Friday, August 31, 2007

Hanging in the Balance

I am testing the limits. How long and how far can I go before I experience May Stutter, Stumble, and Stay in Bed, otherwise known as Multiple Sclerosis? I thought I could slow the train of life without making major adjustments. I ask God for wisdom to know when to say yes and when to bow out.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Philippians 4:12 ESV

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Grand Finale

It all came together. My Chinese brother-in-law prepared a feast tonight. He gathered produce from my mom's garden, used up some Chinese vegetables and other veggies my neighbor gave me, and found some firm tofu in our local grocery store. My son was chef's assistant and hopefully can recreate some of the dishes. My brother-in-law also took time to pick huckleberries for pie at the family lakefront property. My six-year-old daughter and eight-year-old niece peeled apples for my apple pie. I wasn't sure how my pies would turn out since I doubled the oil crust recipe but I have trouble counting and talking at the same time. Almost everyone had the special order--a slice of each with ice cream contributed by my in-laws. When you have plenty of food for 14, what's one more? We invited a friend who was in the neighborhood to come in and join us. My sister's family returns to southern California tomorrow. We have Ed's big wok as a parting gift to remember them by.

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, Acts 2:46 ESV

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

See Goat Run

My dad can relax. The favorite home movie of him being startled by raccoons (4 raccoons up a tree suddenly ran down the tree and came toward him) has been replaced by my mom's reaction to a large goat. My parents and my sister's family returned from a trip to Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. I saw their pictures and video clips and want more info so our family can make a trip some day. (Memo to self: start saving cash for passports and travel funds.) They visited Great Aunt Betty and the old family home, toured the Parliament building, rode ferries, and more. I didn't know there was a children's farm in Beacon Hill Park. They saw one of the daily goat stampedes. The website includes a video clip of the goats running to dinner. I prefer my sister's home movie that includes a large goat at the end of the herd that looks very pregnant. You can hear my mom exclaim, "Hoo! Wow!" Now we can stop saying, "The uh...uh... animals!" like my Dad did.

http://www.beaconhillpark.ca/childrenspark/goat_run/index.html

O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24 ESV

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Class Act

The unique color combinations on his clothes and hands gave him away. The saleswoman at the educational supply store told my husband, "You're not a teacher, you're a painter who teaches in the winter." He sees himself as a teacher who paints in the summer. Summer is almost over and the painting isn't done. He can prep at one site, spray at the next, maybe do a little trim or touch up, run some errands, manage random distractions, and circle back to the first site to carry on where he left off. With school a few days away, he is adding classroom preparations to the juggling act. He keeps the plates spinning while giving personal attention to each member of the audience. I don't know how he does it. He's not just a painter and a teacher, he's my hero!

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 2 Thessalonians 1:11 ESV

Monday, August 27, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

Yesterday I talked to a woman who didn't hear a word I said. She has been deaf since the age of three when she had viral meningitis. She could have gone to deaf school and learned sign language. She made the decision to learn how to speak and read lips--and live in the hearing world. And she does very well. How do you make decisions with life-altering ramifications? Sometimes you make the best decision you can with what you know at the time. I wonder if I prayed about which high school to attend. I considered attending a missionary boarding school in Taiwan. Then I opted to live at home and attend an international school, Taipei American School. Then there was college and who to marry. Later my husband and I faced my health struggles with Multiple Sclerosis. It's not easy to sort through the options. Not everyone agrees with the path you choose. I thank God for His leading, guidance, and protection.

Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. Psalm 25:12 ESV

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Look it Up

Where's the Bible verse about tears in a bottle? In Sunday school a friend shared how that verse was meaningful when dealing with the death of a child. She had never noticed the first part of Psalm 56:8: "You have taken account of my wanderings..." That spoke to where she was in her grief. I came home and used the free Bible computer program e-Sword to search for the word "tears." I could have used the hardback Bible concordance I keep by my bed. The English Standard Version reads: You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? I went online to Bible.org to compare Bible translations. The New American Standard version uses the word "wanderings." Whether I am wandering or being tossed, God notices my suffering and cares.

