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This post on Sacred Marriage: Good Marriage Can Foster Good Prayer was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.

Hi everybody! Welcome to Week 6 of our series on “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas. This week we will be looking at chapter six of the novel titled “The Soul’s Embrace: Good Marriage Can Foster Good Prayer”. When we think about prayer and marriage, it is common to jump to the notion that an improved prayer life can lead to an improved marriage. While this isn’t necessarily false, Thomas wants us to look at the interaction between marriage and prayer differently. He wants us to consider and understand how marriage can actually improve our prayer life.

Thomas’ argument comes from 1 Peter 3:7, in which Peter calls husbands to be considerate of and respect their wives “so that your prayers may not be hindered”. Thomas believes that once we are married, our partner becomes an integral part of our ministry and our community through which we serve God. When we marry, our ministry is no longer just about our own purpose and agenda, but instead should become a mutual kingdom service. Thomas is adamant that if we only pursue our own agenda and ambition (even to serve others), at the detriment of the amount of attention we give to our partner, our prayer life will become a sham.

While this is a strong stance, Thomas pleads us to not dismiss the importance of our relationships, especially in our marriage. After all, if we are unable to show our love and care for the person we know best, how are we genuinely able to love others around us? I don’t think we can. As such, it is important to ensure our marriage and family is a priority as we seek to glorify God. So, how do we instead allow marriage to foster prayer and therefore push us to grow closer to God?

One example Thomas provides is the relationship between prayer and dissension. Thomas writes that, “If we want to maintain a strong prayer life as married partners, we must learn how to forgive.” After all, marriage is not without conflict. It is inevitable that you will fight and disagree with your partner countless times during your marriage. What is important is how you deal with the friction when it comes up. If you want your marriage to last, you must learn to reconcile as opposed to holding on to dissent. You must realize why you were angry or upset at your partner. Often, it is because they do not meet our expectations or desires or needs. They don’t bring us the fulfillment we are seeking.

This is when our prayer life comes in. If we recognize that while our partner ought to be respected as they are God’s daughter or son, they will not “complete” us. As such, instead of directing our dissatisfaction with life towards them, we should instead appreciate what they do provide us with, while ultimately turning to God and prayer for complete nourishment. Marriage should hopefully cause us to learn at least two things. First, God has provided us with a partner who is a tremendous gift that we should respect and cherish, praising God for his wonderful generosity in giving us somebody to serve His kingdom alongside with. Second, our partner (like any other human being) is not God, and thus it is critical we pray to and have a relationship with Him in order to be best equipped to serve God, our spouse, and those around us.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, suggestions on topics, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you can take away something helpful form this post. You can reach me at thewayvylife@gmail.com!

If you like this post on Sacred Marriage: Good Marriage Can Foster Good Prayer, then you might also like:

Sacred Marriage: Holy Honor

The post Good Marriage Can Foster Good Prayer appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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This “Mixed Bag” Kale Salad is so simple to make, yet you’ll never tire of it. Be sure to use the freshest kale you can find and shaved gruyere or Parmesan cheese right off the block.

So, we’ve been living out of a few hotels for nearly three weeks while home repairs were being done following a rough winter. You probably didn’t even notice since I’ve pretty much been keeping up with my regular posting schedule. Thanks to some advance planning, I had a stash of recipes I made before I could no longer use my kitchen.

When we first moved out of our house and into the hotel, I had grandiose ideas that it was going to be like a vacation. After all, no cooking or cleaning, right? Well, the first few days were kind of nice I have to admit, but as the days waned on and the completion date for work at our house kept getting pushed out week after week, living in a hotel got old very quickly. We’ve still got another week to go before our kitchen will be ready for use, but we’re almost at the finish line.

We moved three times from hotel to hotel, as we tried to find a place that worked best for our family. With end-of-year school exams, proms and graduation coming up, it wasn’t the best timing to be sure.  I’ve felt discombobulated many days, living out of a suitcase, with bags containing food, school supplies and reading materials in my car, and tons of laundry waiting to be washed. Not to mention, that my house is also a complete mess with boxes everywhere that will need to be unpacked.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m so grateful to have had a nice roof over my head and good food to eat. It’s just that trying to house a large family in a hotel without a common area to come together just isn’t the same thing as living at home. What I didn’t think about was how we would manage dinners on nights when all the kids were going different directions.

