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Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

As most of you know, I have been reading The Shack over the last few weeks.

What? You didn’t know that?

Well I have.

So now, the time comes for me to weigh in on my thoughts.

Personally, I loved the book. I know it is a controversial book, with some people not agreeing with the message, and others feeling mislead by the style.

I went into the book knowing it was a work of fiction. So is Pilgrim’s Progress. It does not make the book any less moving or spiritual.

I can truly say that The Shack changed my life.

There are only two books I can say that about, and coincidentally they are both spiritual/religious books.

1. The Message Bible

2. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Both of these books had a great impact on how I viewed spirituality and my personal relationship with Christ.

The Shack had an even greater impact.

The way the author portrays the Holy Trinity and Jesus’ relationship with God is incredible. He weaves a story, so brilliant and believable, that it brings you to tears at points and highs of exhilaration at others.

My favorite part was how he noted that ‘on Papa’s hands he (Mac) saw the same marks as on Jesus’ hands’ when he explained that God never forsook, nor left Jesus on the cross. He instead wrapped him in his arms and was pierced with the nails as well. It reiterates the point that God will never leave us, nor forsake us either. He will always be there, wrapping us in his arms and holding us tight as we face controversy and sorrow, death and sadness. He is there when we experience true love, miracles and wonder as well. He loves us as we love our own children.

It is said that there is no greater love than that of a mother and a child. After reading this book, I tend to disagree. I truly believe that God loves us greater than we, as humans, can comprehend. If you know the love of a mother, or you are a mother yourself, just stop and think; if you had created something with your own hands, and not just your body, how much you would love it. How much God must love us, to create us in his image, and give us this wonderful world to live in.

A world full of peanut butter, running shoes and spinach.

You knew I had to go there, didn’t you?

Sorry, but truly, those are things I LOVE, that would not be possible, had God not given them to us.

So, in conclusion I say, definitely read The Shack. It may present God in a whole new light, one you had never seen him in before. It may change your relationship with Him. Or, you may not like it at all, and totally disagree with me.

Hey, God made us all different for a reason.

He is still quite fond of us all in our own special way.

PS: The ending of the book? Incredible. Incredible.

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Grandma did not disappoint.

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TWO salads! + fruit galore + beans of all sorts.

This girl was in heaven.

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Mama D has a new eggplant casserole. And it is yummy.

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Marcia fed my pasta salad addiction. Oh my, oh my.

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Oh no she didn’t. Oh yes she did. Grandma made apple pie. With vanilla ice cream.

I was so completely satisfied. So was my tummy.

After Grandma’s I rode out to the lake, cause I won’t be here this weekend, and I miss it when I am gone. No joke. I love that place so much. It’s my power spot.

After laking it for a bit, I had to leave, cause a special event was in my plans. This chica got baptized tonight! I was baptized as a baby, but since committing to my faith as an adult, I had not done it yet. When a baptism service was announced last Sunday, I knew it was time. So me and my Peace/Love t-shirt and black yoga pants got dunked.

I don’t know what I had been waiting for. It was so beautiful, and a wonderful affirmation of my faith.

As Sarah said after, “It’s a new day.” I truly feel like a new person. Out with the old and in with the new!

After the service Julie, Linden and Matt joined me at Sushi 101 for a little din-din.

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Cute couple.

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Me, wet hair and all.

I ordered a Tuna Avocado roll with seaweed salad.

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The only decent picture I captured, and it’s not winning any awards.

Despite its lack of photographability (how’s that for a word?), the sushi was muy excellente, and I enjoyed every bite. As well as the seaweed salad. I could live off that stuff, were I ever lost at sea. Of course I would probably not have the condiments required to make it, were I lost at sea, but whatev.

So I am off to bed, but I want to say thanks to my family that showed up to support me today! It meant more than you will ever know. Love you guys!

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After I hit ‘publish’ in Windows Live Writer at 6:24 pm last night, I discovered I was, for lack of better words hungry.

Much to my delight, upon opening the fridge I found that my dear sweet and wonderful aunt had been to the farmer’s market yesterday and of course farmer’s market = Whitney heaven; so she had brought me not one, not two, but THREE organic, whole wheat personal pizzas from that place!

Can you say thank you? I did.

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Farmer’s market pizza: spinach, artichoke? and roasted red pepper on whole wheat crust.

