Daily Archives: August 20, 2012

Lunch Lady Faces $600 Fine For Feeding Needy Children In Pennsylvania

By Rene Lynch
August 17, 2012, 1:10 p.m.

Video Link: Lunch Lady Fined For Feeding Hungry Children

Lunch lady Angela Prattis thought she was just doing God’s work, handing out free lunches to hungry children in a Pennsylvania neighborhood. But even acts of altruism, it seems, must bow to red tape.

National outrage has erupted after Prattis found herself running afoul of Chester Township zoning laws and threatened with a $600 fine if she continued, according to NBC10 Philadelphia.

Moreover, she faces a $1,000 fee if she wants to continue performing her good deeds, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The lunch lady, who is also a youth pastor at her church, was told that she needed a township zoning permit continue to hand out lunches outside her home. And the approval process requires an official hearing. And that hearing would cost her $1,000, the Inquirer reported.

It was enough to raise questions about whether Prattis could continue her work. She is a married mother of three and also a trained volunteer with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Nutritional Development Services, which supplies the food she gives out, according to the Inquirer.

The food is paid for by the state, according to the Inquirer, which also reported that program representatives had inspected and approved Prattis’ operation.

The stalemate has prompted an outpouring of support. So far, several in the community offered to cover the $1,000 bill. She has received dozens of calls from others offering to do whatever is needed to keep the lunch lady on the job, and a law firm has also offered to represent her for free.

Prattis told the Inquirer that she’s grateful for the offers but has not taken any money yet because she’s still hoping authorities will waive the fee.

The Inquirer said it spoke to the township’s acting solicitor, Murray Eckell, who acknowledged that the incident is giving local government a black eye. But he said the township is in a difficult position.

“Suppose a child gets hurt on her property,” Eckell was quoted as saying. “Will the family sue the township? What if somebody gets food poisoning?

“What she is doing is commendable…. But if we don’t have laws, there’s chaos. It’s a difficult situation for the township to be in.”

NBC10 says Prattis plans to attend the next township meeting in a bid to clear up the controversy, but until then she plans to continue feeding children.

The Chester Township manager did not return a phone call seeking comment by the time this article was posted online.

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Beer Battered Cod

Battered cod always reminds me of two things: (1) weekend family fish fry’s and (2) my years at St. Joesph. You see I went to a Catholic school growing up and like just about every other Catholic church without fail on EVERY Friday we had Mass in the morning and fish for lunch. Especially during the Lenten season. Needless to say fish is a very present part of my weekly indulgence. I guess some things remain the same. The only difference from then to now is that my palette has evolved and I enjoy more than just cod on Fridays. But I can say that whenever I am feeling a little nostalgic I just whip up a batch of these babies. And instantly I am transcended back to a time when I was little girl :-).

INGREDIENTS

Canola oil for frying
1 cup McCormick® Beer Batter Seafood Batter Mix
1 tablespoon OLD BAY® Seasoning
2/3 cup beer or water
3 (8-ounce) cod fillets, each cut diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F

2. Next Pour 1/4 cup of oil into large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat

3. Mix Batter Mix and Old Bay in medium bowl. Add beer or water; stir until smooth. Pat fish dry and dip fish into beer batter. Shake off excess.

4. Fry cod in batches, in a single layer, 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown, turning once to brown evenly. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat fry process until all fish is cooked.

5. Serve Hot with tarter sauce, malt vinegar or your favorite condiment.

*CHEF’S TIP – This recipe can easily substitute the cod with pollock, halibut, tilapia or even  peeled and deveined shrimp.

DIY Monday: Silk Flower Hair Bows

Being a newly natural beauty and totally loving my TWA, accessories have become my new best friend. I mean from headbands to scarfs to BIG earrings I got it covered. Well I least I thought that I did. And then I discovered the love of silk flower bows. So if you haven’t quite mastered the bow making craze that is going on, this is a great tutorial to add some color and fun to your hair without breaking the bank.

