Pulse – Book of Daniel

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The Book of Daniel

Chapter 1

Daniel and certain Hebrews are trained in the court of Nebuchadnezzar—They eat plain food and drink no wine—God gives them knowledge and wisdom beyond all others.

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

3 ¶ And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;

4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.

8 ¶ But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter [healthier] in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

17 ¶ As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.                       


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Mindful Soup


By Lori Henderson

I recently made a pot of soup. I often make soup, but this soup was different. Not because the ingredients were unique, but because I was engaged in the preparation. The recipe instructed me to mince the onion, slice the carrots, dice the squash, chop the asparagus, and grate the zucchini into “noodles.” I found myself enjoying each step and appreciating the colors, textures, aromas, and flavors of each vegetable. I felt the pleasure of having grown some of them in my garden.

I pondered the path of the others involved: the farmers, who cared enough to plant organic seeds and grow the vegetables in a healthy and earth-sustainable manner; the soil pulsing with life and life-giving minerals; the water, which enabled the little seeds to grow to maturity; the sun, generously warming the soil and sharing its light for the plants to grow and for us to witness the miracle of plant life; the honeybees, drawn by the colors and scents of each tiny blossom to pollinate and awaken the vegetables to life. Pondering all the potential inherent in each tiny seed is exhilarating!

I put all the vegetables together in a pot of broth (vegetarian, in this case) and let them blend to perfection. Infused with energies of joy and gratitude, I knew this would be a happy, healthy meal.

While the soup simmered and filled the kitchen with lovely aromas, I prepared the salad with the same mindfulness as I had prepared the soup: a beautiful mix of fresh greens of varying shades and textures, topped with a fan of pear slices, chopped walnuts, a sprinkling of dried cranberries, and a drizzle of homemade poppy seed dressing. The final adornment: a trio of red, orange, and yellow nasturtium flowers, edible, with a mild radish flavor.

Now it was time to set the table. I set out some pretty plates and bowls and thought tenderly of my sister, who had recently passed away. These dishes had belonged to her, and she offered them to me shortly before her passing. I filled the glasses with purified water—something I am grateful to have access to. I put out a plate of natural yeast sourdough bread with homemade butter, then I hurried to my herb garden and filled a vase with flowering peppermint and lavender stems. The bees were buzzing on the tiny blossoms—music to my ears.

As I completed all the preparations, I thought about a new friend who would arrive shortly to share this modest meal. What would we talk about? What would we have in common? Would she appreciate and value the same things—organic, healthful foods; nature’s gifts; simple beauty; pretty dishes?

Indeed. As we sat, she asked if she could offer a blessing on the food. She expressed gratitude for the colors and beauty and healthfulness of the foods we were about to eat and for the blessing of friendship. As we eagerly feasted, she asked: “Have you ever practiced mindfulness?”

I felt my heart smile!

Friendship is born at that moment when a person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

–C.S. Lewis

“Mindful Soup” Recipe                                                                Mindful Eating Empowerment Cards

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