Recipe Friday: Things to Do

Holy cow, is there a lot of stuff to do! Is anyone bored yet? Not me! I still don’t have enough time in the day to finish what I’d like to do.

Keeping your mind and body active is important for overall health.

Find productive things to do. There is almost nothing more frustrating and deflating than looking back at the end of the day and find you have wasted a bunch of time. And don’t think that, oh well, you’ve got plenty of time tomorrow. When we can go out again, don’t you want to be changed, renewed, more learned, more accomplished and more capable than when you went in? Don’t you want to be closer to family and friends?

Here are a few ideas on how to spend productive time:

Not-computer stuff:

Talk with each other. Like, have face-to-real-face conversations

Color (with a coloring book, or make your own)

Listen to the radio

Go outside:

  • go for a walk
  • bike ride
  • rollerskate or rollerblade
  • play corn hole or hopscotch or jacks or tag or Simon Says or Red Rover, or hide and seek.
  • Jump rope
  • play catch: baseball, softball, Frisbee, or kick a beach ball or dodgeball
  • Take a nature walk (this would be worth it, even if you have to drive to get there). Investigate as you go, breathe deeply the fresh air. If it’s warm, go barefoot.

Read books

Is your library open? Check out some how-to books, fiction, non-fiction. Learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to do: is it knitting or crocheting? Varnishing / refinishing? Cooking? Play chess? Play canasta?

Clean the house. It’s spring. Do spring cleaning.

  • Clear out the cobwebs and dust bunnies
  • Sweep / vacuum / mop all the floors (yes, move the furniture, and wipe/dust the furniture backs and sides)
  • Wipe down / dust all surfaces
  • Disinfect whatever needs it
  • Take stuff out of closets, fluff it up / wipe it off, clean the floors and shelves, put things away neatly
  • Take those area rugs and carpets out into the sunshine and shake or whack away.
  • Wipe off all your kitchen appliances.

While you’re cleaning, organize stuff. You’ve always wanted to do this; now you have the perfect opportunity. SO much to organize: closets, kitchen cupboards, the garage, the shed, the freezer, the downstairs pantry, bedrooms, drawers, books, clothing, collections. Clean as you go.

While you’re organizing, sift out what you don’t use any more. Collect items to bring to donation points (Salvation Army, Goodwill, second-hand stores, etc).

Can you start a garden yet? If not, maybe some inside plantings.

Play the piano, or other instrument.

Play board games and card games. Don’t know how? See library suggestion, above.

Cook great meals. Make it a family affair.

PRAY. Pray by yourself, pray with your spouse. Pray with your family. Pray with your friends over the telephone.

Write a play and act it out.

Get moving! Blow the dust off your exercise videos and DVDs.

Sit quietly and listen to some of those CDs that are sitting in the basement.

Meditate

Write:

  • Stories
  • Lessons for your children or others
  • Journaling
  • Letters (hand-written letters are such a blessing!)
    • Along this line, start a pen pal friendship. There are pen pal resources at the library or online.

Home projects. Hardware stores are still open. Fix that squeaky door. Repair the window screen. Replace that snarky outlet. Refinish or re-upholster your chairs.

Telephone your neighbors. Arrange a time for a neighborhood walk to wave at each other as you pass, or through windows.

Sidewalk chalk! Coordinate with neighbors, and have an art walk afterward.

Visit-at-a-distance:

  • Stand on the sidewalk as you chat with your neighbor
  • Drive over to a nursing home, assisted living, or friend or relative’s house. Bring a camp chair. Chat via phone, through the window, or stay outside as they speak through an open window or from a porch.