You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8 NASB

Saturday, August 25, 2007

In My Corner

The older I get, the more I appreciate my parents. Now I know what it's like to send your oldest off to college. However did you handle putting a 16-year-old on an airplane? At least my first-born is only 4 hours away, not half-way around the world like I was. My parents model a life of service to God, family and friends around the globe. I can wait to be a grandparent, but someday I want to be as fun and loving as my parents are to my four children. Today my parents celebrate their 45th anniversary. I am so glad they still have each other after various cancer and heart scares. And I am blessed to have them in my corner of the world in their so-called retirement.

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV

Friday, August 24, 2007

UDAMOM

Some people quote song lyrics or movie lines. I have Bible verses and phrases running through my head. I also have a few car license plate slogans at my beck and call. Lately I've been reminding myself: UDAMOM. I have to be willing to step up and say no or make the tough decisions. How do you know when to protect and when to allow for learning opportunities? I'm glad I am not alone. Who are you going to call? I am thankful for a supportive husband who gives good counsel. And I trust God for His guidance each step of the way.

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 ESV

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Let the Good Times Roll

Some things haven't changed. My brother-in-law sure knows how to cook up an awesome Chinese meal. We've had twenty years of good eats when Ed is around. He travels with his own cleaver and Chinatown ingredients. I've also picked up a few tricks from him, like using a ladle for dipping pancake batter and repurposing cereal box liners for wax paper. What's new is how we take pictures. Digital cameras add a whole new dimension to photo ops. We can see the results instantly and compare shots. Are my eyes open? Who got the better one of the gang? And zap it to me, will ya? We can count on good food and good conversation when our families get together. And we have the pictures to remember it by.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 1 Peter 4:10 ESV

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Bad

With the price of milk, I couldn't bear to toss the half gallon that went sour. I know, I can make something that calls for buttermilk. Unfortunately I forgot to alert the family. I should have labeled it: Do not drink. I hope my son can recover from his big swig. Maybe the Better Homes and Gardens Texas chocolate sheet cake with chocolate buttermilk frosting will make up for it.

Here's a similar recipe, only I substituted half whole wheat flour and canola oil for the butter. And sour milk with a splash of vinegar for the buttermilk:

http://eatdrinkandbemerry.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/cake-this-good-well-it-must-be-from-texas/

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 ESV

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gift Exchange

What do three sisters do when they get together? Exchange odds and ends collected for each other. We shop for each other and our nine children between us. I'm glad I found the University of Washington (his parents' alma mater) sweatshirt for my 10-year-old nephew. He was thrilled. The flowered tennis shoes fit my four-year-old niece and matched the pants she was wearing. We laughed when I pulled out a rummage sale Banana Republic sweater for my sister and my other sister pulled out a Banana Republic sweater for my teen daughter. I offered my youngest sister the Pampered Chef deep baking dish I didn't know what to do with. She has one at home she doesn't know what to do with either. Of course there were books exchanged. We are a family of readers, young and old. I am tickled with the 50-cent copy of Freakonomics my sister picked up at a library book sale. It's great when people know what you love and what you need. My youngest sister gave me copies of papers to get me started on a family organizer notebook. How did she know I had a three-ring binder on my desk waiting for such a project? I wish there weren't three states between the three sisters. But it's nice to know we are loved across the miles and the times together are sweet.

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, [sisters], as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 ESV

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sweet

Sixteen years ago I said I was not going home. The nurses had me walking the halls of the Portland Adventist Hospital all night. My husband nicknamed me the Energizer Bunny--I kept going and going and going. Finally labor started for real. And it was a little sister for two boys, ages almost 2 and almost 4. She was tiny and perfect. She soon caught up to her older brothers and they won't admit it, but she could outhaul firewood. She is still a tireless worker. She works hard, plays hard, and is always ready to lend a hand. I'm glad my husband has someone who inherited his green thumb. She became a big sister at age 9. She takes good care of her little sister. They have so much fun together. I am thankful for my daughter, my dear friend and companion. Happy Birthday!

