A Message of Unbroken Joy
On Saturday, January 13, I started this blog about food, health, and the various other things that bring me joy. And then the VERY next day, my husband and I attended church, where the theme for the sermon was “Unbroken Joy.” If that isn’t a sign that I should spread the message from the sermon on this blog, then I don’t know what is. The story of the sermon was that of Paul, writing to the Philippians from prison, where he was being held captive for his belief in God. Paul’s letters, however, are full of expressions of JOY. Put yourself in Paul’s position – can you imagine being locked up in a filthy prison with presumably poor treatment and inadequate food, water, and all the other necessities and amenities in life that we’re accustomed to, and yet you speak of your overflowing joy! It’s mind-blowing! How amazing and comforting is to know that in situations where we are the most fearful, God is there to be our rock and our comfort, if we will just let Him and His joy in!
In two weeks, a special guest, Louis Zamperini will be talking at church about the various harrowing experiences in his life, in which he was a POW, stranded on a raft in the ocean, and fighting in WWII, and yet, in the worst of times, he felt filled with peace and joy. The preacher drew parallels between Mr. Zamperini’s experiences and those of Paul and pointed out that perhaps being in terrible situations in life gives us an opportunity to experience intensified joy because we are brought closer to God and his unending and bountiful joy. He said that to be able to truly experience joy, we have to rid our lives of fear. Maybe contemplating the bad things that can happen in life and knowing that we will face them with God, and that He has a plan for us, can help to rob fearful things of their anxiety-producing power. I pray that both you and I can find the courage to eliminate fear from our lives and fill our hearts with God’s joy.
By the way, Laura Hillenbrand has written a book on Mr. Zamperini‘s life called Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. It is definitely on my list to read!! If you’ve read it already, I’d love to know what you think?!
Cucumber Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze
I’m always trying to think of ways to use the leftover pulp from juicing. Cucumber pulp is great in baked goods. Think of it as being similar to zucchini when using it to bake. These muffins are light and sweet and taste like they belong at a spa or maybe a baby shower. Don’t skip the lemon rind on top – it completes the flavor profile by giving one extra punch of lemon. Besides, it looks pretty!
Makes 6-7 muffins
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 1/4 t salt
- 3 T applesauce
- ½ cup cucumber pulp (from 1 large cuc)
- 1 T lemon zest (+ 1T for topping)
- 1 T canola oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used plain soy)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
For the icing:
Icing Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
- 3 T powdered sugar
- 1/3 T lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a muffin tin.
2. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In medium bowl, mix together remaining muffin ingredients.
4. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in the wet.
5. Stir until just combined.
6. While muffins bake, make your icing by mixing together powdered sugar and lemon juice, until a liquid forms and no clumps remain. Let sit atleast 10 minutes to thicken.
7. Bake muffins for 22 minutes, until edges are golden and a knife comes out clean.
8. Remove muffins from tin and transfer to cooling rack.
9. Once muffins are close to completely cooled (or completely if you can bare to wait!), top each icing by spooning the icing on top.
10. Sprinkle lemon zest on top of each muffin
11. Muffins will keep in an airtight container for several days.