 

Computer stuff:

I just learned how to Zoom! I practiced with a couple of friends from church, and we are setting up prayer times. Zoom.us is the website. They have generous free options, in addition to paid options. Other video chat sites:

  • Google hangouts
  • Facebook messenger
  • Skype
  • Whatsapp
  • Facetime (for Apple users)

What to do in group video chats:

  • Chat
  • Pray
  • Bible study
  • Church service
  • Hymn sing (one person can hold up a hymnal to the screen for everyone to sing from)
  • Dinner party: everyone can cook the same thing, or different dishes. Chat while you prepare dinner “together,” then chat while you eat.
  • Watch the same movie and chat about it
  • Craft party: sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making
  • Have a group of talented people? Take turns teaching what you do best.

Take online classes from an accredited college or university. Always wanted to get that degree? Get that promotion? Change jobs? This is the perfect time to get the education you never had the time for.

https://www.mybluprint.com/ Bluprint is offering free classes until April 9th. They offer a LOT of stuff!

You can learn or watch just about anything on youtube. One I find interesting is cake decorating. Or look for essential oils, car repair and maintenance, making soap, baking, drawing, cut your hair, sing, sew, make your own sourdough starter, solve a Rubik’s cube, play the piano, figure out or find cool things on your smart phone or tablet…

Start or join an online book club to discuss books. Your local library is a good resource.

Learn how to play cards. Then turn off the computer and play cards. https://bicyclecards.com/rules/   If you don’t find the card game you want, just type how to play _____ in the web address line (i.e., how to play canasta) and you’ll get a stack of results. (The Bicycle site will likely be first.)

Listen to online sermons or educational talks:

Take educational tours:

Your local PBS stations have oodles of educational and informative online resources for adults and kids.

Get moving! Find dance and/or exercise videos. On youtube, search dance exercise workout.

Some of our local shops are going online with tutorials to go with products they sell. For example, paint-and-take shops and other crafts.

E-mail all your best friends. E-mail people who are kinda friends.

I’m sure all of you are brimming with great, creative ideas. Please share them with us!

Love Looks Like Death

LoveLooksLikeDeath

We don’t normally pair love and death, except to express love for those who have died. But consider God’s love. This is that love that died on the cross for our sins, so that we may have eternal life with God. This is that same love that comes to live within us, and causes us to die to self: die to our fleshly desires, die to our selfish wants, die to putting ourselves first. This is the same love that causes us to put to death the things we loved in our flesh, and instead take up those things that God loves.

John 12.24 – 26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

What needs to die in order for God to get our attention? What needs to die in order for us to commit to Him? What needs to die in order for God’s purposes to be fulfilled for His glory?

Many of us have long been praying for revival. Maybe this is what revival looks like.

Acts 26.18 God appointed Paul a minister To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

I see posts on the Internet about “When life returns to normal,” and “I can hardly wait to get back to normal.” I pray that life does NOT return to normal after this pandemic. Look at the garbage we allow into our homes through Internet and television. Look at the way we speak to and act toward one another. Many of the things we love need to die:

  • What do you watch on television?
  • Whose pockets are you filling with what you feed on? Think food (is it healthy?), Internet (is it edifying?), news sources (is it uplifting, truthful, and unbiased?), other media (does it feed you spiritually?): are you giving your money to Godly causes?
  • How do your words sound and look? If you eat your words, will they be sweet and/or nutritious?

God designed us, and knows best what brings us joy. His love, and sharing that love with others, is what brings true joy. We must kneel before God and accept that His way is best. We must accept that He will allow to die those things that are not glorifying to Him, or that He will use death to bring glory to Himself.

I encourage you to start with prayer and reading of God’s Word.

Isaiah 55.6 – 13 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

I hope you feel God’s call to prayer. If you do, I hope that you heed it. America, the world, must fall on its knees before Almighty God. We must humble ourselves. That means that we give up whatever we think is right and just and true, and that we take to heart His Word, His Truth. (Note: We must find out what are His Word and His Truth by reading the Bible.)

God moves through prayer. He doesn’t need our prayers. We need our prayers. God moves at His will, regardless of our obedience. But He also works through our prayers, in our own lives and the lives of others. One of the great mysteries of God is that He works through people.

