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21 February 2013


The Bible study I lead at the retirement home was shortened due to the semi-annual "Celebration of Life" service, a memorial in remembrance of those who have died in the last six months. A couple of my very regularly attending ladies were not happy about the conflict, and questioned the activities director about it. "Well we're sure it's not your fault," said one lady, diplomatically. "But it's SOMEONE'S fault," noted the other.

I almost laughed out loud. I guess 80 plus years gives a lady permission to speak her mind. I, however, have about 35 more years of filtering to go...


its what's for dinner....

Vegetable Curry (from Food Made Fast: Slow Cooker (William Sonoma)

1/4 c. canola oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 T. fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 t. ground coriander
1 t. ground turmeric
1 t. cumin seeds
1 lb. boiling potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks (I used white skin potatoes, quartered without peeling)
1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and chopped (I used 1 lb. before trimming)
(vegetable broth)
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Saute the vegetables and spices. In a pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and garlic, and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, coriander, turmeric, and cumin seeds, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup hot water and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom. When the water comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat.

2. Cook the curry. Put the potatoes, cauliflower, and green beans in the slow cooker. Pour the contents of the frying pan over them. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 t. salt and stir to combine. (I added another cup and a half of broth for more liquid) Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 4 hours or the low-heat setting for 8 hours. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt, and serve.
(we served it with rice, naan, and cucumber yogurt salad. yum!)
(and, bonus! it tastes even better the next day.)

20 February 2013

A double wonder

We need to let it sink in that grace is not only gotten by faith, but glorified by faith. This doubles our blessing in being people who trust in God. On the one hand, we long for the blessings of God's future grace, and they come to us by faith. But on the other hand, we long for God's grace to be glorified in our lives, and this too comes by faith. Faith receives the goodness of future grace, and faith reflects the glory of future grace. It is a double wonder. These two things are not at odds- our receiving the joy and God getting the glory. O, how this should set our hearts on a passionate quest to trust God hour by hour for all we need- for God's sake! Every moment of faith is a tribute to his grace.
- John Piper, Future Grace

18 February 2013


Always double the blessing! Always quadruple the photos.
Happy birthday, twinsies!

17 February 2013


“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.” 
- Herb Brooks, US Olympic Men's Hockey Team Coach, 1980

(that one is handpicked for you, Lid! :-)

ahh yes-

Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.” 
D. A. Carson, Worship by the Book

(from, "The Essential: Worship," 17February2013)

16 February 2013


The beach on a February Saturday afternoon...
(not to mention 7 neat kids and a fun companion besides!)



Things that make people who live in a desert climate smile-
seasonal wildflowers, bright purple and yellow, along the side of the road.

15 February 2013


"A hundred hearts would be too few
To carry all my love for you."

- Unknown


we tease that it is his first weekly gig...


I have a lot more walls to paint for others before come close to the walls that have been painted for me.

12 February 2013


A lollapalooza of a party for the February girls- streamers, Filipino food, fluffy cake and sparklers that kept popping back to sparkle some more.


On a day when I read about storms and wind and being snowed in, being outside taking photos of sunflowers seemed pretty charmed, indeed.

10 February 2013


spotted by alert youngest daughter, while driving around, aimlessly yet in route, hopeful, expectant, and confident that "whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus." (2 Corinthians 1:20, The Message)

the names have been changed...

from Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, February 10, 2013

09 February 2013


(Mosaic found in Church of the Multiplication in Israel, replica in chapel at Loaves & Fishes)

I helped to serve breakfast at Loaves & Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley, a local ministry to serve the homeless and needy. Loaves & Fishes feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, facilitates job training and placement, and provides aid, both financial and non-financial, to those in need.

Some facts about the county where I live-
The poverty rate is 34.9 percent, double the rate of the rest of Texas.
The unemployment rate is 9.7 percent.
The illiteracy rate among those over 25 years old is 43 percent.
73 percent speak a language other than English at home.

