Tuesday, April 26, 2011

God the Father, My Ever Present Help In Time of Need

Hello Dear Friends,
Easter has passed, and now the balmy, glorious days of Spring melt into Summer. As I type this I am sitting beneath a full Oak tree enjoying a cool breeze and watching the motorboats whiz by in the Bogue Sound. I have been dwelling lately on the sacrifice of Christ, but even more on the sacrifice of the Father. On Good Friday, my parents and I joined a group of people from the Methodist church in an evening worship service. To our surprise the service was a simple reading out of the King James Version of the Bible, the passion of Christ. As we read the scriptures, the whole congregation rose and followed the pastor out as he and some men carried a cross down the highway and through our neighborhood to a park. There they erected the cross and there we continued the story. I pictured Him hanging there and tears streamed down my face. I saw the depths of my sin hanging on his shoulders and marveled at why he would do such a thing for me. It was all very moving. Christ sacrificed much for me, but the Father sacrificed even more. I thing about my sister and her new baby. Could anything in this world induce her to take the life of her own baby? Could anything make her freely give her to death and then watch her suffer? It is ludicrous to think that she would ever do such a thing, but God did. He gave His only son. He watched Him suffer and finally turned away. He watched them beat Him senseless and spit in His face. He watched Him bear the sin of the world. For me. For us. How can I now know this and yet continue to allow things in my life that I know do not bring me closer to Him? How can I still hang on to the things of this world? How can I daily forget this love and push Him aside so that I can get to my checklist that is oh so much more important? Help me Lord to forsake the world, to turn from all and seek only to love and please You. Let me not forget the work that you did. Let me not forget how you gave your son. Let me never doubt that you love me. Amen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring At Last

Last night there was a warm shower of rain, a golden sunset, a beautiful rainbow blazened across the evening sky and flowers positively everywhere. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Spring has finally sprung in North Carolina. There is no time more beautiful in this state. Azaleas are in bloom, Dogwoods are in bloom, Red Buds, and Crocuses are in bloom. Everywhere you turn is a burst of color and breath of warm, fragrant, balmy air. Birds are chirping their lungs off. Its pretty amazing! This time of year takes me back to our farmhouse. It makes me think of Dad digging the grass and weeds up for his huge garden, the rooster yelling is head of at 4AM, and my sister and I picking strawberries and preserving them. It reminds me of getting up early and baking all day long and then packaging until the wee hours of the night, only to get up at 5am the next morning and head downtown to sell our wares. I miss you vange. This time of year also starts me thinking about cutting down on the heavy casseroles and soups and getting into more fresh fish and crisp salads. Here is a lovely cold salad recipe. I hope you like it!

1 pouch (4.5 oz.) StarKist Tuna Creations®, Zesty Lemon Pepper
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 can (16 oz.) Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ red pepper cut in cubes
¼ cup chopped red onion
Fresh Basil, chopped, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mince garlic and mash to a paste with the back of a spoon. Mix garlic paste with lemon juice, salt and pepper and slowly whisk in olive oil.
Toss red pepper, onion, and beans together.
Break apart tuna and mix in to bean mixture.
Add dressing and toss well. Add basil just before serving. Serve at room temperature.