Monday, October 29, 2012

Prune and Fig Cake

There is a biological urge to bake more as the weather turns colder. I know this. We crave the flavor of ginger and cinnamon, of apples baking and pumpkin lattes.

I came up with a batch of REALLY GOOD molasses cookies a few weeks back. I think they were the best cookies I'd ever made. EVER. The molasses was organic, and so were the eggs. I used butter and sugar and flour and spices---and the cookies were memorable. The recipe was on the back of the organic molasses bottle.

Today I was making a cake. I decided to use the recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook, "Spicy Prune Cake."  But a quick look in the fridge revealed some dried figs that needed to be used up, so I threw those in with the prunes.

I remembered how good a little cocoa can be with dried fruits, so I put in 1/4 cup of cocoa too, along with the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Ed had made some ginger candy that also needed to be transformed. I heated it up, back to sugar stage, and whipped that into the mixture too.

Wow. It's fruity, chocolatey, spicey, and moist.  I frosted it with cream cheese frosting. It looks like something from the early 1900's. Do history books ever make you long for a long lost treat?

This cake will certainly be history, never to be duplicated, again. (But we'll enjoy it while it lasts!)

Little Organ Annie

A few weeks back we read "Li'l Orphan Annie" out loud. You know, the one about the goblins getting you if you don't watch out?

Around here there are no goblins, but there's at least one troll, as you probably know. So watch out.

Yesterday we experienced a little organ playing with a trip to Annie's Parlor in Dinkytown afterward. It was just my husband, and Ed, and I.

St. Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis just refurbished/rebuilt their organ. It is playing in the sanctuary with clear warmth and new technology, apparently a huge improvement on the old instrument.

It was open console yesterday, and we (of course) put it on our calendar to see the demonstration and hope for a chance to touch the thing.

Ed got his chance. He played Bach, and we loved it.

He's building quite a resume of wonderful organs he's been able to play! I'm extremely happy for him. 

Thanks again to Michael Barone (Pipedreams) for assuming the role of registrant extraordinaire! (He helped Ed with the stops, voicing the organ). It's nice having help from the world's foremost organ aficionado.

My wonderful husband turns half a century this week. We celebrated with friends at church yesterday. His cake from Costco said "over the hill." He's not. But it's sort of fun to tease. Someone guessed he was in his early 30's a week or so ago, so he's very well preserved. (It must be something about being married to me, right? Trolls have their purpose!)

Monsters seem to be everywhere right now---this season of Reformation Day (ha). The freak storm "Sandy" rages inland.  Thankful for God's sovereign will, and our trust in Him. May we choose righteousness this week.

This week holds many events. Even more than usual around Corgi Hollows. May God bless you and keep you, and sustain us all.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Living Water

Jesus has a story about when He was in Samaria.  He came to a well and asked a woman for a drink. She said, "How does a Jew speak with a Samaritan woman?"

Jesus told her she should have asked Him for a drink, and He could give her "Living Water, " that she would NEVER THIRST AGAIN!

Living water is the water that quenches all spiritual thirst.

Read the story again soon, please. It is so beautiful. I just gave the unauthorized summary.

As this was shared as a devotional at our Good News Club organization meeting on Monday I was deeply touched.

Maybe it's the elections, maybe it's the issues at stake, maybe it's just the age we are in, but this story gave me a whole new understanding of Christ's satisfying love.

When you find Christ you will never need to search for any other spiritual necessity in your life. You will grow in Christ, but you will never search for any truth outside of Him. You are satisfied.

Water is essential to our existence. Christ is essential to our spirituality. When we find Him we are eternally satisfied.

You need not search for any other type of faith: Hinduism, Buddhism, Marianism, Islam, Spiritism, the Occult, Paganism, Atheism.

Don't even go there! They cannot satisfy!

You will be satisfied, wholly and perfectly, as you pursue Christ.

He does have all the answers, and He does not disappoint.

Ask Him for Living Water. Believe in Him. You will never thirst again.

Monday, October 22, 2012

God of the Parking Space

A few years back I read a book that scoffed at the idea of God being interested in such trivial things as available parking spaces, or any such mundane daily agenda matters.

My own reaction to this was little more than scoffing, I must admit. (Sorry)

I believe God lets us decide many things, but He also listens to our prayers and pleas, and directs our days in His infinite manner.

