Having FuN?!

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It was a simple text Huni received just over a week ago:

 “[Since becoming serious about your relationship with Christ] Answer me honestly.  Are you having fun?”

And it got me thinking. . .Christians have a reputation of being so serious about Christ that they smolder all of the fun out of their lives.  Is that a true representation of Christ?  Do I have enough fun in my life?

And what about you? Would you consider yourself someone who takes their relationship with Christ seriously?  Does the idea of fun seem trivial or unimportant in the Christian life?

As I’ve grown and matured into a woman, wife and mom, I understand why I should seek joy and not merely happiness.  I understand why peace is far more enduring than presents.  I have come to value my friendships more (even though I often do a terrible job at keeping in touch) and I drink in the wonder found in the life stories of others.  I can see the danger and detriment of comparison.  I get it.  I do.  I get all the stuff that comes with growing up and I get that I haven’t gotten it all figured out yet.  I don’t have half the answers.  But.  Unlike people, I don’t think that fun ever gets old.   So, as people who love God and seek to serve Him and do His will, why aren’t we having more of it?

I’m not trying to make some big statement except to say that we shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously that we forget to honor God with our whole lives–the serious bits, and doubled over laughing til we snort bits.  I think the idea of “The Zero Fun Christian Life” is what makes it so difficult for some people to come to and/or remain in Christ.  Particularly younger people or those who have sipped the sweet nectar of the world longer than others.  I’m convinced that fun is not the issue.  It’s the emphasis we put on it and where we think it comes from.

God desires to be Lord over every area of our lives.

He provides for every need.

Even the need for fun.

Pleasures Are Meaningless

2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.

Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless

12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
and also madness and folly.
What more can the king’s successor do
than what has already been done?
13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly,
just as light is better than darkness.
14 The wise have eyes in their heads,
while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize
that the same fate overtakes them both.

15 Then I said to myself,

“The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
What then do I gain by being wise?”
I said to myself,
“This too is meaningless.”
16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die!

Toil Is Meaningless

17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? ~Ecclesiastes 2:1-25 (NIV)

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Black Bean Burgers! Ole!

My huni and I recently watched “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.”  For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a documentary about a man who started a small revolution when he realized that by changing his eating habits, he could not only lose weight, but he could become healthier to the point of getting off of medication that was sustaining his life after being inflicted with a very serious autoimmune disease.  His idea was to go on a juice fast for 60 days during which time he would only consume fresh fruits and veggies, slid through a juicer.  It’s a very inspiring movie and we really enjoyed it. By the end, I was rooting for one of the guys and I nearly cried near the end.  For reals.

After watching it, E got all kinds of ideas about what we should be doing and what our family eating habits should be.  Mostly, we have pretty healthy eating habits but he wanted more.  So we settled on making a drastic change and decided we would become (mostly) pescatarian (hey, I loves me some Bojangle’s!!  I can’t COMPLETELY give it up!! . . .right now).  It’s been tough coming up with recipes because it requires a lot more thought but I’m pulling out some oldies but goodies to get us started.  Last night, I got in the kitchen and made some black bean burgers and homeade tortilla chips.  Thought I’d share the recipe.

Black bean Burgers:

1 tall can black beans (I used a 26.5 oz can which yielded about 8 burgers)

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

fresh cilantro (you decide how much; if you love cilantro, go crazy, if you like it, use about a handful)

2 tsp cumin

dash of salt

dash of pepper

dash of onion poweder

dash of garlic powder

(by dash, I mean to taste, you decide how much you’d like based on how well seasoned you’d like your burgers and how you’d like for them to taste)

whole wheat tortillas

shredded cheese (optional)

Olive Oil

Salsa Sauce:

1 tbsp sour cream

2 tsbp salsa

Chips:

Corn Tortillas

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

For the burgers:

  • Gather all ingredients into a bowl.
  • Using a blender, mix all ingredients until a nice, well blended mixture forms.

        

  • Pat out burgers to desired size.
  • Heat olive oil in a warm skillet and place burgers into skillet, about three at a time depending on the size of the skillet.
  • Cook burgers on each side for about 3 minutes. (If you try to flip too soon, the burgers will fall apart. If you flip too late, they may be a little charred, but still tasty.)

  • In a separate pan, place a bit of butter (or non stick spray) in a pan and begin to toast the whole wheat tortilla.
  • (optional) As the tortilla is toasting, add a bit of cheese to each side so that it may melt simultaneously with the toasting tortilla.

  • As the burgers finish up, take them out of the pan and place them onto a lined pan to drain (won’t be much draining happening but excess oil will be collected by the lined pan).
  • Then, choose one burger patty and place it onto the toasting tortilla.
  • Add the special sauce and continue toasting to desired color and texture then close the burger!

        

For the Salsa Sauce:

  • Simply stir salsa into sour cream and there ya go!

        

For the Chips:

  • Using a pizza cutter, slice approx three corn tortillas at a time into desired chip size.

  • Place cut chips onto a lined baking pan.
  • Drizzle chips with olive oil (as much or as little as desired) and sprinkle with salt.

  • Place chips in a 400 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes or until desired brown, crispy goodness!

            

The verdict . . .

      

With a little help from my Pinterest board “Healthy Biology,” maybe I can keep this up.  Check it out:  http://pinterest.com/pamelovely/healthy-biology/

Would love to see what else is out there and for you to share your recipes with me!