I’ve come to learn and appreciate a lot in the past several weeks, especially the following: (1) having a place for a family to call home and come back to as their home base is so important to the security and stability of a family; (2) keeping a family connected requires good communication and physical/visual contact – texting is not the same thing. On days when my boys had activities into the evening, I asked them to stop by my room to “check-in” so I could chat with them about their day; (3) sharing meals together as a family is so important in keeping a family connected – the importance of social interaction with family members cannot be minimized.

Eating out was fun to begin with, but we soon missed just eating at “home” so we eagerly took up a friend’s offer to hang out at their home for the evening for a home cooked meal, and held “family dinners” in our hotel room, including a home cooked meal from one of my dear friends. We learned to communicate better as a family…no, it’s not all right to assume that you can eat with your friends because you have no idea what your family is doing for dinner…ahem, said son to remain unnamed.

Our mini “vacation” has been a good learning experience for us, and I am so grateful to have a home to return to. And, I never thought I’d say it, but it actually feels good to do laundry in my own home (anyone who knows me can tell you how much I hate doing laundry!) And…I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen cooking again for my family.

This “Mixed Bag” Kale Salad from Baldanza cafe is one of the salads that I’ve been eating often for lunch during my “vacation.” It’s simple, fresh and just plain delicious. Topped with shaved gruyere cheese, and a light lemon olive oil dressing, this salad is a classic. I don’t think I’ll get tire of it.

"Mixed Bag" Kale Salad

Use the freshest vegetables available, fresh shaved Parmesan cheese, and a high quality olive oil for best results.

  • 2 cups chopped curly kale and in-season mixed greens (arugula, baby romaine, red leaf lettuce)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ounce shaved gruyere or Parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  1. Toss together kale and other greens, tomatoes and gruyere cheese. Crack some black pepper on top. Mix together olive oil and lemon. Dress salad and serve.

If you like this kale salad, you might also like:

Copycat Mrs Green’s Hail To The Kale Salad

Kale Salad with Feta, Garlic Panko Crumbs and Fried Egg

The post Mixed Bag Kale Salad with Tomatoes and Cheese with Lemon Dressing Recipe appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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This post on Sacred Marriage: Holy Honor was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.

Hey everybody! Welcome to Week 5 of my series on “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas, where we will be discussing chapter five of the book. The chapter is titled “Holy Honor: Marriage Teaches Us to Respect Others” and focuses on learning how to honor and respect our spouses. Thomas talks about how contempt can ruin relationships. When we grow in our disdain for our significant other, our hearts harden for each other. Instead, Thomas insists that we have contempt for contempt.

It can be difficult at times to not point out the shortcomings and flaws of our spouse. After all, we probably know them better than anybody else, and therefore know their strengths and weaknesses better than they may know themselves. It is tempting to tell them what they are doing wrong or could do better, believing this will help them improve as a person. However, while I believe criticism can be helpful at times, it is only helpful if it is provided with good intentions, and it is well received and accepted. This is not often the case unfortunately. Typically, we criticize others to make us feel better about ourselves, and this is understandably not usually taken well by our spouse. Contempt breeds contempt.

So how do we avoid the vicious cycle of unhealthy criticism and disdain for our partners or close friends? Fortunately, Thomas offers some insight into a few practical ways we can work on building contempt for contempt, instead of fighting contempt with more contempt. First, he tells us to adopt a holy double standard, meaning instead of focusing on what your spouse can improve upon, seek out how God can change you instead to be a better partner. Do not obsess over your spouse flaws. Rather, show them respect and compassion just as Jesus does for us despite our weaknesses, and become more like Jesus yourself to benefit your partner and your marriage.

Thomas also advises that we gain a new understanding of our partners. Shift the energy you spend on bringing them down to trying to understand them and their lives better. If you spend much of the day apart, take the time to really find out what their day is really like. Thomas suggests questions such as “What is the most difficult part of your day?”, “When do you feel like giving up?”, “Are parts of your day monotonous?”, and “Is there something you constantly fear?”. You’ll probably get some surprising answers, and realize that although their day may look quite differently from yours, it is just as hard and draining in its own unique way.

