Butternut Squash Soup

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As I write this, it has been snowing for 12 straight days. The snow on our lawn is about three feet deep. As I always say, a Michigan winter is like living in a snow globe.

Snow globes are nice, but their fascination lasts only a short time.

I like the snow, but we have too much of a good thing. So here is a recipe for a sunny soup that perks up those winter blues. A friend recently made this recipe for the first time and she said, “I did not think that soup would taste as good as it did. It was delicious.”

I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as she did.

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2 large butternut squash

Peel, seed and cut the squash. Cook them covered in water until they are tender. drain them reserving 4 cups of the cooking broth. Set them aside.

Put the following ingredients into a blender:

1 cup cashews

2 cups reserved broth

1 clove garlic

blend until perfectly smooth. To the blender add:

2 teaspoons dry dill

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

cooked squash

If necessary blend the ingredients in small batches. Add the rest of the reserved broth as necessary. Pour into a large soup pot. Heat the soup through. Add salt to taste and garnish with fresh parsley or dill

Gluten-free.

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Next Year

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For possibly centuries, Jews of the diaspora finished their religious New Year’s meal (Passover), with the phrase, “Next year in Jerusalem.” This expressed their desire to go home. Home to the land that shaped their faith and expectation. Most of the Jews who said those words had never been in Jerusalem, still their greatest desire was to be within her gates.

The world is overflowing with sadness. And “men’s hearts fail them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth…” Luke 21:26. I wonder what new sorrow this year will add. I am tired. I long to be in my heavenly home, where I will not even remember this place (Isaiah 65:17). With all of my heart, I join that other diaspora and say,

“Next Year in Jerusalem.”

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Nostalgia, part 3

baby-1767974In Bethlehem, Jesus took our broken flesh that He might redeem it. But He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The reality of His sacrifice, though not carried out at creation, was still a fact to Him. Fully omniscient, He knew all the details of His anguish before the universe was made. He knew that He would be sold for the price of a slave. He knew the taunts that would be hurled at Him. He knew He would be bruised and beaten. All of this He knew. But omniscience knows more than just the hard things, it also knows the joys. That means He knew that in human flesh He would reign king of the universe. He knew that He would be the great Second and Final Adam. He knew His DNA would restore and redeem humanity. Therefore before creation, as He diagramed all the components that would make up mankind, He purposed that the first Adam should reflect the last. He said, “Let us make man in our image. “ Not only in the image of His Godhead, but in the image of His future state, as a living breathing man, made of flesh and bones.

The entire story of Adam’s creation is a prophesy. But Adam did not know that his life was a type. He did not understand the he and Eve reflected the relationship between Christ and His bride, but it is so. Both brides were created from the pierced side of their beloved. Both brides fell and were given the hope of Immanuel. The only difference in the analogy is that Adam chose to sin and die with his bride, while Christ chose to obey and die for His. So when God said, “Let us make man in our image and after our Likeness,” it expresses what He knew He would someday do. He, our Immanuel, would “leave his father… And … cleave unto his wife: and they (would) become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

This christmas let us rejoice in knowing that we will soon be in the likeness of our beloved’s glorified flesh. We will live like Him, be wrapped in skin like His, see with the discernment of His eyes and feel with a heart just like He has. We will stand in the New Jerusalem and see Immanuel, our perfect Holy God; our beloved man of flesh. “We will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2

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Nostalgia, part 2

baby-1767974That first Christmas, The angels must have looked at God’s gift to man with awe. They must have hovered close and breathed His sweet baby smell. Or counted His fingers and toes. They might have seen His skin, still bathed in birth-dew and been amazed. When He cried, His voice must have thrilled their hearts. They never would have guessed that a tiny lump of flesh could hold eternity. But there He lay, the universe’s King, wrapped in humanity. Praise was the only response possible when they first saw the baby Jesus. “Hallelujah”, they sang, “Glory to God in the highest.”

 

 

Jesus Light of World 2We love the nostalgia of His birth, but Christ’s humanity is still breathtaking.  Today He is our faithful Priest and King.  “…because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood.  Therefore He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.  Such a high priest truly meets our need…” Hebrews 7:24- 26   I am amazed that He sees my complete brokenness and still wants to rescue me. I am amazed that He sees my faithlessness and never leaves me. He is everything I need.  He is all hope.  He is our salvation.  He is our best gift.  Share Him with someone this Christmas season.

