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  • July 2018
    S M T W T F S
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Two years ago,  I lost my blog and couldn’t remember my way back into it. For the thousands ( yes!) of readers who visited over the years, I apologize for dropping the blog for no apparent reason.

I felt embarrassed to admit the truth, that my mind was so confused  I couldn’t remember how to recover passwords and I decided I wouldn’t try any longer. But, in the years of my blog, as I struggled to find my place, I felt that I had written some good material and I mourned its loss, even as a record of my journey.

Today, while driving out-of-town I realized why my mind has been in such disarray.

In the past six years my husband and I have moved ourselves, our dogs and our possessions into and out of seven homes.

We have had a sabbatical on the ocean, in the mountains, driven cross-country, back again, moved from North to South, settled and resettled and traveled overseas between celebrating marriages and births. It’s all been a bit much for my aging brain.

As I sit by my window, settled into our log home, I look out at restful green fields surrounding me. I am beginning to love this new place, though I held back my affection for a while.

Today was the day I found my blog and my heart let down its guard.

PS. Can I ask your patience as I find my way around WordPress blogging again? Thanks.



triangles (Photo credit: ikarusmedia)

I tried to make some appetizers for a dinner we were going to last night, it did not end well.  Often, I like to buy baked goods rather than make them. The things I bake often turn out, welll…not so attractive.

I found a simple recipe on Pinterest which uses three ingredients: Phyllo dough, cranberry sauce and Brie. *posted below

When I went to the store to buy the only ingredient I didn’t have, the Brie, I sideswiped a car’s back bumper as I left my parking space.

I was tempted to drive away, but I left a note on the car’s windshield with my phone number. It’s in process.

Getting home, I begin my prep by making myself a small cup of coffee.

After everything was laid out, (I am good at making Baklava so I knew how to keep my Phyllo moist) I spilled my coffee over everything. After sopping up my preparation site, I began the process of folding up the turnovers.

Alarmingly, I couldn’t figure out how to fold the dough into triangles.  Even guided by pictures in the recipe, I couldn’t figure it out.

So, back to the computer to look up how to fold a triangle on paper. No help.

I began experimenting as the dough started drying out and cracking while I made peculiar square and odd shaped “pockets” of dough.

After they baked, they were much larger than normal appetizers, and overly flakey.

I fortunately had some crab puff pastries (five) in the freezer which I baked while I dressed.

Why didn’t I just ‘make do’ with them? I honestly thought I could handle the appetizers.

I felt humilated and I was wondering if I should say anything or just present the giant, crappy turnovers and the tiny puff pastries as an ensemble and keep my mouth shut.

Then, my dogs came to my rescue. I took out the crab puffs, and set everything out in a nice serving dish on the kitchen counter while I went upstairs to finish getting dressed.

As I came downstairs to get my coat, I found all the appetizers on the kitchen floor with our two small dogs happily finishing them.

They had jumped up and tipped them off the counter.

In the end, I didn’t have to take my appetizers to our friends, but I felt bad that I had wasted so much emotional energy on the project. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced a similar tension between wanting to do something that I think I “ought” to be able to do, having it turn out badly, and having (God, circumstances, even dogs) save the day!

All in all, It felt like a giant relief. Will I try again someday? Probably, but, I’ve learned some lessons and I’ll probably not make turnovers.

*Below is the delightful recipe. I varied the ingredients using Mozzarella cheese, Brie, Cranberry sauce (homemade by someone else) Pesto from Italy (a gift) and some hot pepper jelly from a neighboring farm to fill them.  I’m sure they are delicious if they are small and compact.


Raising Kids To Be Thankful


thankful (Photo credit: bondidwhat)

Our kids grew up in a developing country where they knew they were privileged and daily experienced the economic contrast between their lives and our friends. They learned qualities of generosity and gratitude from the example of their friends and neighbors who, despite their poverty, shared their possessions willingly and appreciated small gestures of friendship.

I never remember our kids demanding things that their wealthy friends had, though they may have wished for them. We often encouraged them to look at the neighbors living in the shacks around us, and to compare their lives with them rather than the ex-pat kids from the oil companies.

Living in the United States presents different problems, however. I wonder how we would have managed to raise thankful children in this age and culture?
While everyone has their own opinions, here are some ideas from an article I just read from Slate Magazine.
Advice for parents
Nov. 26 2013 11:45 PM

How to Raise Thankful Kids

It’s gonna take a lot of work.

Happy girl at Thanksgiving Dinner table
How do you teach your child gratitude?