Finally, Thomas also suggests cultivating gratitude, which I am a huge proponent of. Do not take what routine duties your partner does for granted. Thank them for making a meal, bringing the kids to school, providing for the family, doing the laundry, helping out with dishes, playing with the kids, etc. Appreciate their efforts instead of growing comfortable in expecting them to do everything. As Thomas writes, “Contempt is conceived with expectations; respect is conceived with expressions of gratitude.”

At the end of the day, anybody you are in relationship with is a broken person. They will always have flaws and screw up sometimes. It does no good to resent them for their mistakes. It does a lot of good to give them grace and remember they are a child of God. Have compassion for them when they fall short of perfection, and be thankful when they are caring and loving. They deserve to be respected and honored not because of what they do, but because of who they are – a creation of God. I hope you can learn to do this not just for your spouse if you have one, but for every single person you cross paths with in your journey of life. Just as Jesus loved all people while on Earth, God is pleased when we do the same.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, suggestions on topics, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you can take away something helpful form this post. You can reach me at thewayvylife@gmail.com!

If you like this post on Sacred Marriage: Holy Honor, then you might also like:

Sacred Marriage: Learning to Love

The post Sacred Marriage: Holy Honor appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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This Quinoa Citrus Mango Avocado Black Bean Salad would make an excellent addition to any meal. Bright with citrus fruits, juicy with mangoes, creamy with avocado, and chock full of protein from quinoa and black beans.

Spring is here but temperatures continue to fluctuate between warm and cool.  Spring crops are just starting to come to market, yet cold weather produce dominates the shelves still. My kitchen reflects this transition. I’ve still got grapefruits and oranges in my refrigerator, yet I also have a box of mangoes on my counter.

This Quinoa Citrus Mango Avocado Black Bean Salad is my transition into Spring salad. I’m trying to enjoy the last of my winter citrus fruits while incorporating the my favorite fruit – mangoes –  that are now in season. This salad would great for as a side dish at your next barbecue, or it could be served as a vegetarian main course salad. Black beans and quinoa provide a good source of protein.

I love the combination of juicy, sweet citrus and mangoes in this salad. They play nicely off buttery avocado. This salad is lightly dressed with Meyer lemon juice (you can substitute regular lemon), olive oil, and honey.

If you like quinoa, you might enjoy these posts:

How To Cook Quinoa + Why It’s Good For You (cooking video)
Kale Quinoa Corn Tomato Salad (cooking video)
Breakfast Coconut Milk Quinoa with Fresh Fruit (cooking video)

Quinoa Citrus Mango Avocado Black Bean Salad

Red bell pepper would be a nice addition too.

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 fresh mango (flesh cut into cubes)
  • 1 avocado (flesh cut into cubes)
  • 1 grapefruit (cut into segments)
  • 2 oranges (cut into segments)
  • 1/2 Meyer lemon or regular lemon (juiced)
  • 1 scallion (minced)
  • a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • a pinch of sea salt
  1. Toss all ingredients together and serve.

The post Quinoa Citrus Mango Avocado Black Bean Salad Recipe appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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This post on Sacred Marriage: Finding God in Marriage was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.

Welcome back! We are now in Week 4 of my series on “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas. Today, we will be discussing the fourth chapter of the book called “Learning to Love: How Marriage Teaches Us to Love”. This chapter talks about how the context of marriage can be a great place for us to learn how to love other people. Loving others can be extremely difficult at times, especially if we don’t like something about them or they are unable or unwilling to reciprocate our love. There are people we simply cannot stand, or people that have hurt us deeply, or people that return our acts of kindness with evil, yet God calls us to love them all. When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus responds that it is to love God and love others. They come hand in hand. We show our love for God by loving others. We also love others by loving God.

However, as mentioned before, this is not an easy task. Yet, Thomas believes that marriage provides a tremendous opportunity to learn how to love. After all, we get to choose our spouse. If we can’t love our chosen spouse, how can we love our disrespectful co-worker or annoying family member? How can we love our enemies if we can’t even love the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with? While it can be hard to love our spouses at times, because they are human just like everybody else, marriage teaches us how to love and therefore how to be a Christian. It teaches us how to “accept another person and serve him or her,” and this is pleasing to God.

