Saturday, March 28, 2009

Two Easter dresses


This dress goes to an AG fans board member for the Spring/Easter swap. It goes out next week.

I have two more in the works, as soon as I get energy enough to get in there and sew them up.

Two more puzzles

I finished this one on Tuesday.

Two days later I finished this one. The E family let me borrow this one. It was great fun putting it together. It's similar to an "I spy" type, but better.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Playing God with Homeschoolers

REAL AMERICA
Playing God with homeschoolers
Exclusive: Patrice Lewis turns the table on judges ordering children into public education
Posted: March 21, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

By Patrice Lewis

Let's say there is a kid in school, a 13-year-old girl. We'll call her Jane.

Jane is perfectly normal. She wears low-cut jeans that show a bare midriff with a pierced navel. She wears tight-fitting, revealing tops and lots of makeup. Her body is physically developing, and her interest in boys is all-consuming. Who cares about history or science when there are boys to impress with her booty?

Jane's mouth is a bit foul. All her friends use four-letter words, so why shouldn't she? Yes her parents object, but hey, they're just the parents. They don't know nothin'.

So now let's take this perfectly normal kid, forcibly remove her from her school and plop her in the middle of a family of Christian homeschoolers. The parents object vehemently, but they're overruled.

Jane is a little embarrassed that her new classmates are a couple years ahead of her in school, even though they're the same age. But hey, academics aren't Jane's "thing" anyway. Boys are. And rebellion.

But she isn't getting any support from her new peers. She never realized how her behavior in school must be reinforced by her peers in order to have meaning. When Jane suggests that maybe the teacher (mom) is, you know, kinda strict, the kids just look at Jane like she's crazy. Of course she's strict. That's what teachers do – keep kids in line and make sure they learn.

When Jane shows up wearing her usual wardrobe, the teacher (mom) orders her upstairs to change into something more modest and scrub that makeup off her face. Jane has to borrow another girl's clothes, because all of hers are now unacceptable. She reluctantly washes the makeup off.

When Jane tries to slut it up with the boys in the class, they look at her in disgust. Yes, she might be sexy, and yes they have hormones, but that doesn't mean they're going to act upon primal urges. They've been raised with manners and to respect girls.

Jane is getting depressed. She hates it here. She hates the self-righteous good behavior of these holier-than-thou brats. She hates the strict academic and behavioral expectations of her new school. She hates dressing like a frump instead of a tramp. Everything she's has learned to hold dear: her attractiveness, her sexiness, her contempt for parental authority, her lack of interest in academics … it's all blowing up in her face.

But there was this judge, you see, who ordered Jane into this rotten homeschooling environment, because he felt she needed a "more well-rounded education." The judge thought her old school "had done a good job," and it was great for Jane to "have that access," and he has "no problems" with public education, but he felt homeschooling would be "a good complement and would make her stronger."

So against the parent's wishes, Jane is forced to associate with children she doesn't like and placed in circumstances that threaten and disturb her worldview.

Yeah right. What a ridiculous scenario. No judge would ever order a public-schooled kid to be homeschooled.

But the reverse can be done, apparently at whim and for no good reason beyond the fact that the judge is playing God.

(Column continues below)

Read it for yourself. A judge ordered three normal, well-adjusted, academically superior children into public school, because, I don't know, he was having a bad hair day or something.

The bizarre thing is the mother was not in court for anything having to do with school, home or otherwise. She was in court for some divorce proceedings, and the judge decided that decent, well-behaved Christian children are a bad thing and ordered them to get their beliefs and values "challenged."

He wanted them to have a more "well-rounded" education. I assume his definition of well-rounded includes teaching children to put condoms on bananas, learn a sailor's vocabulary, and discover that rebellion against one's parents is a preferred state of affairs.

Read the facts behind the assertions in "The Harsh Truth About Public Schools" from WND Books.

The judge decided that homeschooling had "accomplished its purpose." If by purpose he meant sound academics, decent morals, and high ethics … then he's wrong.

Homeschooling hasn't "accomplished" (past tense) that; it's "accomplishing" (present tense) those things. No child is finished growing at the age of twelve. Their approaching teen years can either work wonders for their future as adults, or it can be the catalyst for future failures and heartbreak. Homeschooling will virtually guarantee that these three kids will grow into decent, moral adults.

