Wednesday 30 December 2009

Dwelling on the positive . . .

"If there be beauty in a world of ill,

A quiet valley where a church bell rings,
Where there is faith and love and little homes.,
Speak on these things."
~Edna Jaques

I noticed yesterday that during the day Todd has the news channel playing in the background most of the time . . . he may be reading, or ironing, or working on the computer . . . but the BBC news is always droning on in the background. I normally don't hear it, because I am at work, but I have a few days off right at the moment.

It was the same old drivel, over and over again, and most of it just horrible . . . . murders, and kilings, and nasty things happening here and happening there. There is value in knowing what's going on in the world to be sure . . . but just how many times do you need to hear it??? How soul destroying . . . I wasn't long in turning it off. I can understand totally the need for noise and company in an empty house, but surely there are better places to find it . . .

I started to think, what if someone started a news channel that had only good news on it . . . Wouldn't that be wonderful?? If all one had to listen to over and over again during the day, was all the nice little stories. Stories about heros and winners. Stories that praise good people and good deeds. Stories with hope. Uplifting news that lets you know that there is some good left in the world, and that not all is necessarily bad. A news channel about real people doing good things and living good and decent lives.

Oh undoubtedly, the news often has little pockets of just such stories, and when they do have one, the story is both uplifting and inspiring . . . but stories like that are few and far between. I cannot believe that, in this whole wide world, there are only a few and far between good things that happen each day that are newsworthy . . .

I started to do a search on the internet to see if there were any blogs out there that were purveyors of good news. I didn't find a lot, but I did find this one: Only Positive News It is chock full of positive news updates and inspiring stories from around the world. They claim their vision is to "Empower People for a Better World." They are dedicated to finding, celebrating and promoting people from all walks of life who are making a positive contribution and making this world a better place, the heros and heroines of every day life.

Then there's Ma, who I have been following for a long time now. Ma has a blog entitled, On The Bright Side. It's filled to the brim with lovely little quotes, stories and thoughts. A real smile starter for the day. In her own words: In a world that very often publishes only the dark side of things I felt that others would be encouraged to hear about 'the bright side'. I have found Ma to be a great source of daily inspiration in these past months. Thanks Ma!!

Indeed, you only have to go through my sidebar to find loads of links to people that I find inspirational and uplifting. No, it's not all bad news, there is plenty of good news left in the world, and it is right at your fingertips. Perhaps if we tuned out and turned off a little bit more, and started to dwell more on and seek out more the good . . . instead of the bad, life would be filled with just that much more joy.

And then I thought of the 13th article of faith of my church:

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

That can't be bad. That would be a wonderful New Years Resolution wouldn't it? Would that everyone would choose to make it! Oh what a different world we would live in then . . .

I made a simple chili for us last night for out tea. I put both my knees out coming down the stairs later in the afternoon, and it didn't half hurt! I was not in the mood for anything too challenging or difficult after that!! This is a pretty basic chili recipe. You can up the heat by adding more chili powder or cayenne, or even a tin of chopped green chilies, or by using rotel tomates instead of the regular ones. Use this recipe as a canvas to paint your own picture!

*Chili Con Carne*
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

My mom used to make chili con carne for my dad most Saturday nights when we got a bit older. She had discovered the recipe on the back of a tomato soup tin and it was pretty basic. But for my dad who had always insisted she use only salt and pepper to spice things, it was pretty bold! I have taken it a bit further and added my own delicious twist to my mother's basic recipe. Serve this hot in bowls over steamed rice and garnished with grated cheese. This also freezes very well.

2 TBS vegetable oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup mild chili powder
1 TBS ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp freeze dried oregano
2 beef bouillion cubes, crumbled
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
2 (15.5 ounce) tins of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tin of condensed tomato soup (10 3/4 ounces)
2 soup tin of water
1 28-ounce tin of chopped tomatoes
1 28 ounce tin of tomato puree (passata)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, red pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook stirring, until the vegetagles have softened. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute longer. Crumble in the ground beef and cook, stirring over medium high heat, until the beef is broken up and starting to brown. No pink should remain. Add the beans, soup, water, tomatoes, tomato puree and beef boullion cubes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for another 45 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.

Suggested Garnishes - Diced avocado, sliced spring onions, chopped red onion, chopped coriander, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced black olives.

A nice bowl of chili calls for a robust and delicious bread to mop it all up with. That's exactly what you'll find today over on The English Kitchen. Cheddar Cheese Bread.


  1. Good morning Marie,

    I have to agree that only positive newswould be a boon and a blessing. I know some who are convinced that the world is such an evil and vile place. Intereting how evil, vile and live use the same letters. Instead I believe that negative reporting has emphasized the bad bits.

    So my positive 17 short hours I will become the owner of that spanking new, shiny red car I won. That is nice and such a blessing.