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Nostalgia, part 1

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Christmas holds our hearts in the nostalgia of scented pine, lights shining on the tree, and extra time with loved ones. We are griped in the joys of getting and giving.

 

 

 

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And because we love God, we revel in knowing the true reason for the season.  As Christians we take this time to acknowledge our gratitude and indebtedness to Christ for condescending to be born in human flesh.  We sing about his infant head resting in the rough manger.  We teach our children that he was born a babe and grew just like they do.

 

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We remind ourselves that in taking humanity, Christ became our high priest.  We remember, He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, faithfully making reconciliation for our sins.  Every Christmas we are comforted that our God came down to live our life, in our skin, with our eyes, and with our heart.

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The Most Valuable

The gem in a box of Cracker Jacks is not valuable. It only takes about 1/2 cent to make. The Pink Star diamond is worth 83 million dollars. It costs more for various reasons. One reason it is worth more is that greater resources were spent on acquiring it. That is simple economics. Here is a startling application of that principle, the great sinner is worth more than the saint because it took more to redeem him.

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Doubtful?

Let me prove it to you.

Enoch was a sinner, but he was also a good man. He was so close to God that he was taken to heaven without seeing death.  Conversely there is Manasseh, who was toxic.  After listing his sins, which included child sacrifices, 2 Kings says, “Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel” (verse 21:9).  But Manasseh was saved.  At the end of his life, “…He entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers” 2 Chronicles 33:12.

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So in redeeming these men, on which did Christ spend more of His blood? Right, on Manasseh. And since Christ’s blood is the thing with the greatest value, simple economics insists that Manasseh is worth more than Enoch because more riches were used in his redemption. And the Bible agrees. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound…” Romans 5:20. More grace, more value.

This concept is not just novelty. It is practical. It is supposed to change me. When I deal with a toxic person, I have to remember Jesus paid an enormous price for their sins. Therefore, the co-worker who lies about me, the ex-husband who had an affair with the best friend, or the white supremacist at a rally are precious, because great resources were spent on their opportunity for salvation.

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Seeing what they cost Christ should change how I feel about them. The value I place on that toxic person is proportional to the value I place on Christ. As long as they are unredeemed, the suffering He paid for their sin becomes suffering without recompense. That means that when I think of that person and the pain they cause me, it needs to be linked to the pain Christ experienced for them.

I would hate that Jesus should have suffered in vain. Therefore:

I will pray for the toxic in my life (Luke 6:28).

I will deal righteously with them (Proverbs 25:21).

I will turn the other cheek while keeping out of their reach. (Matthew 5:39, John 2:24, 25).

I will not allow them to indiscriminately hurt me because that increases their burden of guilt (Romans 12:19, 20, Matthew 10:23).

I will care about their salvation (2 Timothy 2:24 – 26).

I will not vilify them (James 4:11).

I will remember that their salvation cost Jesus more than most people’s (Romans 5:6).

In humility, I will consider them better than me (Philippians 2:3).

And in God’s strength I will strive to bring them to peace with heaven (Luke 19:10).

All this I hope to do, so Jesus will see the travail of His soul and be satisfied. (Isaiah 53:11).

“I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent.”  Luke 15:7

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Thrill Seeker

We have all heard commercials for the latest blockbuster that end with words like,  “This will be the thrill of your life!” 

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Or maybe you have been on that long line, wilting in the sun, while those ahead of you pile into the cars of the roller coaster, hoping to experience the most thrilling ride ever. 

There are many thrills to be had.  Whether it is the summer action film, the amusement park, the work promotion or the new house, they are all exciting things.  But they are transient.  The lights turn on, the cars stop and reality steals the surge of that last moment.

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The queeziness rises up from your stomach and you wonder if the roller coaster was such a good decision after all. 


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The promotion involves more work and politics than you expected. 


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The mortgage is just a drain on your freedom. 


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These earthly thrills eventually leave us empty and in the end they take from us instead of give.

But there is another thrill.  A thrill that never ends. 

It is being in God’s company.

That thrill remains regardless of the situation, because He is the adventure of a life time.

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Dark days may come, but He is your light. Psalm 27:1


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You may walk in the valley… but He is the mountain. Psalm 125:2


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You can have great joy, but He can bring you higher still. Psalm 18:33

The Lord is the answer to every thrill seeker, for He promises…

Your eyes will shine, and your he

heart will thrill with joy.…  Isaiah 60:5

 


Download my Top 10 Favorite Bible Verses: God Loves Fun

  • Ten verses that show how God encourages us to enjoy things.
  • Easy to memorize and share with others.