When I pray for a gap in the traffic as I merge, when I wend my way into the crowded city, searching for a convenient place to stash my car (which is large because of my five children), and shop for a specific item I pray. I pray and pray and pray.

I really think God cares.  I know He does. If He knows the number of hairs on my head and cares about the beasts of the field, does He not care about my day? My safety? My time?

I just live in perpetual gratefulness that He cares.

Last week my son parked within five feet of a driveway. He returned to his car to find it missing. It had been towed.

This is no small thing. An impounded car, downtown Minneapolis, a student who needs transportation at unheard of hours...4:30 am, 12:00 am...fees, and frustrations---even some fear thrown in: All are matters that my Lord and God CARES ABOUT.

Trivial, yes. World affairs are totally His domain, but so are mine, and He is so Great that He can handle it all---the bees in the hive, the blades of grass in the field, the upcoming election, the galaxies in the Universe, and MY PARKING SPACE.

The car is redeemed. My son was in Washington DC over the weekend to run the Army Ten Miler. He came in very well. In a crowd of 30,100 he was in the top 600 finishers. He ran ten miles in just over 1 hour.

He comes home tomorrow back to the grind of his junior year at the U.

And the Lord cares about all of this. Intimately. This I know and believe. Thank you, Lord!

Minnesota Vote, Taking a Stand

Why I am voting "Yes- Marriage is one man and one woman" at the upcoming election: 1. I am a true Christian, and I base my beliefs on the Bible. The Bible has strong statements concerning marriage. No argument here (You may 'interpret' however you like, but the words stand). Believe or not. True believers follow Christ, not men. 2. I value free speech. You can say all you like about anything, inc
luding sin, right now. Discrimination is about to reverse, and free speech will be costly if we legalize homosexuality. It has already cost millions in countries where it was made legal. Say something against homosexuality or refuse access to a homosexual for personal reasons and be fined or lose your job. This is discrimination against true Christians. 3. I want to decide about the definition of marriage, not some court of justice made up of lawyers. I want the definition to hold, even as it has held all over the world, including places that have NO GOD to guide. Marriage is always one man, one woman. No court or modern society can change what always has been. 4. Marriage as it stands is difficult enough already. Divorce, polygamy, race restriction, adultery, fornication are all abuses of marriage. Enough already. Keep it simple, please. (Canadian courts are overwhelmed with divorce settlements among homosexuals right now, too. A costly side effect of legalizing perversion.) 5. Children NEED male and female role models, and who can dispute the effectiveness of a family to raise children? No one. Exceptions do not prove a rule, in fact statistics prove this effectiveness over and over.
Those of us who believe the Bible will never give up on it. It is the power of salvation to all who believe. BELIEVE!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Feline Felicity

Last spring, when Predicate joined our menagerie, there was a cat war almost daily. I remember saying I'd let you know if things changed.

I think there was a significant development that occurred this week. Kiwi sleeps on our bed at night. Kiwi has always slept on our bed, since he came to be with us 6 years ago. His black presence is felt at the foot of the bed.

Predicate indicated that she would have preferred joining the slumber party on occasion, but was decisively repulsed by Master Kiwi.

Until now. My husband was out of town last week, touring a coal mine up in North Dakota. Predicate ventured boldly onto his side of the bed while I was reading. She settled down, about 6 inches from Kiwi, and curled up for the night.

Yes. The milestone of acceptance was achieved.

Maybe we CAN all get along!

I know, politics can divide, and it has. So has religion, philosophy, sports and art. We humans are always picking sides. I like coke, she likes root beer...

I like politics, others like reality TV.

I like the Minnesota Twins. I'm not a New York Yankees fan.

These are trivial, but divisions exist, and they have since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden.

Choosing our eternal destiny is the bedrock of our lives, and this is anything but trivial.  How we live our lives each day, full of choices and divisions, affects our existence in ways we can't count! We aren't simply victims of circumstance. We do have the capacity to choose right or wrong.

Nature takes its course, but for most of us there are clear paths to choose from. Which way?

Jesus said the way was narrow and few would find it. He told us to enter by the strait gate. The implication of this is that it is hard to find!

Once you hear the gospel you have a choice to respond in repentance, inviting Christ to be Lord and Savior  of your heart and life. Your way will be clear before you. You will choose life!

For now we must continue to wait, to learn, to love, to serve, to grow, and teach. To strive for truth, to help others to find truth.

