What uncommon things do we want to become common?
Friday, December 31, 2010
The two phrases "10 year old child" and "life threatening" shouldn't be in the same sentence.
But on Monday the 27th they were. There is now no competition for the longest day of my life.
Samantha, who was nearing a diabetic coma (though we were unaware that she had diabetes), and Chelsa were flown by emergency helicopter to Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth. As strange as this may sound my thoughts were not on whether Samantha would live or die, but on who God would reach through this ordeal. A few people came to mind.
Throughout the week I thought of many things a father would be thinking, I suppose, who was in this position. The more I thought, the more I realized who God was reaching. It wasn't the people I had in mind, it was me. God was speaking to me about life, fatherhood, relationships. I can see God reaching a lot of us in large and small ways during circumstances like this when we fill our thoughts with Him and make time to listen .
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Step 1-I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost...I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
Step 2-I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place, but it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
Step 3-I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in...It's a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
Step 4-I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
Step 5-I walk down another street. (by Portia Nelson)
Isn't that the way we deal with temptations sometimes? It's a good thing bobcats don't get to step 4 or 5.
For the last 9 months our chickens have been an occasional supper for a bobcat. We've seen her periodically and have even taken a few shots at her. I actually caught her, momentarily, 3 times in 3 different traps (in picture) but she's always escaped. One time she ripped through the metal screen covering (see the hole).
Our army of egg layers went from about 35 to 4. The bobcat would come about every three or four days near dusk to try and catch one of our free-range chickens before they were in the safety of their portable pen for the night. Finally, I set a big claw trap with a live chicken as bait after I saw her near the coop at 1:30 pm. I knew she was desperate to be hunting that early in the day and I knew which path she would take. The temptation proved to be too much for her to turn down and she was caught. While checking the trap the next morning, I was within 10 feet of the tree where I chained the trap. I noticed the trap tunnel was messed up & before I realized what had happened, she roared. Overcome with a fear that only a loud roar in the wild can produce, I almost fell into a batch of cactus. Before composing myself, I ran screaming to Chelsa, "We caught the bobcat! We caught the bobcat!" Special thanks to Duane, Geoff, Jeremiah & Phillip for the use of traps, guns & ammunition.
Chelsa got the bobcat fur slippers she wanted for Christmas.
Commander Creg protects his house.
Mt 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light."
Jesus (Luke 11:33)A lamp is a container that lets the light out. It's the answer for darkness. I think Jesus uses lamps to represent Christians. We're the vessel that allows the light to be seen so people can come out of the darkness.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I've been thinking about that rat in my shed (earlier post). His nest was behind boards in the darkest corner. When the lights came on he ran. Why did he like the darkness? Because he was a thief! Taking trinkets he could find to make a nest & scrounging food from wherever he could find it.
"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness."
Friday, November 19, 2010
I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world
I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate, but I never give ’til it hurts
I turn off the news when I don’t like what I see
It’s easy to do when it’s
What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world
When I Stopped at a red light, looked out my window
I saw a cardboard sign, said “Help this homeless widow”
And above that sign was the face of a human
and I thought to myself, “God, what have I been doing?”
So I rolled down the window and I looked her in the eye
I thought how many times have I just passed her by?
I gave her some money then I drove on through
And my own little world reached
What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose
That I could be living right now
Outside my own little world yeah
Father break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
and Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
I'm so happy!!! I can't tell you how excited I am! I've finally found a whole wheat sourdough recipe our whole family likes. This is huge, mainly because I make ALL of our bread products: Loaves of bread, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, tortillas, pitas, pancakes, biscuits, scones, cinnamon rolls...you name it. When I got my electric flour mill for Christmas a couple of years ago (it grinds grain into flour), we bought TWELVE 50lb bags of wheat (yes, you read that correctly 600 lbs!!!), so I promised myself that I wouldn't buy bread from the store anymore. Why not, you ask? Because I know how I am. If there's bread from the store in the house then I'm not nearly as motivated to make my own. This way I have to make myself do it. I'm so glad I made that promise because it's become a routine part of my life now and I thoroughly enjoy it. And we've even built an earth oven in our back yard to bake it in! (I'll do a post on that soon)
Nourishing Traditions Sourdough Starter:
(makes about 3 qts)
2 cups freshly ground rye flour
2 cups cold filtered water
6 cups freshly ground rye flour
cold filtered water
Best results for sourdough starter are obtained from rye rather than wheat flour, perhaps because rye contains a lower phytate content than wheat. You will need two gallon-sized bowls. Total time to make the starter is 1 week.
Grind 2 cups flour and let it sit for a bit to cool. In one large bowl, mix flour with 2 cups cold water. The mixture should be quite soupy. Cover with a double layer of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band---this will allow yeasts and bacteria to get in but will keep insects out. In warm weather, you may set the bowl outside in the shade if you live in an unpolluted area and no pesticides have been used in your garden. Otherwise, keep it in a warm open area indoors or on a patio. The next day and every day for a total of 7 days, transfer the starter to the other clean bowl and add 1 cup freshly ground rye flour plus enough cold water to make a soupy mixture. Cover and let stand. After a few days the starter will begin to bubble and develop a wine-like aroma. It should go through a bubbly, frothy stage and then subside. After 7 days, the starter is ready for bread making. Use 2 quarts for a batch of sourdough bread (p. 490) but save 1 quart for your next batch of starter. If not using remaining starter immediately, you may store it in airtight jars in the refrigerator or freezer. Do not be tempted to add honey to your starter, as some recipes require. Honey encourages the proliferation of yeasts at the expense of lactic-acid-producing bacteria and may give you an alcoholic fermentation.