Here’s What You Need:

Artificial Silk Flowers
A hairclip or pin
A hot glue gun
Embellishment for the center

Easy enough, right? So lets get started. First pick out any kind of artificial silk flowers you like.
The flat-ish versions seem to work best. The flowers that were used in this tutorial are large Gerber Daisies.

Time for decapitation! Pop off the flower of your choice and pull the plastic green piece off the back.

Now pull your flower off the little plastic stem thing. Important maintain the order of the petals of you liked what it looked like before.

Starting with the petal that was on the bottom and make sure you align the holes!
Dab some hot glue around the hole in the center and stack on the next petal. Hold for a count of 10.

Repeat with all the additional layers. Working your way to the top, the (smallest) layer.

Now It’s Bling time! Choose an embellishment for your flower center. Buttons, gems, rhinestones, try anything!
If you don’t have an embellishment, you can use the ‘center’ of the flower and that’ll give you a more ‘natural’ look.

Take your embellishment and glue it in the middle of the flower.

This tutorial gives you the option of being able to choose what you can use your flower for on a daily basis.
It will look great on your bag, in your hair, on a baby hat or even as brooch.
Rather than roping yourself into one way of using it. Glue down a strip of felt with a clear channel.
This will allow you to push a hair clip through it or pin it to whatever else needs a little daisy love!

*DESIGNER’S NOTE – Not crazy about daisies? Then use any type of flower that you like. Mix & match colors.
Be Creative but most importantly make it your own. If you would like a more fuller look, use two flowers instead of one.

Source: shannonmakesstuff.blogspot.com

Our Daily Bread – Unrewarded

Read: Matthew 6:1-4,19-21

Most of us look to friends and colleagues for rewards: a slap on the back, a hero’s medal, applause, a sincere compliment. But according to Jesus, the more important rewards await us after death. It’s possible that the most significant human acts of all are carried out in secret, seen by no one but God. In a nutshell, the message of the kingdom is this: Live for God and not other people.

As Jesus explained it, we are accumulating a kind of savings account, storing up “treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20) rather than on earth—treasures so great that they will compensate for any amount of suffering. The Old Testament has dropped a few scant hints about an afterlife, but Jesus spoke plainly about a place where “the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:43).

In their quest for a kingdom, the Jews of Jesus’ day had been looking for signs of God’s approval in this life, primarily through prosperity and political power. Beginning with this speech, Jesus changed the focus to the life to come (ch.6). He discounted success in this visible world. Invest in the future life, He cautioned. After all, rust, a thief, or a lowly insect can destroy all else that we accumulate (v.20).

Lord, help us not to seek the applause of our friends
and colleagues, but rather to look to You for approval.
Teach us to put into practice the principles of the
Sermon on the Mount. Amen.
Reward in eternity does not depend upon recognition in life.

Our Daily Bread – Heman’s Honesty

Read: Psalm 88

I marvel at Heman, the poet who wrote Psalm 88. His lot in life was unrelieved distress. “My soul is full of troubles,” he lamented (v.3). He was fed up with suffering!

Heman looked back and remembered poor health and misfortune. He looked around and saw adversity and abandonment. He looked up and found no solace. “I am distraught,” he complained (v.15). He was “adrift” (v.5), “in darkness” (v.6), “afflicted” (vv.7,15), and “cast off” (v.14). He could see no light at the end of the tunnel; no resolution of his sorrow.

Heman’s honesty warms my soul. Christians who never struggle confuse me. There’s balance, of course: No one wants to be around those who babble on all day about their troubles, but it does my heart good to know that someone else has struggled.

Yet, there’s more to Heman than mere candor. He also had a stubborn, intractable faith. Despite his many problems, he clung to God and cried out to Him “day and night” (vv.1,9,13). He didn’t stop praying. He didn’t give up. And even though he didn’t sense it at the time, Heman acknowledged God’s lovingkindness, faithfulness, and righteousness (vv.11-12).

I like folks like Heman. They strengthen my grip on God and remind me never to stop praying.

In solitude, on wings of prayer
My soul ascends before the throne;
My only hope of strength is where
My heart and His meet all alone. —Anon.
Prayer is the soil in which hope grows best.