And to get along with each other lovingly, like Predicate and Kiwi.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Concert CD's

The Northern Lights Chorale Spring Concert CD's are now available, and I think this one is the best so far! I, being a biased member, love them all, but the sound on this one is really good.

Fogarty's Cove, The Cliffs of Dooneen, The Sounding Sea, and Hark I Hear stand out to me as especially well done.

Let me know if you want one! I'll try to get it to you. Only $10.

It's been one of those weeks that Friday was long in coming. I won't bore you with details, but things weren't hunky-dory here at Corgi Hollows.

Perhaps next week I'll fill you in on why, but I can't yet.

I had the perfect opportunity to learn gratefulness this week, and I am. I am just tired.

We live in an imperfect world, but the colors outside--gray skies and red oaks--reassure us that the seasons will come and go until the end of time.

We are raking. We moved the fish in from the pond, and emptied it. Ice was forming on the surface each night. The grass, so dry, is brown. The summer chairs are moved away, and the leaf blower has been in use.

Still lots of raking. We have many trees.

The wind blows hard. It's fall.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Books

I am a bibliophile. I admit it. I'm sure there are therapy groups somewhere for people like me, but I haven't taken the time to find one yet because I love my addiction too much to give it up yet.

Thankfully my husband is a wonderful enabler and fellow bibliophile. It truly was a marriage made in heaven!

We are, therefore, bringing bibliophiles into the world, one after another, with hopes of populating our family with more and more bibliophiles!

That being said, I have a weakness for books that have been marked way down that pertain to science, geography, knitting, art, history, and British literature. I snap them up for 25 cents or BOGO at the library sale cart, or on the clearance display at the Barnes and Nobles.

You'll find our shelves bursting.

If ever the internet goes away and libraries shut down please come and make yourself at home here with us.

Last week, on a legitimate trip to B and N, (I had to get one book) I found a book by David MacAulay "The Way We Work," marked down to $2.00.

Ed picked it up and worked through half of it the first day, happy to inform me all about cell reproduction and how each type of cell uniquely builds in our amazing bodies. (I love that type of learning---the student teaching the teacher!)

I realized as I glanced through the book after Ed's concise explanation that here was the wonder of God's creation simplified by a really good author! And even in its simplicity the complexity of God's work astounded my mind!

There is nothing to be ashamed about in admitting that micro-biology is mind blowing. It cannot and would not be coldly reduced to evolutionary cause. The belief that it evolved, and the scientific impartiality toward the glory of God's work is rather simplistic.

It just isn't possible that Chance came up with this sort of design. Design it is. Amazing, wondrous, glorious Design.

And that is self-explanatory to my students.

"When you read you start thinking..."---Gaston, in Beauty and the Beast.

Book Power.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hype and Hysteria

It's easy to get a little hysterical over the hype leading up to a presidential election.

Today we all must remember to breathe deeply, and trust the Lord.

I would like to point out an interesting development.

Yesterday the news was that the Pope prayed in Arabic, and that Obama wears a ring that is inscribed 'there is no god but allah.' Perhaps this is just extremist hype, but one wonders after having watched the Walter Veith video I posted here a few months back. 

Draw your own conclusions, but I think we are well on track to a one-world religion, and the god won't be Yahweh, but Baal, the god of this world.

Talking to my lawyer friend the other day he brought up "end-times" enthusiasts disparagingly. He thinks they concede defeat too quickly! I can understand his frustration, since he is a warrior battling right now, and no good soldier gives up hope until the Commander orders "cease fire!"

I find it sad that even within the Bible Prophecy community there is new evidence of back-biting and sniping, now regarding messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. Oh, well, it's to be expected.

I've replaced my "Marriage" signs over and over again. They keep disappearing. It's a crime, I know, to steal yard signs, and I have the right to report this, but I'm just quietly replacing them. The Lord has always provided new ones, but I have a hand-made one to put out there if the current ones disappear.

I guess if you want same-sex marriage, stealing is a minor offense.

Reading the Sermon on the Mount again. We memorized it as a family a few years back, but I needed to review.

Jesus wants us to do righteous things. He wants us to obey Him. This stands today, as much as any day. Can I encourage you to keep on doing what is right, while looking up?

"Christ is coming soon. Christ is coming soon."--------F. Melius Christiensen

(from a song we will be singing at our upcoming concert "Lost in the Night")


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marriage

In high school I was part of a most interesting Bible study group that met once a week in a neighboring town from ours. One of the leaders was a young law student, a relatively young believer in Christ.