Either I was really hungry or this pizza was wonderful, because I inhaled it like I was Amy Winehouse and it was a line of crack.

I would buy more if I knew who made this thing and what it was called. I do have two more versions left, that I will subsequently give you my thoughts on.

While I am on the subject of giving my thoughts, I have been asked by several readers if I like the new camera. My answer: I do, but I feel like I have not used it enough to give a full review. I would recommend it thus far, but give me a week and let’s see how I feel then.

So, you really don’t think I stopped at the pizza do you?

And here I thought I had you guys fooled.

Nope.

I finished up with a margarita and a good book. Cause that’s what I was craving.

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What, fro-yo in a margarita glass and google reader don’t count? Says who?

So that was the exciting end to my day. By 9:30 I was out like a light, one that someone had unplugged. There was no awakening me.

Until 7 am when the alarm sounded and I rolled out of bed to attend early service like the good lil’ church girl I am.

As yesterday was quite a workout in and of itself I am making today an official rest day. I may toss in a little yoga, but it’s unlikely. Instead I made a pot of oatmeal and enjoyed my coffee, before heading to church.

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coffee + carrot cake oatmeal.

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Carrot Cake Oatmeal, as inspired by Leslie.

  • 1 carrot, grated, shredded, whatev.
  • 1/4 cup irish oats
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • brown sugar

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Holy yum, this was fantastic!

Leslie, you are a genius and I thank God every day that I found your blog. I am not kidding on this, I do thank God for this wonderful little blogging community. I cannot wait to meet 125 of you guys in person this coming weekend. It shall be fab!

Equally as fab and something I thank God for is my wonderful church family. We had a great service this morning.

Pastor D. told of his run ins with the law, and also his phone rang during service. Good stuff all around!

In reality, we were learning about self control, which was totally what I needed to hear, judging by my notes.

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The highlights were mainly from Proverbs and the New Testament, and outlined in 3 steps.

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1. Choosing your environment – Proverbs 13:20/Proverbs 22:24-25.

Proverbs 13:20 (The Message)

Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

Proverbs 22:24-25 (The Message)

Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious— don’t get infected.

I took from this: Hang out with people you want to be more like.

2. Counteracting bad inclinations with something good – Romans 12:21

Romans 12:21 (The Message)

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

My notes: Overcome evil with good.

3. A sheer act of will – Philippians 4:13/2 Timothy 1:7

Philippians 4:13 (New Living Translation)

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

2 Timothy 1:7 (The Message)

That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

I just translated that as: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Sometimes it just helps me to write a verse in my own words, except I think that is just another translation of that same verse. Ummm, yeah it is.

Of course Pastor D. does a much better job of recapping his services on his blog, and his sermons are always available for podcasting at www.branchchurch.org.

Have a great and relaxed day of rest!

As for me, over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house I go! Hopefully she will have something she is famous for at lunch…like food. Lady is da bomb diggety in the kitch, and that is a true fact.

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As I type a massive storm is brewing outside the window.

Very dark.

Very rumbly.

Anyway, this is what I ate for a snack today, while the sun was still shining.

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1 organic pink lady apple + chocolate covered edamame = snack.

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Do I really need two pictures? Probably not, but I could not decide between the two. They both show off the simple beauty of this delightful snack only to well. It could only be better if my camera had twice the megapixels. Oh wait. It did. And I lost it.

Small camera rant.

Back to business.

Funny.

That’s exactly what I said.

After business hours were over and all the shops were closed, this little lady took her administrative assistant a butt home.

Where a beautiful package awaited. Only this administrative assistant did not know that yet.

But when I found it, all the tape in the world could not stop me from tearing it open.

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Giveaway goodies from Megan at Runner’s Kitchen! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Megan!

Check out the goods.

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  • soy crisps
  • mini pretzels
  • mints
  • chocolate bar
  • pb cups
  • dark chocolate and milk chocolate caramel cups
  • Newman-O’s
  • organic prunes

Megan definitely knew what to send a chocoholic like me. And I don’t even think she knows about my slight mint addiction.

Oh what a welcome sight this was.

Since I needed proper food before I could dig into this, I cooked up a quinoa dish.

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  • quinoa
  • cheese
  • broccoli
  • red bowl + red spoon

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It was nice and warm.

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So I had some nice cold frozen blue berries on the side.

