Saturday, February 7, 2015

Leader Enterprise - February 4, 2015 - Love, Forgiveness & Chocolate



Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday of the year. I truly believe that love is a not a noun, it's a verb--an action word. So whether it be a sibling, a child, a parent, or a friend -let someone know you love them. I was so blessed and tickled when recently I missed hearing my 9-yr old grandson, Caden, tell me he loved me, so when I didn't respond, he then said I was suppose to tell him back, because that's 'what you do'. YES! We don't want to miss those kinds of opportunities.

I've opted to re-share a story from A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul. It seems we are surrounded by sickness and death,and we need reminders to live life to the fullest. May it be a sweet reminder that life is short and we don't have the promise of tomorrow, so don't hesitate to do today what needs done!

DO IT NOW! "If we discovered that we had only five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them"- Christopher Morley

In a class I teach for adults, I recently did the 'unpardonable.' I gave the class homework! The assignment was to go to someone you love within the next week and tell them you love them. It has to be someone you have never said those words to before or at least haven't shared those words with for a long time.

At the beginning of our next class, I asked if someone wanted to share what happened when they told someone they loved them. I fully expected one of the women to volunteer, as was usually the case,but on this evening one of the men raised his hand. He appeared quite moved and a bit shaken.

As he unfolded out of his chair (all 6'2"of him), he began by saying "Dennis, I was quite angry with you last week when you gave us this assignment. I didn't feel that I had anyone to say those words to, and besides, who were you to tell me to do something that personal? But as I began driving home my conscience started talking to me. It was telling me that I knew exactly who I needed to say"I love you"to. You see, five years ago, my father and I had a vicious disagreement and really never resolved it since that time. We avoided seeing each other unless we absolutely had to at Christmas or other family gatherings. But even then, we hardly spoke to each other. So,last Tuesday by the time I got home I had convinced myself I was going to tell my father I loved him.

"It's weird, but just making that decision seemed to lift a heavy load off my chest. When I got home, I rushed into the house to tell my wife what I was going to do. She was already in bed, but I woke her up anyway. When I told her, she didn't just get out of bed, she catapulted out and hugged me, and for the first time in our married life, she saw me cry. We stayed up half the night drinking coffee and talking. It was great! The next morning I was up bright and early. I was so excited I could hardly sleep. I got to the office early and accomplished more in two hours than I had the whole day before.

At 9:00 I called my dad to see if I could come over after work. When he answered the phone, I just said, 'Dad, can I come over after work tonight? I have something to tell you.' My dad responded with a grumpy,'Now what?' I assured him it wouldn't take long, so he finally agreed. At 5:30, I was at my parents' house ringing the doorbell, praying that dad would answer the door. I was afraid if mom answered that I would chicken out and tell her instead. But as luck would have it, dad did answer the door.
I didn't waste any time - I took one step in the door and said 'Dad,I just came over to tell you that I love you.'

"It was as if a transformation came over my dad. Before my eyes his face softened, the wrinkles seemed to disappear and he began to cry. He reached out and hugged me and said 'I love you too, son, but I've never been able to say it.' It was such a precious moment I didn't want to move. Mom walked by with tears in her eyes. I just waved and blew her a kiss. Dad and I hugged for a moment longer and then I left. I hadn't felt that great in a long time.

"But that's not even my point. Two days after that visit, my dad, who had heart problems but didn't tell me, had an attack and ended up in the hospital, unconscious. I don't know if he'll make it.

"So my message to all of you in this class is this: Don't wait to do the things you know need to be done. What if I had waited to tell my dad - maybe I will never get the chance again! Take the time to do what you need to do and do it now!
-Author, Dennis E. Mannering

A favorite quote to ponder-'Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and discover the prisoner was you'.

This luscious and moist cake makes enough for a family so celebrate your love with chocolate.

CROCKPOT HOT FUDGE CHOCOLATE(PEANUT BUTTER) CAKE

1-1/2 c.packed brown sugar,divided
1 c. all purpose flour
6 TB. baking cocoa,divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
2 TB.butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. semisweet chocolate (or peanut butter) chips
1-3/4 c. boiling water
vanilla ice cream for serving
Coat a 3-qt. crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 1 c.brown sugar, flour, 3 Tb.cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Spread evenly into prepared crockpot. Sprinkle with chocolate(or peanut butter) chips. In a bowl, combine remaining brown sugar (1/2 c.) and baking cocoa (3 TB.); stir in boiling water. Pour over batter; DO NOT STIR.Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours or until a toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Allow to set 15 minutes, covered,before serving. Serve warm with ice cream. Yield: 6-8 servings(Hint:lay a couple of paper towels over top of crockpot before placing on lid to catch any moisture).