Prayer does not “solve” our problems. Prayer lays our concerns before God and gives them to Him. Prayer accepts that God loves us and will do what He deems best in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Prayer places trust in God and God alone. Prayer strengthens us; through us, prayer strengthens others.

Isaiah 40.28, 29 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

I end with a quote by Elijah Lovejoy (1802 – 1837), an American Presbyterian minister, journalist, newspaper editor, and abolitionist: “If by compromise is meant that I should cease from my duty, I cannot make it. I fear God more than I fear man. Crush me if you will, but I shall die at my post.”

I pray I may be found at my post when God comes for me.

Man with a Colt

ManWithAColtimage from google images

In Mark, chapter 11, Jesus sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

And sure enough, certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? The disciples tell them that the Lord has need of it, and the men let them go with the colt.

Whose colt was it? Did it belong to one of the men standing there?

I think that God put it in their hearts to let the colt go. And I think they followed the disciples and the colt, to see what was going on. Perhaps the owner of the colt knew of Jesus and His miracles. Perhaps the owner’s own wife or son or daughter had been healed. Perhaps he had been one of the crowd who had recently watched Lazarus come out of the tomb.

Imagine the owner’s feelings when he saw the garments spread on his colt, saw Jesus Himself sitting upon it, and entering into the city.

The crowd sang praises to Jesus: v9  And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Note: The crowd cried “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The word Lord, here, is the same word that was used back in verse 3, when the disciples told the men that “the Lord” had need of the colt. The language was referring to God in both cases.

The colt owner likely got his colt back after it was all over. Maybe he was proud that his own colt had been used for such an important occasion. Maybe his neighbors and friends, who knew of Jesus, came to touch the colt or look at it.

The man with the colt may likely have been one of the crowd, shortly thereafter, who cried “Crucify Him!”

What was the change? I believe, besides the powerful pull of our flesh, that it was the leaders: the Pharisees and scribes. Those Pharisees had immense power. (In John Chapter 9, the parents of a man born blind were afraid to admit to the Pharisees that Jesus had healed their son. Verse 22: These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.) It was a grave thing to be put out of the synagogue: culturally, socially, and emotionally. The Pharisees had the power to put anyone out, and they would use it. The common people were afraid to displease the Pharisees; they felt the Pharisees must be closest to God, since they served Him all day, and knew all the laws and how to follow them. In Matthew 15.12, the disciples were anxious that Jesus had offended the Pharisees.

It is an immense responsibility to have so much power. Luke 12.48 ends with, For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

And so the people, and perhaps the man with the colt, cried out, “Crucify Him!” And Jesus prayed His Father, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23.34).

This was the most horrible thing in the history of the world! That we could crucify our Savior! We didn’t know. We were blind. We followed the beliefs of the world.

But God made it all better. We cannot imagine, at any given time, that God can make everything all better. But He can! And He does.

That crucified man was God, Himself, and He rose from the dead to save us from our sins.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

We MUST look carefully at those whom we follow. We are to obey those in authority over us, obey our government. But we must carefully discern. We must use the wisdom God gives us.

Listen, God speaks: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32.8

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30.20, 21

We live in a momentous time. Take a careful look at who holds power: government, media, religious leaders, and celebrities. Please scrupulously groom your information sources. Use God’s Word as your plumb line and filter all you receive through Him. Pray for His guidance and counsel. When He calls you, be His hands and feet.

Matthew 9.36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Will you be a laborer for God’s glory?

Lord, Heal Our Land

LordHealOurLand

Yesterday, as I prayed, so many things came to mind to pray about.

I had a deep devotional time in Mark 11, and I will write about that in another post.

I took a long walk.

A couple walked together, hand-in-hand, and smiling. Another couple worked together on a project on their back stoop. Children ran and laughed in the park.

Lord, knit Your families together.

I met a man on his walk, one from our church. We smiled and chatted, staying 6 feet apart.

Lord, build Your Body.

I saw a dad and son playing ball in the park.

Lord, turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest You come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4.6)

May there be tents set up in back yards, with giggles inside.

