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Mornings with Ellis, Tyler and Tracy…A positive way to start your day!


Today’s Positive Thoughts

Give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.
Psalm 107:31 NIV

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 NIV

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Hebrews10:24 NIV

Morning Show Links

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Today’s Positive Thoughts

April 17, 2014

Whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
Proverbs 29:25 NIV

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 NIV

What is impossible with men is possible with God.
Luke 18:27 NIV

Living in Your Current Season

From Linda Werner

Recommended Resource:
Your Life in Rhythm, Bruce Miller

 

Main Points:
•  Release Expectations: this is the commitment to live well in the current season…not looking back…or wishing to go forward.  Depending on the season I must fully embrace where I am..

Seize Opportunities:  Colossians 4:5, “Make the most of every opportunity.”  Look for “Such a time as this” moments.

• Anticipate what is next: Anticipation breeds HOPE!

 

Chronos Seasons: Relate to Time

1. Pace Yourself:  Must be able to think and see the cycles of activities and then place them in your calendar.

2. Build Rituals: A ritual is a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.

What are LIFE ENHANCING rituals?

•  Begin your day the night before – “The evening and morning were the first day.”  Gen. 1:5

•  Engage in conversations that bring life.

•  Family time

•  Early bedtime, no TV

•  24 hour Sabbath Rest

3. Oscillate between Work and Rest – Intensity and Renewal:  Ask yourself, “When am I at my best, and when do I need to rest? ”

“Stress is not the enemy, but uninterrupted stress is.” Jim Loehr

Money Can’t Buy Me Love

A relationship strengthening guide for intimate connections
By Dwight Bain

Can a stuffed animal with a romantic message solve a relationship problem? Nope. Neither can a trip to the jewelry store, boxes of chocolate, sappy cards, balloons or vases of expensive flowers… none of these can fix a distant, damaged or dying relationship. But the VASE can.  Let me explain why.

Relationships take work. There is no easy way to achieve closeness and connection on an intimate level without time, talking and gentle touch. It can’t be done. We’ve all seen the commercials about a couple having a romantic exchange in a restaurant as the waiter brings them a special dessert with a diamond ring attached to a note that says, “Marry me”.  But as a counselor of more than 30 years I can tell you if that couple were distant or detached from each other before they got to the restaurant the jewelry would only be a shiny trinket that didn’t repair hurt, selfishness or neglect. 

Expensive gift cannot fix relationship problems. They can cause debt, which complicates problems, (84% of couples report they fight over spending according to Money Magazine), or cause a momentary escape from what isn’t working in their relationship… but the old saying is true. “Money can’t buy me love.”

So what can you do to really connect to the one you care about? Get a VASE. Here’s why.

Stuffed teddy bears and expensive perfumes affect the senses- the VASE approach affects the soul. Tina Turner got it right when she sang, “What’s love got to do with it?” because the feeling of romantic love is a fickle and temporary emotion. Having a fun dinner date on your anniversary is special – but not as powerful as really connecting over a bowl of Cheerios every day. Lasting love is about going deeper and that’s what this process creates… lasting committed relationship instead of a temporary feeling of chemistry. Real relationship connection on the heart level will grow a relationship closer than anything offered for sale at Macys.

V.A.S.E. stands for VALUES, ACCOUNTABILITY, SILENCE, EXPECTATIONS and here’s how it works.

Values-  Most couples have never sat down and actually talked about their core values. They might be able to guess what their partner believes, but haven’t communicated these issues to one another.

When you find a safe place to discuss your belief system with the person you care about the most it creates a powerful connection on a deep emotional level. One that is stronger than anything you could ever buy at a store. When I know what my wife believes about life, kids, family, money, love, politics, fun, God and everything else important to her I know her on a heart level. And when I know her heart, I can actively work to meet her there. Knowing and respecting your partner’s values removes silly arguments and power struggles from the conversation because you are working together out of shared beliefs instead of working against each other.

