The Well Trained Mind

Spring is in the air….it doesn’t seem like there will be too many more freezing days. I’m so excited, my peach trees are blooming. Maybe we’ll manage some peaches this year. If so, I’ve already got plans to ask my friend, Christy, to share her peach cobbler recipe. She was so sweet to share some that she had made with our family and it was delicious!

Even in the midst of warm summer air moving in, I’ve decided to squeeze in one more pot of chili. We’ve been trying to work on eating healthier. Less meat, lots more veggies, much less sugar. It’s not been the easiest transition but we’re working on it.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. I’ve doubled it, so prepare to have a couple of stock pots ready!

Tracy’s Veggie Chili

4c cooked kidney beans
2c cooked pinto beans
2c cooked black turtle beans
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 large bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 food service sized (I think that these are called #10 cans) chopped tomatoes
3 small cans of tomato juice
4 beef boullion cubes
5 garlic cloves, minced
5T chili powder
4T hot sauce (We love Texas Pete!)
2t cumin
2t tumeric
Olive oil
(If you really want to make this even healthier…you can add shredded carrots!…The family will
probably never notice!)

Saute onion, garlic and bell pepper in a pan
until tender and onions are clear. Add all
ingredients to a stock pot, stir well. Cook
on low until all flavors are blended.

A quick note about preparing dried beans. I always use dried beans because they are less expensive. MUCH less expensive. This is usually always one of the store buys that are cheaper bought in bulk. With that said, a lot of people don’t know some basics to cooking dried beans. I’m sure I still don’t know all there is about cooking dried beans. I can tell you how to avoid some common mistakes.

Always, always, always pick through the beans. Just last night, I probably found at least 10 beans that had bad places on them and half a dozen small pebbles.

You do not want to feed this to your family.

It’s easy to just empty the bag into a colander and sort through them right before you rinse them. This is the next step.

Rinse the beans.

Once you feel like they are rinsed well, put them into a pot and cover with water. Leave them overnight to soak. You may want to check on them before going to bed at night. Sometimes the beans soak up so much water that you need to add more. The next day, when you are ready to prepare the beans, empty the soak water and cover with fresh water for cooking.

You can pretty much season these the way you like. I usually always add boullion cubes but then I use what I have on hand for seasoning. I might add garlic or an onion…salt or pepper. You have to develop your taste for the way you like to prepare them.

Today I’m thankful for the beautiful weather. It really has been beautiful today. I think I understood the news to say we are expecting some rain tomorrow, we’ll see.

I’m thankful that my son, Matthew, seems to be feeling better.

I’m thankful that suspects for the Alabama church fires have been arrested. There were three boys. I hope that God will really work in their hearts. Apparently, it was meant to be a practical joke that “went too far”.

I’m thankful for good friends and family.

I’m thankful for what the Lord continues to show me about His Word.

Prayer requests:

For me. I’m not sure what I’ve done to my finger (I know it sounds silly)…well, I do actually know. I slammed it between my bathroom’s french doors. I’m guessing that after a month of it really hurting, it might be time to go and have it looked at.

My Mom. Her Dr. appt. didn’t go quite the way that we expected it to yesterday and she just needs a little extra prayer today.

Today, we are continuing with our scripture from Titus 2:

Titus 2:4-5

“Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. NIV

We are discussing being self-controlled as it relates to Titus 2.

I entitled this entry as “The Well Trained Mind”. In addition to being one of my favorite curriculum sources, it’s also a well stated phrase that describes the state of our mind as it pertains to being self controlled.

Let me explain.

Let’s first look at the definition of self controlled. I’m going to refer, for a moment back to Titus:

Titus 1:8

8“Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.”


Here we see the directives and requirements given by Paul to Titus in appointing elders.

Notice that self-control is mentioned here too. I love the NIV study Bible…it sums things up so nicely. In the study notes, it defines self-controlled as being disciplined. Disciplined!! Remember when we talked about needing to set the example for your children and needing to discipline them to show them love?

Let’s go a little further with this: the notes actually say that self controlled is “disciplined”, “possessing the inner strength to control one’s desires and actions”.

Paul actually referred to self control five times in just two chapters.

I struggle so much with self control. I struggle in many areas, how much I eat, staying on a schedule, being kind….but it’s actually a much deeper subject that even these things can cover. We have to be self controlled in our minds.

2 Cor 10:3-5
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

See, the real battle takes place within us. Before we can display self control in any other area we must first learn “to take captive every though and make it obedient to Christ”!

Don’t let the enemy tell you that you can’t do it or that you aren’t of worth.

We must have a “well trained mind”. It’s not something that will just happen, we have to practice it.

My uncle said the neatest thing to me during a conversation a few months ago. He said that doing the right thing takes practice. You have to lay that sin down at the foot of the cross daily. You must condition yourself in such a way so that when Satan introduces something into your mind that does not line up with the Word, you immediately dismiss it and apply the Truth.

Self control, very deep subject….not hardly enough room here. We’ll visit this one again sometime but until then practice having a well trained mind.

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