Welcome You may have noticed a theme of gratitude for this first week of 2018. Can you think of a better way to start a new year than with a heart full of thankfulness? I’m going to share a story that touched my heart a few weeks ago, and then I have another healthy snack option for all of you working on those “New Year’s Resolutions.” Thanks for joining me. Note–I may receive a small compensation from affiliate links seen on this post. For further information, please see my Terms and Disclosure page.
Food For Thought I saw one of the cutest things at church about a month ago. We all know how cute kids can be during church sometimes, especially if it touches us or inspires us. After all, Jesus did say we should become more like the little children (Matt. 18:3). Anyway, it was during our collection time. We pass collection plates at our church following the Lord’s Supper. One couple that sits in front of us has a couple of toddler boys, who honestly spend most of the service playing with cars and trucks, but they love offering time. On this particular Sunday, one of the boys was so busy with his toys that the plate passed him before he could put his quarters into it. He looked up and realized the plate was several rows back. He dropped everything but his quarters and dashed past his mom and dad and down the aisle to the row where he could add his offering. I’m not sure how many other people realized what had happened or if anyone else was as deeply touched by this scene as I was. On this very small child’s face was a sheer look of determination and purpose, longing to give. He was not going to miss out on this special opportunity. This act was just too important to him. And I sat there wondering if the adults in the room would have gone to such efforts to insure our offering made it to the plate. Have you ever been distracted by something and forgot to place that twenty in the plate? Have you ever forgotten your checkbook at home and thought, “ah, well, guess I won’t give this week”? What about when you’re traveling and visit a different congregation and don’t feel obligated to give anything? Have you been sick and missed church, and never “catch up” on that offering you skipped? I can say I’m guilty in every one of these instances. Which speaks to the fact that I must be giving out of expectation and convenience, and not giving from a place of gratitude and thankfulness.
Of course, many of us would say that a child giving quarters, likely his parents, has no worries about bills or groceries. We may say that makes it easy for kids to be cheerful givers, right? But I think, and I’m speaking directly to myself here, that if I am truly grateful and thankful for the bounty of God’s blessings and provision, I should make my spirit more like that child’s spirit. I should be dashing to give. How quick can I get my small amount of money into that collection plate? If the plate passes me by, am I willing to get up and get my contribution to where it can be used for the growth of the Church and God’s Kingdom? After all, it belongs to Him. Everything I have is given to me because God allows me to have it. So if I really want to say “thank you” for what I have and will continue to receive, according to His will, I have to be willing to put a little back, with the same purpose and determination as my little toddler friend from church.
Today’s Prayer My Dear Heavenly Father, You have blessed me and my family with so much, and I am so grateful. Thank You for Your unfailing provision. My God, please help me to be a cheerful giver, and not just a giver of obligation and expectation, but to give as eagerly as I receive. All I have is from You and through You. Accept my offerings, Lord, as acts of thankfulness and gratitude. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today’s Scriptures As we continue our focus on gratitude this week, I have selected these four verses to share:
Ephesians 5:20 “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 4:4 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”
1 Timothy 6:17-18 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
Today’s Recipe So many people make healthy eating resolutions during the New Year. During my quest for better snacking I discovered something amazing! They’re these little energy bites…balls…bombs…whatever you want to call them, but wow! Even my daughter who frowns at most “healthy” snacks, was very impressed with this recipe, and she doesn’t even like cherries. They’re made with dates and ground nuts, but I think you end up with a texture like a bonbon or truffle. My husband also liked them, but said they failed to remind him of any candy! I find them to be especially good as a post-workout snack or something a little sweet before bedtime. If you want to check out a bunch of variations to this recipe, I recommend the blog at Bless this Mess. This is my recipe for Chocolate Cherry Energy Bombs (it’s a little different than her version.) And check out the nutrition facts…and one ball is surprisingly filling!
Chocolate Cherry Energy Bombs (makes 24 balls)
1 5.5 oz pkg raw almonds-about 1 cup (I used Planters)
1 8 oz pkg whole pitted dates-about 36 whole dates (I used Dole)
1 5 oz pkg dried cherries-about 1 cup (I used a local store brand)
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips (I used a local store brand)
a dash of salt
Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor. Process 4-6 minutes until all ingredients are combined and a sticky dough forms…be patient, it will happen! Using a tablespoon as a scoop, roll into 24 balls and place on wax paper-lined pan or tray. Chill until firm, then place balls in container with tight fitting lid. Store in refrigerator.
*Nutrition facts calculated at RecipeNutrition.com
|Serving Size (28 g)
Servings Per Recipe 24
|Amount Per Serving|
Calories from Fat 36 (33%)
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 4 g||6 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.9 g||5 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 g||0 %|
|Sodium 8 mg||0 %|
|Potassium 142 mg||4 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 17 g||6 %|
|Dietary Fiber 2 g||8 %|
|Sugars 13 g||NA|
|Protein 1 g||2 %|
|Vitamin A||2 %|
|Vitamin C||0 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
I highly recommend a food processor to grind the nuts and make the dough come together in the right consistency. I love my Kitchen Aid food processor. Click the link below to learn more