Friday, October 22, 2021

Thoughts on a Few Books

I love books. Many different kinds of books. Here are a few I’ve read recently.

 

Grace will lead us home: the Charleston church massacre and the hard, inspiring journey to forgiveness by Jennifer Hawes. This tells of the June, 2015 mass shooting at a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Besides an account of the tragedy, it is a respectful story of the survivors and families of the victims, and what came after, for the families, the community and around the world. We read about the trial for the killer. This is not an easy book to read, but I believe it is important. A great picture of sharing God’s grace.

 

The Legend of Storey County by Brock Thoene. The story of a run-away slave during the Civil War, with a surprising friend. They travel to Nevada territory to work the silver mines, and win a victory against Rebels who plot and make an attack in Nevada.

 

Harvest of Rubies; Pearl in the Sand; Harvest of Gold; by Tessa Afshar. stories taking place during Old Testament times, in Canaan, Persia, and Jerusalem. Showing through Scripture and beautiful writing, the grace, forgiveness, and closeness to God that people of that time could have.

 

Wild Montana Skies, Wait for me, rescue Me, by Susan May Warren. Suspense, rescues, forgiveness and romance in Montana.

 

River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart. This book is based on a true story about a man who was a slave in Kentucky in 1833. Instead of taking the opportunity to run away, he stayed and helped a town through a cholera epidemic.

 

Deadly pursuit: Guardians of justice, book 2 by Irene Hannon. Suspense in St. Louis and rural Missouri.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Grace and Truth John 12:1-11:

Verses 1-11: Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.

 

Jesus was close to this family, good friends. In John 11:5, it says he loved them.

 

A feast was being given to honor Jesus, sometime after he raised Lazarus from the dead. They may already have known that Lazarus was in danger from the leaders, too, but Lazarus was willing to dine with Jesus to honor him.

 

Martha served Jesus, the best way she knew to honor him.

 

Mary anointed him with the costly perfume which she would have used to bury him. She wanted him to enjoy this honor while he was still alive.

 

When Judas objected to this, Jesus told him to leave Mary alone. When this story is mentioned in Mark 14, VERSE 9, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

 

What a lovely picture of Jesus, that even though his crucifixion was coming soon, he took the time and thought to honor his friend.

    

Friday, October 8, 2021

Kathy's Kitchen, Smashed Potatoes

From the Carroll Times Herald, where my daughter Rebecca is editor. This is definitely a keeper.

 

OUR FAMILY FAVORITES

These smashed, seasoned potatoes make a jazzy side dish

By Jane LawsonSep 17, 2021

 

Smashed potatoes have it all — crisp edges and soft insides topped with a blend of garlic and smoked paprika.

When plain potatoes just won’t do, jazz up meatloaf, pork chops or chicken breasts with these fancy yet easy-to-prepare potatoes.

Smashed Potatoes

These potatoes require an extra step, but the effort is worth it. This side dish is a fun addition to any dinner.

1 1/2 pounds small yellow potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons melted butter

Parmesan cheese, grated

Fill a large pot with water. Add potatoes. Heat water on high until boiling, then reduce heat to medium. Cook potatoes until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes in a strainer.

In a small bowl mix together salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.

Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto baking sheet (with sides). Place potatoes onto baking sheet and use the bottom of a glass to smash each potato carefully. Be careful not to smash too hard; you want to retain the round shape. Continue with each potato, allowing for space between each one.

Drizzle each potato with melted butter. Sprinkle with seasoning mixture and Parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven and bake for 22 minutes or until potatoes are crispy around the edges and golden brown. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Note: Reserve any leftover seasoning mixture for future use on meat, potatoes or vegetables.     

Friday, October 1, 2021

Psalm 1, Delight In the Law of the Lord

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one

    who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take

    or sit in the company of mockers,

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,

    and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,

    which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither—

    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!

    They are like chaff

    that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

 

Father, I look forward to a closer look at these precious Psalms. Thank you for your clear explanations. Thank you for the picture of those who delight to study your word—trees planted by streams of water, yielding fruit, not withering, continuing to prosper. Lord, I want this to be a picture of me.