Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When I make cookies, it’s usually to share with my students/friends. Most kiddos in Bolivia dislike raisins, so most of the time I restrained from baking anything with raisins. This cool rainy afternoon I found myself reviewing my old recipes and found one marked as “favorite”and decided to reminiscer the flavor. I have all for myself a batch of 30 plump chewy cookies, willing to share, but I know nobody here would want any. Being that oatmeal is healthy and nutritious will be my excuse to eat them all

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Published in: on October 28, 2018 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Full Belly, Happy Heart (5/5)

“Finishing is better than starting”

(Ecc.7:8 New Living Translation).

It is the end of the meal, the stomach is full and the heart is happy. If I have eaten the right amount of food, with nutritional value and excellent taste; there is a sense of SATISFACTION. It is a great feeling, it just that it doesn’t last too long; in a few hours, we will feel hungry again.

satisfaction-meter-different-emotionsEmotions also have a short lifespan. In life you and I get our portions of good and bad, happiness and sadness, joy and sorrow, celebration and grieving, achievements and failures, gaining and losing, etc. The menu is large. We avoid the negative ones as we abstain from certain foods not of our preference and try to get jumbo portions of the others. Once we experience some of the good stuff; we better enjoy it thoroughly while it last, for sooner rather than later, it will be gone and we will want more of it again.

Jesus declared in John 6:35 “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (emphasis mine). It is quite an offer for full satisfaction for one’s spirit and soul.
God’s invitation surpasses any expectations, outdo any other goods and arises above any delicacy this world can present.

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
  Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.” (Is.55:1-2)

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on July 5, 2018 at 5:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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Full Belly, Happy Heart (4/5)

fat-vs-skinny

Not Eating is as damaging to self well-being as overeating. I used to hear my father say “All extremes are bad” Anorexia and bulimia as well as compulsive eating are sadly common disorders in people of all ages and both create health problems.

Emotionally speaking, eating too little or nothing is when I see myself as auto-sufficient for everything when in reality I must accept my need of others. Emotional anorexia is expressed by never getting too close to anyone, having a lack of forgiving spirit, accumulating bitterness and being detached of what it could be considered weak feelings such as crying, smiling, kindness and never asking for help or advice.

Emotionally overeating is the opposite. It’s when people become the center and the motivating force for living. I learn the art of manipulation so that people never leave me alone and are always there for me. I constanly seek their compliments, company and favors. Parents, spouces, children or friends are God’s given gift of support, but if their only role in my life is for my ego-fattening, then I have a problem.

Don’t you hate the secret to staying fit? There’s no secret. I know what to do, but we have the natural tendency to be unbalanced in our eating, in our emotions, in our relationships, etc.
The NIV Bible translates Ecclesiastes 7:18b this way: “Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.”

I would like to repeat something I wrote some time ago as conclusion: Proverbs 25:16

Published in: on June 26, 2018 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dobby (R.I.P.)

DSC_0022It was June 8th of last year (2017) when I had received a call from a lady from the church to ask me if I wanted a puppy. I had just lost two old dogs and I accepted. I just found out in the veterinarian office this week that he was a mix breed of an English Foxhound.

It’s hard to believe that today I lost him.  He was one year old; in my mind people or animals don’t die at that age. I had mistakenly thought he would be my pet for the next 15 years or so. About a month ago he was coughing, took medicine, then he got a skin fungal infection, took more medicine, then he had a paw luxation, anti-inflammatory medication and today as I took him to the vet because he was looking really bad, he had an anaphylactic shock to which he didn’t survive.

My lessons:

  • There is no age to die; of course I already knew that, it’s just that death continues to leaves us with consternation.
  • Medicine has its doses and limitations; I also knew that, death is an excellent reminder.
  • The power of repeating to oneself’s mind something like “it’s just a dog” is futile when it is your pet.
  • As much as animals are not “worth” the same as people; it’s okay to feel sad and I admit it, I cried.
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Mr. Ears paying his last respect.

