Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fresh Yogurt

Is "fresh yogurt" an oxymoron? Just wondering.

I have been making my own yogurt for a little over a year and enjoying the results! I would recommend it for anyone who eats it on a regular basis, as you can control the amount of sugar and additives that go into it. All you need is milk, a thermometer, a yogurt incubator, and some starter. I like the Yogourmet brand.

I like my yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and a little bit of "grape-nuts". I find that it gives me a good, but not overwhelming breakfast and stays with me longer than a bowl of cereal.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Quote: Oswald Chambers

From today's reading in My Utmost for His Highest.

If human love does not carry a man beyond himself, it is not love. If love is always discreet, always wise, always sensible and calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all. It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it has not the true nature of love in it.

Have I ever been carried away to do something for God not because it was my duty, nor because it was useful, nor because there was anything in it at all beyond the fact that I love Him? Have I ever realized that I can bring to God things which are of value to Him, or am I mooning round the magnitude of His Redemption whilst there are any number of things I might be doing? Not Divine, colossal things which could be recorded as marvellous, but ordinary, simple human things which will give evidence to God that I am abandoned to Him?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fun, North Dakota Style

For all of you who think there is nothing to do here in North Dakota, check out the world-record setting snow angel event from last weekend in Bismarck. About 8900 people showed up, including one 99-year-old quoted in the article. You gotta love it!

Thoughts on 1 Peter 1:22

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart... 1 Peter 1:22

This is the verse that jumped out at me this week during our study. It's so easy to have compassion on the unsaved~at least for me~ since they are blinded to the Truth. But I personally have much higher expectations for other Christians...and forget to love them "fervently". The word in the original is a very active word, and so in the Peregrina paraphrase I would say..."Go out of your way to actively serve your fellow Christian in love".

Even the ones you don't "click" with! Ouch.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Mixture of Faith and Politics

After the recent death of former President Gerald Ford, there was an article in Time magazine about his "secret faith". This article got me thinking about the trend in the last couple of elections in which candidates tell us that they are people of strong moral and religious convictions, however, they won't allow their personal "faith" to override political decisions.

This past weekend, I watched a movie called "The Mission" (1986; Robert deNiro, Jeremy Irons) which takes place in the South American jungles in the 1750s and deals with the issues of the Catholic church and it's influence in the policies of Spain and Portugal. So what happens when the church puts aside its moral and biblical responsibilities for political expediency, and personal faith does not influence our decisions? The end is not pretty.

Americans always seem so surprised when Muslims act out their religious faith according to the Koran. Perhaps that is because the north American church, while talking the good talk, seems all too willing to put the Bible aside when unpopular decisions and policies need to be made.
My belief is that there is no such thing as "secret faith". Jesus said "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) Many of us sang "This Little Light of Mine" in Sunday school, which wisely admonished us, even as children, to not hide our light underneath a basket, until Jesus comes.

My faith cannot be kept secret. If I walked into a car dealership, and the owner handed me the keys to a brand new car, said "Take it...it's a gift...and I have one for everyone who asks!", I would immediately tell all my friends and everyone else to go get this free gift. How much better is the gift of eternal life?

So why wouldn't I tell everyone I meet about my relationship with Jesus? It's the best gift I have ever received!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

On Being Halfway to 70

Okay, I'm really not being a baby...really. I celebrated (and I use that term loosely) my 35th birthday this past weekend. This means a few things to me that are rather sobering. First of all, I am no longer in the 19-34 age group of most surveys, rather, I am now lumped in with people up to 49. I can hear all of you who are near to 49 groaning...but its not about you! Ha ha! It also means that I am officially halfway to 70. Since the current average life expectancy is 76.9 years...gasp...I am suddenly feeling much much older. And I won't even begin to discuss the rapidly spreading grey streak.

The book of Ephesians tells us to "redeem the time...for the days are evil". This means to make every day count for the kingdom of heaven. So I am taking some time this week for some examination of how my remaining time will best be spent.

And yes...I am mostly kidding... Mostly.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Food Fairies

I live in a lovely old renovated department store that has been converted into shops below and apartments above. Mine has two large windows overlooking Main Street.

I have discovered that one of the most charming thing about our home is the Food Fairies. We have two women in the building who have consistantly shown their gifts of hospitality by bringing us dinners and desserts. They just ring the doorbell and run...but I caught one once.

Both these ladies are "of a certain age" and it seems that their generation has much to teach mine about generosity and kindness. It has prompted me to join the Food Fairies as well and deliver a couple of anonymous loaves of my own. And as a newcomer in town, it makes me feel more at home.

Quote of the Day: William Morris

Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.
~William Morris (1834-1896), one of the founders of the British Arts and Crafts Movement

My goal for February is to reorganize my closets, which have become the dumping ground for anything that doesn't have a home...with this quote always in the back of my mind. Better yet, I should post it on the closet doors as I clean!

Thoughts on 1 Peter 1:13

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ~1 Peter 1:13

So, because of all the things that God has done for us (see 1 Peter 1:1-12), we ought to diligently prepare ourselves for our daily walk, because its tough...not to wander about aimlessly and without Godly direction as we serve Him...and to look forward to all that He is going to do for us even though we are undeserving.

God gives me such clear direction...when I remember to ask Him for it. James tells us that He gives wisdom liberally to whomever desires it. Boy, do I need wisdom!