 


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Happy Thanksgiving

 

This year I am thankful that we have the opportunity to glorify God’s name. The Bible says, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come…”. Revelation 14:7. But how does one give God glory, He is already glorious.  I searched and found some texts that show some of the ways we can glorify Him.

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“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me…”  Psalm 50:23


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“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13


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“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” John 17: 4


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“O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders…” Isaiah 25:1


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“… whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified…” 1 Peter 4:11


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“… glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20


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“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:8


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“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16


hundredpercent_featured “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31


hand-1549399_1920 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more… to the glory and praise of God.”  Philippians 1:9-11


Since the bible instructs us to glorify God, this Thanksgiving, I invite you to…

“… magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3

by our loving words, thoughts and actions.

 

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Gluten Free Thanksgiving Entree

There are a growing number of people who are gluten free. If you are one of these people and also eat a plant based diet there are times, like holidays, when what is on your plate is not as appetizing as what is on other people’s plates. Well this is the last year for that!  Here is a gluten free recipe for a Thanksgiving entrée that even meat eaters will love.

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Gluten Free Bread Stuffing

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1 loaf multi grain gluten free bread, cut into small cubes.

1/2 teaspoon each chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and sage

2 cups celery chopped small 

1 cup thinly sliced onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Take the cut bread and bake it on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The bread should be well toasted and firm, but not too hard to chew. In the meantime begin step 2.
  2. Put the oil in a small pot, add the celery and cover.  With the heat at medium-high let the celery get hot enough so it begins to sweat. Stir in the onion.  Lower the heat and continue cooking covered until the vegetables are soft, but not turning brown. Stir the vegetables occasionally.
  3. Add the toasted bread cubes to the sautéed vegetables and stir to mix.
  4. Cover the pot and let it sit off the heat for at least 30 minutes so the bread gets soft from the steam coming off the vegetables.
  5. If you feel that the bread is not getting soft enough, you can drizzle small amounts of vegan chicken seasoning that has been mixed in water, until you get your desired softness.

 


Thanksgiving Roasted Portabello Mushroom

Marinade

3 tablespoons sesame seed oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons McKay’s Chicken Style Seasoning, Vegan

2 large portobello mushrooms, prepared

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Prepare the mushrooms by cutting off the stem and taking the black fins off with a spoon. Next score the bottom of the mushrooms about 1/8 inch thick into the flesh.

Make the marinade by putting the sesame seed oil, lemon juice and vegan chicken seasoning into a small bowl and mixing together.

Put the prepared mushrooms into a gallon sized freezer plastic bag and pour the marinade on them. Remove as much of the air as possible and seal the bag. Move the marinade around so all sides of the mushrooms are coated. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.Take the mushrooms out of the marinade and fry the tops for 5 minutes. Fry them in what ever amount of marinade is left on them. You can add some more marinade if necessary so they don’t stick to the pan, but you don’t want to have greasy mushrooms.  Fry on high heat to get a light crusty top on the mushrooms.

IMG_0548Bake the mushrooms on a rack that has been put in a cookie sheet. This will allow the mushroom liquid to drop down into the cookie sheet and not make the mushrooms slimy. Bake for 5 minutes on each side. Take them out and serve them on top of some gluten free stuffing.Garnish and serve.

 

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Coconut Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

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Thanksgiving’s menu is about tradition. This is how I traditionally serve sweet potatoes on this holiday. The recipe takes the ordinary casserole with marshmallows and jettisons it to up to a different plane. I have served these many times and the reaction is always the same.  “Wow, those sweet potatoes are really great!  Can I have the recipe?” I originally shared the recipe before Thanksgiving 2015, but traditions are about repetition.  So here it is again. I hope it becomes part of your holiday tradition.

1 – 2     medium fleshed orange sweet potatoes, thinly sliced

1 can   coconut milk

1/2 cup  raw cashews

2 tbsp  cornstarch

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp  vanilla

1/2 tsp  salt

Put the sliced sweet potatoes in greased muffin cups.  Stack the slices above the level of the top of the cups.  This will give the top layer of slices crinkled edges.  Blend the rest of the ingredients.  It is alright to leave some small cashew chunks.  They will give the dish additional texture.  Slowly drizzle the coconut milk batter into the muffin tins until they are full of liquid.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Let them cool 5 to 10 minutes to make the potato cups easier to remove from the pan.