Birds were chitter-chattering, swirling in the air, tangling together; they know not that there is a virus.

Matthew 6.26 Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow nor do they reap, nor do they gather into barns, and your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

All along the way, people walking or driving smiled and waved at each other, glad to see other faces.

John 16.33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I stopped to visit with my husband as he worked at the Food Pantry. He goes in when the shop is closed, to restock. He’s been pretty busy this week; the goods are flying off the shelves.

Lord, provide for Your people. Bless those who are in need. Thank you for the workers who meet the needs.

I heard a child cry, and a father yelling. All is not happy and well in the quarantined homes.

Lord, protect victims of domestic violence. Lead people to give their anger to You. I pray You intervene, show where our hope lies.

Lord, as families are spending focused, concentrated time together, please bless the interactions. Give us a desire to see, to love one another. Give husbands and wives new eyes and ears to see and hear one another through Your heart. Provide creative ideas on how to spend time together, give us flexible hearts to participate in activities that may not suit individual tastes, but that bring joy to others. May we bring out more board games and card games; more neighborhood walks and hikes in nature; more authentic projects together; more helping hands and full hearts.

What does this do to

  • The crime rate
  • The suicide rate
  • The domestic violence rate
  • The sex trafficking rate
  • The abortion rate?

Lord, protect Your families; teach them to cry out to You.

Oh Lord God, You are doing a great work in these unique times; we are in Your Hands. May we keep our hearts turned toward You. May we look to You. We have sinned, Lord God. May we fall on our faces before You and repent. May we be cleansed of our sin and turn our hearts and our ways to be obedient to You. Isaiah 17.7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 60.1-5, 11, 12

O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.

Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.

Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.

That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.

Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

Recipe Friday: Pickled Red Onions

RecipeFridayPickledRedOnionsimage from google images

These are so easy to make, and so tasty, you’ll want to make them often.

What to do with tangy, delicious, radiant red onions? Here are a few ideas:

  • Top a sloppy joe
  • Add to a salad
  • Serve along with eggs
  • Top toast with onions and avocado
  • Taco topping
  • Tuck into sandwiches and wraps
  • Burger topping
  • Onion and cucumber sandwich with a bit of cheese
  • Top a vegetable dish

Onions are so nutritious: they are a good source of Vitamin C; onions have a high content of antioxidants; they are anti-inflammatory; they are very rich in healthy soluble fibers (fructans), which are prebiotic fibers; prebiotic fibers feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut; they are a source of folate (B9), B6, and potassium. Onions are naturally fat- and cholesterol-free, and are a source of dietary fiber. Onions contain nutrients linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

There is even a National Onion Association website to help you learn more about this amazing vegetable: https://www.onions-usa.org/.

Use raw, apple cider vinegar in this recipe, and don’t cook it. Cooking destroys many of the beneficial compounds in both the onions and the vinegar.

I list two different lists of ingredients, one with sweetener and one without. If you use a sweetener, please use a nutritional sweetener, such as maple syrup, honey, or sucanat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sweetener
  • 1 1/2 tsp natural salt
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • medium red onion, thinly sliced

Alternate Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 small red onions (or 1 large), sliced

Directions:

Mix first four ingredients together in a jar and add sliced onion. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Optional ingredients to add in:

  • garlic cloves
  • jalapeno peppers
  • peppercorns
  • bay leaf

A Day of Fasting and Prayer

Following a prompt from sister Julie at https://juliedibblewrites.wordpress.com/, I will be fasting tomorrow from social media and (modified/conditional) food. I will have one pre-scheduled post up tomorrow morning, but otherwise my site will be still.

I will be spending extra time in prayer for our country, for our people, and for our world. I will be praying God’s guidance; that He will open the eyes and hearts of His people, that He will allow us to see Him, His Truth, and His glory; that we will fall on our faces in repentance to Him; that we will love Him and obey Him; and that He will heal our land.

Whoever will, please join us in uniting in His Spirit before the throne of our Almighty God.