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12 ESV

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Where is God?

Where is God when disasters happen? And what's up with God in the Old Testament? I read in my journal that when my youngest was three years old she flipped through a children's Bible and said, "I'm looking for Dod." Today I suggested my three teenagers read through the Bible and look for the hand of God. How does God work? What does He care about? I make notes in the margins like, "God is faithful and keeps His promises." (2 Chronicles 21:7: Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.) I have faith that God rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

"And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Star Date

I'm thinking about buying some stars. I'm talking about the foil ones you earn for attendance or perfect papers. I read about a woman's strategy for rewarding herself for not eating out. She put a star on the calendar for every day they ate at home. I'm not sure what to reward myself for. I need to get back on the treadmill. It could be eating more veggies and smaller portions of carbs. What about decluttering one shelf, box, or area each day? I need to start small and build on that success. I'll load up on leafy greens and skimp on starches. I can do that rain or shine and family reunions withstanding.

Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Psalm 119:133 ESV

Friday, August 17, 2007

PRSPCTV

I wish I could interview car owners. What do their custom license plates mean to them? Today I saw a minivan with the plate: OBSRVR. What do they observe? I've observed how it helps to keep perspective. Our recent refrigerator frustrations have been time-consuming. My husband came home from working all day to spend the evening with his head in the freezer. He hooked up the water and ice maker and it looks like we are chilling and icing successfully. I can be thankful that appliances are our biggest problems. I talked to someone at the grocery store who shared about health concerns in her family. I am thankful for friends who share their real struggles with me. And I'm thankful for God's grace to cover all our needs, big and small.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 ESV

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bargain Hunters

I need a good local map. Two actually. Every week my Chinese neighbor reads me the garage sale ads and I try to give directions over the phone. If we had identical maps I could direct her to A-3 or wherever. Our town has areas with streets named after trees, presidents, letters of the alphabet, and numbers. My in-laws are surrounded by flower streets. Mostly I describe what's near the area. That's by the hospital or the kids' school. You know where my friend lives that moved your table, and so on. My neighbor knows to look for key words like church rummage sale or neighborhood sales. I've explained that "multi-family" means more than one family and "packrats" collect lots of stuff. "No early birds" means don't come early. I don't have a clue how to translate "chabby chic." Sometimes there are doozies to explain. One ad said they were having their sale, "come hell or high water." Tomorrow there is a church rummage sale behind the hospital. We'll both be there.

In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked. Proverbs 15:6 ESV

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen

I don't have time for this. Our new (to us and not as new as the sellers said it was) refrigerator is not working 100%. The freezer is fine but the refrigerator is not as cold as it should be. I'm hoping the milk will be okay in the morning. I bought some charcoal to put in the fridge to absorb the cigarette smoke odor. It matches the black exterior nicely. We may fork over the money for a house call from our local appliance repairman. What else can we do? I spent hours cleaning the fridge before we moved it in the house. I will be taking out the shelves and bins again tomorrow. Someone spilled most of a 64-ounce bottle of fruit juice tonight. Maybe it will neutralize the smoke odor. Or maybe something will right itself and it will cool properly. I'm going to bed and praying for a good attitude in the morning.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34 ESV

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Arms of Grace

I feel like the mom in the animated movie, The Incredibles. Only she chooses to be stretched. I am pulled in all directions. I could use one of those flashing reader boards like the big transit buses have: Sorry. Out of Service. When I don't feel like I have anything more to give, someone wraps God's arms of grace around my life. I left the house without breakfast this morning. I had to return the rented appliance hand truck before more charges accrued. I called a friend from church and popped in for a visit. She made fresh coffee and broke out her homemade biscotti. Okay, I can keep going.