You can find this and other recipes in my book Satisfy Thy Mouth.  More than just a cookbook, it is a resource which explains how health changes are possible without the struggles most people face.  Buy your copy today and enjoy this and other delicious plant based recipes for the holidays or read it online at our Free Online Library

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Layered Water

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I often forget drinks when hosting a holiday meal, they seem so unimportant when compared to all the amazing food that has to be cooked.  Here is a wonderfully stunning recipe. It is sweet and tart. And the best thing is can be prepared a few hours before you plan to eat and just left to sit on the dinner table until the meal is ready.

Into a clear 16 ounce glass, place the following ingredients in order. Do not stir the ingredients or move the glasses too much. The goal is to get everything to remain in layers.

  1. 1 teaspoon Old Orchard Cranberry Blend Frozen Concentrate.
  2. Fill the entire glass with crushed ice.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  4. Using a spoon pour water into the glass until it reaches 1 inch from the top.
  5. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon pomegranate seeds on top of the ice.
  6. Decoratively place a 3 – 4 inch rosemary sprig into the glass.
  7. Let the ice melt.
  8. The drinks will be ready to serve when the ice is mostly melted. The time it takes will depend on how warm it is in the room. It took about 2 hours in our 70 degree room.

 

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We are Adopted Children

This post is in honor of National Adoption Day, which is every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.


We were born strangers and orphans, yet God adopted us.

adoption-1057639_1920He said “…I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters…” 2 Corinthians 6:18

He is “…a father to the fatherless…” Psalm 68: 5, 6

In Him “…the fatherless find compassion.” Hosea 14:3

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans…”  James 1: 27


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“Those who accept Christ… are not left as orphans, to bear the trials of life alone. He receives them as members of the heavenly family; He bids them call His Father their Father. They are His “little ones,” dear to the heart of God, bound to Him by the most tender and abiding ties. He has toward them an exceeding tenderness, as far surpassing what our father or mother has felt toward us in our helplessness as the divine is above the human.”

 

adoption-177427_1920“Christ loves the heavenly beings that surround His throne; but what shall account for the great love wherewith He has loved us? We cannot understand it, but we can know it true in our own experience. And if we do hold the relation of kinship to Him, with what tenderness should we regard those who are brethren and sisters of our Lord! Should we not be quick to recognize the claims of our divine relationship? Adopted into the family of God, should we not honor our Father and our kindred?”  The Desire of Ages, page 327


I am grateful to the Warner family for sharing their photos with me.

 

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Let Me Serve You

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There was a time, when my children were in their teens, that I disliked them.


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I disliked their arrogance.

I disliked their entitlement.


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I disliked their work ethic.

I disliked how they ‘took advantage of me’.


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I loved them, but I disliked a lot about them.


Being a homeschooling family meant that I was with them almost 24/7, so there were lots of opportunities to be upset with them. My bad character reacted negatively with their teenage stuff and like the woman in proverbs, “I tore my house down with my own hands.” Proverbs 14: 1

I thank God that he let me realize my response to their behavior was creating more problems than their attitudes. Because of that I prayed and prayed for help. And God gave it in a very strange way. He inspired me to ‘serve’ them. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

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So, I literally started serving them. When they irritated me, I would serve them their food at the next meal. Since our habit was eating buffet style, they found it strange.  

 

“Why are you serving my food? ”

“Oh for no reason, I just thought I would serve you and make you happy.”

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Dishing up their food became therapy for my irritable spirit. I first started offering their food to them hiding a resentful heart, but as I continued acting out this principle, my feelings changed. Soon the things that had bothered me, didn’t. I actually served them their plates in love.

It is strange how doing something because the bible says so changes us. Choosing to do them good strengthened a spiritual muscle that I was able to exercise when they were doing things that vexed me.

After a while, I confessed my tactic. They were surprised.

“All those times you served our food, you were actually frustrated with us?”

“Yes, but God changed my heart and now I serve you just because I want to.”

So all these years later, sometimes I like to serve my adult children their plates of food.  When I do, they grin and ask, “Are we irritating you?” I am so grateful the Lord took a problem I could not solve and changed it into a happy memory.

