Category Archives: Food

Better expectations, better Halloween

pumpkin 2017Do you have your Halloween pumpkin carved yet?

We carved a pumpkin a few weeks ago when our granddaughter was here. Always aiming to carve a happy face.

Happiness on a pumpkin shows me that superficial happiness is something less than the power I give it.


Eating chocolate makes me happy. But not really. Knowing this fact allows me to improve my expectations. Instead of expecting chocolate to give me happiness, I can expect truth and love to come with happiness. I can expect honesty and a willingness to try something new to come with happiness. Maybe eating an apple is good.

Quoting from science & religion to God:

“How we interpret life affects not only our outlook and expectations, but also the consequences.”



He is part of the family, a younger man who grew up with our daughters. When he was single and living on his own, I encouraged him to cook at home, rather than eat out all the time.

He remembered the Christmas cookies we’d make and asked for the recipe.

Later he called me on the phone and said, “The cookies turned out good, but the frosting is terrible.”

I asked, “What did you do?”

He answered, “I mixed butter and sugar.”

After pondering I finally asked, “What kind of sugar did you use?”

“Gran you late dead,” he enunciated carefully.

“Ah, that’s granulated sugar. You want powdered sugar,” I said.

He learned about powdered sugar and I laugh at myself when working cross word puzzles. Sometimes, when all but 1 block is filled out with letters, I can’t pronounce the word, especially when they add 2 words and I think it’s one.

Our human minds are limited. When we know their limits we are more open to hearing ideas from the unlimited divine Mind.

A mental scientific method

Human beings are naturally inquisitive. There will always be bodies of thinkers who want to discover truth. They can deflect confirmation bias—the tendency to look for and see only evidence that confirms what they already believe—and discover avenues of progress.

I became acquainted with a man who survived the Holocaust. He is well-adapted in the world and raised a strong, loving family that contributes to society in positive, just ways. The survivor lacks animosity.

I took this evidence and tried to reproduce it, following the scientific method.

Though not nearly resembling the Holocaust, I am under the control of outside forces. Laws of the land, the economy, and leaders of organizations I work for, all dictate in some degree what I have to do and how I live.

Instead of letting animosity build up, I concede to the control, while fighting in my mind for justice and love.

Sometimes I fall short of the ideal of the scientific method and don’t reproduce the same results of a well-adapted human being. I become anxious. This isn’t so much because the survivor isn’t transparent and may have anxiety also. It isn’t because I fill up with animosity.

It’s because the scientific method isn’t ideal. The method isn’t always reliable.

Therefore, I turn to what I refer to as a divine method. This method is purely mental and exposes all spiritual factors. I may not have animosity but I could have jealousy that makes me anxious and throws me off balance.

The mental method of reproducing good results only works when my ideal is truthful, empathic, and brave. Moral courage and wisdom are needed for me to love in a way that promotes constructive action at the right time.

When raising children, I could not speak to them all the same, or the results would be different. I prayed to know what to say, when.

I even talk to myself differently.

chocolateSome days I can eat a piece of chocolate. Some days I know I’m supposed to tell myself no chocolate. It’s a mental method of following divine thoughts of honesty. It produces more reliable, balanced results than measuring and eating chocolate.

Moving an Alzheimer’s patient

Instead of trying really hard to heal spiritually, I’ve learned to stop myself. I’ve decided that If God is healing, then God is healing all the time. Nonstop. I don’t make healing happen. I don’t need to look for something to heal.

Instead of praying for healing, I pray to see God healing. It is right in front of me, part of my experience.

As the cloud’s shadow passes over me when out in the woods walking, or as an idea enlightens my thought, healing results.

???????????????????????????????Months ago, I’d planned to help husband/wife friends move from Arizona to Washington State. The husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was in a wheelchair. The wife told me, “Cheryl, he responds to you without confusion.”

The morning before I needed to fly to Arizona, I got sick. Food would not stay down. My husband told me, “This healing is here because you are the one for the job.”

We were staying at my husband’s sister’s house and she nursed me with mother love. By that afternoon, an hour before my scheduled flight, I was well enough to pack. My brother-in-law took me to the airport early and we both agreed that if I felt I should cancel my traveling that he’d return to pick me up at the airport and take me back to their house for rest. “I don’t mind one bit,” he said. His trust in God, through his Latter Day Saints faith, held a purity I could feel.

Healing continued and I traveled to Arizona. The husband and wife were ready and waiting to travel and move to Washington. The flight went without a flaw.

I was grateful that the husband did respond to me. Though the airports were hectic and loud, he was calm and hopeful.

