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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


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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Almond Ricotta Like Cheese

Honoring World Vegetarian Month has been lots of fun.  We have explored protein myths and made three great protein-full plant based recipes.  This next recipe is a silky ricotta-like cheese that is so good you will want to eat it with a spoon.



1 cup hot water

1/2 cup blanched almonds

1 cup cold water

4 tsp lemon juice

4 tbsp corn starch

1 tbsp safflower oil

1/2 cup onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

Carefully blend the hot water and almonds until the mixture is no longer grainy.  It may take a little while. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again.  Cook stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, then cook an additional minute.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then whip it with an electric mixer or whisk.  Put the mix into the refrigerator to set until firm.  Stir when it is cold and firm, with a fork.  It should be partly smooth and partly lumpy.

Gluten free.


October 1 was World Vegetarian Day.  It is the national kickoff to World Vegetarian Month. Why not challenge yourself this month by learning why meat is not needed in your diet.  Each week, between October first and November first, which is World Vegan Day, I will post two excerpts from my cookbook, Satisfy Thy Mouth, with Good Things.  One will be informational material and the other a recipe.

You can find this and other delicious 100% plant recipes in my cookbook: Satisfy Thy Mouth: with Good Things.

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Four years ago my daughter was in Laos teaching English for a year.  This week she took off again, this time to Congo for four months. This morning we received the first Facetime communication from her.  Her internet was sketchy while she traveled so this was our first real talk.  As I felt the joy of actually seeing her beautiful face and hearing her voice, I remembered the same joy when we first spoke “face to face” when she was in Laos.  I wrote about that incident in my journal.  Here is a copy of my sentiments from 2012.  They are replicated today.

“The wonderful lingering glow of speaking with my daughter yesterday lighted the night and remains today.  The joy was actually a physical phenomenon.  My chest seemed filled with electricity that wanted to shine out of my skin, just like the apostles walking the Emmaus road, “did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way?” (Luke 24:32)

Last night, as I bowed my head in gratitude, a question popped into my head. “Do you think God feels the same way when He gets to communicate with you?” 

Wow!  New thought…Does God’s heart burn within Him when I spend time communicating with Him?  The logical answer is yes, but, think about it… 

Creator of the universe, King of glory, General of legions of mighty angels responds to me talking with Him by His eyes filling with happy tears and His heart feeling like it will burst with joy.  He rehearses the things I say with the angels around the throne.  And they in turn gather around the “computer screen” watching as the conversation progresses.  And the next day as I wake up, His big heart still carries the embers of our conversation. 

Another new thought…Wouldn’t it be great to purposely make God’s great heart sing with joy every day? To kindle the cinders in His heart and know that radiant supernova’s will spring from His joy?  To watch as the light waves illuminate the darkness in this world. Oh, amazing, that we have power to touch the heart of God!  But it is reasonable, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with…feeling…” (Hebrews 4:15)

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The Man in the Black Impala


There’s been a lot of bad news lately. We were assaulted in the wake of the ebola epidemic as the WHO announced a Zika outbreak in January. March left 134 dead and 550 injured in terrorist attacks in Turkey, Belgium and Lahore. May brought the deaths of the 66 people on board EgyptAir flight 804. This past week witnessed the distress of Brock Turners sentencing and the horror of the Orlando shooting.

If you follow the logic of the man in the black Impala, it’s all my fault.

The man in the black Impala shouted at me from the safety of his speeding car, “Go back to Iraq, you [expletive] Muslim.” He saw me walking to work at 7:45 in the morning, wearing jeans and a short sleeved tunic. He saw me with my hair blowing around in the breeze. He might not have seen my earbuds in, but maybe he did.

According to him, it’s my fault that infectious diseases are in America. An ultraconservative website states, “[T]he hordes of illegal immigrant minors entering the U.S. are bringing serious diseases—including swine flu, dengue fever, possibly Ebola virus and tuberculosis—that present a danger to the American public…” (Judicial Watch). In Impala Man’s mind, immigrants like me are responsible for the results of Americans contracting any diseases we brought with us from our countries.

According to him, it’s my fault 32,685 people died in 2014 (Global Terrorism Index, 2015). He believes, along with many others, that all terrorists are Muslim, and all Muslims are terrorists. When he sees me, he sees a suicide bomber, a gunman, a black hat hacker, a recruiter. I am his enemy.

According to him, it’s my fault Americans feel their hearts squeezed by the invisible fists of panic and horror in their own country. When I walk down the street, I embody radical Islam to people like him. I’m the person that needs to be deported, or killed like Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were.

This is all according to him.


The man in the black Impala saw me walking to work at 7:45 in the morning, and knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was a radical Muslim. The glimpse of my facial features was enough to tell him that I was to be harassed as he drove by. The glance at my clothes let him know he had the liberty to shout obscenities at a young woman walking alone on a nearly deserted street. He probably thought he was doing his part to keep America safe, and make it great again.

The thing is, he was wrong about everything.

I’m not an immigrant, illegal or otherwise. I’m a native-born American citizen, born to American citizens. I was raised in Massachusetts, which is probably one of the most patriotic states in the union. Growing up, I often picked songs like “America the Beautiful” and “My Country ’tis of Thee” to sing at family worship. Until I was 16, my career of choice was the Navy. I’m also up to date on all my shots.

I’m not Muslim. If I was, I wouldn’t have been wearing short sleeves, or had my hair uncovered. And even if I was Muslim, the chances that I would be a radicalized believer are minuscule. In a Huffington Post article, Omar Alnatour brings to light the fact that the probability of being struck by lightning is greater than the probability of a Muslim being radicalized (Huffington Post). Those facts should be enough to prove Impala man wrong about his impression of me, but if they’re not, here’s another one. I’m a Christian. I’ve been one my entire life.

So, why am I sharing this? I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not trying to shame Impala man. I’m trying to help others understand that the people who die in these senseless acts of terror aren’t the only victims. People like Impala man are victims, too. They allow the hate, the fear, and the ignorance to overtake their lives. They shout obscenities at people they believe to be a threat. They harass people who adhere to religious standards they don’t understand. They deface edifices they believe to be breeding grounds of terrorism.

What Impala man doesn’t understand is that by trying to scare me “back to Iraq”, he’s just as much of a terrorist as he believes I am.


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Nikkita Warner lives in southwest Michigan with her family. She has a unique way of connecting with children and plans to use that gift as a teacher.


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