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.”  Psalm 30:11


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The Obsession

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He walks down my street every day.  He carries a white shoulder bag as he carefully takes his Seven – Five – Seven – Two – Nine – Seven steps.  Between each series he pauses and it is obvious he is counting seconds as he waits to begin his march again.  Sometimes he pretends to be busy with something other than the routine.  He will check his watch, look at flowers or adjust something in his bag.  He proffers the appearance of a leisurely stroll, but the overmastering purpose is clear.  He is a captive to the ritual.

The third time I saw him do this I realized his saunter was more than a constitution.  I saw it was constitutional; a deep-seated or inherent process that possessed him.  And since chaos scares me, I saw him as a threat.  But months have gone by and summer is over and today he is walking in a cold autumn rain.  Water is pouring into his shoes from his pant legs, his hat and coat are soaked, and I wondered, “What will he do when it snows?”  But I know the answer.  He will worship with zeal.  He will parade down my street in the midst of lake effect snow and count out his Seven – Five – Seven – Two – Nine – Seven steps.  I feel so sorry for him.  I wish I could free him from slavery.  But I realize he finds a kind of freedom in the daily drill.  It keeps his demons at bay.  So even though he is a slave, he is free.  The ritual affords him the ability to cope.  Within its borders he is protected from anxieties that incapacitate him.  Without it, darkness would possess his soul and he could not survive.  So in a sense his faithfulness to the obsession keeps him alive.

I am sorry to say I am not as steadfast as that man, but I want to be.  I want to be obsessed with Him that keeps me free through storms.  I want to study and pray and worship Christ; for He is my freedom.  And like this serial walker, I want to be a slave.  I want to be captive to God.  For He destroys all my demons.  He calms my soul.  I know there is a heaven to hope for, but today there is a liberty to live out.   For I was born to be free (Galatians 5:13).

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“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 

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500 Years Later

I originally posted this blog on May 5, 2016, but I thought I would post it again in honor of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses.


 

martin-luther-bannerMartin Luther changed the world. His accomplishments are more than the 95 thesis. He translated the Bible into German. The words he used in the translation changed the vernacular and culture of the German people. He wrote songs we still sing today. He improved education, shifting it from training students to be replicas of their masters, into teaching them to think for themselves. His contribution to our society was not just the spiritual freedom he championed. What he did touches all parts of our lives

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I once read a Roman Catholic document from his era that called his movement the “great rebellion”. Whether what he did was reform or rebel, one thing is certain, his work would have been obscure had he not stood on the shoulders of other men. One of these men was John Wycliffe (1320 – 1384). Wycliffe effectually stated that the only reliable guide to truth is the Bible. He also said that every man is capable of understanding its salvific teachings, without professional church-men explaining it. On May 4, 1415, he was declared a heretic and all of his writings were banned. Thirteen years later his bones were exhumed, burned and the ashes thrown into the River Swift. The whole of his life work and his remains were thought to have been swept from the face of history. But John Wycliffe is considered the Morning Star of the Reformation. His work in England was built upon and culminated in the Great Reformation in Germany. Wycliffe, like Luther after him, was a transitional person. He catapulted history in a new direction. And he, like Luther was great.

There are times I think about my life and I see that my origins, my mistakes and my rebellion have left scars on me and those I love. I wish I could go back and do things over with the knowledge I now have. I am sure we all feel that way sometimes. But I can’t go back and live my broken childhood over. And the poor choices I have made are cemented in history; but today I can start my own reformation. I can be a morning star. I can be the transitional person in my ancestry. Today, my marriage can be better than my parent’s. My children can be raised in a better home than where I grew up. Today, I can make decisions that will change the course of history. Today, I can prepare the way for someone like Martin Luther to start a revolution that will topple family woundedness in an entire nation.

But sometimes thinking about the past can leave me discouraged about the future. Well, I choose not to wallow in “what-ifs”. I have decided that if I can’t go all the way up the mountain of change, I will go as far as I can with Christ; and once there deposit my children on an escarpment where no one in my family has ever been before. And hopefully they will carry on and be transitional people too.

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.…” Phil 3:13, 14

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Avinu Malkenu

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This Jewish prayer is sung on the Day of Atonement, which is celebrated from October 29 through the thirtieth this year.  This festival falls on the first month of the Jewish civil calendar.  Because ancient Jews had both civil and religious calendars the month of September – October is sometimes considered the Jewish New Year, even though the religious new year occurs in the spring.

