Monday, June 23, 2008

Chef Jonah

Chef Jonah
Originally uploaded by thebigboat2000
The making of Chez de Macaroni!

This has to be the kids' favorite meal. Jonah's french accent when we cook this is a tribute to Rattatoui!

Like many of my favorites, this is more of a guideline than carved in stone. Any real sous chef will probably cringe at my techniques.

Cook up half a box of pasta: 8 ounces. Drain in a colander,. While the pasta is draining, add two tablespoons of butter to the hot saucepan. Melt over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of flour and cook for a minute or two. Pour in about a cup of milk and whisk to get out the lumps. Cook on med-med high for a few minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Add a big handful of grated cheese and still until melted. Add the pasta back into the cheese sauce.

Voila! Chez de Macaroni!

Monday, June 16, 2008

God Our Father

God Our Father
Originally uploaded by thebigboat2000
Be strong and very courageous (Joshua 1)

How strong must you be to sing praise to God? If M and J are any measure, very strong, but not very big. M&J learned this prayer from a children's sermon at our new church. They fight over who gets to lead at each meal.

Be strong! As strong as a child who can run and climb and sing and play all day long! As strong as a 5 year old on 16 inch bike tires keeping up with mom on a 5 mile ride.
Be very courageous! As courageous as each recovering addict, as courageous as any cancer survivor!

"Do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (more words to Joshua from the Lord)

God is with you... whether you are strong, courageous, or really tired and weak!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This I believe

I don't think I ever felt so small and alone as when I started first grade at Christ Lutheran School in Murray, Utah. It didn't help that it was November, and I had just moved to town. Everyone else had been to Kindergarten together, and they all knew each other. They had gotten used to the teacher, and I was just new.

Miss Hughes is the first teacher I remember. She had a big desk at the front of the room, and I think she was really old. We learned our ABC's and 123's. We had a bible verse to memorize, and chapel every Wednesday. I'm sure the pastor who led chapel was really old too. I was afraid of Miss Hughes, and pretty sure that she wasn't really human.

This I believed!

At the end of my tenure at Christ Lutheran, after finishing 6th grade, my family visited Miss Hughes in her home. We ate a normal dinner, and then us kids listened to "Jesus Christ Superstar" on the record player. By this time, I'd grown up. I'd reached my full height of 5 feet, 2 inches, and had travelled around the world. Going into Miss Hughes' home was still frightening. She was the First Grade Teacher. By the end of the night, I finally met Miss Hughes. She wasn't inhuman, and she wasn't very old.

I think it was the record player, and the rock music that convinced me that my First Grade Teacher was really a nice lady.
I think it was some of the songs I heard around campfires at Lutheran Bible camp that convinced me that Jesus really loved me!

This I believe.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Who taught the trees to grow?

We live in a world full of plants and trees that we didn't plant. This question was posed to me this morning: How do the trees know how to grow?
My answer was that God taught the first trees to take sunshine and water and make food and grow. The trees remembered and still do just that. Like a top that you set spinning, the world just keeps spinning according to God's original plan.

17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Mt. 7 NLT

In God's original plan, Apple trees produce Apples, and Olive trees produce olives. When trees produce good fruit, according to God's plan, they are useful, loved, and protected. A good child of God produces the fruits of God, and these can be seen and appreciated; kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, healing, loving. Good children are loved and protected by God. Just and an apple tree can't help but produce apples, God's children, by thier God-given nature reflect God'd good image in all they do.

If a child of God turns from good and seeks evil, then they begin to bear sour fruit. Greed, violence, selfishness, and abuse are fruits of the fallen child. If an apple tree began to sprout thorns and bear thistles, it would be cut down. When orchard trees no longer bear good fruit, they are re-cycled as heat and mulch. Thank God a bad kid is not burned, but re-purposed with love.

Much of the seventh chapter of Matthew warns us against judgement of others. It is our place not to throw out bad fruit, so much as it is to foster good fruit. Be aware of your fruit, and make sure it is good. Help your children and grandchildren know about Christ so that they too may bear good fruit. Pray for those whom you know are bearing bad fruit, and do not follow them into the furnace!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Promises, promises!

Originally uploaded by thebigboat2000
For the second weekend in a row, we've had dangerous storms roll over our home. This time it was during my birthday party, so we opened gifts in the basement.
After the storm, was the most brilliant and colorful rainbow I've seen in a long time. It was double for a long time too, and even my new camera couldn't quite capture it all.

It's a great reminder that after all the storms, comes God's promise of presence.