Author and Finisher

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus; the author and finisher of our faith." --Hebrews 12:2

Read: Hebrews 12

The...End. Not something you expect to read at the start of a devotion, but it was something I witnessed on my plane recently. The lady across the isle was reading a book that made "War and Peace" look like a leaflet. Seriously, at one point on the flight, I saw her begin Chapter 153.

As we began our descent, I saw her turn to the last page of the final chapter. You expect to see someone start a book on a flight, but to witness the finish, now that's rare. The bold capped words, THE END, hung below a short paragraph that covered only half the page. Her focus and reaction to her story was my focus, and I reacted.

"So how was it?" (I just had to ask). She responded, "It was great! Lots of twists and turns but I love the author, and the end was better than expected."

I glanced up to the roof of the airplane as if to catch the grin of someone nobody could see, "Good one, Lord" I mumbled. You know, if I enjoyed watching some stranger finish her story, how much do you think God enjoys watching us live ours? To Him, we're page-turners, so let's really live! After all, she was right; lots of twists and turns, but if you love the Author, the end will be better than expected.

--Jimmy Peña


Makes 10 servings (1/2 cup each)


6-8 large tomatoes cut into large chunks 1/2 large red onion, roughly chopped 1 red chili pepper, chopped 3 cloves garlic, whole 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon dried oregano Freshly ground black pepper 1 can (15 ounces) canned tomato sauce, no salt added 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/2 cup red wine 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place tomatoes, onion, chili and garlic on a large sheet pan; add 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, oregano and pepper and toss to coat. Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes or until tomatoes just begin to char; set aside to cool slightly. In a large pot, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then add the roasted tomato mixture, tomato sauce, tomato paste and wine. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add basil and parsley; season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Puree sauce using an immersion blender* until smooth.

*If you do not have an immersion blender, puree in a countertop blender in small batches. Make sure to hold the top of the blender closed with a dish towel while the machine is on.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories: 80 calories Total Fat: 3 grams Saturated Fat: 0 grams Total Carbohydrate: 11 grams Protein: 2 grams Sodium: 139 milligrams Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Fiber: 3 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is a registered dietitian and is currently a nutrition expert for the Food Network, and has worked as a media spokesperson for Cooking Light Magazine. She has appeared on Good Day Street Talk, Food, Access Hollywood and GMA Health. Visit her at Dana White Nutrition.