A-Accountability This isn’t a word most people like and it definitely isn’t a word people seek out. It’s tough to have someone in your life who asks you the hard questions like. “Haven’t you had enough to drink?” or “How is eating that going to affect your diabetes?” or “Why did you close the computer when I came in here?” or “Can we afford to do this?” When someone asks you a tough question you either have to face the issue and answer it, or you have to get really, really mad at them for having the courage to speak up. You know what path most people choose. They would rather fight than be held to a standard of behavior… one that matches what they say they believe, (see core values section above for more on this).

S-Silence isn’t golden in relationships, it’s deadly. If you go silent on expressing your feelings, fears or future with the one you say you love there is nothing a cute card with a talking dog that makes it better. I know card shops exist for the purpose of saying what you don’t know how to say… but can I be your friend for a moment and say “get a life?” There is more information available today on how to communicate in a loving way with your partner than there ever has been in the history of the world. Books, webinars, seminars, podcasts, workshops, retreats, teleseminars, counseling, classes, YouTube clips, even old episodes of Dr. Phil have tips on how to connect verbally. Too many people spend $5 on a piece of recycled card stock that says what a copywriter in Kansas thinks about love instead of sitting down to express what they believe about the one they care about. Want a more powerful relationship connection? Learn to express love. It’s worth every penny you spend to the people who won’t have to guess how you feel about them because you took the step, (and the risk) to verbalize your heart.

 

E-Expectations lead to great joy or great pain, which is usually heartbreaking and it goes back to silence. Here’s why. Picture a woman who thinks this is the year her guy will remember their special day and take her to their special place. She tells her friends, her mother and her therapist that they are going to the bed and breakfast for a romantic getaway because she has been dropping hints for months that were so easy a caveman could figure it out. Problem is her guy isn’t a caveman – he’s a guy and men often aren’t listening carefully to what their lady may be saying. In fact if the relationship is distant he may not be listening at all. Expecting your intended to read your mind isn’t going to get you what you want, but it can cause some huge explosions of rage over misunderstanding. If you expect a physically exciting weekend and you get ESPN instead your feelings are going to be hurt – and you may have caused it. I know some people like the feeling of being surprised that their hints led to a temporary feeling of being special, but most of the time their hints set them up for hurt. Better is to learn to speak up about what you want in the relationship. If you want more romance – say so. If going to a particular movie is what you want to do– bring it up. If something is important to you learn to express it directly. This may take away the pleasant feeling of surprise, but will guarantee you won’t experience the painful feeling of shock that silent expectations always bring.

So how does this VASE formula help?

It takes the cultural feeling of romance being something that money can buy down to a practical level of relationship that is priceless. The Beatles were wrong on this one. Money can’t buy love, but VASE’s can.

 

About the Author – Dwight Bain is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Life Coach who has been making a difference in people’s lives since 1984. Follow him online atwww.Facebook.com/DwightBain or @DwightBain

Big Dog Chili

Big Dog Chili

  • 3 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 pound ground breakfast sausage
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound 80-20 ground beef, coarse or chili grind
  • 4 cups Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh Anaheim pepper, diced and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 7½ tablespoons chili powder (Gebhardt preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili powder (Gebhardt preferred)
  • 3½ pounds chopped smoked beef brisket, lean cut
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup cumin
  • 1½ cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups Rotel Original chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup corn tortilla chips, crushed
  • ½ tablespoon cayenne
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar

Accompaniments

  • Fritos corn chips
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Corn bread
  • Sour cream
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Hot sauce

METHOD

Add dried peppers to 1 cup water in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until peppers are soft.

Remove stems and puree in a blender with 2 tablespoons of liquid from pan.  Set aside.

Brown sausage in vegetable oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Remove meat with slotted spoon and set aside.  Add ground beef and brown; remove with slotted spoon and set aside.  In same pan, sauté peppers for 3 minutes  Add garlic and continue to sauté until onion is translucent, taking care not to brown the garlic.

Combine chili powders in small bowl.

Add brisket to stockpile with half of chili powder mix; cook for 15 minutes.  Stir in tomato sauce, Rotel tomatoes,  and dried-chili puree and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in cooked ground beef, sausage, remaining chili powder, chicken stock, and crushed tortilla chips.  Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir in cayenne, brown sugar, and a pinch of cumin just before serving.

