Stone Soup

Does anyone remember Stone Soup?

I have fond memories of Mom reading this to us when I was a kid.  I was always intrigued by those sneaky soldiers who sweet talked the villagers to contribute to the soup pot. It’s a great bedtime story for kids, teaching the values of sharing and collaboration.

Yesterday I made a baked veggie dish. When I was eating dinner, I had an epiphany, “This is Stone Soup!”
Here’s my Lo-carb, Paleo version of Stone Soup.  I basically cleaned out the veggie drawers of the fridge for this.  It was a real hodgepodge of veggies and beef, Hence the name: Stone Soup.

2 pounds of meat, either chicken or beef, cut into chunks.
2 cups of veggie or chicken broth
4 Tbs olive oil,
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
8 cloves garlic
1 Tbs turmeric,
1/2 Tsp salt,
1/2 Tsp pepper
1/2 Tsp paprika
1/2 each of purple and yellow onions, diced
1 yellow squash
3 zucchinis.
3 beets (peeled & diced),
4 celery stalks,
4 carrots,
1 sliced fennel bulb (just because it was there).
No taters or maters (by request).
I forgot the stone, but will keep it in mind for next time.

Cut veggies into 1 inch chunks and spread in a large baking pan.
Marinate meat for an hour in olive oil, vinegar, garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper and paprika.  Brown the meat, then simmer in the marinade
Pour the meat and marinade over the veggies with the broth.
Baked covered @ 400 for an hour, then stir and bake uncovered for another half hour.

Other childhood favorites:

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Thoughts on John 3:16

“ God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16 This is one of the most memorized verses in the Bible. I…

Source: Thoughts on John 3:16

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Thoughts on John 3:16

“ God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16

This is one of the most memorized verses in the Bible. It is bandied about so often that people become blind to its complete significance.

Most Christians emphasize the second half of the verse, “whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This is true of course, but this treatment emphasizes a person’s individual salvation and can lead to a selfish kind of spirituality. This perspective is often used to scare people into accepting Jesus out of  fear.

Believers who accept Jesus in this way often become complacent in their salvation, “I know I am going to heaven when I die. Do you know where you are going?”

They miss the greater picture emphasized by the first half of the verse, why God sent Jesus to us in the first place.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,”

God sent Jesus be cause He loved the world. We may be saved and assured of our reservation in heaven. But what good is it if we love Jesus, and don’t love the world the same way as God?

“You must love the world even more than you love Jesus.” ~Rev. Sun Myung Moon
This is the real message that Jesus tried to convey through his commanding us to love our enemies. We need to love the world, the whole world, just as God does.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matt 5:43-48

The perfection that Jesus is talking about is the perfection of love, to love exactly the same way as God love. We must learn to love even our enemies that same way that God loves them. He sent his Jesus for my enemies just as much as He sent Jesus for me.


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Random Acts of Kindness


“When a person goes to sleep after doing someone a favor, a peaceful feeling comes upon him and the angels sing his praises.” ~ Rev Sun Myung Moon, Chambumo Gyeong p. 403

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HMO TV: Dr. Oz Acts Like an HMO Doctor

My wife had a day off from work yesterday, so we did a lot of stuff outside of our normal routine.  We just happened to be flipping channels and caught Dr. Oz in the afternoon.  I’d never watched his show before. I know some people (Oprah) really seem to like him, so I was curious.  First off, his segments were really short.  He didn’t really spend enough time with each guest for my liking.  (What is this?  HMO TV?) I wanted to hear more from each of them. 

We usually watch Create TV, a public TV channel.  They have longer shows with different people.  We like the chefs.  They go into detail while they cook, so we can see how they do it.  We get a sense of their personalities when they bring on guests to their shows.  The chefs have cool accents from Mexico, South Carolina, New Zealand, Italian and even an Irish guy. 

Dr. Oz brought on Nigella Lawson who has a show on the Food Network – Nigella Express and has a new book out Simply Nigella.  I’d never heard of her, but wanted to hear what she had to say. 

First off, shame on the sound people! She has a soft voice and a British accent.  I couldn’t hear a word.  And I was wearing my hearing aid, really! 

Also, Dr. Oz, what is with all he hand grabbing? 

After sitting with the guest for a couple of questions, he gets up, grabs her hand and drags her over to a table where some ingredients are spread out.  “Oooo!  Now it’s going to get good,” I thought.  I hear Nigella mention something about pickled peppers.  She starts to show how she makes the brine. Now Dr. Oz back with the hand grab again, dragging her over to another section of the table.  Bang! He’s waving her book and it’s cut to commercial.  What a disappointment. 

Seriously Dr. Oz, what is up with the hand grabbing your female guests?  In the short time we watched I saw him grab and drag two women.  Does he do that with his male guests?  I felt sure one of them would smack the guy. The only reason he didn’t get slapped was that they knew the cameras were running. 

Anyway, I went straight to the LA County Library website and checked out Simply Nigella, because I want to know how to pickle peppers!  I felt I had to write this blog post because I felt so cheated, and Nigella Lawson must have felt cheated too. 

I hope you check out her book, and I will stay away from HMO TV.


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Just Sharing a Post that inspired Me


Today’s post has a bit of a twist. Instead of highlighting one of my daily acts, I actually want to share with you about how I was on the receiving end of an act of kindness. I’ve always dabbled in photography and even had my own side business for a brief moment in time, taking photos…

via #31 Reach out to someone who has inspired you. — 365 days of kindness

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Dream July 30, 2016: Praying for Peace

This is the first time I have dreamed of Father Moon since his passing almost four years ago. I’ve had other dreams when the gathered members were expecting him to come and speak to us, but I always woke up before he came.

This time I am in the CARP office on the sixth floor of the New Yorker Hotel. This is where I worked in the early eighties. It is one of the Church Holy Days. It feels like Children’s Day (in Autumn). All of us have been given an outreach kit, about the size of a shoe box. Everyone leaves the office to go to the Terrace Room on the first floor to hear an explanation about the outreach box. Father Moon is scheduled to come in the evening to speak to all of us.

I don’t like crowds so I hang back in the office. No hurry. The main event is in the evening.

I hear Father Moon shouting in the distance. Members come running back into the office. “Father is upset because nobody brought their Divine Principle lectures on cassette tapes. (We used cassette tapes with, two, four and six hour lectures for outreach in 1976-1977.) Our department didn’t receive the DP tapes. I remembered that I still had my cassettes at home in storage.

We went back down to the Terrace Room where Father Moon was speaking. I sat on the floor about two-thirds of the way toward the back. Father was wandering around the room while he was speaking, looking closely at each person, occasionally making personal comments.

He stops in front of me and talks for quite a while. He is addressing me as well as the whole room. As he talks, he pats me on the head, the way he so times did to members at Belvedere in the front row.

It’s frustrating that I can’t remember what he said to me even though the rest of the dream is so vivid in my memory.  While he’s talking, I have a vision of sitting in a square in a downtown area. I’m holding a sign that reads, “Praying for Peace”. The idea is that I will pray with people who want peace. It could be any kind of peace, world peace, peace in their family, or inner peace.

Father Teaching

Then Father goes back to the stage and continues talking. He shows two slides side-by-side. On the left is a traditional style Divine Principle lecture diagram. Then he reveals the slide on the right, saying, “You can also teach Divine Principle using fairy tales.” This slide is an illustration from Shim Cheong (the most famous Korean fairy tale).

He invites each team to come up and give a presentation on what they have done successfully. One fundraising team describes their success selling “Wreaths for Peace” during the Christmas season. They display the wreaths which had a ribbon across the top with the slogan, Wreaths for Peace”.

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