Monday, September 29, 2014

 Were you born in a barn?

They probably asked Jesus that too.

So what if my boy was meant to live in Neverland?
What if he was meant to roam free like his tribe once did, fishing and hunting...
What do you do with a boy like that? What do you do with a boy who eats a whole bottle of adult strength gummie fiber chews in one sitting thinking they were candy?  What do you do with a boy who fills the house with the perfume d'Off mosquito repellant thinking it is the Calamine anti-itch medicine, and you haven't gotten over the last chemically induced bronchitis yet?  What do you do when the boy washes his hands with liberal squirts of acne face wash or shampoos with only conditioner when he does bother to wash at all?  What do you do with a boy who can go through a big bottle of salsa or a half gallon of ice cream in practically a day's time or hides his third-in as many weeks-yes third container of icing with the spoon still stuck in it under the bathroom sink?  What do you do with a boy who doesn't put away the milk, hang up a towel, throw away a paper towel, or wear his foot brace so he won't be crippled?  What do you do with a boy who can accidently break a window when you dared to leave him home alone for a couple of hours or shatters his conscience watching things no boy should watch while you are away (Netflicks tells no lies)?  We can tell if he's taken his medicine, because he's left the lid off.  Every. Single. Time.  (That's a good thing, I guess.)  The only way I can tell his A.D.D. medicine is working is because now once in a blue moon he can watch a movie all the way through, a very rare thing indeed.  What do you do with a boy like that?  Love him anyway, and run away to Women's Retreat leaving teenage moustaches, the milk kind and the hairy kind, behind.

 "And after He sent the multitudes away,
He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray;
and when it was evening, He was there alone."
Matthew 14:23
It's a Girl's Weekend Out,
No Boys Allowed!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Someday my Prince will come...

Isn't it amazing how the Halloween holiday has grown to be second only to Christmas?  Good vs evil, it seems.  People want to dress up and act out.  Adults aren't after the candy, well most aren't.  Instead, of being squeezed into the world's costumes and mold, we should want to be dressed in white royal robes of a kingdom that is promised.

When we pray, "Thy kingdom come," this is what it will look like...
(Oh, much better than this picture, I mean the words in Revelation)

"Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain...And I saw no temple in it for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple.  And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.  And the nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it...and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:2-4, 22-27

Someday we will hear Him say,
"It is done."
Revelation 21:6

Did you notice all the things that there will be no need for?  No temple, no tears, no death, no mourning, no crying, no pain, no sun, no moon, nothing unclean, no abomination and no lying.
Instead there will be God Himself and His glory.  It will be enough, more than enough.  Kinda makes you want to keep praying, "Thy kingdom come."  Rule #1: make sure your name is in the Lamb's book of life. Revelation 21:27

All the climate naysayers need to find an iceberg to float away on. Instead, we need to fear the lake of fire, the second death: "if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:14-15  How much more should we be warning of the hot time in the ol' town a coming?

All the armies on this world cannot fight against the one who rides in on His white horse, "Behold a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war." Revelation 19:11  The battle is the Lord's.

In this crazy world we live in, we need to pray, "Thy kingdom come..." 
"To be or not to be"
written in the Lamb's book of life:
"That is the question."

Crucible, assayer, refiner...growing up, these words were in my vocabulary.  Not only did we camp in old mining ghost towns for years, my father dabbled in it as well.  My father even had a uranium mining claim on the high dessert.  We found old clay crucibles in the mines as well as large ones with the ore melted down their sides.  I dabbled a mite myself by learning to make gold jewelry with the lost wax method by heating it in a crucible. 

The Bible has much to say using these words.  Jeremiah 5:1-3,

"Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, And look now, and take note...If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth, Then I will pardon her...O Lord, do not Thine eyes look for truth (faithfulness)?  But they refused to take correction.  They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to repent."  "They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush." (Jeremiah 6:15
Broken crucibles in mining ruins

"Therefore, thus says the Lord the God of hosts, 'Because you have spoken this word, Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire And this people wood, and it will consume them.'" (Jeremiah 5:14)..."'I have made you an assayer and a tester among My people, That you may know and assay their way.'  All of them are stubbornly rebellious...They are bronze and iron; They, all of them, are corrupt,.  The bellows blow fiercely, The lead is consumed by the fire;  In vain the refining goes on, But the wicked are not separated.  They call them rejected silver, Because the Lord rejected them." (Jeremiah 6:27-30)
Abandoned silver mine in Silverton, Colorado

"Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.'  Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. And you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you.  And you shall say to them, 'This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God or accept correction; truth (faithfulness) has perished and has been cut off from their mouth." (Jeremiah 7:23-24,27-28)

The bottom of a gold crucible
I have also seen the huge machines that worked the mines left in rubble in the ghost towns of Colorado.  The precious metals no longer are being sought, assayed, refined.  "Now is the day of salvation." (II Corinthians 6:2)  Do not harden your hearts.

Where great wealth used to reside.
Fall turns to comfort food...
My mouth craveth it!
Are you sure they were promised milk and honey in the Promised Land?  I heard,
"Honey, be generous with the cream when you get there."

Give me cream or give me death...or is it death by cream?  Whether it is ice cream, whipping cream, half 'n half, or even sour cream, life tastes better with the cream that rises to the top.  The recipe I shared recently on fb is one that I'm sure will be on the menu at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  You will have your choice of that or tri-tip, but since it is heaven, you can have both.  I have been drooling ever since I made it, and can't wait to make it again. 

