Category Archives: Soul Food

For Everything There Is A Season …

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It is the last day of October and with the start of a new month tomorrow, it will be the start of a new chapter in my book of life.  Happily and sadly this is my last blog post on My Daily Bread Body and Soul.  As I type I cannot stop the tears from falling and wetting my keyboard.  It has been such a beautiful, challenging, and rewarding experience to share my life through pictures and words the past 5 ½ years.   The first blog post of June 4, 2011 was a dream come true.  I did it.  I researched blogging software, chose WordPress, and then began a process of learning how to set up a website, upload pictures, and write a blog post.  And then the most incredible, inspiring and rewarding thing happened … you!

You started reading and responding.  You shared.  You followed, cared, and told others about this little blip of a blog on the worldwide internet.  Thank you.  From the bottom of my heart thank you.  You see, blogging is nothing without you.  Cooking, praying, studying scripture and sharing all of this would be for nothing without you.

You have given me the opportunity to look inside your kitchens, cook some of your favorite foods, and then you have allowed me to write about it and create this website.  As if that wasn’t enough, you have so generously emailed me and shared your life, your concerns, sometimes your grief and you have given me the honor and privilege to pray with and for you.

Being the author of this blog has changed me.  In the beginning, I wrote that I would like to cook better meals for my family while also spending more time in the Word of God.  I reckoned that sharing these two desires of mine through this blog would help keep me focused, on track, and moving forward.  It did.  But the real change and transformation has come from what God has done with and through me as I cooked, prayed, and blogged.  I found it impossible and frankly disingenuous to share scripture without study.  And so, I study more.  And the more I study, the hungrier I have become for the Word of God.  The more time I have given to studying the Word the more I want to study.  I have literally found myself jealously protecting my “study time”, even getting frustrated with life when it seems to rob me of that time.

This blog has been a training ground of sorts for writing down my thoughts.   701 blog posts, thousands and thousands of words, and tens of thousands of pictures, has helped me to be able to write in other areas of my life.  I will forever be grateful for the blessing I have received in writing My Daily Bread Body and Soul.

A long time ago I went shopping with a friend and when we got back home she started talking about what she needed to take out of her closet.  She said, “every time I put something new in my closet, something has to come out.  That way I keep it tidy and well-organized.”  Through the years I have thought about the something-in something-out philosophy and have realized that same philosophy is helpful when saying “yes” and “no” to requests for time, energy, and commitment.

Several times since 2013 I have blogged about Hephzibah House in New York City.  From the moment I first stepped foot in her peaceful, lovely parlor I knew I was on hallowed ground.  Over the last several years and multiple visits to join our friends in ministry events at Hephzibah has created a desire within me to do more, serve more. In the spring of this year I was invited to join the Board of Trustees of this beautiful ministry in the heart of Manhattan.   I knew in my heart that with this “something-in” there would come a time for “something-out”.  As I have begun the work I believe God is calling me to do on the Board of Trustees I know without a doubt this is where I am meant to be for this season.

Such discernment is giving me peace in realizing “to everything there is a season” and my season with My Daily Bread is ending.  The blog and recipes stay on the internet for the time being.

Thank you again for being here, sharing your life with me, and letting me share mine with you.

God Bless,


Let’s Pray

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On my blog Prayer page, I received the following comment and request from Judy.  She says “Please pray for my daughter Sheila McLean. She just found out this past Friday that she has a mass, the size of a quarter, in her lung and a spot on the kidney, and they both are malignant”.

Oh.  My heart just nearly stopped.  I remember as if it were yesterday when my sous-chef dishwashing mom received the phone call that changed our life.  Her mammogram biopsy was malignant and she needed treatment to start right away.  Heart stopping — that is what happens when you hear CANCER.

As the fear starts rising up it takes everything a person has inside to say “No, I will not fear.”   That is the time to turn to scripture, turn to God and let His strength replace our weakness.  It is easier to say than to do.  However, I have to believe He knows that and that is why we read 365 times “fear not” in His Word.  He knows we fear!

When prayer replaces fear I have seen God move in ways that can be only described as supernatural.   I found a series  on Focus On The Family about prayer.  I am reprinting the titles and linking to their website because I am living proof that prayer changes everything.

prayer at cross
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help.” –Psalm 39:12 (NIV)

Prayer and The Difference It Makes

“Prayer is an open door which none can shut,” wrote Charles Spurgeon in “Morning and Evening.” “Devils may surround you on all sides,” he continued, “but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy’s hand.”


The Availability of Prayer

2 Chronicles 30:27 (MSG)

The priests and Levites had the last word: they stood and blessed the people. And God listened, listened as the ascending sound of their prayers entered his holy heaven.

Prayer Has Its Reasons

Pray with Simplicity   Matthew 6:5

“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?


Learning From The Prayer Life of Jesus

Ask for What You Need

One day he was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”  Luke 11:1

It is a privilege to  pray for Judy and Sheila.  I know prayer makes a difference in our world. But it is up to us to offer our prayers humbly and regularly with praise and thanksgiving to the one who created us, hears us, and loves us.

Blessings, Catherine


If You Can Keep It, by Eric Metaxas – Listen Up!

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Happy-4th-of-July-Independence-Day-300x169Hello friends!  Can you believe it is July?  My head is still stuck in April and I honestly can’t believe May and June have flown by.  It was my intention to give you a super new recipe for the 4th of July but I changed my mind yesterday.  (For my readers from around the world, you may not be doing any celebrating this weekend, but in the USA we are celebrating Independence Day!  Independence Day, or more commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.)