To serve, spoon chili over a handful of Fritos in a bowl, then top with cheddar cheese, crumbled corn bread, and a dollop of sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and a dash of hot sauce.

New Year, New You Worksheets

 

If you heard us talking about resolutions yesterday with our friend, Linda Werner, these worksheets might help you work through some of what she was talking about.  Take a look and then join us next Monday at 8:10 for more.

Goal Worksheet

Four Ps Worksheet

Follow Up to The New Year, New YOU Conversations

January 2014

The new-year brings many new desires, goals and resolutions.  We all have desires to be better, stronger, healthier, wiser, and more spiritual. But these desires will never be accomplished if we don’t take time to put a realistic, sustainable plan in place.

Every person’s desire must have picture of who they want to be. Based on that picture or desired end, goals can then be set and worked on.  That plan can be best accomplished when an individual aligns their plan to God’s heart.

What do you believe that GOD wants done in and through your life?

What are your passions and dreams?

What breaks your heart?

What do you feel compelled to give your life to that is bigger than yourself?

Based on your answers, what has GOD uniquely gifted you to do to meet the needs that burden you?

The answers to these questions could be the beginning of living life with a more intentional focus.  God has given us each the incredible opportunity to plan.  In the planning process there must always be recognition that it is the LORD who then will direct our steps.

Often times we can feel like we are not hearing the Lord.  I would ask this question, Could it be that your heart has not taken the time to plan?

Proverbs 16:9 says, A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

Attached is a simple worksheet that I use to work through my thoughts, desires and plans.  My GOALS have become my God Ordained Activities for my Life.  When I see my goals in light of what I believe God wants done for His glory, I am motivated.

If you would like to know more about taking your desires and turning them into realistic plans, consider joining the Legacy Principles Five Month, Coffee Conversations as we take a look at living in 2014 FULLY ALIVE!

 

For More Information:
http://legacyprinciples.com/environments/coffee-conversations-2014/

 

Linda Werner
linda@legacyprinciples.com

Night of Joy 2014

Disney just announced the artist line up for Night of Joy 2014!  We’re so excited to share it with you!

Friday, September 5, 2014:

  • Hillsong United
  • Chris Tomlin
  • Matthew West
  • for KING & COUNTRY
  • Mandisa
  • Building 429
  • Matt Mahr
  • The Neverclaim

Saturday, September 6, 2014:

  • Skillet
  • Casting Crowns
  • MercyMe
  • Israel Houghton & New Breed
  • Colton Dixon
  • Rhett Walker
  • We As Human
  • One Girl Nation

Hurt for the Holidays

Hurt for the Holidays – Managing the major grief of those who have major loss

Holidays are not always happy days, especially if you have experienced major loss. Think about it – if you lost a job or a house through foreclosure can you still have a Merry Christmas this year? Some people can manage the loss of material things because they rely on their savings, or extended family for support. But what about those who don’t have access to those resources – what do they do?

What about the wife of a man who cheats and leaves the marriage with another woman before the holiday. What do you say to someone who won’t have a happy family memory on December 25th, because she will be sharing her children with a new woman and her relatives while she sits in the marital home (which is missing half the furniture) alone.

Or think about the family who have to say goodbye to a beloved family pet because of age or illness. How can they celebrate a happy holiday without a trusted animal companion?

Think about the mom and dad who lost a child this year to death. Is there any comfort for those who have lost a son or daughter?

And those who experienced these type of major losses a year ago are coming up on the one year anniversary of feeling these devastating losses all over again. The anniversary of a traumatic time is almost as intense as when it first happened.

Is there any hope to manage all of this loss? I believe there is.

Loss is a part of life, but that doesn’t make the hurt any better. We all know that nothing is forever, but want to slip away from the pain of reality for a few weeks every year over a cultural tradition, which isn’t necessarily harmful because not everyone is going to a funeral before Christmas, or waiting to be evicted from the home they have lived in for decades.

Many people don’t realize how hard it is on others because they are too busy celebrating having all their family together, eating great food and sharing wonderful gifts and experiences.

