bits and pieces

I’ve just spent four full days without any dairy products of any kind in my system.

I

am

gonna

go

insane

very soon if I can’t have cheese. White Mexican cheese dip specifically.

This wasn’t a completely random decision. I had all four of my wisdom teeth out on Thursday morning.  Whenever I asked what I could eat after the proceedure I kept getting the same answer :

Ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, milk shakes, jello pudding.

um, let me get this straight.  You want to take out four of my teeth, give me drugs that will make me want to not move for four days and feed me a diet of all dairy?  oh and I can’t brush my teeth during this time for fear of disturbing the surgical site?

So in the space of four days I will gain 10 pounds and have a mound of decay in my remaining teeth.  Lovely.

NOT !

So I went the opposite direction. I decided to cut out dairy for seven days.  I’m drinking beef broth, chicken broth, tea, water, fruit purees and the occasional serving of clear jello.

Providentially, the day after my surgery I got a call from my general practitioner…..  To tell me that my cholesterol was too high and they were going to have to put me on medication for it.

So I guess my planned orgy of dairy goodness that I had scheduled for this Friday is going to have to be put off.  I’ll reintroduce dairy slowly.

*sigh*

In the meantime here is a great substitute that I found to make my broths into creamy soups with NO DAIRY – use coconut milk.  Yup canned coconut milk.  Just 1 tablespoon of it in two cups of beef broth turns the clear boring broth into a creamy dish of delight.

or at least that is what I’m telling myself.

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random recent photos

with captions/explanations

this photo of Kenya was taken about a month before she died.

Martin took this shot of Ginny in our church playground during one of the lighter snows we got this year.

Ginny's favorite Grocery store game - push the cart

it wears her out.....

and then we get this - zonked out baby girl.

at dinner one night. the family all has corn-on-the-cob. notice the tiny pieces of corn on Ginny's plate....

but that wasn’t good for her.  She decided that she wanted to try what we were having.

addressing the cob.....

first bite......

ah the joy of discovering a new love !

Welcome to our playhouse....

Actually it belongs to the neighbors, but we have both agreed to set up all our playground stuff on kinda of a middle ground between the two houses and the kids all just play all over it with no boundaries.  Seriously cool.

anyway, that shot was taken a few weeks ago when Ginny was not yet able to climb up the sides of the playhouse.  Then, the light dawned, effort was made and now….

She's on top of the world!

I love the static-hair.  it makes me grin.

get thee to a closet

tomorrow is National Day of Prayer.

I agree in concept with a day to concentrate on praying for our nation, and our leaders (Mr. Obama certainly needs God’s guiding hand on his heart)……

But….

In the midst of spreading the word and reminding people to pray we must be careful of something – the majority of our own prayers should be kept private.    I am by no means saying that there is no place for a prayer gathering.  Just that we need to be deep-down certain that we are utterly focused on God, not on the humans praying along with us.   Stick with me here.

Christ actually said to pray in secret.  I believe that this is not because he wants us to hide from men, but rather to keep us from falling to one of the easiest snares for a Christian – spiritual pride.  Pride in our own spiritual-ness.

Here are the relevant verses:

5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9“This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11
Give us today our daily bread.
12
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.[a]14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Fa
ther will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:5-15

Has someone ever surprised you by asking you to pray in public? what immediately went through your head?  did you start worrying about how you were going to sound? will I get too emotional? Will I sound too detached?  Will my sentences  even make sense? (maybe it’s just me that feels like this?)

Worse yet, have you ever known ahead of time that you were going to have to lead a group in prayer? Did you find yourself composing a suitable prayer? (tell me I’m not the only one…)

God wants my whole attention on HIM when I pray.  He is the only audience that counts. But Christ knows that I am all too human. He knows that I can’t help but worry when I pray out loud with someone else in the room (or many someones), so he suggested a way out.  Ironically -to go into a closet.

Do you have a private place that you pray?  I don’t, but I need to.  I usually pray in the car.  Private, sort of, but certainly not conducive to concentrating on HIM !

When I was a kid I recall that my dad always prayed in the bathroom.  Possibly because it was the only room in the house with a lock on the door….

But I love the idea of a prayer closet.  Amy March had one in Little Women. Do you remember?

“Esther fitted up the closet with a little table, placed a footstool before it, and over it a picture taken from one of the shut-up rooms. She thought it was of no great value, but, being appropriate, she borrowed it, well knowing that Madame would never know it, nor care if she did. It was, however, a very valuable copy of one of the famous pictures of the world, and Amy’s beauty-loving eyes were never tired of looking up at the sweet face of the Divine Mother, while her tender thoughts of her own were busy at her heart. On the table she laid her little testament and hymnbook, kept a vase always full of the best flowers Laurie brought her, and came every day to `sit alone’ thinking good thoughts, and praying the dear God to preserve her sister. Esther had given her a rosary of black beads with a silver cross, but Amy hung it up and did not use it, feeling doubtful as to its fitness for Protestant prayers. The little girl was very sincere in all this, for being left alone outside the safe home nest, she felt the need of some kind hand to hold by so sorely that she instinctively turned to the strong and tender Friend, whose fatherly love most closely surrounds His little children. She missed her mother’s help to understand and rule herself, but having been taught where to look, she did her best to find the way and walk in it confidently.”

Having a closet, or a space designated as a prayer space in the home would be such a comfort and a great place to have a daily devotional.  It might even be a great way to involve a child in private devotions from an early age.

Has anyone else done this? what did you use? a closet? a comfy chair in the corner of a room? was it for anyone in your home? or just one person?  I’d love to hear your ideas/feedback.

platform blog

I don’t often do this…..don’t often ask my readers to participate in a charity drive of any kind.  I generally believe that people are best left to pick their own charity that is closest to their heart.  The one God has laid on them personally.

My main charity emphasis has always been Compassion International which is a group that matches caring people with an individual child that you can help and correspond with.

But today I got a facebook invite to be a part of a very simple food drive this Saturday, May 8th.

http://www.helpstampouthunger.com

Why should you participate?

simple.

Jesus told us to Feed the Poor.

He didn’t say “make them fill out an application to see if they are worthy”

He never said “wait to see if they have stopped drinking booze before you feed them”

Christ didn’t say “make sure to witness to them as you hand them the food” (on that note, simply FEEDING them IS our witness to them as a demonstration of Grace – unmerited favor)

He never mentioned the concept of “the deserving poor or the UN-deserving poor”

He just said Feed the Hungry.

And actually it wasn’t just Christ that said it.  This command has been showing up in the Bible since Old Testament times.  There are over 300 mentions of how we are to take care of the poor and needy in the Bible.

I’ll leave you with two.  You can look up the others if you are interested.

John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”
Luke 3:11

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:9-11

I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like a wonderful promise.  Something I’d be willing to do almost anything to get.

In most of Christianity we have to accept a free gift – grace.  Something we can NEVER do ANYTHING to earn.  It is hard for us to wrap our brains around grace.   But this is something we are told to do and that it will have have direct results.

I want the LORD to guide me.

Always.

Do you have extra non-perishable food in your pantry? set it out for your postal worker to pick up this Saturday.

It is that simple.