Joshua Tree Spooky or Lovely?

When you come into Joshua Tree National Park it may not seem interesting or different. But once you enter the gates and you see the structures and the plant life, it will take your breath away that such strangeness exists. Life and death are so close at hand here. It starts off benign enough then transforms to these weird rock formations and plant life.

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Ravi Zacharias tells the Story of Andre Stamos

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“In 1945, at the age of 20, he was captured by the Soviets and incarcerated. After some years of imprisonment, he was believed to have gone insane and, therefore, was transferred to a psychiatric ward in solitary confinement, 300 miles outside of Moscow. In 2000, when the Russians were trying to empty out their prisons and psychiatric wards, they brought a Hungarian psychiatrist to examine this man.

The psychiatrist examined Stamos for a few hours and concluded, “This man is not insane. In fact, it is you who are driving him insane. He is not talking nonsense. Rather, he is speaking a rare dialect of Hungarian.” As soon as he was released, the first thing Stamos asked to see was a mirror. He had not seen himself for 55 years; he had been 20 years old when he last saw his face. Now at 75, he looked at the mirror, put his face in his hands, and sobbed uncontrollably like a little baby, because of what had happened to him. To go through most of life without knowing what you look like is nearly unimaginable to us Americans. “

 

Our simple freedom of looking in the mirror to see our face should not be taken for granted. Our ability to pick up the Bible and read the word of God should not be taken for granted. Life is nothing without following the Lord.

Tuesday Mornings: Scones and Biscotti Always Better with Friends

Everything tastes better with friends. Cooking or baking for friends makes it less of a chore or a duty, it becomes a joy to share. Tuesday Mornings is a time for friends and we get together and drink coffee, tea, water, whatever, eat some good foods and work on projects individually. It is a time to share experiences, joy and pleasures and sometimes pain and sorrow. My Tuesday Mornings is a life saver from ennui and stress.

Biscotti and Scones

Today’s offering from Tuesday Mornings:

Pre-heat oven to 425F
Makes 12

2 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp lemon or orange zest or peel diced
6 Tbsp butter
½ cup currants or cranberries or craisins
¾ cup sour cream

In a food processor:
1- Place flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest or peel and butter.
2- Pulse 7-8 times until mixed well.
3- Add dried fruit and sour cream.
4- Pulse a few more seconds until mixed.
5- Remove and divide in half.
6- Place in plastic wrap and roll into circle.
7- Peel off plastic and cut into 6 wedges.
8- Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
9- Bake 15-18 minutes.

Important note: Even if they do not look “done” after 18 minutes do not be tempted to bake them further. They will be perfect.

On another note, I have a tendency to keep useful things for future use. Near future. In my refrigerator is a bag of orange peels. When I need an orange sauce or syrup, when I need some orange zest or taste, I use those peels.

Below is what I used for the scones for today:

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Carefully remove pulp from the orange skin if you wish.

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Look for black spots or damaged skin and remove then slice thin.

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Turn sliced peels and dice to bits.

Quiche Chie Sonia

Quiche

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees

4 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup Bisquick
¼ tsp pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp diced onion
3 cloves garlic mashed
1 cup ham, diced
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

  1. Whisk eggs, milk, Bisquick, pepper and cayenne pepper together and set aside.
  2. Spread onions and garlic on the bottom of the dish you are using. I use a pie dish, round or square does not matter.
  3. Brown ham and spread on top of onions and garlic.
  4. Add Mozarella, Cheddar and Parmesan.
  5. Pour whisked ingredients to top the dish.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350. When pierced with a sharp knife, the knife comes out clean. The top will brown.

PS. Instead of ham, I sometimes use 5 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled or Italian cold cuts.

Buon appetito!

My spirit is broken

El Capitane Yosemite Valley

El Capitan- Yosemite Valley

1My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, The grave is ready for me.
15Where now is my hope? And who regards my hope? 16 Will it go down with me to Sheol? Shall we together go down into the dust? Job 17

Faced with such agony and pain, it should be difficult to respond. Never approach a person in such torment with flippant answers. Never respond with light hearted banter and promises of how it will get better. Listen and be silent. Listen and be respectful. And above all listen and pray.

We are called to share in each others’ sorrows and pain not make light of them. When a person is under the hand of the Lord and being dealt with, do not feel sorry for them nor find excuses for the situation they are in. Because in doing so, you are judging the Lord’s behavior and finding Him unjust. But neither should you make light nor be irreverant. Repudiating pain in another is kicking somone when they are down.

Agony of the soul is a dark spot every believer faces at one time or another in their walk with the Lord. If the Lord did not intend for us to be in pain, He would not allow us in this life. A bush only flowers and brings forth fruit under distress. So it is with most of us, we show forth our Fruit after a time of distress when on the other side of the problem, we come out victorious.