Friday, October 4, 2013

World's Greatest Spaghetti Sauce

 World's Greatest Spaghetti Sauce
in a crockpot

1 lb lean ground turkey
28 oz can diced tomatoes (Italian flavored)
14 oz can tomato sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp worchestershire
1/4 - 1/2  onion (diced)
2 ribs of celery (diced)
can of sliced  mushrooms (drained)
1 cup diced green pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee veggies in light cooking spray until tender; add in ground turkey and brown completely; place in crockpot along with all remaining ingredients; cook on low (6-8 hours) or high (4-6) hours


Dump ALL ingredients in crockpot (yes, even the raw ground turkey) and stir until combined; cook on low (6-8 hours) or high (4-6 hours).  The meat will fully cook in the sauce and create an ultra fine's delicious and a time saver!!!!

"Choosing Friends Wisely"

*Memory verse*
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." - Proverbs 27:17

One of our favorite Disney movies is Tarzan.  We all know the main concept but what makes this story so intriguing is the fact that a human being was being raised by apes.  Not surprisingly, and in very little time, the young boy begins to act like an ape.  He communicates by making ape sounds and gestures, he walks on his hands, swings through the trees and consumes a daily diet of bananas and fruit.  Ultimately, he becomes like those he is around.  It makes for a great Disney flick but its far from realistic....or is it?  Contrary to what you might think, this is a common occurrence in life.  Human beings and even animals are easily influenced by those around them in their environment.  It's only natural for us to take on the behaviors and characteristics of our peers, no matter how strong our nature is.  Just look at wild animals who are raised by other species.  Over time, they all in some way take on he behavior of their adopted brothers and sisters, regardless of their opposing DNA.  Sometimes this is to their benefit, like when a chimp in captivity can learn how to communicate with it's handlers by learning sign language.  But unfortunately, many times it can be to their detriment; like when wild animals in captivity lose their natural instincts and can no longer be released into the wild to live among their fellow species.  .  It all comes down to what type of influences are placed around an individual.  Will others in their environment influence them to be better or worse?
Let's look and see what the bible says about this issue.  Proverbs 27:17 states "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."  There are many stories and examples of people who were influenced by individuals which they placed themselves around.  For instance, take a look at the relationship of Samson and Delilah. Samson had been set apart by God from birth and had been given the gift of incredible strength.  However, with that gift, he was also given specific instructions on how he was to live his life in order to keep his gift and best glorify God.  But he chose a Philistine woman (a people at that time known for sin, cruelty and violence especially towards Samson's own people the Israelites) , named Delilah to be his wife.  Not surprisingly, when Delilah was offered eleven hundred shekels of silver from the Philistine rulers if she would find out the secret of Samson's strength, she betrayed him ultimately leading to his demise.  Samson was the strongest man ever to live on this earth, but even HE wasn't strong enough to withstand the effects of bad influences in his life. 
So now that we see how important it is to choose our friends and peers wisely, let's take a moment to stop and evaluate the personal influences in each of or lives.  And this goes for parents too!  As you can see with the story of Samson, even adults can struggle with this!  Choosing your friends wisely  is a life long commitment, but one that will bless and reward you ten fold!!

here are some other verses on this topic........

"Do not be deceived:  Bad company ruins good morals." - 1 Corinthians 15:33

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers." - Psalm 1:1

"Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,  but the companion of fools will suffer harm." - Proverbs 13 :30

Questions to discuss as a family:
1.)  Who are my closest influences?
2.)  What are some positive characteristics that would "sharpen" me in my life?
3.)  Who in my life displays these characteristics?
4.)  What are some negative characteristics that could "dull" my character?
5.)  Is there anyone in my life who displays these?
6.)  How can I be more purposeful in placing positive influences around me? (be specific)
7.)  How can I avoid negative influences without hurting someone's feelings?

*pray as a family about choosing influences wisely and ask for God's help in the specific areas you have discussed*

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