So what does this mean in the context of marriage? Love can show itself in countless ways, but one example Thomas uses is that it is not about being right. Trying to “win” every argument with your spouse and defending yourself in every situation is truly a selfish act. It is usually for the sake of pride and feeling good about yourself. You are fighting for yourself and not your spouse. That is not what love is about. Love is about listening to your spouse’s labors and sorrows, no matter if you think they are insignificant or less than your own, and helping them bear them.

Our spouse does not always want us to solve their problems – often they recognize that nobody can. However, sometimes they just need somebody “to listen, to understand, and to sympathize.” While they want to know that we would fix their problems if we could, they ultimately want to know that their pain causes us pain, and despite their issues and struggles, we still love them. They want to feel understood and accepted instead of dismissed and trivialized. They want a “soul-deep companionship” – somebody who will always be there for them in the midst of the trials and tribulations of life.

That is what love is about. Committing to be there for another human who may be radically different from you and thus difficult to love at times. This is what God does for us. We are certainly hard to love, as we fail to obey Him over and over again. In a sense, it is not “right” for God to love us. We do not deserve His love. Yet, He loves us anyways. How awesome is that. If we are able to show even a tad of this kind of radical love to our spouse or somebody else close to us, God will be more than pleased.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, suggestions on topics, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you can take away something helpful form this post. You can reach me at thewayvylife@gmail.com!

If you like this post on Sacred Marriage: Learning to Love, then you might also like:

Sacred Marriage: Finding God in Marriage

The post Sacred Marriage: Learning to Love appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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Mexican Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Avocado Dressing is so light, no one will guess the secret ingredients in the creamy dressing. The non-fat dressing is deceptively rich and creamy tasting. 148 calories/2 Freestyle points per serving).

Last week, we started our Fall Bible Study and I volunteered to bring a savory dish. It was the perfect opportunity to test out a recipe for a Mexican chopped salad similar to one served at a local restaurant that I love.

It’s chock full of different ingredients – jicama, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, and lettuce. I wanted to make this salad a little heartier so I added some beans which I marinated in fajita spices. I had spotted a Fajita Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce recipe on Cooking Light, and used the spice combination from that recipe.

For the Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing, I made an ultra light dressing that tasted decadent. It’s actually 100% oil free.

The trick to making this dressing creamy? Nonfat Greek yogurt and a whole avocado. It’s sweetened with a little honey to round out the flavor and thinned with a little water.  A few pickled jalapeno peppers add a bit of zing.

Watch how easy this Mexican chopped salad recipe is to make:

Mexican Chopped Salad - YouTube
Enjoy!

Mexican Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Avocado Dressing

Salad
  • 3 heads romaine hearts (or baby kale, Spring greens)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 English cucumber (chopped)
  • 1 jicama (peeled, chopped)
  • 2 scallions (chopped)
  • 1 avocado (chopped)
  • grated Cojita cheese (optional)
Seasoned Black Beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Cilantro Lime Yogurt Avocado Dressing
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 pickled jalapeno pepper slices
  • juice from one lime
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
Salad
  1. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together ingredients Seasoned Black Bean ingredients. Add to salad bowl.
Cilantro Lime Yogurt Avocado Dressing
  1. To make Creamy Cilantro Lime Greek Yogurt Avocado Dressing, place all dressing ingredients in food processor except water. Process until smooth; gradually add water to thin out dressing. Serve with salad.

2 Freestyle points per serving.

If you like this Mexican Chopped Salad recipe, you might also like:

Chopped Greek Salad

The post Mexican Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Avocado Dressing Recipe appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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The chicken filling in these Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos is so juicy and tender. Delicious as a taco filling, in burrito bowls and more. 

Don’t you just love that name ~ Chicken Tinga? Recently, I visited a local farmer’s market where a stand was selling tacos, including one filled with Chicken Tinga. I was instantly intrigued by the name and asked the vendor what was in the chicken. He rattled off onions, peppers, tomatoes as ingredients. The meat was tender and juicy, and came from a pot of thick red sauce.

When I got home that day, I googled Chicken Tinga and found a few recipes as well as a recipe for another chicken filling I’ve had at a local restaurant, Valencia Luncheria, in their Carlo Arepa. Both chicken fillings shared some common elements, so I took what I liked from each recipe and combined it into my own version of Chicken Tinga, made in a slow cooker.

If you want to see the recipes I used to come up with my version, check out Valencia Luncheria’s Carlo Arepa recipe and Serious Eat’s Smokey Chicken Tinga Tacos recipe.