The thing about him was that he was entirely "on fire" for the Lord. He had great Bible studies and we all grew in our faith.

It's always so wonderful when an old friend stays fired for the Lord.

I have too many friends that seem to have lost their first love and replaced it with tasting alcoholic beverages. I have nothing against alcohol (except that it makes people drunk), but when I hear you say nothing about Christ, and see you drinking or giving a running list or record of your daily or weekly choice of beverage I begin to wonder.

That's another topic. Sorry.

Back to my friend: he has remained faithful to the Lord, and he actively fights for the faith in the courtroom with the Alliance Defense Fund.

Yesterday we had a reunion, as he was participating in a panel discussion on marriage here in our state. Ed and I attended with my parents. Our state has a constitutional amendment on the ballot. Vote Yes if marriage should be between one man and one woman. (No other forms---two men, two women, bigamy, polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality, etc.)

On the panel, besides my friend, were several Canadians, other lawyers and a Swede named Ake Green.

Each spoke of human rights violations directly attributed to the passing of same-sex marriage laws in their countries.

I could hardly believe what I was hearing! I am stunned by the fines levied, the jobs lost, the slander and the court cases all relating to this issue.

This isn't a "marriage" debate after all! It's a free speech debate! Biblical beliefs are silenced.

This panel discussion will be available to view soon on the Minnesota Catholic Conference web site. I am not Catholic, but this organization sponsored this event at the University of Saint Thomas Law School.

All I can say is that I am shocked at the fast decline in human rights since a vocal minority took the reins of this particular issue in several countries.

Ake Green is a Pentecostal pastor in Sweden who chose to preach the Word of God, straight out of Scripture, regarding marriage.He was tried and convicted of hate speech and sentenced to jail by the Swedish supreme court. Only a European Union injunction saved him from serving time, but he remains condemned by the Swedish court.

What a story.

Believers, are we ready for this?

Pray for my friend, as he fights this unwelcome fight. Pray for our state, that we will preserve the definition of marriage, and that our free speech will never be taken away.

What would our founding fathers think? "Turning in their graves," surely.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Prophecy

Since prophecy is one of my favorite topics I like to write about it from time to time. I attended a wonderful conference today, here in Minneapolis, attended by thousands of people from all over the world, no particular denomination, just people who actually believe an ancient Book.

The speakers were Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Bill Koenig (White House correspondent) and Rabbi Jonathon Cahn.

Wish you were there.

How can you summarize hours of fascinating information? (Olivetree Views has the DVD's and CD's.)

I won't try, but I will say this-----there is so much truth in the Word of God, the Bible, that it is currently the most compelling and accurate synopsis of events in our world right now.

Maybe you should start reading it more, learning what God has told us, and watching how every day we are being propelled toward the end.

God is patient with us, but He will not wait long. It's His way or hell, and we all must choose NOW!

Pray to receive Christ, repent of your evil thoughts, and turn on your ears to hear of Christ's gracious gift of eternal life.

Nothing you can do on earth will "get you in."  Christ alone is the Way. Believe now, and throw yourself on His merciful love.

I, for one, cannot WAIT for Christ to call us home.

Repent and Believe!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Beets and Onions

I tried to cook my organic beets today with a flavor of past memories, but it wasn't quite right.

I think onion is the key ingredient, and I had an abundance of onion leftover from the "hobos" we made at Fort Ridgely this past weekend camping.

I put lean ground beef, much onion (about a cup), avocado, carrots and organic potatoes in my non-stick foil packet to cook over the camp fire.

It was excellent.

Today I'm using the leftover onion with my organic beets to see if I can mimic those beets I loved when I was a child.

It just isn't right yet. The beets are pretty good, though.

Had a wonderful time camping at the historic fort on the Minnesota River this past weekend. The weather was  perfect, if a little dry. The coyotes sang us to sleep, and the trees lazily dropped their leaves on our tents.

It's the 150 year anniversary of the Dakota Sioux conflict this year. It is an interesting history lesson to wander the ruins of the fort and visit the battlefields there.

We made the pilgrimage to the Harkin Store too. That is always fun.

Now it's time to get back into the week-life. Busy days. Margaret struggles with a heavy school load. This weekend is the prophecy conference we love to attend: Rabbi Jonathon Cahn, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Mark Hitchcock, and Bill Koenig are scheduled to speak. School is happening, and we are all interested in the happenings around the world.

These are exciting times.