Thursday, February 21, 2013

Easy Creamy Curry Hotdish

Canned Bear Curry Bake
  • 3 c dry rice
  • 1 qt canned bear (or if you don't happen to have any canned bear; use 1-2 lbs of meat of your choice, pork and chicken go especially well with curry)
  • 1 med onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 orange, halved and then thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c - 1/3 c sugar
  • 1-3 tbs curry powder, depending upon how strong your curry is and how strong you like your curry
  • 1 tbs salt
Layer the above in a large baking pan or small roaster.  I used a 10x15" baking dish and covered with aluminum foil.  Next time I will use a roaster, or cover with a jelly roll pan, since the oranges reacted with the foil a little bit.
  • 1-2 cans coconut milk
  • water to equal 6 c liquid 
Pour over layered ingredients.
Cover and bake at 350°F for 2 hours.
Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5-15 minutes before serving.  If desired, serve a dollop of plain yogurt on the side or drizzled over the top.

God collects our tears

This is for Rhonda who lost her dear husband; and for Ella, Isaac, Paul, Lily, Gloria, and little Anna, who lost their dear Papa in a plane crash last evening.

God's Word is full of so many beautiful metaphors. And with God, being so great and awesome as He is, some of them are probably not metaphors so much as a mere human image of His goodness and compassion.

It's hard to see that goodness and compassion when something terrible happens. And so we must turn to, and cling to, those images of His goodness in the Bible. Our human words of comfort and peace will be hollow and empty, due to the intensity of your pain. And even God's Words will sometimes feel void. But at core They are foundational. And real. And They will sustain you in the deepest parts of yourself, even when you can't see or feel or think the comfort They contain.
Psalm 56

Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up;
Fighting all day he oppresses me.
My enemies would hound me all day,
For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
First the psalmist acknowledges our enemies. On this earth, they are sometimes physical enemies. But more often they are spiritual and emotional enemies of our own weakness, and the temptations of the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh. They assault us on all sides. Our pain, heartache, doubts, fears, confusions, worries.
Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?
The psalmist continues with an affirmation of trust in God. This world is temporal. Our human flesh, the ways of this world, they have no eternal power over us. God is bigger then are they. "In God I have put my trust. I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?"
All day they twist my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
They gather together,
They hide, they mark my steps,
When they lie in wait for my life.
Shall they escape by iniquity?
In anger cast down the peoples, O God!
Another paragraph about our many enemies follows. Again, not always a physical enemy. The imagery here reminds me of how we chase ourselves around in our brain sometimes, filled with the doubts and frustrations and pains of this life.
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
In God (I will praise His word),
In the Lord (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Now the psalmist once again turns to God and His goodness. Just think about this a minute, "You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?" God knows all our weaknesses, all our enemies, every doubt and confusion. He knows our every tear; yes, He even has a bottle for them.  He records them in His book.  Even when we are so broken in every physical and emotional way that we risk breaking spiritually too, even then God is with us. He sustains us with His eternal comfort and Fatherly goodness.
Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God;
I will render praises to You,
For You have delivered my soul from death.
Have You not kept my feet from falling,
That I may walk before God
In the light of the living?
And a final paragraph, acknowledging our trust in God's promises, and in the ultimate promise of eternal life with Him. "You have delivered my soul from death...that I may walk before God in the Light of the living."

Rhonda and family, your Adam is walking before God in the Light of the living.  Amazing!  And so very sad for you who are still walking here on this earth.  God be with you at this time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An Impatient Pot

“Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?  Isaiah 45:9
I have a confession to make.  I am an impatient pot lately.  As regular readers here know, I've been struggling with depression for quite some time.  I began a course of medication last spring.  God willing, I will be able to manage without it once spring comes again.  But sometimes I'm doubtful.  Sometimes I'm scared. 

I've had many good weeks lately.  Good weeks during which I can see real, tangible progress in my mindset and energy levels and even my stamina.  And then I have a little setback.  And these setbacks really throw me off.  They frustrate me and make me angry.  And they sadden me, too.

But then I think of my God.  My heavenly Father.  He made me.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 129:14).  He is the potter and I am the pot.  How dare I complain to Him about my size or shape?

Even the great St. Paul had a thorn in his flesh.  He never identifies it for us, but he tells us he plead with God three times to remove it from him.  And then he gives us in the written Scripture, the answer he received, and the view he came to take of the matter.
And [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  I Corinthians 12:9-10
And so I, too, must boast in my weakness. 

I cannot do it.  This life thing.  This mother thing.  This wife thing.  ANYTHING! 

I cannot do it without God.

God the Father guides me and blesses me with temporal providence. 

From God the Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ, I have Salvation.  Pure and and sweet.  The wedding garment that covers all my weakness (Matthew 22).  The righteousness that is given through Jesus' blood.
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  I John 1:7
And through God the Holy Spirit, working through the Word of God and the Holy Sacraments, I am given faith. 

I may not feel it.  I will still sin.  I still have this thorn in the flesh.  But God's promises are bigger than my sin.  God's power is made perfect in my weakness.

I rejoice with the Psalmist, (Psalm 118)
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Let Israel now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord now say,
“His mercy endures forever.”

I called on the Lord in distress;
The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.