Photo by Thinkstock

A few nights ago, after cleaning up from the play date I had organized for my 2½-year-old, changing his diaper, and refilling his water, I was about to start cooking him dinner before giving him a bath when the subject of Thanksgiving came up. He didn’t know what it was, so I tried to explain it to him. But somewhere between It’s a special day when we all think about how grateful we are for what we have and So, basically, it’s all about giving thanks, my son took off to terrorize our dog, and I was left stirring pasta that, five minutes later, I had to remind my son to thank me for. Continued:

Stop Killing Terrorists

Brother Andrew’s Prophetic Plea: Stop Murdering Terrorists | Christianity Today.

Why the Trinity?

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Baptism

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Baptism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several days ago, I was reading the story of Jesus being baptized by John Baptist in the book of Matthew, chapter 3.  He writes in vss 16, 17: “At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

My first thoughts after reading went to our Muslim friends who always ask us if we think Jesus is God’s Son. It’s a painful subject and often a conversation stopper or an argument starter because they believe very strongly that Christians worship THREE Gods! WE DON’T, but trying to explain why we believe in ONE God who is Triune is very difficult and inconvenient.

I love and respect our Muslim friends and I understand their passion for the One True God…Allah and His purity, so I want to explain why we also worship ONE God.  But, I’ve never been successful in explaining our beliefs in the Trinity to their satisfaction.

As I understand it, a good many Muslims think we worship God the creator who had sex with Mary thus producing a son, Jesus.  Some believe we worship God, Mary and Jesus. Not True.

Others don’t believe this, but all believe that Jesus is NOT God’s Son.

And who can blame them? If we’re honest, it’s difficult for us Christians to understand much less explain.

That’s why I’m posting this article from Christianity Today about the Trinity, “Three is the Loveliest Number”. It may not persuade any Muslims, but it provided me with an “epiphany” about Christians (and perhaps why so many in our country expect more of the USA as a once/so-called Christian nation).

Christians are called to be culturally different from other cultures that do not believe in the Trinity.

We are called to a lifestyle of relationship, with God and with others:   Love, forgiveness, gratitude, joy, peace, patience and other qualities that always existed in God’s relationship with His Son are to be in evidence in our daily lives.

What a great challenge to begin the New Year!

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.

Three Is the Loveliest Number | Christianity Today.

Brick by Brick: Our (Own) Worst Enemies: Why Evangelicals Have to be Able to Criticize Each Other

A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It takes courage and wisdom to know when to change our long-held beliefs doesn’t it? There are some that we will never change because we are persuaded from our source text, The Bible, that they are right. Others, like slavery, were once thought to be Biblical, and are now considered false beliefs. But, how do sincere Christians really know how and when to make that leap from one strong belief to the opposite belief?  When should we allow peers and culture to influence us?

These questions are best asked in a community of people who think somewhat differently, while valuing and respecting the principles upon which each person bases his/her life.

Questions need to be asked and that is why I think I related to the dilemma posted by David Williams of Inter-Varsity in North Carolina, on his blog “Brick by Brick”. (Read below)

I’ve had people ask me if I didn’t “like” the Church when I’ve spoken up about some of the weaknesses I see in the Body of Christ.

Some of my Christian friends have been hurt when I’ve made negative comments about people who claim to be Christians and then speak out politically in ways that deny the words of Christ.

I try to look for the inconsistency in my life before I criticize other people, but it’s easy to over look things because of stubbornness and pride. That’s why I usually learn from other people’s criticism even when I might not seem to listen at first.


 Our (Own) Worst Enemies: Why Evangelicals Have to be Able to Criticize Each Other Brick by Brick

The solution to gun violence is clear ?

Washington, D.C. firefighter

This morning firefighters responded to a fire in Webster, NY.  Two of them were shot dead before they could begin fighting the fire. Two others were wounded. The shooter has not been found. The fire continues.

Still, according to Fareed Zakaria* our country has 5 % of the world’s population and 50% of the world’s guns which we fail to regulate regardless of mass shootings in malls, churches and schools. Young mentally ill boys have killed our nation’s children. Now, someone has attacked our firefighters, a group our nation highly honors.

Most Americans center on three or four reasons for the violence in our country:

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, blames it on the “Little Monsters”, young men who play violent video games and watch too much violence on tv and in movies. He says we need armed officers in every school.

President Obama and most media pundits are speaking out about a need to regulate access to certain types of automatic guns and their ammunition.

Others are calling for better mental health care screening.

I wrote about the serious effect of divorce on our children.

What will break through the bottleneck in congress which will help them pass needed legislation without violating our rights? What is it about a person’s gun that makes this legislation different than seat belt legislation, or helmet legislation for motor cycles, use of cell phones while driving?

*Fareed Zakaria writes his opinions framing them from a world perspective in the following article.  This quote below will give you the gist of his thinking.

“The Japanese are at the cutting edge of the world of video games. Yet their gun homicide rate is close to zero! Why?”

via Fareed Zakaria: The solution to gun violence is clear – The Washington Post.