I pondered “spiritual Alzheimer’s,” living in the past with confidence, yet easily angered when asked to do more than what the limited perspective expects.

Then I read from Matthew 4:1, 8-10:

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry…[Then[ the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

Though I believe that in spiritual reality there is no devil, there is a devil to contend with humanly. The devil of Alzheimer’s will be cast out and until then we can prove it step by step. The devil was rebuked during our travels and we did worship God, Love, resulting in a gracious experience. We hope to continue.

Global maple syrup grading system

Here in upstate New York, maple farmers are in the middle of their hectic season. Some farmers tap up to 18,000 maple trees, from which drips sap when the weather warms up during the day. The sap is boiled down to syrup. The farmers are family owned and operated, many selling maple products on the farm.

New York State Maple Weekends are the last two weekends in March, during which the public is invited to the farms, to see firsthand the operation.

As of January 2015, New York State began grading maple syrup according to a global standard, a move spearheaded by the International Maple Syrup Institute more than ten years ago.

Previously, grading was based on color descriptors and states and provinces had their own grading systems. Now the descriptions grade according to color and taste and all states and countries use the same system.

The new labels are: Grade A Golden; Grade A Amber; Grade Dark; and Grade A Very Dark.

Grade A Golden is identical to what was Grade A light amber. And, the Grade A Dark is virtually what was classified as Grade B. But it’s all still delicious natural pure maple syrup.

It doesn’t surprise me that this “new grading system” could be related to the Bible.

I read in the Bible, historical content showing humanity grading one another. But, in the thousands of years covered in the Bible, there is a noticeable shift fighting for equality. We have a God that loves us all equally.

From I Corinthians

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Tom Kauffman at maple syrup chart cropped

Using the purchase power of wisdom

Yesterday after church, we had to pick up a few groceries. Inside the store, Christmas stuff peeked out of every shelf. Holiday food, little gifts, cutesy decor.

Marketers are pros at appealing to the masses.

The music, the bright colors, the desire to be a part of the fun—all play into our purchasing.

It was a test of my self-discipline not to buy items I don’t need.

It’s unnecessary to spend too much and buy into things we don’t need or want. We can change our ways, we can repent, and use the wisdom God gave us.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Repentance is more than contrition or feeling really bad. It must be lived out with sincerity. Effective repentance reforms thinking and enables human beings to do the will of wisdom.

“There are many self-help books on the market that assist us in yielding to a Higher Power, however “mind-cures,” or “mental medicines” that operate through human mind or the earth’s energy are as material as conventional medicine. The treatments don’t break their own barriers and only try to mimic divine Science. This is similar to when Moses had Aaron throw his staff on the ground before Pharaoh, and the staff became a snake. Imitating Aaron, Pharaoh’s cohorts threw their sticks down to become snakes, but Aaron’s snake swallowed the copies.[1] The system of divine Science is purely mental. We must embrace spiritual Mind with its power to cure. God, Love, Mind, is the healing factor. Christian Science rests on the conception of God as the only Life, substance, intelligence, and the only factor in the healing work.

“To reach heaven, the harmony of being, the divine Principle of being needs to be understood and the talents[2] given to us by God must be improved. God is not separate from the wisdom bestowed.”

[1] Ex. 7:8–12

[2] Matt. 25:15; Luke 19:13


Quiet thanks

The Thanksgiving Holiday is near here in the United States. It makes me think of praise, giving thanks, and being grateful, each action having their own nuance. Thanksgiving always reminds me of a religious practice because giving thanks seems irrevocably connected to God.

However, I can glimpse back to when the pilgrims and Native Americans were eating wild game, squash, and corn, and see them very thankful for the physical food, especially after surviving starvation.

Today, the habit of overeating during Thanksgiving creates a heavy fog over the Holidays.

I’ve asked Richard Fischer, a student of divine Science, a few questions for dialogue.

Do you think spiritual self-control can over balance the stress on physical food on Thanksgiving Day?

Richard: Thanksgiving isn’t a day, it isn’t family gatherings, and it sure can’t be food. Thanksgiving is knowing and believing in who and what we are. Thanksgiving is knowing we are trying to make the world a better place for ourselves and everyone. I’ve noticed that as I age, I make less emphasis on food and more on quiet thanks.

Is your view of Thanksgiving shifting?

Richard: Thanksgiving became a time of cooking, food, and a house full of family who we see twice a year and they live just down the street. Last year, I remember walking into a restaurant and seeing an older couple sitting across the table with a younger couple. All four people were staring down into their smart phones. Oh, and the baby was ignored.

How do you treat Thanksgiving, as a holiday, today?