This Biblical holiday is the most important feast for Christianity.  Although we usually focus on Passover, which is Easter, the Day of Atonement is actually our great expectation.  Like all Biblical feasts this one is a story that describes Jesus and His ministry. During Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, the high priest, who represented Jesus, removed the record of all sin from the camp.  This feast tells us what Christ is doing for us today.  And so with that in mind I share this prayer with you.  May you be blessed with its fulfillment.

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Hear our prayer.


guy-2617866_1920 We have sinned before Thee.


family-2517894_1920 Have compassion upon us and upon our children.


dove-2680487_1920 Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine.


no-hate-2019922_1920 Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth.


love-2647700_1920 Inscribe us for blessing in the Book of Life.


calendar-2626675_1920 Let the (civil) New Year be a good year for us.

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The Wedding Dress

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about God’s romance with us and how we need to get dressed so we can go to the wedding supper with Him. This week I want to discuss the wedding garment. The bible says, God expects us to wear specific wedding attire. “She was given clothing of fine linen, linen bright and pure. For the fine linen she wears is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:8.

The clothing is symbolic.  It represents the righteous acts of the saints. The phrase, righteous acts, actually comes from a Greek word which is defined “an ordinance, a sentence of acquittal or condemnation, a righteous deed” (Citation).  This word has a legal component.  It is a judgment given either for or against a person.  It echoes the work done in the Biblical feast of the Day of Atonement.

Like all Bible feasts, the Day of Atonement, is a story that describes some of the work Jesus does in our behalf. During Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, judgment was made acquitting or condemning ancient Israel. Each person was supposed to confess his sins, believing that God would blot out the ones they had repented of. These sins had to be blotted out because a catalogue of forgiven sins was archived in the blood that had been sprinkled in the sanctuary. Every day the blood was put on various parts of the temple and the stains kept a historical record of sin. The rituals on the Day of Atonement erased them.  By the end of the day any person who had not confessed all their sins was exiled.

How does that translate to us? Well, we are God’s people just like ancient Israel was.  And we are to believe Christ blots out our sins from the heavenly archives.  Actually, the story of the judgment in the Day of Atonement is mentioned in the New Testament.   Revelation 14: 7 says, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come…”  Daniel 7: 9, 10, 22  expounds on it. “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat… and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him… the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened… and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High…”

This special day is a wonderful time in Bible liturgy because in it we are acquitted and no record of our wretchedness remains because “as far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.”  Psalm 103: 12

This year the Day of Atonement is celebrated October 29 – 30th.  Let us enter this heavenly holiday with our sins confessed, and confident that Christ removes all our failures so far away from us that they can never be found.


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Not Lobster Bisque

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I love the ocean and having lived most of my life in New England there are certain things that feel like autumn, like the colors on the trees changing, the bright smell of frost in the morning and beach cookouts.  In the fall, most of the sun worshipers are gone from the shore and only those in love with the surf remain. One of the romantic things of autumn beach combing is the food.  People in Massachusetts love seafood and lobster is their prime choice.

Now, lobster is not a healthy thing to eat.  Not only is it a living creature, but it eats the filth at the bottom of the sea.  The old saying, “You are what you eat.” is true.   And since lobsters eat sea muck, they are mucky too. So for those of you who still want to have a beach cook out, bring the side dishes and leave the lobster in the ocean.  Roast your red potatoes, grill your corn and try making this Not Lobster Bisque ahead of time. To be honest, it does not taste like lobster, but it is healthier than lobster and it tastes really good.

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Not Lobster Bisque

2 stalks celery

2 medium carrots

1 small red onion

2 medium leeks

3  garlic cloves

2 roma tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

Clean and cut all the vegetables; then pour the olive oil on them.  Put in a pan and roast them in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then stir them.  Roast another 5 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.  Take the vegetables out of the oven and let them cool a little.  Put them in the blender and add:

1 1/2 cups  vegetable stock

2 1/2 teaspoons kelp powder (if your store does not carry kelp powder in a bag, you can substitute nutritional kelp powder capsules.  If so, use 13 capsules.  Open them up, sprinkle the powder on the stock and throw the capsules away.  Kelp powder is not as obscure as you may think.  I find mine at Walmart).

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 – 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning, or to taste

Blend all the ingredients until it is smooth.  Heat through and serve.


 

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  • Not Lobster Bisque
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