Daily Archives: January 4, 2013

Our Daily Bread ~ Help Yourself

Read: Psalm 146

Recently, I saw a television ad for a restaurant chain that made a dramatic claim. At those restaurants, the ad said you could “Help Yourself to Happiness.” Wouldn’t it be nice if a helping of potatoes or meat or pasta or dessert would be all that was needed to provide happiness? Unfortunately, no restaurant can fulfill that promise.

Happiness is an elusive thing—as we can see in almost every area of life. Our pursuit of happiness may involve food or a host of other things, but, in the end, happiness continues to escape our grasp.

Why? In large measure it’s because the things we tend to pursue do not touch the deepest needs of our hearts. Our pursuits may provide moments of enjoyment, distraction, or pleasure, but the cry of our hearts goes unheard—the cry for help and hope. That is why the psalmist points us to a better way when he says, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Ps. 146:5).

Help yourself? Yes—if we are seeking the happiness found in the Lord. It is only when we entrust ourselves to God and His care that we can find the happiness we seek. Our hope and help are found only in trusting Him.

Father, draw me to Yourself. Remind me that only
in You will I know the real joy and satisfaction that
my heart longs for. Help me to look beyond the
surface things of life to what really matters.
The one who puts God first will have happiness that lasts.

Make Room For Abundance!

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Posted by Joel Osteen on 1/4/2013

In Second Kings, there is the story about a widow who doesn’t have money to pay her bills. In those days, if you couldn’t pay your bills, your family was taken and sold as slaves, and that’s exactly what was about to happen. The creditors were coming to take her sons as payment. The only thing she had of any value was a small pot of oil to cook with. The prophet Elisha showed up at her house and told her to do something that seemed strange. He said, “Go out to the neighbors and borrow as many big, empty pots to hold oil as you can possibly find.” He said specifically, “Borrow not a few. Get as many as you can.” He was saying in effect, “Don’t shortchange yourself; make room for abundance.”

The widow went out and borrowed some pots. I can imagine she found five or six of these big, empty pots. When she came home, Elisha told her to pour her oil into one of the empty containers. It appeared as though she would just transfer it from one container to the other, but the scripture says, “Her oil never ran out.” She kept pouring and pouring. God supernaturally multiplied it until all of those containers were completely filled. Here’s my point: She was the one who determined how much oil she would have. If she would have borrowed one container, she would have one full. If she would have borrowed ten, she would’ve had ten full. If she would have borrowed 50, she would’ve had 50 full. It wasn’t up to God how much she increased, it was up to her. God has unlimited supplies. That’s why the prophet said, “Borrow not a few.”

My question today is, “How many containers are you borrowing?” What kind of vision do you have for this new year? Some people have a barely-get-by container. They think, “Oh, man, business is so slow. I’m hoping to just make it through this year.” They’ve got a tiny little container. God says, “Alright, I’ll fill your ‘barely-get-by’ container.” Some of you, like this lady, have five or six containers. You’re

believing to pay your bills, feed your family, and have a little bit left over. That’s good. God will fill those containers. No matter what you’ve been expecting, believe that this year is the year for increase! Know that God can do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond. He is El Shaddai—the God of more than enough. Make room for His far-and-beyond favor because God is saying, “You need to get ready. I’m going to fill your containers!”

It may not have happened in the past, but God has favor in your future. He has new opportunities, good breaks, blessings that will chase you down. You may not see how this could happen, but God has a thousand ways to increase you that you’ve never thought of. God has explosive blessings, blessings that can thrust you years ahead.

Like this woman, God wants to bless you beyond your normal income, beyond your salary, beyond your retirement. God can give you one good break, one promotion, one idea or one inheritance, and all those containers are filled to overflowing. Now make sure you don’t shortchange yourself. God is saying, “Borrow not a few.” Get ready, get your hopes up, get your faith up, and make room for abundance because that’s what God has waiting for you!

Copyright © 2013 Joel Osteen Ministries

Cabbage Soup

cabbage soup

Ingredients

  • ½ head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 14 oz can basil, oregano, garlic diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • few shakes of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add celery, onions, bell peppers, and carrots.
  3. Saute until slightly tender.
  4. Stir in garlic.
  5. Pour in chicken broth.
  6. Stir in tomatoes and cabbage.
  7. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.
  8. Cook until cabbage is tender.
  9. Stir in oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt (if using)
  10. Taste broth and adjust seasoning if needed.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Porter House Russian Tea

Russian Tea

I love myself some tea. Tea in the morning. Tea in the noontime. Tea at night. So today my friends I thought that I would share a recipe with you that takes me back to my childhood. As I type I can vividly see momma in the kitchen whipping up a pot of this tea on a cold winter’s morning. Little did I know back then it was so easy to make. But that didn’t matter to me. All I knew was Meca like and that it was my absolute FAVORITE.   So get that kettle a brewing; It’s time for high-tea.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Tang or powdered orange-flavored drink mix
  • 1/2 cup powdered lemonade (such as Country Time)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened instant tea
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients together and keep in tightly covered jar. Use approximately two heaping teaspoons for one 10 oz. cup of tea.

*CHEF’S NOTE – If the final product doesn’t taste sweet enough for you, simply add up to another 1/4 cup of sugar to the mix.

Frozen Nutella Hot Chocolate

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Who loves a big cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s day? I sure do. But then there are those times when only a frothy, cold, chocolaty beverage will do. And that is exactly what this recipe is; Pure Nuetella Bliss and the best part of all it is SUPER easy to make & very affordable too. So say buh-bye to those overpriced ones at the coffee house and become your very own barista today!

Ingredients

  • 4 oz milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup Nutella spread
  • 1 (1.25 oz) packet hot chocolate mix
  • 1½ cup coconut milk, divided (can use other kinds of milk)
  • 3-4 cups ice (may need more or less)
  • whip cream (garnish)
  • sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler add milk chocolate chips and stir occasionally until melted.
  2. Stir in Nutella until combined.
  3. Stir in hot chocolate mix
  4. Stir in ½ cup coconut milk until incorporated.
  5. Remove from heat and let chocolate cool to room temperature.
  6. In a blender, add the remaining 1 cup coconut milk, chocolate mixture, and ice.
  7. Blend until ice is completely crushed.
  8. Pour into glasses.
  9. Garnish with whip cream and mini chocolate chips.
  10. Add a straw, serve & enjoy!