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yesterday I spent a good bit of time in the kitchen.  My good friend and neighbor Kathy is moving (boo-hoo) and I wanted to feed lunch to her moving crew.  Hearty ham, turkey, and cheese sandwiches were in order for the hungry bunch but I wanted to add a touch of homemade. I did this with a batch of fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip bars (recipe coming) and  our favorite Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting!

slice banana bread upclose

I didn’t use up all my old bananas with the Banana Bars and so I added two loaves of Brown Sugar Banana Bread to the morning activities! (If you’ve never used this recipe for banana bread – you must! It is wonderful.)

KC Bread

Now you are going to really understand what happens in my kitchen sometimes, when I tell you today was my turn to bring 5 loaves of fresh bread for visitors to our church — and so I had my kitchen work cut out for me!

I have several pastors that I listen to regularly, and so it has long been my habit to play their current online sermons or recordings when working in the kitchen.  A friend had told me that Eric Metaxas spoke at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on Father’s Day weekend.  I generally listen to the sermons from WOC and so I eagerly went searching to see if his recording was there.
It was!

Eric Metaxas  is an American author, speaker, and radio host. He is Eric Metaxasbest known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   My husband, sous-chef dish-washing mom and I met him when he was in middle Tennessee after writing Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  (Which is excellent, highly recommended reading!)

I tell you all this to say when I listened to his presentation about his recently released book If You Can Keep It – The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, I couldn’t help to think what a timely and appropriate message for our Independence Day weekend!

Click HERE —  I have attached the link so you can listen also!  I promise it is worth the time! But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Why Do You Do That? How We Communicate–

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Paulsen Family Reunion Sign

My youngest brother, John, and I were helping my sous-chef dish-washing mom to blow up balloons and decorate a pavilion where our family is gathering for meals during our family reunion this week. We had a couple of tanks of helium and two bags of balloons. My Chief Balloon-blowing husband was working the helium machine, I was handing off filled balloons to my brother and mother, and they were creatively attaching them on curling ribbon. We were working together like a well-oiled party-making machine!

phone texting
All of the sudden my sous-chef dish-washing mom lets out an “oh no!” and it seems we have run short on curling ribbon. My other brother, Michael, had just left for a trip to store. Without saying a word I picked up my phone and quickly dictated a text to him.

“Hey bro, when you get to Wal-Mart will you get us a roll of string or some curling ribbon to use for the balloons? Thank you!”

Without missing a beat in the workflow, my younger brother said, “why do you do that?”

“What?” I said.

“Text when you can easily call and talk with him,” John replied, still tying balloons.

I stopped and thought about it for a minute. “Well, it’s easy, I can give him a quick message and he doesn’t have to stop what he is doing and answer the phone.”  [ side note – I love to text! John texts too – but not always!]

My youngest brother is a great communicator. He has spent his entire adult life teaching and leading young people. He is a natural-born leader and he has inspired many to become leaders over the years. He goes on to say, “So Mike gets the text. He may wonder, does she really want string or does she prefer curling ribbon? If ribbon, does she want a certain color, a fancy silver foil or just something to get the job done? Is there a color theme or anything goes? Will the string be too heavy for the balloons to float up?”

John makes his point.  And what if Michael doesn’t see the text until he has left the store and is on his way back, and I don’t end up with anything? I pick up the phone and call my brother. In less than 30 seconds the deal is done.

I have pondered John’s question to me, “why do you do that?” Technology is a wonderful thing and all of us use it in many ways. But, at what cost?

Beth Moore Conference 2016

This past weekend I was blessed beyond my wildest imagination to attend a Beth Moore Live conference. At one point she asked the crowd of 7,300 women and a handful of brave men (!) “how many of you have your Bible on your phone, ipad, tablet, or computer?” Hands all over the auditorium shot up.  She said, “That is wonderful! Technology has given us the ability to keep the Word of God with us at all times and easily and quickly access it.

Beth Moore June 2016

Then she said, “Keep doing that, BUT, don’t give this up.” She held up a large, dog-eared Bible, peppered with yellow sticky notes, and filled with years worth of hand-scrawled notes. Use technology she said. But when spending time in the Word and talking with Jesus, hold your Bible, read your Bible, let the weight of it rest upon your lap. Moving through my Bible I let my notes drift through my memory as I read things I have jotted down through the years. My eyes take in the notes that I know were inspired by the Lord as I read His Word.

Beth Moore, Anointed to teach!
Beth Moore, Anointed to teach!

When spending time with Jesus I realize sometimes we want to just send up a quick text to him. Just quickly give Him our needs list. No true communication, just a one-way stream of “and I don’t forget this Jesus, I need this Jesus, please send me this, Jesus.”

My brother John has reminded me that communication is vital to any and all relationships. God communicates with us through the Bible, revealing His character and His will and this requires interaction on my part and on His part!

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

We communicate with God through prayer, sharing our thoughts, our needs and our desire to do his will. He communicates with us through His Word, which He writes on our hearts and breaths into our lives.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.” (1 John 5:14-15)

“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

“And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)

Father God, I am so grateful for the influence of others in my life. I am grateful for my brothers and the wealth of knowledge, experience and love they share with me. I am thankful for Your Word and the many ways you have created for us to receive it. My heart overflows with thanksgiving and love. Amen.

Have a blessed day communicating with others!


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