Good Friday – He Loves Us SO Much!

Mar 29th

Holy Humor – Joke of the Day

A man was leaving of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed the man by the hand and pulled him aside.

The Pastor said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!”

My friend replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.” Pastor questioned, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”

He whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”

Today is a REALLY full day.  Actually it was going to be more, but when I went to confirm the date on a few, I found that my original sources seemed to be off by a bit.  Because there’s a combination of silly and serious, I’m going to start with the silly and end with the serious.  I don’t want to dilute the important stuff with frivolity. 

 

Smoke and Mirrors Day  –  The term “smoke and mirrors” means something that is not really as it appears to be.  People often put up smoke and mirrors to hide something.  (case in point – today’s supposed news anchors, all of the politicians in our current administration – though to be fair it’s not a new thing for ANY administration).  So for today to be Smoke and Mirrors Day, that means today is a day of illusions.   I couldn’t find the source of this celebration, but I suppose we don’t need set historical facts to have a good time with it.  So, for today do something that is an illusion to the rest of the world.  The PERFECT example of smoke and mirrors for the gals – padded bras, Spanx, control top pantyhose and hair color from a box.  Oh, and acrylic nails! A lot of us are walking illusions daily!  Whether you do all these things or not, try to find something fun to do with this celebration today, and let me know what you decided to do.
National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day – our country was built  by the people who built small businesses, that grew to be bigger businesses, and created jobs.  It’s called the free enterprise system (gasp) Huh?  Isn’t that capitalism? Why yes boys and girls, yes it is! And it works!  It creates economies that are successful, profitable and happy.  Think OPPOSITE of what we have in our country today.  New businesses have always been a vital part of the U.S. economy.  On the retail side, they bring different and unique products to the market place.  They provide wonderful personal service support. When you call a small business you are likely to get a real, live person, not a phone tree that you cannot navigate quickly or easily.  Unlike big national chains, small businesses know their products.  In a manufacturing capacity, they create many new concepts and ideas, making them creators of new products.  Today celebrates those small business owners. These people spend countless hours nurturing and growing their young enterprises. There is a demanding work load that, until they can afford to hire staff, translates into long and late hours, and many missed family and personal events.  All in all though, they love what they do, and they are their own boss.  Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day by showing your support to your local small businesses, not just today, but every day.

Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day – There are some things that just defy the word creepy, and being a resident of the Niagara Falls area on March 29th, 1848 would have been one of those creepy defying days.  On that day a truly remarkable and rare event happened.  Niagara Falls ran dry for about 30-40 hours.  How?  Here’s the interesting thing . . . my first thought was that it froze, but that wasn’t it!    On that day in late March, a gale force wind had been blowing from the south-west for several days before an ice dam occurred at the mouth of the Niagara River.  The weather was clear with an air temperature of about 46 degrees Fahrenheit.  The wind, which was blowing over the entirety of Lake Erie, combined with massive amounts of lake ice which was pushed into the mouth of the Niagara River.  There was so much ice that the river couldn’t handle it all, so it began to jam up at the entrance.  The jam became so dense with hundreds of thousands of tons of ice, that it became a water dam, which severely restricted the water.  One of the first residents to notice the silence was a farmer who left home for a walk along the river near the American Falls and realized that the usual thundering roar of the falls was absent.  He took a closer look and realized that the amount of water flowing over the falls was down to a trickle.  Residents woke up on the morning of March 30th to an eerie silence, realizing that something was wrong.  People were drawn to the falls to find out that the river was reduced to a trickle.  The Bridgewater Mills on the Canadian shore had to be shut down because there wasn’t water flow to run it!  By the morning of March 31st, more than 5,000 people had gathered along the banks of the river, all the mills and factories that depended on the water were at a standstill.  The riverbed was quickly drying, with fish and turtles left to flounder on dry land.  Many people made their way into the gorge to the riverbed, seeing articles that had been laying on the river’s bottom, hidden for 100’s of years.  Souvenirs picked up included bayonets, gun barrels, muskets, tomahawks and other artifacts of the War of 1812.  Others walked out onto the river bed that only hours early had been a torrent of rapids and would have resulted in certain death.  It became a tourist and media event.  People on foot, on horseback, or by horse and buggy, crossed the width of the Niagara River.  It was an historical event that had never occurred before, and hasn’t been duplicated since.  A squad of soldiers of the U.S. Army Cavalry rode their horses up and down the river bed as an exhibition.  Below the falls, workers from the Maid of the Mist were able to venture out onto the river bed and blast away rocks which had normally been a navigational hazard to the Maid of the Mist boat since it’s beginning in 1846.  Understandably the silencing of the falls caused a lot of anxiety and fear amongst the residents, and many believed that this event was the beginning of a doomsday scenario.