This arrogant fool is apparently seeking job security by insuring lots of juvenile delinquents come through his courtroom. He admitted putting his own personal judgment in place of the mother's. He is fixing what isn't broken, and thereby breaking something that didn't need fixing.

To add insult to injury, the mother (not the father, even though he's the one allegedly having an affair) was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation. This is assumedly because she holds conservative Christian beliefs, thus implying that being Christian and conservative is a mental condition that should be overcome. May I suggest the judge be next in line? As in, can we get this guy's head examined?

And let's not forget that favorite buzzword used against homeschoolers, socialization. The judge suggested the homeschooled kids need to be "prepared for the real world" – as if the socialization experienced in public schools has even the remotest likelihood of cultivating a solid work ethic, moral behavior, and a happy family life – the cornerstones of productive adulthood.

This ruling is the top of a very slippery slope. If a judge can order homeschooled children into public schools for no reason besides his own "feelings," all homeschoolers are threatened.

Please let this judge know your thoughts. Be polite, of course – profanity and name-calling never convinced anyone to change his mind. But only by hearing the cries of protest from concerned citizens can the judge realize what a mistake he's making in ruining these kids' lives. And if you live in North Carolina, contact your legislators.

This is judicial idiocy at its worst.

We the People Stimulus video



http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=92999

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Noticing today

Even on a rainy day those picnic tables are pretty. I thought the water droplets were interesting, thus the picture.

fabric give-away


http://wondermommy.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/good-folks-giveaway/

Friday, March 20, 2009

puzzle

This is an "I Spy" puzzle. It was interesting to put together. I finished it earlier this week.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Speech Night

In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle.

After it's all over they can relax again.

Here's a bit of Pooh.

video

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lemon bread

Today's recipe came from here.

I actually didn't really alter this one. Well, that's not totally true; we didn't take it out of the pan to completely cool or wrap it up like it instructs. I should also mention that Amy did half the work on this. :)

Both she and dh liked it. She thought it tasted like Starbucks lemon cake without the icing on top. He didn't quite think so, but liked it anyway. I may try it using powdered sugar instead of regular for the glaze if there's a next-time.

Lemon Bread
1-3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 tsp. shredded lemon peel
1 TB. lemon juice
2 TB. lemon juice
1 TB. sugar

Stir together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl combine the egg, milk, oil, and 1 TB. lemon juice. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Add the shredded lemon peel and stir.
Pour batter into greased 8X4X2 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
While the bread is baking, stir the 2 TB. lemon juice and 1 TB. sugar together. Sugar should be dissolved before brushing on the bread.
When the bread is done, brush the lemon juice mixture on the bread (it will seem like a lot, but go ahead and use it all). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Wrap the bread and wait a few hours to eat. The flavor gets better as it sits.

As for the rest of the day, I cut out three spring dresses for the "girls" (the AG ones that is). I finished some embroidery on two doll quilts and looked through the quilting pieces my sister sent me for her son's quilt. More on that later. Shamefully, I only made it outside to the mail box. It was nice enough I could have spent some time outside, but sewing won out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tomato & Red Pepper soup

I found this recipe here. I, of course, cannot leave a recipe the same it seems. I always have a reason. :) The following is the my version.

Tomato & Red Pepper soup
1 small onion, chopped
3 tbs. olive oil
2 (14 oz.) cans Eden brand tomatoes & green chilies
1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained (actually any size jar is fine)
32 oz. chicken broth
1 tsp salt

Saute onion in oil until translucent. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Blend soup with hand-held blender. Serve.

Using tomatoes with green chilies gives the soup a bite, but my reason for using them is that I couldn't find stewed tomatoes without additives. Next time I may try just plain Eden diced tomatoes. I did like it with what I used, but it was a bit peppery for dd.

Friday, March 13, 2009

CPSIA--Rally and Open Hearing in DC

http://www.learningresources.com/category/id/104652.do

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CPSIA - Rally and Open Hearing April 1 in Washington, D.C.
I am pleased to announce that on April 1 there will finally be an opportunity to go to Capitol Hill to tell Congress directly about the terrible impact of the CPSIA on our lives and businesses. Having been repeatedly denied the opportunity to explore the issues created by the CPSIA in public hearings by both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Small Business since December, we have elected to organize our own rally and open hearings for this purpose. This unprecedented event is a true demonstration of democracy at work - the People will not be denied their say in this vitally important matter. The date - April Fool's Day - is ironic but the open hearing and rally are quite real and will be held on time with a full slate of speakers and a wide range of participants. This event will include support from numerous trade organizations and is expected to feature remarks by Members of Congress as well as scientists and representatives of various organizations affected by the legislation such as small businesses, libraries, charities and thrift stores. This event will also be open to the media.

The CPSIA was signed into law on August 14, 2008 and radically transformed the administration of children's product safety under U.S. law, converting a system based on risk assessment to one of precaution and fear of the unknown. The damaging unintended consequences of this change in law are being felt throughout the marketplace, and despite loud protests from many quarters, House and Senate leaders remain resolute in their support of an unmodified CPSIA. Public hearings on the negative impact of this law are long overdue, despite repeated requests for hearings from the CPSC, Members of Congress (including Reps. John Dingell, Joe Barton and George Radanovich of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Senators Bob Bennett, Carl Levin and Jim DeMint) and various other interested parties. The situation is intolerable and devastating. By calling this rally and open hearing, we are announcing an end to old school "closed door politics" and shining a light on a matter of critical public importance during a severe economic downturn.

The details of the rally and open hearing are still being finalized. The location is expected to be on Capitol Hill, and will include question and answer periods, as well as submission of written testimony. We will establish a website for this event, and will make the written materials available online. We hope to broadcast the hearings and rally live online and to provide interactive capabilities for public and media participation.

Please watch this space for updates. If you would like to help the team organizing this event, please write me at this special email address: hearings@cpsiahearings.com. [This email address may not be active for a day or two, so please resend your message if it does not go through.]

I hope you will join us at the rally and open hearings on April 1. The bigger the crowd, the bigger the statement to Congress. It’s time to openly discuss the problems in the CPSIA – see you in Washington in April!

Your Friend,
Rick Woldenberg, Chairman
Alliance for Children’s Product Safety

Unquestionable Authority

Coram Deo: Living Before the Face of God

Unquestionable Authority by Burk Parsons

I am terribly vexed. I have just finished reading an article from the notoriously left-wing magazine Newsweek. In the cover story, “The Religious Case for Gay Marriage,” author Lisa Miller argues the case for gay “marriage” using the Bible as her authority. Miller opens with this line: “Let’s try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does.” She later asserts, “The Bible gives us no good reason to oppose gay marriage.”

It takes no brains but a lot of guts to try to make a case for gay “marriage” (of course, the phrase itself is a contradiction in terms). But it’s just downright crazy to try to make a case for the legitimacy of gay “marriage” using the Bible.

I was recently at an event with Mike Huckabee as the keynote speaker, and I was delighted when the former governor quoted from the book of Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6). This recurring assessment from Judges is certainly applicable to our own day. While the Lord has shown that He will raise up and sustain a faithful remnant of His people in every generation, in His providence He has also shown the chaotic and noetic effects of the fall in every generation. And if you haven’t yet realized it, I’ll let you in on something — we are among the faithful remnant in this generation.

With the Bible as our only infallible authority for every aspect of faith and life, we must stand on the truth and for the truth with uncompromising commitment to the truth and unwavering compassion for those who hate the truth, deny the truth, and use the only infallible authority for truth to defend their lies. By God’s grace, we have been called out of darkness in order to stand in His marvelous light so that we might boldly go into the darkness of this world as a light to the world, proclaiming the way, the truth, and the life before the face of God, coram Deo, and before the faces of our enemies. But in doing so, we must not in practice deny our allegiance to the authority of the Word of God by saying we believe it while continuing to live according to what is right in our own eyes.

Burk Parsons is editor of Tabletalk magazine and minister of congregational life at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, and is editor of the book John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology.

Coram Deo by Burk Parsons introduces the theme of each month's issue of Tabletalk and explains why everything we study should contribute to the living of a holy life before the face of God.

© Tabletalk magazinePermissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred (where applicable). If no such link exists, simply link to www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Any exceptions to the above must be formally approved by Tabletalk.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy:From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine.Website: www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: tabletalk@ligonier.org.Toll free: 1-800-435-4343.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Movie

We finally watched this documentary. (It came out last year sometime.) We all thought it was good, revealing the lack of tolerance the "Darwin/evolution" community has of others' ideas. If you haven't seen it, it's certainly worth 90 minutes of your time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another puzzle

I don't think I posted this one yet. If I counted correctly this makes 15. Right now I'm working on an "I Spy" one. It's a bit more difficult. Target has their puzzles on sale this week. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring has sprung

The crocuses are up.

The irises are starting. I also saw the beginnings daffodils and grape hyacinths.

It's all evidence that God is creator.

quote

From A Journey by Chance by Sally John p. 212

"Gina didn't know what triggered this all-encompassing sense of well-being.

...She suspected it had a lot to do with her new faith. Once she decided to accept as fact that God's ear was tuned to her very thoughts, talking to Him quickly became a habit. With such a powerful audience, it seemed silly to spend every waking moment fretting over her career. Of lack of one."

Emphasis added. And we could insert any life worry in place of the word "career."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Today's sermon

Psalm 72 (New King James Version)

A Psalm of Solomon.
1 Give the king Your judgments, O God,
And Your righteousness to the king’s Son.
2 He will judge Your people with righteousness,
And Your poor with justice.
3 The mountains will bring peace to the people,
And the little hills, by righteousness.
4 He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy,
And will break in pieces the oppressor.
5 They shall fear You
As long as the sun and moon endure,
Throughout all generations.
6 He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
Like showers that water the earth.
7 In His days the righteous shall flourish,
And abundance of peace,
Until the moon is no more.
8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
And His enemies will lick the dust.
10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba Will offer gifts.
11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.
12 For He will deliver the needy when he cries,
The poor also, and him who has no helper.
13 He will spare the poor and needy,
And will save the souls of the needy.
14 He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;
And precious shall be their blood in His sight.
15 And He shall live;
And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him;
Prayer also will be made for Him continually,
And daily He shall be praised.
16 There will be an abundance of grain in the earth,
On the top of the mountains;
Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon;
And those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.
17 His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.
18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
19 And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.
20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Action needed-CPSIA

Skim or read the following and then call your congressmen.

http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com/2009/03/cpsia-crack-in-congressional-fortress.html

What's your opinion

"Make all the things you worry about become all the things you're investing in."

This is from a commercial for Key Bank, so their context is money and investing, but do you think there is spiritual truth in it? What would it look like to invest in the things we worry about? e.g. If I worry about my health, does it mean I should invest time or money in fixing it?

OR is the about not spiritual at all? Let me know what you think.

The Red Envelope Project

http://www.redenvelopeproject.org/

From the website:
Here is what I would like you to do:
Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to:

President Barack Obama
The White House1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message.

This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception.

Put it in the mail on March 31st, and send it. Then send this website to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died before having a a chance to live. Maybe it will change the heart of the president.

I think this is a great project to do with your children, your church, your small group, etc.

"10 Cannots"

These are known as the "10 Cannots"

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

These were written in 1916 by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian clergyman and pamphlet writer.

I found this here. Someone else mentioned that Thomas Jefferson was the author. Here's another source.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More on CPSIA

http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/safeonln.html

Safe Online ShoppingCPSC's Operation SOS
As a result of the explosive growth in electronic commerce, the CPSC established an Internet surveillance project - Operation Safe On-Line Shopping (Operation SOS). The goal of this project is to find potentially hazardous, recalled, illegal or defective consumer products being sold on the World Wide Web. This activity is an expansion of the kind of retail surveillance work we already do in brick and mortar stores across the country and in monitoring catalog sales.

CPSC staff members pose as consumers while surfing various retail/auction sites, manufacturer sites, news groups, and other sites that may provide leads to hazardous consumer products. We do this to make sure we are having the same experiences that a consumer would have while using the internet. When staff identifies a product that may be hazardous, they use non-government credit cards that were issued in pseudonyms to purchase the same products consumers would receive and have them delivered to an address that cannot be identified as the Commission. CPSC staff has identified and followed-up on a variety of dangerous and/or violative products being sold on-line, including: toys and rattles, flammable children's sleepwear, prescription drugs without child-resistant packaging, children's jackets with drawstrings, baby hammocks, and cigarette lighters without child-resistant safety mechanisms.

As Operation SOS has progressed, staff has found that it offers additional opportunities to strengthen the Commission's compliance program. Thus, as staff conducts surveillance, they also identify domestic and international manufacturers and retailers that are selling products similar to those the staff has already found violate mandatory safety standards or pose substantial product hazards. Staff also orders catalogues over the Internet to view various companies' complete product lines and they purchase product samples to evaluate compliance with standards. In addition, staff provides e-guidance about CPSC rules to small new firms that they find on the Web.

Information about potentially hazardous consumer products being sold on the internet can be provided to the SOS staff by contacting CPSC Compliance staff at sos@cpsc.gov or by sending information to: SOS, Office of Compliance, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207 or Fax to SOS at: 301-504-0359.

It's very kind of them to give a number for us to turn others in. Don't you think?

A quilt for Josefina

Sew Mama Sew had a doll quilt sew-along in February. Here's one that I just finished for Josefina. The other's I've done I just stitched in the ditch to quilt them. My walking foot was a great help. This one was my first "non-practicing" try at strippling. I will tell you that upclose it's certaining not perfect, but I'm happy anyway.





Close-up of the back.

Look what I found...

...for a dollar at Goodwill.


The Game of Life. It's in great shape.


Dh has one from 1960. I haven't looked them over carefully to compare. It'll be interesting to see the differences.


Here are the two together.


Our Goodwill had reduced its children's section to a mere corner of the store. It used to be around half of the store. It looks like they are not putting more children's items out, but just selling their current stock. (I really hope you have or will talk to your congressmen about this!)

Ending the Panic

http://www.aproundtable.org/davidzanottiblog/blog.cfm?ID=290&AUTHOR_ID=8

Ending The Panic By Mr. David Zanotti

America is not a nation of need. It is a nation of opportunity. Last month Americans did two things that smart people do in down times. They saved their money at an annual rate not seen since 1959 and they made some really smart purchases taking advantage of the deflation of retail prices.

Americans are not the flat-headed personalities that political pollsters try to make us believe. Americans know their government is out of control. Congress is a playground full of bullies and brats. Americans have seen this before and are steering clear of the playground and finding safe places to get on with life.

People are not buying the crisis. They are not folding. They are getting up every morning and going to work. They are saving money again. They are not ready to buy cars yet but watch what happens next month. You will see garden and seed sales hit big numbers. People will start planting gardens again. It won’t save the economy but its one more symbolic protest. In down times Americans know how to shift gears, save a few dollars, and fight back.

The voters are taking it on the chin right now. We the people made some bad choices and have lost a ton of money. There is one group of people who played the bully in all of this; who could have helped but let us get mugged instead. The US Congress set America up for this beat down. Democrats and Republicans alike looked the other way as investment banks and Wall Street pimped the housing market and wiped out the economy. Congress refuses to come to terms with what they did. The Obama people will not even talk about it. Where is the legislative remedy to end the abuses of Freddie, Fannie, and the investment and banking firms?

Even worse, Congress is still playing the bully. They are trying to take over health care and jam global warming cap and trade tax increases down our throats. They are playing off our pain to forward their political agendas. Cap and trade taxes won’t save us. Nationalizing health care will not turn this economy around. The Congressional ego is so out of control that some members actually believe they can run this economy from Capitol Hill. They have learned nothing from the current meltdown.

There is an election coming in just 17 months. Every member of the US House will be up for re-election. The pain won’t disappear by then. The portfolios won’t be fully recovered. The scars will barely be healed. There is a day of reckoning coming. In the meantime, We the People, have to slam the brakes on this out of control Congress. We have to stop the political panic machine.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 08:08 AM

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Background

I just noticed that I chose the same background that Amy did. I guess we have similar tastes. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ketchup

Here's the latest recipe from the pile.

Tomato Ketchup
2 3/4 cups home canned tomato puree or 2 cans (10 3/4 oz.) plain tomato puree
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 to 1/4 tsp stevia powder (green)
1/2 tsp ocean sea salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs apple cider vinegar (raw) or freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
2. Stir over moderate heat a few minutes until mixture bubbles.
3. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid in a tilted position, allowing steam to escape.
4. Continue cooking and stir occasionally for 30 to 45 minutes or to thicken as desired.
5. Pour into a pint jar and cool to room temperature.
6. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks. May also be frozen.

Note: Homemade tomato puree needs to be a thick as store-bought applesauce. If yours is too thin simmer over low heat to reduce it to thicker consistency.

Since I haven't had ketchup for over two years, I thought this tasted pretty good. DH thought it needed more salt, so I might add a little more next time. Overall, I'm happy with it.

I cut the recipe in half. I used what I had left of a can of tomato puree which wasn't enough, so I added tomato paste I had left to it. I also used lemon juice instead of vinegar.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Good News by R.C. Sproul Jr.

http://www.ligonier.org/tabletalk/2009/2/1125_The_Good_News

Seek Ye First

The Good News by R.C. Sproul Jr.

I’ve got great news — I just saved a bundle on my car insurance. This pop-cultural punchline might just expose a real problem we have in our Christian sub-culture: we don’t know what the good news is.

The confusion, from one perspective, is understandable. God is good. God is gracious. We move from grace to grace, receiving gifts from Him all the time. God is in turn sovereign. He controls all things. When He tells us, therefore, that all things work together for good for those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28), we can learn that it’s all good news. His coming, that’s good news. His dying, that’s good news. His ascending, that’s good news. His sending the Spirit, that’s good news. The Spirit applying all these things to His people, that’s good news. Even the trials we go through here and now, they are good news as well. We are, after all, to count it all joy.

That everything is good news, however, does not mean that everything is the good news. The authors of their respective gospels were not merely publishing everything they came upon. While each had their own peculiar focus, each of them together, on the other hand, were seeking to make known the good news. These four men, however, were not the first. Two other men before them labored diligently to make known the good news. One of those two was called the greatest man born of a woman by the Lord (Luke 7:28). The other was the Lord of glory Himself. If we would understand the Gospels, we would be wise to understand that the good news they were reporting was the good news proclaimed not just about Jesus, but by Jesus. The good news is that the kingdom has come. This is the message of Jesus: the kingdom of God is here.

On the other hand, the bad news is that the kingdom has come. The life, death, resurrection, ascension and return of Christ is to us who have been called, the very aroma of life. To those who are still outside the kingdom, it is the stench of death. It is the same kingdom either way, but for the seed of the woman (Christians) it is blessing, and for the seed of the serpent it is cursing. That this one kingdom can mean one thing for one group and the opposite for another can help explain how we have come to conflate some terms over time. That is, the difference between seeing the coming of the kingdom as an event of joy or of dread is found in one simple distinction — do we trust in the finished work of Christ alone or not? The seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent began in the same place, as enemies of the kingdom. We are all by nature children of wrath. But it is as we are gifted with repentance and believe that we move from darkness to light, that we are adopted into the very family of God. That’s good news. Better still, the king who has adopted us, He is now king indeed. That’s very good news.

Our gospel is a truncated shell of this great reality if the good news is merely that we don’t have to go to hell. It gets only slightly better if it means that our souls go to heaven. The fullness of the gospel is found in the fullness of the kingdom. Jesus is about the business of remaking all things. He is, after all, the first-born of the new creation. He is remaking all the created order that groans under the burden of our sin. He is remaking all the political order, as all kings everywhere learn to kiss the Son, lest He be angry (Ps. 2). He is remaking the church, His bride, removing from us corporately every blot and blemish. And He is remaking every one of us, reshaping us pots into vessels of grace.

We are a part of this good news precisely because He came and lived a life of perfect obedience in our place. We are a part of this precisely because He suffered the wrath of the Father that is due to us for our sins. We are a part of this because He has given us each a new heart that responds to His calling with repentance and faith. We bring nothing to the table but our need. Jesus has done it all. We are His workmanship, judged innocent by His death, judged righteous by His life.

There is still more good news. We are not merely by the good news of His atonement made citizens of that kingdom we are called to seek. We are not merely judged righteous by His righteousness that we were called to seek. We are by the same Spirit made kings and queens with Him. We are not just subjects but rulers. We are seated even now with Him in the heavenly places. Our calling is to believe these promises. Our calling is to be of good cheer, for He has already overcome the world (John 16:33). We do not wait for His kingdom to come, for it is here. Instead, we strive to make it ever more visible, as we make all things subject to His glorious reign.

Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. is founder of the Highlands Study Center in Mendota, Virginia, 
and is author of Believing God: 12 Biblical Promises Christians Struggle to Accept.
Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. explains how the kingdom is advanced in our everyday lives and gives us a picture of how all things in life fit into the battle between God and the Devil in his column Seek Ye First.
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pictures



We didn't get very many good ones. I'm not sure why most of them were blurry, but here are a few.

video Here's Haelley bowling. Sorry it's sideways, but cute nonetheless. :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Visiting

We were able to visit some special people over the last few days--Friends in Z'ville, family in Indiana.

I'm tired of driving, but we had a great time. More blogging with possible pics later. :)