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, Colossians 1:11 ESV

Monday, August 13, 2007

Just Chill

Lord, let this be the one that lasts. Can we stop shlepping refrigerators in the back of our truck? Last night we brought home a craigslist big black one with a water and ice dispenser. What's the best way to secure an upright refrigerator in the back of a pick-up? Buy the matching electric range and fill the truck bed. My neighbor needs a new range and this one is a two-year-old ceramic top that will suit them perfectly. It made the 100-mile round trip, plus the detour to Walmart to buy tools to remove the fridge door, worth it. Plus we saw the most amazing shooting star show I've ever seen in my life. Tonight we hauled out the temporary little fridge and hauled in the new one. But what's this? It smells like cigarette smoke! I cleaned the inside and outside and then used a bleach solution. Lord, now what? And then when my husband was looking for baking soda in the pantry, a giant bottle of vanilla dropped out and broke on the floor. Guess what? We can't smell the smoke any more. Now we need some new towels to replace the ones that sopped up the mess. I don't want to risk glass shards going through the wash and breaking our WE BOUGHT IT BRAND NEW washing machine.

The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10 ESV

Sunday, August 12, 2007

On the Fly

I saw a custom license plate: ONTHEFLY. My in-laws practiced that this weekend with a family reunion pulled together in less than 24 hours. One sister and family were coming to town to return the borrowed motorhome. Why not invite other siblings and families? My husband's brother and family were game and traveled up from Oregon. Our four children made it 7 out of 11 cousins. Taco salad is an easy crowd pleaser. Brother Jim threw together the brackets for the 3rd annual pickleball tournament. After a brief rain delay, the paddles were smacking yellow wiffle balls back and forth. Cousin Corey gets to keep the silver trophy one more year. We ate, played or spectated, feasted on chocolate cake, and hugged good-bye. We should plan these get-togethers more often. In the meantime, on the fly works.

A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1 ESV

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Too Much of a Good Thing

I have my phases. When I was young there was the hippo phase. It started with my Chinese name sounding like "river horse" or hippo. I don't collect wood, ceramic , glass, or stuffed hippos any more. Cards are okay. I still have teapots but I am down to a few favorites. I had a glass phase with salt shakers lined up on my window sill and gallon jars for flour and sugar. I am a recovering Pyrex glassoholic. I stopped buying bowls and baking dishes in various colors except for the gorgeous red squarish bowl I couldn't resist last week. It was only $2 after the half-price sale. I need to curtail my whisk phase. My sister gave me a heavy metal medium-sized one and my mother-in-law gave me a handy dandy petite one. I read about an organizing technique called "triage." Gather like items together in groups of three. Cull one from each threesome. I have a friend that could use one of my whisks. My books need a serious triage. I trimmed my cookbook collection by giving some to my mom and my mother-in-law. I know where to find them if I need them. I am on a mission to live like one of my favorite cookbooks: More with Less by Doris Janzen Longacre.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Philippians 4:12 ESV

Friday, August 10, 2007

Stop and Pray

My friend is under the knife right now. An encounter with a Tibetan mastiff left her with a hand that doesn't work. Bonnie doesn't just use her hands like the rest of us. She uses her hands to heal people. She is the most amazing physical therapist I know. And she travels to remote areas of China to share her gift of healing. You can read her story on her website. I had to drive in the area of my parents' home this morning and considered stopping to pray with them. I was going to continue on my way and pray by myself. Then I had the thought that if I saw a sign for a garage sale, I would probably stop. If I can stop for a garage sale, then I should be willing to stop and pray for my dear friend. Join me in praying for a miracle for Bonnie. She says:

I need a functional, useful hand – it defines my life and my job. It is my gifting. It is my passion!
Friday morning I will have surgery on my right wrist and arm. The hand surgeon hopes to move the broken piece of bone back to where it came from. The wrist bones, which followed the chunk of bone, will also be replaced to where they belong. In at 9, out at 5. It has been a long road. The surgeon was impressed with the progress I made this past week, and I truly believe that I am on the edge of a miracle!

