Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Favorites: Ways the World is Actually Getting Better, Finding Your Purpose, and Chocolate+Zucchini

It has been a while since I've done one of these posts, so forgive me if some of these links are ancient -- you know, like from six whole months ago.  ;)


* With all the negativity and horrible things going on in the world, it can be great to remember all the good things.  I loved this article for that reason.  Check out some of the charts:

* Along the same lines, and posted by the same author is this:  Half of Us are Now Middle Class


* At Church a while back, one of our speakers shared some stories from this devotional address:  Decisions for Which I've Been Grateful.  I loved reading it.  You can also watch it at this link.
"On the last day of my class, which is taught to the second year students in our MBA program, I describe for the students how all semester long we’ve been studying about these companies and goals and strategies for achieving these goals, and yet in the way that they invest their money on a day to day and a year to year basis, they tend to invest in things that offer the shortest term payback. That pattern of directing their investment decisions often causes companies that could be very successful in the pursuit of a lofty strategy actually to lead themselves toward failure. And I told my students, “You know, now you are graduating from the Harvard Business School. And a lot of you in your personal lives are going to do the same thing.” I told them that “none of you have a strategy to leave here and go get divorced, and raise children who are alienated from you and become unhappy people, but that is actually the strategy that many of you are going to implement, because as you have opportunities to spend your time and energy, your very likely to spend them in pursuit of career success because it offers them most immediate and tangible evidence of achievement.” And I invite them not to do that, but I tell them, “but in order for you to figure out how you’ve got to spend your time and your energy, you need to figure out what the purpose of your life is.” Then this year I told them about the experience that I had had dedicating an hour everyday when I was a student at Oxford to figuring out what the purpose of my life was. And I invited them to do the same thing."

*  How to Pray so God Can Answer
I came up with a little formula to help me in my prayers. It is simply this—whenever you ask for something you want and you’re not totally sure if it’s something God wants for you, tack on the phrase “but if not” and then add something you’re sure God would want for you. 
For example: “God, please help me get some sleep tonight, but if not, help me to have enough energy to be pleasant and hard working anyway.” “God, please bless that my child will get over this sickness and feel better, but if not, help us to trust in Thee and be patient with each other.” “God, please bless that I will be included in my group of friends, but if not, even if I feel excluded, help me to be kind and generous.”


I was skeptical about putting chocolate and zucchini together, but this Chocolate Zucchinni cake is amazing!  The zucchini doesn't seem to affect the flavor, just makes it incredibly moist.  My husband, who is not usually a fan of sweets, says this is the best chocolate cake he's ever had, so that's saying something.  I make a cream cheese frosting for the top that pairs with it well, but the other suggestions are good, too. 

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