Richard: Thanksgiving is waking up in the middle of the night lying next to my cats. It’s thinking good, and happy thoughts. It’s feeling the love I have for friends and family. Thanksgiving is going into myself, listening to my inner voice of reason. It’s hearing Angels in my time of need.



The sensibilities can expand

Marrakesh, Morocco lived up to its reputation for reconciling its prestigious past with contemporary dynamism. As visitors a few years ago, we ate from rooftops, peering over to see stucco walls and plain yet practical metal roofs, decorated with satellites. We walked the mazes within Medina (Old City), passing donkeys pulling carts and people talking on cell phones.

The beauty of the past and present embracing one another intermixed with a pluralist equilibrium. Different faiths coexisted and commingle. I felt the advancements made in religion, science, and business was working to undermine the intolerance I hear about all too often in the media.

I noticed the different culture stirred my sensibilities, however, those very sensibilities expanded and adapted and I met some very wonderful people and discovered we have much in common.

Surprise birthday cake

“Oh wow, a surprise birthday party. I can’t believe it.”

“Chocolate cake too?”

“I wasn’t expecting chocolate cake or a party.”

Let’s stop here for a second, and look at this mentally.

Does the cake need to be eaten?

Is eating the cake expected?

Is eating the cake a requirement?

Probably not. Probably. And, no.

Now, exchange cake for pain.

When pain surprises us, do we react with disbelief or nonchalance?

Do we eat up what is served to us, whether it’s in the form of arthritis or plantar fascia?

Basically, self-control and wisdom are impersonal. They apply to cake and pain.

As our expression of self-control and wisdom becomes more secure as we turn down cake, and pain, we don’t need or want.

From Eccl. 11

“Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.”

From 21st Century Science and Health, “If thinking doesn’t shift out of the vicious cycle of believing in a temporal life, life is very disheartening and we feel cursed. Error hides behind a lie and excuses guilt, but can’t be concealed forever. Even the attitude that tries to justify or hide guilt is punished. People who avoid justice and deny truth tend to perpetuate sin, bring on crime, jeopardize self-control, and mock divine mercy.”

Gal. 5

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.


Sensitive to God

Post written by Richard Fischer:

A friend of mine once said to me, “Did I ever tell you that I was allergic to eggs?” I said, “No, you never had.”

“Well, if I were to eat an egg, you better get me to the hospital within a few minutes or it’s curtains for me.”

I thought, “Wow, no birthday cake for you this year.”

This friend and I were in the military together and a few months later we had to go on maneuvers. It was a long drive to our destination.

I knew it was going to be an all-nighter, so I made my famous Bologna sandwiches. The recipe calls for 8 hard-boiled eggs, sweet pickles and onions mix. I made sandwiches out of the whole loaf of bread. We headed out at noon and by midnight we were stuck at the top of a mountain pass.

Unfortunately, the roads were bad and the vehicles had some accidents. We were putting on chains and trying to get started again. I was really busy when the friend asked me, “Hey Gunny, you got anything to eat?”

Focused on my work, I managed to say, “Yea, there’s some sandwiches in the truck.”

A while later he came again and asked for another sandwich. I was pretty busy with the State Patrol and getting chains on our trucks, and so I turned to him and said, “Eat whatever, I have things to do.”

As we got moving, I went to grab a sandwich. Low and behold, my friend ate about 6 sandwiches. I thought, “What a pig, he ate most of my sandwiches.” A few minutes later I thought, “Holy Crap, he ate all those eggs.”

I stopped the convoy in order to check up on my friend. He looked great, and he asked me if I had any more of the sandwiches, and I informed him that he already ate 2/3rd of the grub, that was enough.

We continued on to our destination, arriving 5 hours late. My friend asked me what was in the sandwich. I answered, “I don’t know, my wife made them, I’ll get the recipe when we get back home.”

30 days later I gave him the recipe.  He insisted if this were true that he’d have been dead.  A few months later he came to me and said, “You know Gunny, I told my doctor what had happened, and he said that those sandwiches would have killed me.”

I replied, “Believe what you want, but I’m the one who made those sandwiches. I didn’t tell you they had eggs because it was way too late.  If I told you that you had eggs, you would have made yourself sick. Believe what you want. If you want to be allergic to eggs, by golly be allergic.”

Is his allergy a fact? Is it truth? Or an Illusion? How we love to cling to our sickly beliefs.

That experience taught me a lot about fact, fiction, and illusion. Evidence is piling up that we can learn the facts of God and the fact of a health created and sustained by God. We weren’t created hypersensitive or susceptible to being adversely affected by stuff. We can be sensitive to God, Life everlasting and at peace.

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