Give these Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos a try. This chicken would be delicious not just for tacos, but in burrito bowls, enchiladas, on top of nachos, inside empanadas, and more.

The sauce is so good – don’t throw it out. Use it in this turkey pumpkin chili recipe.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 large tomatillo (husk removed, chopped)
  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 28 ounces fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes)
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chopped + 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt to taste
  • 3 pounds boneless (skinless chicken thighs)
To Serve
  • taco shells
  • guacamole
  • fresh salsa
  • Greek yogurt
  • shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, green and red peppers, tomatillo and garlic. Saute until vegetable are soft, about 10-15 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to prevent sticking and burning in pan. Add tomatoes, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to cook another 5 minutes. Place vegetables in food processor and process until just smooth. Season to taste with a little salt. Pour sauce into slow cooker. Gently place chicken thighs in slow cooker, covering pieces with sauce. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Serve with tacos and your favorite toppings.


NOTE: Nutrition Facts are for chicken only.

If you like these Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos, you might also like:

Crockpot Shredded Hawaiian Chicken Tacos

The post Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos Recipe appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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This post on Sacred Marriage: Finding God in Marriage was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.

Welcome to Week 3 of my series on “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas. This week, we will be discussing the third chapter of the book titled “Finding God in Marriage: Marital Analogies Teach Us Truths About God”. This chapter focuses on how there are analogies throughout the Bible where marriage is used to represent the relationship between Christ and the church. One of them is in Ephesians 5:25-27, where Paul writes, “25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” In this sense, marriage is used to illustrate the commitment and relationship God has made to His people.

Thomas uses these analogies to address what he believes the purpose of marriage should be. While many people may get married for their own self interests, such as having somebody to comfort them and meet their desires and needs, Thomas sees it differently. He does not even prescribe to the belief by some Christians that marriage is simply to avoid sexual sin, procreate, or help us in our loneliness. While these all may be good motivations, Thomas ultimately believes marriage is about modeling God’s love for His people, as this is what pleases God. This is the primary purpose of marriage. Instead of asking ourselves, “What will make me happy?” Thomas thinks we should be asking, “What will make God happy?”

Of course, this is not easy. This turns the purpose of marriage from selfish to selfless. Just as God has reconciled with His people, we are to display reconciliation in our personal relationships and our marriage. This means “building a relationship that models forgiveness, selfless love, and sacrifice.” Through this process, we are able to become more like Jesus and display God’s love for the world through our marriage. This is what God calls us to do and what is pleasing to Him.

Thomas believes that if we make this the purpose of our marriage, then we can withstand the storms that will come in our relationships. If we are committed to please God above everything else in our marriage, we will be able to overcome issues such as “sexual temptations, communication problems, frustrations, and unrealized expectations.” However, if we seek personal happiness from marriage, we will only be disappointed and discouraged when troubles do arise. Our spouse will not always please us, and our marriage will let us down. Thus, for our marriages to endure, our focus should not be on what we can receive, but on what can we give to our spouse and to God. How can we love another person just as Jesus loves us?

I encourage you to reflect upon this question as you think about your marriage or any other close relationship in your life. Ultimately, if we are to put God first in our lives, this means putting others first as well. We are called to go against our own desires and instead live selflessly, so that we may display God’s love to the world. I hope you can make steps towards this purpose this week as I try to do the same.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, suggestions on topics, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you could take away something helpful from this post. You can reach me at thewayvylife@gmail.com!

If you like this post on Sacred Marriage: Finding God in Marriage, then you might also like:

Sacred Marriage: Romanticism’s Ruse

The post Sacred Marriage: Finding God in Marriage appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad is a beautiful, healthy salad that is perfect as a vegetarian main course salad or a side dish. I first made this vegetarian salad six years ago for a Ladies’ church luncheon. We used to host monthly lunches at people’s homes, and our pastor would stop by for a short discussion or Q&A session. Now that our church has gotten so much bigger, I’ve found that participating in small Bible studies are the best way for me to stay connected with other women from our church.