On the morning of March 31st, the falls remained silent. Many 1000’s of people attended special church services on both sides of the border.  With each hour that passed, the level of fear grew, until the night of March 31st when a loud, low pitched growl and groan was heard coming from upstream.  This was quickly followed by the return of the normal flow of water along the Niagara River.  A wall of water surged forward at a surprising speed, again covering, probably forever, what had been exposed for a brief historic moment in time.  The return of the roar of the falls reassured the residents that all was going to be alright with their world, and they could breathe a sigh of relief and return to their normal activities.

Honestly, unless you live near Niagara Falls, there’s no way to really celebrate this day, but it is a truly interesting piece of history that I wasn’t aware of until now.  I hope you found it to be as intriguing as I did!

National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day – Up until about 1927, cakes were made with shortening, and tended to be a bit dense.  However, according to General Mills, Chiffon Cake was the first really new cake in 100 years because it uses vegetable oil in place of conventional shortening.According to General Mills, Chiffon Cake is the first really new cake in 100 years. It uses vegetable oil in place of conventional shortening.

In 1927Harry Baker, (I giggled at the irony of his last name)  a Los Angeles insurance agent, is said to have invented the original chiffon cake.  Word spread about his wonderfully airy cake, and he was continually asked for the recipe.  For two decades he carefully guarded his secret, making his special cake only for the reigning royalty of the silver screen.  Baker sold the cake to Hollywood stars and made it for the famous Brown Derby Restaurant.  The secret to his light and airy chiffon cake is that the egg whites are beaten separately from the yolks, and that it uses vegetable oil instead of butter or shortening.   
In 1947, General Mills bought the recipe from Harry Baker. He agreed to sell the recipe to General Mills so “Betty Crocker could give the secret to the women of the America.”  In 1948 General Mills released the secret recipe for chiffon cake in the May 1948 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, and it became a nationwide sensation. The secret ingredient, vegetable oil, was then revealed. Better Homes and Garden Magazine advertised the cake as “The first really new cake in 100 years.”  In the 1950s, General Mills sponsored chiffon cake contests. People came up with all flavors of this cake during that time. Which leads us to today’s Lemon Chiffon Cake Day!  Here’s the Betty Crocker Recipe for Lemon Chiffon Cake – if you’d like to give it a try!
Good Friday – What a special celebration this is – which is why I kept it for last.  Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday, commemorates the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.  From the earliest days of Christianity, churches celebrate a special service in which the account of the Passion according to the Gospel of John is read, prayers are said, and the faithful approach the cross in prayerful reflection.  In many churches the cross is kissed.  Services end in a special Holy Communion.  Some churches celebrate Holy Thursday, the day before, and have solemn Last Supper ceremony.  Good Friday services are solemn occasions, the organ is not played, everything is kept quiet and serious, for it was a serious time.  In many churches and doctrines, Good Friday is a day of strict fasting and abstinence.  Catholics who are over the age of 18 and under 60 are required to fast, which means they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no food in between.  Catholics who are over 14 are required to refrain from eating any meat, or any food made with meat, on Good Friday.
I am not Catholic, and I admit that growing up the church we attended, if they did a Good Friday service, we never went to it.  But the church we began attending about four years ago, they have Good Friday services.  Each year they have been a little different from each other, but the first one was the most special that they’d had – or at least it spoke to my heart in a very deep and meaningful way.  The lights were down low, people came and went as they felt moved.  Candles were lit, and projected on the screen in front was a picture of the cross, directly above the cross that sits on the stage all the time.  The Pastor spoke solemnly for a bit, we saw a short except from the Passion of the Christ, then we had communion before leaving.  It doesn’t sound like it was anything special, but you would have had to be in the sanctuary that evening to know the impact it had.  In the air around us was a sense of hush and awe, and the presence of God was there, next to us, all around us.  It was somber and uplifting all at the same time and forever shifted my view of Good Friday from a day leading up to Easter, to a day that impacted all of our lives from the moment it happened on.
Please, take a quiet moment today, even if you don’t attend a service, and spend it reflecting on the supreme sacrifice that Christ made for each of us, the love He has for each of us was THAT great that He gave all.  Surely in the face of that we can give at least a little time to thank Him and appreciate His awesome love.  God bless you on this special day.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

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