    Have the bestest day everyone,


  2. Good Morning, Marie,

    I thought you'd like to know that Graham is sitting beside me & wanted to know the name of the song as soon as the music launched & then wanted to just look at the birdies in the picture. You gave me a happy moment with my boy!

  3. Wouldn't it be lovely if the good news was spread around and not just hidden in a website or two? Somday. Love your bluebirds!

  4. Hi Marie,

    My other half is the same, he is always listening to the news, or stuff related to politics, and mostly listens to Radio 4.

    One of the BBC newsreaders actually came up with the idea of having positive news some years ago, I can't remember his name, and it may have been before you came to the UK. Obviously his idea hasn't got very far! (I've just looked it up - it was Martyn Lewis in 1993).

  5. Thank you for such a kind compliment on my journal today. I do turn off the news and I do try to look for the BrightSide in everything. Thanks to the good Lord we have reason to rejoice and to be thankfull for all of His many blessings. You are a blessing too and your cheerful journal blesses my day. 'On Ya'-ma

  6. I agree Marie about the news,I also think it's pretty much the same on TV as well at times.Programs of violence killings etc,not many good old family films(movies) as such.I turn off too,they sicken me.I also agree with you about Ma's Blog I have followed her since I started in J/Land and I love her blogs to bits and Ma herself of course..Well done on promoting her blog.I don't know how to do links in my blog or I would promote many.Hope you have a lovely evening.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  7. There used to be a weekly newspaper here in the U.S. (1962-1977) called the National Observer. It only delivered (printed) positive news. I was so sad when it went out of business. They used to advertise on the Today Show. Loved it while it lasted. I agree - too much ugliness these days. Happy New Year to you, Marie.

  8. I would love a nice bowl of that while I sat and listened to positive news.


  9. Marie:

    Dwelling on the Positive is sort of my New Years resolution for 2010. The last few years have been so hard for my family, with financial difficulties and sickness and death all around. This year, I'm bound to finding a more positive light! Reading your post really helped this to sink into my head.

    Love to you:

  10. I know exactly what you mean about the news! Lately, I haven't been able to turn it on because of the horribleness of it! You have a great idea about having a "good news" station.
    The 13th Article of Faith says it all. Thanks for sharing the great chili recipe! On a snowy day like today, it would be very welcomed.

  11. Only hearing the positive things in the world sounds alright with me, Marie! Wouldn't that be lovely?! I find I don't watch the news much anymore, or read the paper...not much I want to hear!

    But, you're in our lovely Blogland there is much to inspire and make happy...I like it here!

    Hope your knees are feeling better--be careful! I love a good bowl of chili--especially at this chilly time of year! Yours looks delicious, of course! Much love to you, Marie--keep those knees rested!

  12. A positive news channel would be delightful! I find myself much more uplifted reading all the wonderful, positive blogs I follow than listening to the news all the time. Blessings are everywhere and I wish more people counted them out loud.

    Lovely post Marie!

  13. Hmmm I'm too lazy right now to go cook some chili so I think I'll hop into the car and run to Jason's Deli they make excellent Chili. I could make my own but time is not on my side right now. Thanks for the positive thoughts and the great write ups. I also love the pictures so beautiful. Here's hoping you have a blessed New Year and looking forward to a better 2010.

  14. wow, marie, you are such an inspirational lady! i love you! sorry i have been absent from blogworld lately. our internet was down and then we went out of town so i had very limited access. anyways, trying to catch up on laundry, unpacking and blogging this week! :) hope you had a very Merry Christmas! i still have so many of your posts to read through, so i haven't seen how things went yet. . .

  15. I am so sorry that you hurt your knees. I hope that it is a temporary pain and will be gone soon.

    It is very very cold the teens...and snowing hard. We may have some trouble getting home Saturday. I hope not.

    The chili looks great. I could use some on this cold night.

    I must check out your good news sources. We can always use more good news.

    Happy New Years eve my dear friend. By the time you read this it will be New Years eve for you. 2009 was such a good year for me that I hate to see it go. How can I top getting 2 new grandsons and meeting my dear friend from England? What a special year for me.
    I will say goodbye with love, Lura

  16. Oh Marie! I completely agree with you. I too am a follower of MA and so appreciate her upbeat blog. And I'll definately check out that site you mentioned.

    My lovely Ex died 3 yr ago on the 28th Dec; and one of the most valuable things I learned from him was the necessity of dwelling on the positive, even in the midst of great turmoil. Phil 4:8 in the scriptures tell us to dwell on things that are pure, lovely, etc. So, that's what I try to do in my everyday life and in my blog with laughter and lightness. Life is not perfect! But part of trusting Him is to step aside and allow Him to handle things AND turning our minds away from the negative to the things that feed our souls.

    Thanks for helping to feed mine this morning!

  17. What a great idea a positive news channel. I must admit I've tried to avoid the news as much as possible this year, what with starting up a new recruitment company and the credit crunch lol! Here's to a wonderful and peaceful 2010 to us all xxx


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