But I also make a mean potato soup.  Why is it mean you say?  Because pigs gave their lives to give us the delish bacon that is so generous sprinkled or the sauted ham slices chopped into bite size bits of mouth watering scrumptiousness.  Be liberal with the use of grated cheddar.  (That's the only kind of liberal I am, a cheese liberal.)  And of course it is made with cream or half 'n half or even a pint of sour cream stirred in.  If you must, you may add chicken broth, but really? Only other things you need are sauted onions and celery and of course, the potatoes which can be cooked with the skins on.  Red ones are nice.

Also, I am famous, well my household of men think so, for my homemade gravy (take the meat broth, a pint of cream, then add in about an 1/8th cup of corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup of water, stir till thickened--and don't think about leaving it to even find the remote to switch channels to the cooking channel-- and voila!  Also put spoons on when you set the table because otherwise they'll be licking it off the plates; well, they might lick it off the plate anyway. 
Still speaking of cream, even oatmeal is elegant served with real cream and brown sugar. My gram taught me that.  And finally, no cup of coffee is complete without real cream or at least half 'n half.  Now if I could get that real whipped cream done properly, the kind that is whipped by hand, I could reduce these wing flaps sagging under my arm. (When did my muscles slip down under?)  Cream is the padding of life that brings comfort to the comfortably fluffy.  Oh, and don't even get me started on Crème Brule! (Target has the best that cooks in an instant, less drooling that way.)  If you want the crème of the milk crop, buy Tillamook ice cream (Winco).  Or have you tried the salted caramel milk shake at Jack in the Box (who knew they served heaven in a plastic cup?)

Here once again is my version of the chicken that will be on the menu at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb...(Who knew all the ingredients could be purchased at Walmart? Is there a Walmart up there?)

I use my cast iron skillet to get my daily dose of iron.

One pkg of chicken tenders sauted in olive oil and seasoned with Grill Mates Monterey Chicken seasoning.  Once flipped and beginning to brown, add to taste sliced fire grilled mushrooms (from the frozen food vegetables section).  Once nicely beginning to brown with the chicken, add about a pint of cream or 1/2 cup or so of half 'n half.  Once that is bubbling mixing with the goodness in the bottom of the pan, add 1/2 pkg very thinly sliced Manchego cheese (from the deli section).  Serve with rice and vegetable, asparagus would be nice.

If you are not a mushroom type of person and still manage to get to heaven with that character flaw, just scrape them off to a little pile on the side of your plate and the stranger sitting next to you will be happy to take them off your hands and probably even kiss you for them.

Any questions?  Find me at Walmart.

"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones...
(S)he that laboreth, laboreth for (herself), for (her) mouth craveth it..."
Proverbs 16:24, 26

Oh, and my next post will be about dieting...just kidding.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cozy as a kitten

The cat of my childhood would chatter its teeth
watching flies in hyper excitement.

The flies are fat and sassy, coming in the house as if invited. 
Little do they know their time is limited. 

Old folk knowledge...

"When flies settle in large numbers, rain will not be long in coming."

"If a fly lands on your nose, swat it till it goes,
If the fly then lands again, it will bring back heavy rain."

"When the stars begin to huddle,
The earth will soon become a puddle."

Love the rain, the smell, the damp, the purging of the sky.
The skies are curdled,
Wuthering winds are over the moor;
Lightning is hurled,
Rumbling heavens begin to pour.

"Part your heavens, O Lord,
and come down;
touch the mountains so that they smoke."
Psalm 144:5
Which term is older?  Fall or Autumn?  According to the Farmer's Almanac,
 Fall was used from medieval times in England; Autumn came later. 

Leaves show their true colors when the tree stops making the chlorophyll green. 


"Autumn days come quickly like the running of a hound on the moor."
Irish proverb

As they fly south, bird song is lessoned only to be replaced by either the honking of geese
or the chatter of squirrels.  Our life pauses when the geese fly over.

"From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth."
Psalm 50:2
The original hoodie.  
What do you do when your son gets a referral for flying a paper airplane in class after returning from being sent out of the room for not doing any of his work.  You call the school again, and again, and again to try and set up an IEP meeting just like you have been doing (7X) for the past month.  He says, "What's the use of going to school?  We're all just going to die anyway."  Hmm.  He's over his head, drowning, calling for help, tired of being made fun of, being slapped on the back of his head by bullies.  Yes, he's messing up.  Yes he has to at least try.  But he needs an advocate.  That's me.  It's spelled "MOM,"  hear me ROAR!  I already raised the other kind, the smarter-than-your-average-bear kind, the great athlete, the artistic, beautiful, get-good-graders.  Piece of cake compared to the challenged child.  Life's not fair, have you noticed?

"My little children..."
(That's them, that's us)
"I am writing these things to you that you may not sin..."
(I mess up, do you?  My kid certainly did.)
"And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate (called alongside to help)
with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous."
I John 2:1
Come to think of it, there are worse things than referrals and failing in class.  How about failing in life, the Christian life, falling back into sin, becoming saturated in the sin lifestyle, as someone I love is doing, until they give up on their marriage, being the kind of parent they once were, allowing the sin to not only hurt them but damage their children?  "And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate."  (MY little children: John was writing to Christians who fall away.  That's why we need an advocate, to get back into grace.) In fact we just sang this in church because we old timers are like that...

"I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,"
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more.
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry
From the waters lifted me now safe am I."

" Love lifted me."

He doesn't measure sin up against another on a scale of one to ten, although the consequences might register some sins more than others on the Richter scale.  The size of the sin doesn't lesson the offer of an Advocate who is waiting to come alongside to help.  Our Advocate who took on humanity, even to the pain of the cross, so as to be able to become our Advocate. 
Fall is a season.  May the fall into sin be a passing season, lit like the blush of shame, letting go of  the leaf that withers to be able to begin new life.  Rake it all up into a pile and let the Holy
Spirit burn it with fire.  We need to fall into grace instead of falling into sin. 
 We can fall up.
 Fall into grace.