 

IMG_20180622_154521 - copia

Dobby’s collar and leg cast; now unnecessary

Published in: on June 22, 2018 at 5:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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Full Belly, Happy Heart (3/5)

being fedOur lives begin by being fed. We start being 100% takers and it is expected, within reasonable time, to become independent as well as providers. We cannot for all of our lives have an open mouth and/or an extended hand waiting to receive nourishment.

Dead Sea 1I had the wonderful and fun experience “to swim” in the Dead Sea which because of its high concentration of mineral salts causes the water to be denser making it easy for our lighter bodies to float. Its source is the Jordan River; water flows into it, but it doesn’t flow out. This body of water has so much salt that is devoid of all forms of life thus receiving the name “Dead Sea”. The lesson is plain and simple, The Dead Sea is a taker not a giver.

We might live with the delusion that to be emotionally healthy we need the perfect balance of receiving and giving, of being fed and feeding others, of feeling appreciated and appreciating others, of being loved and loving others; yet the words of Jesus Christ were “It is more blessed to give than to receive“.  It is fantastic when people around give to me, feed me, appreciate me and love me, but people don’t have endless reservoirs; their emotional tanks also need filling and re-filling. Ultimately, only God can have in store abundant love for my spiritual need and emotional hunger. As a good Shepherd he leads to green pastures and “I shall not want”; in other words, all our wants and needs will be satisfied without us even asking Him. In His care, we shall want nothing, we shall lack nothing: materially, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Filled by Him to be emptied to others for Him.

“The nourishment of the body is food,

while the nourishment of the soul is feeding others”

 

Published in: on June 21, 2018 at 5:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Full Belly, Happy Heart (2/5)

Eating healthy is a chosen habit. It shouldn’t be a short-term diet, but a long-term lifestyle. Sometimes we eat what we like; Carbohydrates and fats are not essentially bad, but the unbalanced amount of them is what it is damaging and  then, most of the time we eat what we have to eat, not necessarily because of its good taste, but because of its nutritional value.

versus food

I have noticed that there is a strong emphasis nowadays, particularly in youth, to do what “I feel doing”. New generations are evaluating almost everything, including church, by the level of emotion it generates and we, teachers, youth/camp leaders, pastors, etc. worry over it and end up with soggy, greasy, fast-food type of activities.

I always have craving for cheese burgers, chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, but as I grow older and mature, I also eat salads, juices and meats. I am not against making the veggies more appealing as well as being more creative to make the learning process exciting, attractive and fun.

The problem is, if the stomach is in control, we will have an eating-disorder and if the heart is in control, we will have confusion and a chaos in our emotions. We need to invite our minds into the decision-making and discipline ourselves to do what we know we ought to do.

 “My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want.” Matthew 26:39 (CEB Bible)

 

Published in: on June 14, 2018 at 5:35 am  Comments (1)  
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Full Belly, Happy Heart (1/5)

heart and gutsThe heart and the stomach are very much connected, for example, our brain can mix up pain signals from both organs confusing a heart attack with heartburn (a form of indigestion). In fact, mistakes in nutrition could lead to heart disease. I won’t get into the science of body organs interaction.

Here, I refer to the heart as the center of emotions and I will compare it to the digestive organ that allows our body to draw nutritional value of foods.

Just like in eating we need a diet and limits combined with exercise, we need guidelines, restrictions and control in our emotions combined with actions that develop a well-trained character.

I just started thinking about how the heart and the stomach are very similar in needing constant refilling, but it is a great thing when they are full!

“Seize Life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh Yes – God takes pleasure in your pleasure!”                                   Ecclesiastes 9:7 (MSG Bible)

 

 

Published in: on June 7, 2018 at 5:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Yesterday and Today

Me X 2

Quote

Published in: on May 31, 2018 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Happiness is…

Mum

Happiness is

mother-and-son time.

 

 

Published in: on May 10, 2018 at 5:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Broken but Useful

crayons

 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”                             2 Corinthians 12:9

Published in: on April 26, 2018 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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