Thursday, December 19, 2013

They'll know we are Christians by our love...and apparently, our boycotts.

Here I am, jumping on the blogger bandwagon and posting about the Duck Dynasty/A&E skirmish.
I'm not sure I want to write this,though because I am pretty much disagreeing with about 95 % of people and family and friends whom I love.
But I'm just not a big fan of the knee-jerk reaction of boycotting A&E for suspending my favorite Duck Dynasty guy, Phil Robertson.

Do I think A&E had a right to fire Phil? Yep. Do I think they should have? Nope.
Do you even care what I think about this? Probably not. Feel free to move along.

I cringed when I saw that a boycott was building. I get that people are fed up with the direction the country is going, and I suppose that a boycott is a simple way to voice your disagreement and frustration.

But, I'm just thinking that gay people are going to take it personally. They will get angry, and hurt and feel attacked by Christians and all we have done is help to build a bigger and stronger wall between us.This bothers me.

Do I believe that the bible states that homosexuality is sinful behavior?  I do.
Do I believe that this makes them worse sinners than me? Absolutely not.
This excerpt from the Book of Romans explains it better than I could. Keep reading, even when it gets painful...
"But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.[i] 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?"

Pretty clear and straight forward words. Pretty hard words.
I'm just thinking that we don't always need to stand up for our "rights" faster than we stand up to love someone. Love can be the more difficult road. Jesus said,
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile,carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow."Matthew 5:38-42
I know lots of people who would have arguments with what I write. Hopefully, they won't read this. :-)
And,I'm really not saying a boycott is wrong.
I'm just wondering if it is really right.
I'm just asking if there are other ways to better show we are followers of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I'm just a wife, standing in front of her husband...

And asking him to properly hang the Christmas lights.

"I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, and asking him to love her."

In the icy wind and frigid temperature.

Nope. Not next week.

I also need him to hang my new canvas print I found on Etsy.

Oh, and also move the curtain rod in the guest room so I can properly hang the new ugly curtains I bought on Ebay.

Things have been more tense and anxious around here than a normal Christmas because we are also preparing for Rod's Mom's memorial service.

A grieving season amid the celebrating season can be confusing and emotionally charged.

Rod , along with all the kids, are speaking at the service. This has caused a bit of turmoil. Rod wants to honor his Mom's memory, but public speaking is especially abhorrent for him. You'd  think I'd go easier on him.
You might be wrong.

I can be very focused  and cold-hearted  and generally naggy when it comes to getting ready for a family function, Christmas holidays or what-have-you.

You might be shocked if you could read my mind.
Thank goodness you can't.
So, I'll just tell you, instead.

"Yeah, sure, I'll bake those Christmas cookies."

"Yep, I'll have them over for a dinner."

"Whelp, I'd better decorate that Christmas tree.

"Oh, no! I still have to buy three more gifts."

Well, Merry Christmas to you, too.I'm probably not all that bad, I'm exaggerating, and have been enjoying this season with a grateful spirit. But, like my brotha from anotha motha, The Grinch, my heart is feeling about two sizes too small.

Anxiety tends to make usually enjoyable tasks into burdensome chores.

So I need to stop. Now.
Just stop.

I need to remember.

 Remember and be awed and be humbled and be thankful.

 Reading the Christmas story in Luke this morning and putting everything back into perspective.
This is what matters.

I am just His child, standing in front of her God, as He asks me to "Be still and know".

I can do that.

He is just a husband, standing in front of his wife and asking her to make a pizza so he can have it while he watches the Seahawks game.
I can do that, too.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Recipe Monday

See how I titled this post "Recipe Monday?" I don't even know if that's a thing anymore. But it is today because I was looking up recipes for something warm to make and found this from waaaaaaay back in 2010. It'll be just as good today, promise.


I wish I could quit you.

But I can't. So I will make delicious bread, like this rustic loaf that will astonish you with it's perfect texture; chewy inside and a crispy crust.

And guess what? It's so easy a monkey could do it. For example, I have made it numerous times and it ALWAYS turns out. No kidding.

The only downfall is you need to begin making it the day before you need it. And you need a Dutch oven or pot with fitted lid that can go into a 450 degree oven.

So if you NEED bread NOW, you will have better chances with your bread machine or a quick trip to Safeway.

Although I have read about this super-easy no-knead bread for a few years, I had never made it until now. Maybe because I was enjoying my easy bake oven bread machine so much.

I got the recipe from The Steamy Kitchen, although there are hundreds of websites out there with this recipe, or one kinda like it. If you click on the link, you will be able to see pictures of this bread being created, step by step.

So, go on now. Make your family proud, happy and full. Make your house smell like fresh baking bread and cover up the scent of decomposing squirrel in your closet. But maybe that's just me.

Rustic, No-Knead Bread

So, let’s start. 3 cups of bread flour in a big bowl.

secret: I sometimes use 1/2c whole wheat flour + 2 1/2c bread flour. This is amazing!

1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast:

3/4 Tablespoon Kosher salt.

Add 1-1/2 cups of lukewarm water.

Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed together. Not too much, though!

Wrap up the no knead bread dough with plastic wrap. I just cover it in the bowl I mixed it in and leave it on the counter.

Give it a kiss good night and let the no knead bread dough sleep for 12-20 hours on counter or in a nice, warm, cozy place.

Next day:
Dump out on floured surface
Wet your hands. This will prevent the very sticky dough from sticking to your hands. If you find dough sticking to your hands, wet again. With wet hands, grab the dough and fold over all ends towards the middle. Turn dough blob over so that you get a nice, smooth, tight surface. Try to tuck the dough ends under to get that taut surface.
Gently move dough onto a floured towel.

Cover. Let nap for 2 hours. It should puff up nicely and double in size.

secret: When I run out of time, I sometimes let it sit only for 1 hour! If you let it nap in a tall, narrow bowl the dough rises nice and tall, about 6″ high.

If you leave it out on the counter – that is fine too, the dough will rise up and also out….making a flatter No Knead Bread loaf, about 3″-4″ high.They will both taste the same, just looks a little different.

A half hour before the nap ends, slip covered pot into your oven. Crank up the heat to 450F. Let it pre-heat for 30 minutes or longer.

After pre-heating, remove the hot pot from oven. Now plop this wobbly dough into the hot pot. Doesn’t matter how it lands – actually, the messier it lands, the more “rustic” it looks. Shake pot a bit to even out the dough.

Cover and put back into the oven. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Photo below is peeking through oven door after 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake further for 15-20 minutes. To check – you can either tap the bread (should sound low, hollow, like a drum) or take its temperature (should be 210F in middle).

That's it! You will be rewarded with a thin, crunchy brown crust, large, open holes. The bread is slightly chewy, flavorful and perfect texture.