You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:11 ESV

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Go Green!

Pick a candy, any candy. I was at a home organizing seminar with women from church. I picked a green spearmint candy. That meant that I had to tell about one area of my home that works well. I shared about my bathroom. I measured first and then bought storage bins to fit on the shelves. If I had selected a yellow butterscotch or red cinnamon candy I would have been hard-pressed to narrow down the areas that are partially working or not working at all. I got up from my nap today and saw lots of red and yellow zones. I was going to clean out the pantry but now the kitchen is full of dishes again. Our main kitchen help left town to go camping with relatives. And I still have hopes of restoring order to the office before the family reunion in a week. Is there anything green? Yes, I am almost caught up on the laundry. I traded chores with my son and assumed laundry detail. I take pride in sorting the loads and moving things along. I will not get discouraged. I can continue the good work my husband began during his rainy day breaks from painting.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Walk the Line

Sometimes I walk the line balancing truth and tact. My husband told me about a secret mission he and my daughter had on their night out. They didn't find the red tea kettle of my dreams. Then my daughter told me they were looking, but I didn't let on that I already knew. If she had asked, I would have come clean. For the record, I don't sanction white lies. A well-intentioned untruth is still an untruth. Saying "I don't know" is a lie if you really do know. Integrity is important. Can you trust what I say? And if anybody asks, the red stuff in the turkey meat loaf was red pepper. But nobody asked and nobody complained.

A Psalm of David. O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; Psalm 15:1-2 ESV

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

In Stitches

I am not the most qualified person for the job. My six-year-old wants to learn how to sew. Too bad my dad's mother has passed away and can't teach her how to use a treadle sewing machine. I have fond memories of making a pot holder with her. My mom's mom still sews up a storm. She also knits, crochets, mends and does alterations. The baby sweaters for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are family heirlooms. My mom probably has the record for making the most pattern fit on the least amount of fabric. She faithfully sewed matching dresses for my two sisters and me. Thanks Mom!

I own a sewing machine and haul it out occasionally. My forte is sewing straight lines for curtains. Lots and lots of curtains and valances. And then there was my (ill-fated) re-purposing phase where I thought I could make money sewing and selling hair scrunchies. My poor husband went to grab a shirt and the lower half was missing. I have been banned from rotary blades and cutting mats.

Yesterday was lesson one: how to mend a stuffed animal. My daughter loved the whip stitch with my invisible thread. Now her blue Care Bear is as good as new. Today was lesson two: how to hand-sew a heart pillow. It turned out quite nicely. Next time I'll remember to have her trace the pattern on the wrong side of the fabric. I'll have to call in the experts when we get to sewing with a pattern. I can read the instructions outloud until I'm blue in the face and I still can't get a vest right-side out or the pant legs going the right way. How about a quilt? That's mostly straight lines by machine and then tiny stitches by hand. I've done that. Maybe they'll let me have my rotary blade back.

She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Proverbs 31:22 ESV

Monday, August 06, 2007

His Side of the Story

The dinner table discussion is not, "What did you do today?" It is "What did you blog today?" My second born son has his own blog. And that kid can write. It's interesting to read his take on family events. I hope he keeps it up.

http://www.andflushot.blogspot.com/

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 1 Timothy 6:18 ESV

Sunday, August 05, 2007

How Retro Can You Go?

I'm not in the habit of dumpster diving. Raiding free boxes at garage sales is more my style. When my son needed supplies for an assemblage project for his sculpture class we asked our local thrift store if we could scavenge their dumpsters. "Knock yourself out." My son found all the computer parts and odds and ends he needed. We also scored a manual typewriter for my six-year-old to play with. It still works unless you need the letter "r." She typed me a letter this week. It says, "To Mom, I love you." I learned how to type on a manual typewriter. I'm glad my children can experience a little history.

Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you. Deuteronomy 32:7 ESV

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Doctor Doctor

I am surrounded by doctors. Food doctors that is. My husband had a bachelor's special: a hot dog covered with a can of chili, onions, cheese, catsup, mustard, and relish. Now he applies his skills to cooking dinner with what's in our fridge or freezer. He has a talent for fixing just what I didn't know I was hungry for. My mom has been doctoring food as long as I can remember. I asked my mom if my childhood memory was true. Yes, if the flour was buggy, sift it. If that didn't work, make something gingerbread. If nothing else, make play dough or library paste. She is a master at adapting recipes to what's on hand. Strawberry Kool-aid to make the strawberry topping go further anyone? Years ago when apples were an expensive commodity in Taiwan, she made "applesauce" out of Asian pears. When I tried my hand at potato salad recently, it was a mustard mess. She took it home, rinsed the dressing and doctored it up. My mother-in-law rescues my gravy every turkey dinner. All her meals and baked goods are a little musty, as in, must have more! I'm excited about my new cookbook ($1 at a thrift store). My son asked, "What's gotten into your cooking, Mom?" And I think he meant that as a compliment. I am using The Dinner Doctor by Anne Byrn. She "doctors canned, frozen, boxed, bagged and ready-made deli food for over 230 fast, fresh-tasting dishes." The Four-step Lasagna was a hit. Last night I tried the Chinese Chicken with a little doctoring of my own. I added napa cabbage and carrots. I can't wait to try the Asian Chicken Salad with a bag of coleslaw mix. And I'll have to try "Mom's Potato Salad" that doesn't have any mayonnaise--or mustard for that matter.

And Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?" And she said, "Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil." 2 Kings 4:2 ESV

Friday, August 03, 2007

New Convert

I never thought I could make the switch. I was raised on white rice. That comes with growing up in Asia. Sometimes fluffy, sometimes sticky. Never with butter. Jasmine rice is my all-time aromatic favorite. When we were first married I thought dinner was rice and something. My husband thought rice was for dinner, maybe once a week. Our family of six enjoys rice several times a week. It goes with creamed tuna, stir-fry, and turkey stroganoff. It goes in our burritos, tortilla soup, and split pea soup. Now we're thinking about adding fiber and nutrients to our diet. Brown rice comes highly recommended so we're giving it a chance. It definitely adds crunch to our diet! Tonight we tried some Uncle Ben's whole grain brown rice. Not bad. I think I like it.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yes, Your Honor

My friend went to gather clams and thought she could scoop them up, pick through them, and return the extra ones. She had too many in her bucket and ended up in municipal court yesterday. It's a serious thing--if found guilty at trial, the maximum penalty is up to one year in jail! The other option is to pay a fine. I'm glad I could provide moral support and help with some of the Chinese translation. I let the court-provided translator deal with the legal terms via speaker phone. As I sat through other hearings, I made a mental list of things to do. My goal is to obey speed limits, but I want to more consistent and conscientious. It is important to always use a seat belt. FYI: You can be ticketed if it's not on you or your children correctly. In Washington State the maximum first offense fine is $113 (effective June, 2007). I am thankful I don't drink alchohol. Driving under the influence is expensive, not to mention dangerous and sometimes deadly. And younger friends, remember to remove your hats in a courtroom and address the judge with respect. A 20-something-year-old young man was surprised he couldn't talk his way out of the penalty for breaking the law. I was shocked when he said, "Whatever!" to the judge. I am reminded that we have a righteous and fair Judge who knows our hearts. And I am thankful beyond words that Jesus paid the price for my mistakes, intentional and unintentional.

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bridge News

I don't need to watch the evening news to find new things to worry about. But today I saw a breaking story about a bridge disaster in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That is the hometown of pastor and author, John Piper. He shares his reaction and his 11-year-old daughter's evening prayers on the Desiring God blog.

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 ESV