© 2012 RBC Ministries

Our Daily Bread – Living In Community

Read: Philippians 2:1-11

Texas Ranger baseball player Josh Hamilton has battled the demons of drug and alcohol addiction. So when his team won their playoff series in 2010, Hamilton was concerned about the postgame celebration. He admitted that it’s not good for a recovering alcoholic to be in the midst of a “rainstorm” of champagne. But something beautiful happened. Instead of champagne, his teammates stocked the locker room with ginger ale so that Hamilton could be included in the celebration. What a great picture of community and putting others’ needs above your own.

This is what Paul meant when he commanded the Philippians to count others as more significant than themselves (2:3-4). Being united to Christ made the Philippian believers members of the same family and gave them a special bond. Thus their attitude toward one another was to be expressed in practical ways: unity in love, sacrificial service, and discovering how to help others even when they didn’t realize they needed help. The motivation for this type of normal Christian behavior is the example of Jesus Christ.

Like Hamilton’s teammates, let’s carry each other’s burdens. When we selflessly love our neighbors, we are expressing our love for God.

Beautiful lives are these that bear
For other lives their burden of care;
Beautiful souls are those that show
The Spirit of Christ wherever they go. —Abbott
Christlike love is seen in good works.

Rising Up

Today’s Scripture:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31, KJV.

Today’s Word:

We serve a God of increase. He wants you to continually rise up higher in Him. He wants you to know Him more so He can reveal His glory through you. He wants you to be blessed so that you can be a blessing to others. He wants to take you to the next level in every area of your life!

The “next level” looks different for each of us. For you, it may be seeing your family restored. It may be healing in your body. It may be a promotion at work or new friendships that you’ve desired. No matter what it is, know that God has your best in His heart. He desires to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond what you could ask, think or imagine. He loves to do above and beyond and show Himself strong on your behalf.

Today, meditate on the fact that God loves you so much. As you submit every area of your life to Him, He will cause you to rise up higher. He will give you strength and take you to the next level in every area of your life.

Prayer for Today:

Father, I humbly come to You giving You every area of my mind, will and emotions. I submit my desires to You knowing that Your ways are higher. Thank You for leading me and causing me to rise up to the next level in every area of life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

It’s Time for Some “First Times”

Posted by Joel Osteen on 8/10/2012

One time at church, I was talking to a college student. She was about to take a very important final exam. She asked, “Joel, would you pray that God will help me make a C on this test?” I kind of laughed and said, “Why wouldn’t we want to pray that God would help you make an A?” She said, “Oh, all I ever make in this subject are C’s.” She had conditioned her mind to strive for a certain level.

Well, I encouraged her to dream a little bit bigger, and we prayed that she would break through and make an A. So, she went home and studied. She prepared. She did her part. A few weeks later, she came back beaming with joy, holding her test results. For the first time ever, she made an A in that subject.

Now, this is just a simple example, but how often do we get conditioned in our minds to live at a certain level? You may think, “This is the way it’s always going to be. This is what I make. This is where I live. This is my level of talent.” But don’t just look at things in the natural. We have to remember that we serve a supernatural God!

Today, I encourage you to break out of the rut and start praying bolder prayers. It’s time for you to have some “first times” in your life. For the first time, you have an abundance; you’re not struggling. For the first time, your child is making good decisions. For the first time, there is somebody in your life to love. You’re not just talking about the dream. You’re living the dream. Take the limits off of God. Stop asking for a C and start asking for an A. Stretch your faith. God wants to do something new in your life. He wants to give you the secret petitions of your heart, the things that you dream about but never told anyone. You would love to start a business, love to take a mission’s trip, love to get married, love to own your own home, but it seems so unlikely, so far out of reach. If you told your friends, they would probably laugh. They wouldn’t understand it. That’s okay. You don’t need their approval. This is between you and Almighty God. In your quiet time when nobody else is around, you need to be bold and start asking for those hidden dreams, for the promises God has placed on the inside. As you pray those bold prayers according to His will, it won’t be long until you see every dream and every desire come to pass!

…It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32, NKJV).

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries