Wow! What a change in the weather we have this morning! I am very grateful I didn’t put off mowing the lawn until today. We were supposed to have fog in the mornings and clear, blue skies by afternoon. We may still get the clear, blue skies, but we woke up to pouring rain. I have to wonder how it is the weather guessers justify their incomes sometimes. My Grandpa, and the rest of his generation, had it right. Go outside and look – whatever you see happening, is what you have. Period. Between that simple philosophy and his Farmer’s Almanac, he wasn’t ever in question of what he was going to get. I’m not complaining – I really like the rain, but if I’d have put off the lawn I would have been grinding my teeth just a little. Not a whole lot of excitement going on today, just normal stuff. My 1st batch of dehydrated pumpkin is nearly done – WOW they shrink! I know that ALL fruits and vegetables shrink when you dehydrate them, but this is quite incredible. Once those are done I’ll grind them up in the food processor (thank you Heather from The Welcoming House Blog for the idea!) and store them in a jar. I can easily store quite a bit of pumpkin this way! Today I will puree up the apples I cooked yesterday for applesauce, make some pumpkin bread with the other two pumpkins I’m getting ready to pop into the oven to cook, FINALLY make some sugar flowers for my son’s wedding cake (I can’t believe the wedding is just a couple weeks away!), and do other puttering around the house. I love a stay at home weekend, don’t you?
Mother-In-Law Day – Every fourth Sunday in December we celebrate Mother-In-Law day. I think it is sad that mothers-in-law are the butt of so many jokes. I know for a fact that there are women out there who actually are the reason for those jokes, because I used to have one of them for my mother-in-law. However, I’d like to think that most women don’t qualify for those stereotypes, but are truly wonderful, well-intentioned women who love their children, and the people they marry also. I have an amazing mother-in-law, and I love her very much. Actually I have two, if you count my husband’s step-mother. When my Mother-In-Law comes to visit we have a really good time! I take a day of vacation and we head out for girl day in town – laughing and visiting, having lunch, browsing different types of shops and spending time really getting to know each other. I THINK my son-in-law feels like I’m a good mother-in-law, he says that he does anyway (of course he probably feels obligated), but we always have fun when we are together, we can talk easily and I really try not to be interfering or intrusive. My future daughter-in-law and I are able to talk, laugh and have fun too, so I hope and pray she feels the same. I think both of my kids would tell me to butt out if I became one of “THOSE” mothers-in-law . . . wouldn’t they? Yes, I’m sure they would. Today, if you have a mother-in-law that you love and appreciate – let her know. It’s not an easy position to hold, so we need all the assurances we can get. To my mother-in-law – I know you read the blog, so please know . . . I love you. You raised an incredible son and every day I am grateful for the gift he is to me. You truly are a wonderful mother and I’m happy that you are in my life.
Cranky Co-workers Day– I’m happy that I don’t have to deal with this one today, since it’s the weekend, but I know a lot of people do work today and definitely are dealing with cranky people. Who knows? You may BE one of those cranky people! Today, all of those folks that you just wish would get a grip and stop being such a downer – just let them be. Today is their day to wallow in their own misery. Tomorrow we can go back to telling them to get a grip and get over it. I guess even the cranky folks among us deserve their own day, right? If you are one of those folks though, don’t overdo it. There’s just so much that other co-workers will take and you may find yourself the butt of a few practical jokes just to dig at you for being so cantankerous all the time! Lighten up! There really is a lot of good in the world. . . sometimes it’s hard to see . . . but it really is out there.
Reformation Sunday – Today is Reformation Sunday and I actually had to look this one up because to my recollection none of the churches I have attended over the years put any focus on it. This is a day that is celebrated by Lutherans and many other Protestant denominations, just not by the ones I’ve attended. So what is it? Well, I’ll try to whittle it down to something manageable, but it’s pretty involved. October 31st is the anniversary of the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Palace church, which protested the sale of papal indulgences, in 1517. Now for those of us who weren’t raised Catholic, at that point there was a lot of greed within the church and they were selling forgiveness for sins, to put it in the simplest of terms. This was infuriating to Martin Luther because it was so far removed from what scripture instructed, and he took steps to bring to light that it was wrong and why. Bold move in a time when people were killed for opposing the church! This act triggered the movement in world history that has become known as The Reformation. The historical date for the Reformation is October 31st, most churches celebrate it on the last Sunday of the month. The Reformation had profound and lasting impacts on the political, economic, social, literary and artistic aspects of modern society, however it was at its heart a religious movement. It was the great rediscovery of the doctrine of justification, which is the good news of salvation of all sinners by grace alone through faith because of Christ. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church had been plagued by false doctrines, superstition, ignorance and corruption. Most ordinary Christians at the time were illiterate and had very little knowledge of the Bible. They relied on their priests for religious instruction and guidance. It was tragic that monks, priests, bishops and even the Popes in Rome taught non-biblical doctrines such as purgatory and salvation through good works, rather than through Christ alone. People who were sincerely doing their best according to what they were being taught tried to justify themselves by charitable works, pilgrimages and all kinds of religious performances to escape punishment for their sins. The truth of the gospel, the good news that God is loving and merciful, that He offers each and every one of us forgiveness and salvation not because of what we do, but because of what Christ has already done for us, was largely forgotten at that time. The Holy Spirit used an Augustinian Friar and university professor named Martin Luther to restore the doctrine of justification by grace alone to its rightful place as the cornerstone doctrine of Christianity. The really sad thing is, there are still people who think that they can buy their way into heaven. They are people who are told what to do and what to believe by their church leadership, and rather than study God’s word for themselves, they just believe what is being spouted from the pulpit and accept it for what it is. This is a frightening thing to do. I have actually heard people say, and they seemed to be completely sincere, that they didn’t need to do all of that “stuff” because they donated a lot of money to the church and to charities. They pooh-pooh the thought of being “born again” as nonsense, which is so sad and so scary. Being born again is what Christ says we must do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven – dying to our old selves, and being born again into a new life by giving our hearts to Christ. They accept that the drops of water on their foreheads as babies gives them entrance to heaven, when it’s so far from the truth as to be frightening. We must make that decision to give our hearts to Christ when we are old enough to understand what that means. Our parents, grandparents and pastors cannot do it for us. We must each do it individually. I pray that people’s eyes and hearts are opened to the truth, and that devoted ministers such as Martin Luther continue their work to keep the truth spoken loud and clear from the pulpit.
Came down to earth to bear our sin.
Was it because of your own merit
That Jesus died your soul to win?
No, it was grace, and grace alone,
That brought Him from His heav’nly throne.
Visit A Cemetery Day – I know this is going to sound weird, but I really like cemeteries. I told you it would sound weird. I find them to be peaceful places, and the history etched on those stones is fascinating. I think my feelings toward cemeteries began when I was in the 4th grade. That was the only year I attended a private, Christian school and the gorgon who was my teacher/principal had a few good ideas to temper the yelling and drill sergeant behavior that was her normal routine. One of them was a field trip to a cemetery – and not just any cemetery – but one of the oldest in our area. She handed us all papers that held math questions based on information gleaned from the tombstones – obviously she’d done HER homework ahead of time! We spent several hours in the warm sun wandering from stone to stone, reading the dates and answering the questions on our papers. This exercise got me to wondering about the people who were laid to rest, and about their families. Who were they? What were they like? The stones for children broke my heart, even at that age, and I couldn’t help but wonder what it was that cut their lives so short? Entire families were laid to rest side by side, some having passed away just weeks or months from each other. We found the stone of the oldest person there, and the one for the youngest. We found the stones that marked the largest family and the oldest stone – thereby the first stone – there. Since that day I have always felt that cemeteries were beautiful statements about the people who walked this earth before we were here, offering up stories of our areas history, if we just take the time to think about it. I have spent the night in one cemetery, and in the catacombs of a crematorium – both times to celebrate Halloween with my youth group from church. Rather than being frightening – well other than the older boys leaping out and scaring the liver out of us in the dark – it was invigorating. The dead cannot harm us, and there was a part of my mind at that age that thought that if they only knew we were there, they would be pleased for the companionship. (This photo is of the cemetery in Port Gamble, WA – I have wandered amongst these gravestones many times – day time and night time by flashlight. Fascinating place.)
This Day In History –
1858 – President Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday. The “Teddy bear” was named after him.
Food Celebration of the Day –
American Beer Day – Well, here’s a good one for my brother! He’s a partner in a brewery, so all American beer all the time. You could have a cold one to celebrate today, but why not take it one step beyond? Pour a little of your go-to brew in tonight’s dinner, too! I have baked with beer quite often – it goes really nicely in cake to make it moist and delicious. It’s great in batters and soups, and probably many other things. Go ahead, give it a try. You may find some wonderful new gourmet treat that will become a new favorite.
- Beer Cheese Soup
- Beer Can Chicken
- Dirty Shrimp in Butter Beer Sauce
- Cheddar & Chile Beer Bread
- Beer-Braised Meatballs
- Beer & BBQ Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs
Well, what do you know? Here comes the sun! The weather guessers got something right . . . they just didn’t see the rain coming. It’s probably a good thing they don’t know everything – it could give them a big head. It’s time to bake those pumpkins, bathe the dog and get some flowers made . . . not all at the same time of course. God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!