Maybe that’s what makes it harder on others – that their neighbors are so happy, because when your life is crushed it is hard to celebrate with others who weren’t flattened by the tidal wave of grief that comes after a major loss.

Should some people stop celebrating because others are having a terrible time? Should you tone down your family having a good time so it doesn’t hurt others?

No, but everyone should remember the spiritual principle to “weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice”.

If you have friends or family who are struggling, be there for them. Encourage them, help them financially if you can – and the best way to do that is to invite them over to share the holiday experience together. Take action to push them past their false pride by challenging them to be part of your community. Giving another family joy at Christmas will bring you more value than anything you could buy at the mall.

The spiritual value of kindness is a powerful way to help others manage their painful losses and it comes right out of the teaching of the Bible. Listen to these comforting words from Psalm 34.
4) I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

 

6 ) This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.

 

7) The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.

 

15) The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.

 

17 ) The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.

 

18) The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

 

19) Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

 

 

Do you see the pattern?

 

In desperation call out to God, trust that God will never abandon you and wait on God. This process won’t get your job or house back, but it will give you peace inside. A deep spiritual peace that will give you the strength to press on through the toughest of times. And isn’t that what the angels sang about that first Christmas…. “Peace on Earth, Good will toward mankind.”

 

God promises peace, so if you or someone you love is shattered by grief this holiday season start with God and stay with God. I believe He will see you through the tough times so you can experience joy again.

 

About the author- Dwight Bain is dedicated to helping people achieve greater results. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Certified Life Coach in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change.

Reprint Permission- If this article helped you, you are invited to share it with your own list at work or church, forward it to friends and family or post it on your own site or blog. Just leave it intact and do not alter it in any way. Any links must remain in the article. Please include the following paragraph in your reprint. “Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group weekly eNews, (Copyright, 2004-2013), To subscribe to this valuable counseling and coaching resource visitwww.LifeworksGroup.org.

John Rivers’ Thanksgiving Recipes

Baked Gruyère Mashed Potatoes

Serves 10

5 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes

2 sticks plus 1⁄4 stick unsalted butter

1 cup warm half-and-half

1⁄2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Peel potatoes, leaving about 50 percent of skin on. Cut into 2- to 3-inch chunks. Cook in
boiling, lightly salted water until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and let air dry for 3
to 5 minutes.

While potatoes are warm, hand mash to desired consistency and transfer to a mixing bowl. Using a mixer or a handheld beater, mix at medium speed for about 2 minutes to fluff potatoes. Add 2 sticks butter, warm half-and-half, cream cheese, salt, and pepper and continue to mix for another minute to combine.

Fold in Gruyère cheese and add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the potatoes into a generously buttered 4-quart baking dish. Top with remaining
butter cut into pats and bake for 25 minutes, until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.

 

 

John’s Turkey Gravy

1 Cup salted butter

1 ¾ Cup all purpose flour

1 ½ gallons turkey stock

1 T black pepper

1 ½ Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 ½ tsp salt

 

Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat.

Make a roux by whisking in flour and continue to cook until an almond color, about 5-7 minutes whisking frequently.  Remove from heat.

In a large saucepot bring turkey stock to a boil.

In ¼ cup increments begin to whisk in roux, allowing the stock to come back to a complete boil before each addition.

When sauce has thickened whisk in pepper, rosemary, and salt.

 

 

John’s Sausage Dressing

Serves 10-12

16-ounce package Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped white onion

1 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 tablespoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth

14-ounce bag cornbread stuffing mix

Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Thoroughly cook sausage in a large saucepan. Discard grease and wipe pan clean.

Melt butter in same saucepan and add onion, celery, garlic, sage, and celery salt. Sauté until vegetables are translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Add chicken broth, cooked sausage, and stuffing mix. Blend all ingredients until stuffing is thoroughly moistened. Taste and season with pepper if needed.

Lightly grease 9 X 13 baking pan. Place stuffing in pan and bake in oven for 50-60 minutes. Cover with foil and keep warm until ready to serve.

 

 

Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 8

6 cups mashed sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds fresh

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

 

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Combine all ingredients except pecans in a 13 X 9-inch casserole.  Sprinkle with pecans.

Bake 35 minutes or until it slightly puffs.