Loaves and Fishes is doing a good work in our community, a place that needs the Gospel in Word and in deed. It was privilege to come alongside them on Friday.


My favorite chore.
Which is a good thing, because folding laundry-
not so much.

06 February 2013


Paperman is among the animated short films nominated for an Academy Award this year. And I love it.


Georgianne is giving away a copy of Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by ND Wilson. I've read so many goodgood reviews of this book but somehow, I've missed reading it. And Anne reminds me to put it on my list.
Visit Georgianne to enter, and to be blessed by Anne's writing besides.


and on a day when absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened...
go figure.


I came clean.
I made sure that I had cash in hand.
I went straight to the desk.
I handed over my card.
I paid the fines in full.

And now I can check out books again.

"Just the knowledge that a good book is waiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier."
-Kathleen Norris (1880-1966), American Novelist


"The grace for endurance... is looking forward to the next moment's and next month's arrival of the power of Christ to do for us what we absolutely despair of doing ourselves."
- John Piper, Future Grace

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9

(which has nothing to do with today's picture, but everything to do with how I started the day.)

04 February 2013


what might end up with the chips and dip when little boys come to your Super Bowl gathering...


The kind of day where a lot happens and enough gets done and you spend time with neat people, both kids and adults and in the US and in Mexico and in English and in Spanish, and you learn something new about your husband and he learns something new about you, and you go to bed ready for worship in the morning...
THAT kind of day.

(and yes, he made the lay-up) :-)

01 February 2013


Sweet Ginger.
Look what happens when two ladies get distracted and the kids with a brand new box of chalk start to color nearly everything in their path...


At a tour of the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector station, I watched a dozen monitors as cameras panned locations across the Valley, river or fence always in view. I forgot to write down how many thousands of tons of illegal drugs were seized, but it was more than I can really conceive. I stood in the weapons room and took aim through the holographic sight of a fully automatic rifle. In the complete dark, I squinted through the lens of a night vision scope and through the viewfinder of thermal imaging goggles. I learned more than 200,000 "undocumented subjects" were apprehended in the 2012 calendar year, that just in our area. Many of those were the same people, counted multiple times.

And then I saw the faces. The real faces of those undocumented people who had been apprehended in our area the last 24 hours or so. Agents bring them in and transport them out around the clock. Those being held are divided into four groups, kept in cinder block rooms with cement benches- women and children, juveniles, men from Mexico, and men from everywhere else. Some of their faces appeared blank, tired and dazed. Some appeared resigned, just waiting for whatever was to come next. A few, mostly young men, looked straight ahead, almost defiant, seemingly unafraid. A older Cuban woman, most likely someone's grandma, sat to be interviewed, her face downcast and worn. She was detained earlier in the day at the airport, her visa expired. Through thick-paned glass, we looked at them, and they looked at us.

Eventually, most likely, most of those faces would be deported. Most everyone deported from our area gets flown to California, and escorted across the border, in an effort to discourage them from returning to the eastern side of the US/Mexico border. But, agents acknowledged that many DO return, some in as few as 3 days.

I respect the job these Border Patrol agents do, working long hours, often under-funded and under-manned, in difficult and frequently dangerous circumstances. I'm thankful for the work that they do to prevent terrorists and weapons and drugs from entering our country. And yet, I left sad. I know that there are no easy answers to immigration issues and I know that significant reform is necessary. But in all that debate, just as it was in the tour, it will be the faces that come to my mind. It will be the faces because I have known the undocumented personally and it is their stories that make the issue more than text of news stories and the rule of law for me.

It is the faces that cause me to remember, as Paul tells us in Ephesians 2, that Jesus "came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father." Because of the Gospel, those trusting in Christ "are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." That is the story that I want to tell here in my part of the Rio Grande sector.


Lemonade Girl Scout Cookie.

((happy contented smile and sigh))