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bowl + bowl = dinner

Then I wasted no time digging into the Newman goodies.

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dark chocolate caramel cups.

Oh so, so good. And only 160 calories to boot. The perfect dessert.

Only I supplemented it.

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apricots in my dwarf hand x2.

I just really like apricots, and had a sudden craving for them. So I gave in.

And now the the thunder is rolling and the clouds are darkening, and OH MY! the rain is pouring.

I’m gonna call it a night, and retire with my current read, The Shack.

I am loving it so far. I really appreciate the author’s portrayal of the Holy Trinity. It’s all starting to make a lot more sense to me now.

Have you read The Shack? Thoughts?

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I attended church today, it being Sunday and all.

So, being Sunday and all, I wanted to share this little Pastor D gem with you guys:

We are all citizens of heaven.

Well how about that? That makes me feel all happy and warm inside, thinking about being a citizen of heaven.

When I got home from church I found something completely different.

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More devil cake.

I call this devil cake, because it sits in the kitchen and tempts me. Much like the devil.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message)

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

I needed that verse this afternoon. Unfortunately I did not read that until about five minutes ago.

So I think you know how that temptation went.

In my guilt ridden state, (ok, not really, but that sounds good) I threw myself into a workout frenzy.

  • Level 2 30-day shred
  • 20 minute power yoga
  • 40 minute bike ride

I came home to find this little guy in the den:

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Hi you little troubadour, you!

I giggled. And took pictures.

Linden, you had no idea you were marrying such talent, huh?

Many giggles, a shower and a nap and I was hangry.

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This is a plate.

A plate full of many things I love.

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Pasta salad.

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Carrot sticks + spicy yogurt dip.

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Pickles.

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and who could forget rainier cherries?

Oh plate, how I love thee.

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And everything on thee.

And now I must go back to sleep, despite my earlier nap.

Because sleep, oh sleep how I love thee too.

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It’s time!

Time to announce the winners of my giveaway.

I know you are all dying to know who won…

Well I have a lot to say, and I shall make you suffer until the end, cause I am evil like that. Mwahahaha.

In other exciting news I received a shout out from dear Pastor D in service this morning. Holla! In return I shall give Pastor D a shout out here, saying thanks and I am pumped for your new SuperSize series. It’s about time I supersized something besides a #5 combo. I particularly liked the verse this morning in Romans.

Romans 8:29 (The Message)

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I like thinking that God knows me by name.

If anyone is interested in hearing what Pastor D has to say on a regular basis, you can read his blog, listen to his podcasts, or even follow him on twitter. My pastor is on Twitter. How cool is that? Just so you guys know, I am also on Twitter. Follow me!

Ok so on to the regular show.

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I started yesterday morning off with a cuppa joe.

Fuel for my run, 7 miles to be exact.

After a bath, stankless at last,

into the vitamix I tossed;

a banana, spinach, PB, almond milk and proteins, for a shake the color of moss.

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Margarita glass x two…

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Pancake, flowers, and greenery, that my breakfast shall conclude.

That shall also conclude my short career as a poet.

My madre’s flowers were so pretty I forayed in photography for a bit.

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LindenClaire, I am not.

I did not mention it previously, but my bfast was not eaten until 11 o’clock. That threw a wrench in my lunchtime, so I had a snack plate worthy of my homegirls and snackfaces around 3.

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Orange, TJ’s edamame crackers, corn chile & hummus, blue chips and chocolate edamame. Only TJ’s best for this girl. 

I hit the mall to do some shopping for Boston and lucked out on a sale at American Eagle. $19.95 shorts and $12.50 shirts! Chyeah. I picked some of those suckers up.

I also picked up a skinny Chai latte.

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I headed home with two things in mind.

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+

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But when I arrived I found Mere and Jordy G, with sushi in mind.

Sushi?

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Why yes please.

Firey fish.

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Weeds.

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Well, seaweeds.

Unfirey fish.

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Philly fish, actually.

Then we went to blockbuster and rented some movies that I did not watch for eating my dessert.

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You knew I would fulfill my chocolate + ice cream fantasies. I must say thanks to the kind folks at Blue Bunny for helping with that. They sent me a free coupon for the ice cream the other day. So THANKS! and just for the record, Blue Bunny + No Pudge is a killer combo.

That pretty much concluded my eating.

