Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Our World in Words


You are my friends if you do what I command. ~John 15:14

I am so humbled and honored today to have four of my poems featured by my dear friend, and brother in Christ, J. D. Wininger, who posts weekly at his wonderful blog, Around the Cross-Dubya.  I do hope you all will check it out and subscribe to J. D.'s words of wisdom as an integral part of your Christian walk.

Love and blessings, my friends!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Loaves and Fishes


Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up.  "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" ~John 6:8-9

One thing I truly like about our new church is that we hold a potluck after service once a month.  It's such a casual and pleasant to get to know the members better so that new friendships can be nurtured and grown.  Being a small congregation, that is delightfully easy to do.

Danny and I take a tuna/pasta salad for our last potluck.  This Sunday, we decide on bringing his homemade pimento cheese sliders.  If you live for any length of time in the South, you quickly discover that pimento cheese is a year-round favorite!  And Danny's take on it is truly out of this world.

When Danny goes to the store to secure ingredients, he is thrilled to find that this imported, non-GMO sharp Irish cheddar is on sale.  He buys two, and grates both 7 oz. packages into a large bowl.

Once grated, Danny adds two 4 oz. jars of pimentos, drained.

Next, he adds mayonnaise.  We use the brand "Chosen," as it is made with 100% avocado oil.

For extra creaminess, Danny adds a generous dollop of whipped cream cheese.  What a difference it makes in the texture!

He mixes all these ingredients together with dashes of pepper and garlic powder.  Now, for the taste test.

Yum!  It's perfect!

The cheese mixture is refrigerated overnight; we prepare the actual sliders, using King's Hawaiian bread rolls, on Sunday morning so the bread won't get soggy.

The toothpicks add a festive touch.

Here is a partial view of the dishes brought by other church members for our monthly feast.  There is something for everyone, and no one leaves the table hungry.

Potlucks always bring to mind the story of the little boy with his loaves and fishes.  What he had was probably portioned just for him.  I wonder how he felt when Andrew asked if he would give his lunch to Jesus?  Did he already believe that Jesus could work miracles?  That He could multiply the meager loaves and fishes to satisfy the appetites of all the hungry people gathered on the hillside?  Or was it a loving look from the Lord that convinced him he was doing the right thing?

When we unselfishly share whatever portions we have, and everyone contributes, there is always more than enough to go around, and then some.  It is our act of sharing with others that abundance is found.  After all, Jesus came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.

Let's live that lesson out in our daily lives.


Sunday, September 17, 2023

A Daily Walk with Christ


He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ~Micah 6:8

I've been a huge fan of Victor S. E. Moubarak's books since first reading Visions years ago.  That's where I first meet the intrepid and humble character, Father Ignatius, whose day-to-day service to his small Catholic parish, St. Vincent's, takes him on various adventures as he tends to the needs of his flock.  Filled and fueled by compassion, humility and wit, Fr. Ignatius always seems to save the day in some way or another.  And when he can't?  He faithfully relies on the Lord he loves and worships, spreading hope and grace to all he meets.

As you might well imagine, I am thrilled to learn that Victor's latest book, A Daily Walk with Christ, is a collection of brand-new stories featuring the beloved priest.  We also enjoy the company of his devoted, and often gullible, housekeeper, Mrs. Davenport, his friend and fellow priest, Fr. Donald, and his eccentric and wealthy benefactor, Theodore Luxton-Joyce.  I am delighted to be reunited with all of them once again in this new series of stories.

And even if you've never read Fr. Ignatius tales before, you can order this latest title, and within the span of two to three stories, you'll feel like you've known this character for many years.  He is just such a compelling and loveable person, you feel that in him, you've met that best friend you never knew was missing from your life.

Moubarak is a prolific writer, and has a multitude of titles available on Amazon.  I encourage you to read not only his latest book, but others as well.  Simply type the author's name in the Amazon search field, and the world of Fr. Ignatius and his friends will be at your fingertips!

And as an aside, there are few books that I desire reading again after the first go-round.  Moubarak's are the exception!  I can guarantee hat you will want to read these comfortable, and comforting, stories over and over.

Please visit Victor on Amazon, and be sure to visit his blog Time for Reflections.  His books are also featured at his website.

Happy reading as you walk daily with Christ!


Sunday, September 10, 2023

Lest We Forget


All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. ~Psalm 22:27

Today marks 22 years since the tragic events of what is now known as 9/11.  For most Americans, and many other nations of the world, it was an unthinkable atrocity, one we hope and pray will never happen again in this country that was solidly founded on God's principles of freedom and justice for all.

We who are old enough all remember where we were and what we were doing when news of the fallen towers broke.  In our overcrowded school, my homeroom/classroom was in a trailer.  I had just dismissed my students to their first period block.  As this was my planning period, I switched on the local news to listen passively while I graded papers and prepared for the day ahead.  I couldn't imagine in my wildest dreams those stomach-churning headlines blaring across the air waves.  As I had no television set where I was, I couldn't corroborate what I was hearing.  In fact, I wouldn't see those horrific and heart-rending images of the falling towers until I got home much later that day.

Still, I recall going numb inside, the pain, sorrow and disbelief too much to bear in the moment.  Now, 22 years later, the agony is still fresh in the minds and hearts of Americans.  The senseless annihilation of innocent lives for no other reason than being a citizen of the United States was something incomprehensible, a nightmare from which there was no waking.

So many families still suffer today from the loss of loved ones at the towers, the Shanksville plane, and the Pentagon, on that fateful day, and following that event as fire fighters and police succumbed to the effects that the collapsed buildings had on their health as they bravely attempted to rescue all the victims they could from the smoldering rubble.  Their courage and sacrifice make each one on them American heroes.

May we all mark this tragic anniversary by remembering each and every individual who died on 9/11 and in the aftermath, and turn to the Lord in prayer, that He will protect us from such heinous acts going forward.

And may we also pray for unity in this country without an event like 9/11 bringing us together as one 22 years ago.


Where were you on 9/11?  Please share in the comments. 


Sunday, September 3, 2023

'Ear Ye, 'Ear Ye!


Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. ~1 Corinthians 12:12

I love how God has given each of us unique talents and gifts that we can share with others and use for His service and glory.  Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that Danny is an excellent chef.  That doesn't happen by accident or happenstance.  He spends many hours perusing cooking sites on YouTube for new ideas and inspiration, and when one seems worth trying, he's all over it!

Probably our favorite thing about summer is the prevalence of fresh sweet corn at the market.  Whenever I taste it, I'm transported back in time to when I'd ride with my grandmother to roadside stands in the country to select what promised to be the best, most tender ears for a family feast.  When I was older, I learned how to shuck the corn in preparation to boil it.  That was not an easy task considering one had to meticulously remove not just the husks, but also the stubborn silks stuck in between the kernels.

When Danny discovers this simple method to clean an ear of corn, I am beside myself!  Some creative chef discovers that if you microwave the whole cob for four minutes (per ear), removing the husk is miraculously easy.  Here is the process:

After the corn is microwaved (yes, it's HOT!), cut the stalk remainder off.

Grab the ear by the top, and slowly squeeze it out of the husk.

And, voila!  A completely clean ear of corn is revealed!

Not only is it cooked and ready to eat, but the kernels can be added to other veggies for a combo dish, as Danny has done in the photo at the top of this page.

And all because one person decides to share this technique with others.  His or her special gift is now something that can improve the culinary skills of chefs all over the world.  How wonderful is that?

God never meant for us to hoard our gifts from Him, but to use them to His glory with a servant's heart.

I, for one, am glad this person didn't hesitate to do just that!


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