Saturday, January 26, 2013


You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
                              Psalm 128:2
I’ve been cooking a lot since the new year, but not out of Bass Family and Friends.  As a part of my new year’s resolution, I have joined the millions of people across the country to try to get healthier.  So I ordered a set of exercise DVDs that come with a meal plan.  To be honest, I feel a little embarrassed when I read its scientific language of “blast your metabolism to the stratosphere!”  But as my friend Mike said, probably any exercise DVD is good if it doesn’t become a paperweight.
So every morning I get up, turn on a DVD and watch the fabulously buff bodies lead exercises that I struggle to accomplish.  They look so stylish in their workout gear that I avoid glances at my reflection in pajamas.  While they work on their mats in a beautifully appointed gym, I navigate toy helicopters and Tinkerbell dolls.
Still, the experience has been really enjoyable so far.  Granted, I am on the “baby” exercises; the first few workouts which will get progressively harder over time.  But there is a satisfaction gained from accomplishing physical challenge of any kind.  Even when it isn’t done perfectly, seeing a task through to the end brings a lot of gratification, not to mention just plain good health.
I have been surprised by the meal plan.  When I first looked at the menu with its pretty pictures of the meals I would eat, it looked like the fine dining version of starvation.  It looked like nothing at all!  But I was remarkably not starving.  Each meal was packed with vegetables and protein, and not a carb in sight.  Somehow it lasted.  By the time the next meal came round, I was ready for it, but I was amazed that my stomach didn’t turn inside out.  I’ve had southwestern turkey burgers, poached eggs with Canadian bacon, avocado and tomato, citrus salmon salad, and celery sticks with almond butter (I usually left off the celery).  Over the past few weeks, I have broadened my food horizons and received a vision of healthier eating.
Will I keep up with this plan?  I hope so.  I intend to, though the best plans often go awry.  Becoming healthy takes a lot of work, sometimes more than we find it in ourselves to give. The statistics on new year’s resolutions aren’t all that good, but I’m willing to give it my best shot. 
Becoming a healthy Christian is no easier, especially when we consider the challenges of participating in the community called Church.  Sometimes the exercises are agonizing.  The forgiveness, the patience, the responsibility all stretch our abilities and call us to become something greater than we have been. 
Also, like any exercise program, we can walk away with impunity.  It can be as easy to quit as it is to press “Stop” on the DVD player.  And so we often do.
But we are there because we have been called together by our Maker.  The rewards of not quitting are considerable, they just come later – after enduring the ache of strenuous effort.  Having seen the challenge through, we gain the strength of accomplishment.  We learn to live more and more as God created us.  Though we may not leap tall buildings or lift small vehicles, we will learn the joy of living in the love that overcomes all distrust and division.  Through our determination – with God’s help – we become the people of God.
May this new year find you in good health and in great spiritual shape!
Blessed Eating!
After speaking of the “grueling” work of exercise, I thought I should share this recipe I finally got around to trying.  It’s better than it might sound.
Put chicken broth in pot (mine has chicken meat in it too).  Add corn meal to hot broth to desired consistency.  (I put 3 round T. of corn meal to a cup of warm water to add to broth.)  Keep adding more until it is a thick soup.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot. – Hazel Trawick.