Throughout this school year, I’ve been part of an incredible women’s Bible study group. Being around women of faith in a loving, supportive environment has helped me grow as a Christian, and deepen my faith. Our most recent study on love (Kelly Minter’s What Love Is study) was especially impactful. I learned that Christian love is so much more than having loving feelings towards someone. Loving in a Christian way means dying to ourselves, putting other people’s needs ahead of ours, being gracious to people we don’t like or we don’t deserve it, and loving people instead of judging them. This is not easy to do, but when I consider how much God loves me by allowing his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my salvation, the proper and only response is for me to try to love others. It is the second most important commandment.

Matthew 22:38-40 – “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’“

This Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad was originally inspired by a favorite Mango Salsa recipe. Quinoa and black beans make this salad heartier, so it can be served as a vegetarian/vegan main course salad or as a side dish. Last week when I made this for our Bible study celebration, I added the juice of an orange to add a little natural sweetness. This quinoa salad is gluten-free (and dairy-free) too, so this recipe meets the dietary needs of many people.

If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, check out my How To Cook Quinoa post. Quinoa comes in different colors – red, white and black, so use your favorite.

Here’s the original mango avocado black bean quinoa salad I made six years ago, using red quinoa.

Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This is great for entertaining. Double the recipe for a large party. Serves as a side dish or vegetarian main course salad.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups mango (diced)
  • 1 1/2 cups avocado (diced)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (drained)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (minced)
  • 1/4 cup mint (minced)
  • 1/4 cup scallions (minced)
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeded, minced)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 orange (juiced)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  1. To cook quinoa, place well rinsed quinoa in a small saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until water is completely absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl.

    Whisk together olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar. Add to quinoa and leave uncovered until cool. (Can be refrigerated until ready to finish making salad.)

    When quinoa is cool, add mangoes, avocado, black beans, red bell pepper, cilantro, mint, scallions, jalapeno pepper, lime juice and orange juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you like this Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad recipe, you might also like:

Mexican Corn Quinoa Salad

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Kale Quinoa Tomato Corn Salad

Quinoa Citrus Mango Avocado Salad

The post Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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This post on Sacred Marriage: Romanticism’s Ruse was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.

Welcome back to my book series on “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas! Today, we will generally be discussing Chapter 2 of the book called “Romanticism’s Ruse: How Marriage Points Us to True Fulfillment”. This chapter focuses on the potential deception of romanticism. Today’s culture plays a heavy emphasis on romanticism and falling in love. This kind of love is all about what you feel and following your heart. It is about the butterflies and lovey dovey emotions you get from a new relationship. In movies, it is always about two people perfectly falling in love. But, they don’t usually show what happens after the wedding or for the many years following.

Why? Because, in reality, the picturesque romantic love fades away. It does not last. It might for a year or even two, but usually not much longer than that. Does that mean marriages cannot last? No. Instead, Thomas points out that this means that marriage simply cannot be built upon romantic love. It must be built on something deeper – a more mature kind of love. Does this mean marriage will always be fun? No. As a matter of fact, it can be really hard. Thomas talks about how you cannot hide in marriage. It is a 24/7 commitment. As such, it forces you to face  “character issues you’d never have to face otherwise”. Yikes. That’s scary.

However, although this can be frightening, it can surely be good for you as well. It is through this confrontation of your flaws through the context of marriage that you can become more like Jesus. By having to show your whole true self to another person, you will become much more aware of your shortcomings. But, once you are more self-aware, you are then able to work on your issues, and thus transform in becoming more like Jesus. Marriage can bring the best and the worst out of you, but more importantly it can provide you with the opportunity to change for the better.

Additionally, Thomas also makes the important note that your marriage and spouse cannot make you happy. This is often the false belief that romantic love is built on. The belief that another person is your missing piece. That if you have them in your life, you will be made complete and fulfilled. The truth is, as incredible as your spouse may be, they cannot meet all your needs. Only God can do that. However, your spouse and marriage can still be an amazing gift. While they can’t make you happy, they can certainly push you closer to God in ways that no other relationship could. As such, while marriage is not the ultimate prize in life, it provides us with the opportunity to glorify God and grow closer to Him, and that is quite special.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, suggestions on topics, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you could take away something helpful from this post. You can reach me at thewayvylife@gmail.com!

If you like this post on Sacred Marriage: Romanticism’s Ruse, then you might also like:

Sacred Marriage: The Greatest Challenge in the World

The post Sacred Marriage: Romanticism’s Ruse appeared first on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

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