To start a new batch of starter, place the quart of leftover starter in a clean bowl. Add 1 cup freshly ground rye flour plus water each day, changing bowls, until 3 quarts are obtained.
Sourdough Flat Bread (serves 6)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sourdough starter
1 and 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
3/4 tsp. sea salt
- In a ceramic, glass or stainless steel bowl, mix all dry ingredients well
- Add liquids and stir until completely mixed.
- Cover with a cloth or a lid, and let it set on the counter (7-12 hours). The longer you leave it the more sour it will become.
- Cook on a buttered electric griddle (350*) or skillet on medium heat. Scoop out handfuls of dough with wet hands and pat flat. They take longer to cook than pancakes. Flip when bubbles leave a hole in bread.
- Top with sausage and cheese, peanut butter and honey, or any combination you like.
- Use the same measurements as Sourdough Flat Bread.
- Follow the first 3 steps in that recipe.
- Then gradually add ½ cup flour and stir well with a spoon.
- Sprinkle some flour on counter top.
- Make 6 equal size balls of dough.
- Roll each one out until dough is between ¼-1/8” thick.
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread (makes 1 loaf)
*** IMPORTANT TIP***
(For each loaf of bread you will use ¼ cup starter, 1 cup water, and 1 tsp. salt)
(Time from start to finish in baking a loaf of bread is approximately 10-12 hours)
(7 hours to make sponge, 2-3 hours for loaf to rise, 30-60 minutes to bake, depending on loaf size)
1. First make a sponge. In a glass or ceramic bowl add:
- ¼ cup sourdough starter
- 1 cup warm (not hot) water
- 1 cup flour
Stir and let this sponge sit on the counter (covered with a cloth) for 7-12 hours. The longer it sits, the more sour it will be.
2. In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 tsp.salt.
3. Mix well.
4. Add the sponge to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until you can’t anymore.
5. Add 1 more cup of flour and knead aggressively by hand for exactly 15 minutes (the time is important!)
6. Form the dough into a loaf and with a sharp knife score the top of loaf and let rise until doubled in size (2-3 hours depending on room temperature)
7. Heat oven to 350*F
8. Bake for 30-45 minutes
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
As I was out on this crisp fall morning doing my farm chores, I thought I faintly heard a familiar sound. I stopped what I was doing, walked over to a clearing, and gazed up into the heavens and just listened. My heart skipped a beat and I smiled when I realized what it was. I now clearly heard the lovely sound; beautiful music to my ears. As my eyes adjusted to the distance, I saw their graceful form; magnificent symmetry in the sky.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
22They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"
24He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." 25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
How did he know what a tree looked like? He probably could see before and Jesus is giving him a second chance at seeing. Isn't that what Jesus is in the business of doing? Getting you back what you lost in the will of God. Jesus came so we could go to heaven, but that's not all. What about right here and right now? To restore us in an intimate relationship with God through the Spirit so we can learn what it means to live all of life under the reign of God. In John 10:10 Jesus says;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.Was it ok with Jesus for the man to see people as trees? No, Jesus could've said, "That's better than you were before." Jesus wants us to see as clearly as we were created to see, especially spiritually. Some of us spend our whole Christian lives seeing people as trees. Seeing sinners and problems instead of opportunities. When you stop at an intersection that cardboard sign has a face above it, made in the image of God.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, "Why have you brought this trouble on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today." Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.
9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
10This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God;
The other day I was hanging some wire up for a new clothes line. I had to splice several pieces together to have enough length. While I was stretching the wire it kept breaking in the same spot. I didn't tighten that splice enough. Doesn't everyone know where a chain breaks? At it's weakest link.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
"You will not be in heaven two seconds before you cry out, 'Why did I place so much importance on things that were so temporary? What was I thinking? Why did I waste so much time, energy, and concern on what wasn't going to last?' "
Friday, October 15, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
One summer during my college years I flew to California to visit my roommate. His grandmother lived in Las Vegas so we drove there to spend a couple of days. As luck would have it, our visit just happened to coincide with a Mike Tyson fight, when he was in his prime. Being the big sports fans that we were, we decided to make a visit to the hotel where the fight would take place. As we made our way through the casino to the boxing ring we saw portable stands & make shift fences set up around the fight ring. It was enough to get in the view of anyone who wanted to see the action without a ticket, that would be us. We settled in the middle of a big crowd just outside the fencing where we could see the fight on the big screen TV above the ring. Right before the bell for the first round we decided to give up our spot in the crowd and take a risk. My roommate saw an unmarked portable fence we could sneak around to try for a closer view. Luckily, we found a place where we could stand behind the grand stand & watch through a gap in the bleachers. Seeing a heavy weight world championship boxing match in real life was absolutely electrifying.
37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears.
38Then she wiped them (Jesus' feet) with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."
44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman?
44I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much.
50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
Sunday, September 26, 2010
28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted."
Friday, September 24, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
As a result of a disease that took years to take its toll, Kyle was totally blind for his 14th birthday. He sunk into depression & loneliness & didn't care about getting out of his hole, rarely leaving his room. He questioned God, his parents, his friends & even strangers, but didn't get any answers to his satisfaction. After about a year his dad started leading him around inside the house to remind him of where things were. The father wanted the son to start being involved in the house again, but Kyle would have none of that. Finally one day his dad decided to take a different approach. He woke Kyle up & boldly told him to complete several chores before he came back from work that day. If Kyle didn't get finished, there would be severe consequences. Then the front door slammed. So Kyle got up & drudgingly went to work. There were a couple of minor mishaps & a few close calls, but he made it. When he finished the last chore someone gave him a big hug from behind. It was his dad. The father had taken the day off & had been right next to him the whole time!
2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
4Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see:5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."
Saturday, September 11, 2010