Today, so far I have had this:

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Very fruity oatmeal bowl that included:

  • 1 mashed banana
  • almond milk
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • PB
  • ground flax

If I eat anything else, I will let you know.

 

 

And now ladies and gents, the moment you have all been waiting for!

 

With no further ado, here are the winners of the birthday giveaway:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

52	73	114

Timestamp: 2009-07-19 15:09:13 UTC

 

Prize #1 goes to #52 of course,

Lynn from Actor’s Diet! Lynn, email me at w_huntley@hotmail.com with your information and what flavor of Shakeology you would like to try, Chocolate or Greenberry.

Prize #2 goes to #73,

Kacy, from Low and Behold. Kacy, email me with your shipping info, so I can send your prizes! Funny story, I just won a giveaway over a Kacy’s blog! haha, Random.org loves us!

Prize #3 goes to #114,

Maddy, from Bake, Pray, Love. Maddy, email me your shipping info as well.

As for everyone else, I hate you didn’t win, but you can just keep reading, and perhaps in the near (or distant) future I will have another giveaway. I love giving prizes, so it is most likely.

Have a great Sunday!

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Well, I had a fabulous Sunday.

I went for an hour bike ride Sunday morning and then it was on to church and a nice leisurely lake afternoon.

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It was absolutely beautiful out! My sisters and I had a great time with the wakeboard and skis. This is my favorite time of year, when you’re just breaking the water toys back out…it all seems new and fresh. I am so excited for summer!

As far as eating, well I didn’t take any pictures Sunday. 

I had Kashi and blueberries at breakfast; 1/2 a homemade LaraBar; salad and chicken w/ fruit on the side for lunch; a FiberFul fruit leather for a snack; and another roast beef wrap for dinner. Boring I know. You can skip this paragraph if you like! I am only recording it to prove I didn’t go completely crazy and pig out yesterday!

Breakfast

This morning was another Green Monster. Yum! I kind of missed not having one yesterday. I am trying to not become Green Monster obsessed, but those things are just that good!

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It was a full glass this morning:

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I really need to get me some big clear glasses and not these colored plastic cups so you can get the full effect of the “Green” Monster.

Lunch

I had a turkey wrap (adapted from Jillian Michaels’ recipe for Broccoli Turkey Lavash Wraps) for lunch. These are very simple and quite tasty. I have everyone in my family eating them now!

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The recipe:

1 whole wheat wrap

3 slices low sodium turkey breast

1/2 to 3/4 cup of broccoli; chopped

1 tablespoon light Italian dressing ( I use Ken’s light Northern Italian)

1 tablespoon light organic cream cheese (such as Trader Joe’s brand)

Steam the broccoli until tender. Mix the cream cheese and dressing together and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and set aside. Chop turkey and add it and broccoli to cream cheese mixture. Warm tortilla in microwave for 15-30 seconds. Fill tortilla with the broccoli mixture. Wrap and eat! 

Snack

I had another Chocolate Chip Banana Bread LaraBar for my snack. Sadly it was my last one! I will have to mix up another batch of those soon!

Dinner

When I came home from the gym, I got a few of the turkey meatloaves out of the freezer and baked them, I was really glad I had thought to freeze the extra and had not cooked them all. They came in quite handy!

I had steamed kale on the side:

 

IMG00050-20090601-2014It filled my pot up!

I added a little rice vinegar for flavor:

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All put together:

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A yummy dinner that only took me about 30 minutes! Perfect!

Exercise

Today I did Day 11 of the “Making the Cut” workout. Lots of lunges, jumping squats and push ups! I can already tell I am so much stronger than the first time I did this round of workouts; I don’t get nearly as tired, in fact I feel really energized when I get through. I also did five minutes of sprints (9 mph) and 30 minutes of incline walking (15% incline at 4.2 – 4.5 mph.)

Spirit

I’ll leave you with these verses from our service yesterday morning:

Mark 10:29 & 30 (NIV)

 29“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

So if you are currently facing persecution in your life just recall that it is God’s promise to us that we will be persecuted, but we will also be blessed equally. With a Christian lifestyle comes persecution, but do not let it get you down. In Matthew we learn:

Matthew 24:13-14 (NIV)

13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

What a wonderful promise! He who stands firm to the end will be saved, and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world!

So if you are being persecuted, just stand strong through it and wait on the blessing that is sure to come.

See ya healthier!

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