to call 911 on her cellphone but she wasn’t getting any service. She then climbed underneath the steering wheel and pressed her hand on the brake.

But even though the car was slowing down, it was still hurtling down the road.

Miranda popped up from underneath the steering wheel, wedged her right foot under her left and pressed on the brake as hard as she could.

“I was going to put it in park and I thought we were going too fast,” she said. “I thought it would do the fish tail or flip over.”

Instead she grabbed onto the steering wheel and tried to find a place where she could force the car to stop.

“I was looking around and thought, `Should I go into the corn field, should I keep going?'” she said. “Down the street was a red light and I saw woods. I said `I can’t hurt anybody else, I can only hurt myself,'” by putting the car into the trees.

Miranda said the pickup truck ran into a few trees. She tried to open the door, but it wouldn’t budge. She wasn’t able to smash out the window. She finally spied a broken part of the passenger’s side door and kicked it open.

A woman driving behind the car saw it swerving and called 911 while following it. Miranda said she fell to her knees and wailed after getting out of the car. She then called her mother and grandmother.

“She said, `Mom, we were in an accident and Pop-pop is dead,'” said Miranda’s mother, Stephanie Bowman. “I keep thinking to myself, `I don’t know if I could have watched that happen to him and reacted the way she did.'”

Stephanie Bowman said the family is in shock from all that happened. Paul Parker was an active man who played fast-pitch baseball and started go-karting in his 60s. It was the first time Miranda watched her grandfather go-kart; she had long asked him to take her to the track.

“I’m very grateful to have my daughter be OK but losing my father at the same time, I’m just numb from the two emotions battling each other out,” Stephanie Bowman said.

Miranda said she knew how to react in an emergency situation because her father is an EMT. She also said she watches a lot of “Law and Order” on television and thought about what might happen on the show. And she always watches what people do while driving a car, so she knew to head for the brake.

Miranda said she wants to be a sign language interpreter when she is an adult.

“I’m very amazed by her, very impressed by her,” Stephanie Bowman said. “Where she got it from God only knows. He was her angel that day.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

California Man Attempts To Smuggle Meth As Candy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California man faces federal drug charges for allegedly trying to smuggle more than 4 pounds of methamphetamine to Japan in what looked like dozens of Snickers bars.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Monday that 34-year-old Rogelio Mauricio Harris of Long Beach was arrested last week at Los Angeles International Airport as he prepared to board a flight to Japan.

Harris was charged in Los Angeles with drug possession and faces at least 10 years in prison if convicted.

Federal agents conducting routine baggage inspections found 45 full-sized Snickers bars inside Harris’ luggage. Each bar was coated in a chocolate-like substance to make it look like a candy bar, but tests revealed the so-called candy contained methamphetamine.

Authorities estimate the 4 pounds of meth is worth about $250,000.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Photo To Inspire

Marital Secrets

Secret-keeping is unhealthy and destroys trust—particularly in marriages.

Article courtesy of Light University Online, the #1 Online School for Biblical Counseling, Life Coaching & Crisis Response Training

“Please don’t tell Daddy!”

When I picked Megan up from school, I knew something was wrong. As we made our way to the car, she looked up at me with sad eyes, “Mom, I’ve got something to tell you,” she said. “I got a warning card today. But let’s keep it a secret and not tell Dad. He’ll be so disappointed.”

I gently explained to Megan that Daddy and Mommy feel it is important not to keep secrets from each other and it would be best to let Dad know about the warning. After discussing it, she reluctantly agreed. Later that night, she learned how difficult but freeing it can be to face someone you love with a disappointing or painful revelation.

Webster defines a secret as something kept hidden, unexplained, or from the knowledge of others. Synonyms for secrets paint a dark portrait… covert, stealthy, underhanded. The obvious conclusion is that secret-keeping is unhealthy and destroys trust—particularly in marriages.

The Down Side

healthy marriage has little or no room for secrets. Unfortunately, some couples regularly keep marital secrets. Like Megan, they would rather concentrate on the motivating factors that keep secrets from being revealed.

A secret can be as seemingly insignificant as hiding the extra money spent on your golf clubs or as important as “covering” for a dishonest child. Other forms of secret-keeping include privately carrying the weight of drug abuse, hiding an addiction, or allowing undiscussed issues such as abuse to adversely affect the marriage.

Secrets are usually maintained for two key reasons—fear and shame. Fear includes the sense that something bad could happen as a result of disclosure of a secret. Shame included the ongoing embarrassment and unresolved guilt that result from a secret. However, failure to disclose results in a double bind—a lose-lose type of proposition. If I do disclose, it may bring irreparable harm to my marriage. But if I don’t disclose or continue with my secret, I will never resolve the guilt and shame that I am carrying—and surely this will erode the marriage over time. The end result leaves the secret-keeper confused, fearful, and walking on a tightrope.

Tell Everything?

Couples often ask, “Is it necessary to go back and drag out all of our dirty laundry and discuss in every detail our past?” Several guidelines we have found helpful include:

First, remember that honesty must always take first place in your marriage. Although Scripture doesn’t speak directly about secret-keeping in marriage, it speaks plainly and often regarding secrets, honesty, and dishonesty in every relationship (Psalm 19:12; 90:8; Proverbs 27:5; Romans 2:16; Ephesians 4:25).

We believe that honesty is central to personal and marital maturity. And when you allow or commit to an unwavering trust, the marital response to personal issues of the past and present need to be cloaked with grace, kindness, and love and are not driven by fear, chaos, and suspicion.

Secondly, keep in mind that not every secret (of past or present) is fully known or accurately remembered. Therefore, recalling and disclosing honestly a secret in every detail is unlikely.

You do not have to know all for love to grow and trust to flourish in your marriage. You must also ask yourself another important question. “Is the information you are withholding harmful to the marital bond?” If the secret has the potential to cause damage, or if it is in any way jeopardizing the level of intimacy desired and required for your love to grow, then it needs to be disclosed.

Finally, do not get hung up on the past. If the secret is in the past—has been forgiven andresolved—and is not relevant to or helpful in the present, it is not necessarily important to disclose it. Often times, the desire to attain information about a spouse’s forgiven past is for selfish reasons and only causes more pain than good.

If you have a troubling secret to disclose, what should you do? We would encourage you to seek outside help. Bring in a third party who can provide guidance on how and when to disclose with the ultimate goal of keeping the marital bond strong. Pray individually and as a couple for God’s protection on your relationship.

Just for Thought

There are no secrets with God. Keep your marital bond pure. Because the sins we cover, God will uncover. And the sins that we uncover, God will cover.

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