Friday, July 28, 2023

A Vacation Shared

I’m not big on going on trips. We’ve discussed that. But I love to hear about other people’s trips. My friend Nina Shared her most recent vacation with me.


Good afternoon, Kathy,


Dave and I are back, several days late.  Iceland was really cold.  Greenland was even colder.  I had on every warm thing I brought with me, layer upon layer of shirts and a sweater and a down vest and I wrapped a long thin wool scarf all around me and added a rain jacket.  I cannot imagine living in a place full time where the height of summer means warm coats.


I was curious about what grows in Iceland, and on our walks I spied (and smelled) some lilacs with stunted flowers.  Rhubarb plants.  Dandelions.  Prickly Hansa roses with a very spicy rose smell, one of the few roses that can tolerate such a climate.


All the cows and sheep and the Islandic ponies have been there for centuries.  If the animals leave the island they cannot return.  No horses may be imported.


Hay is the main crop grown, for dairy and sheep.  And the dairy products are amazing.  Dave and I pretended we had no health issues, none whatsoever, as we ate a lot of whipped cream and bread and rhubarb and berry jams and oh the cottage cheese.  It was the light yellow of butter and actually tasted like mild cheese.  


We toured a fish processing plant in Greenland because fishing is the main industry, and the tiny town didn’t have much else in it.  We donned hairnets and our guide ushered us in and it smelled exactly like you’d expect.  Dave, who hates fish, was a good sport but he was glad it was a very brief tour.


Friday, July 21, 2023

The Heart of God, From Amos

We’ve been studying the minor prophets this summer at church. They’re not minor because they’re not important, we’re assured, but because they’re short books.


God’s wrath sounds so strong in these Old Testament passages. I admit, it often still scares me. But our pastor Matt reminds us that God’s patience went for many, many years with Israel in those times, as they continually rebelled against him.


This week we studied Amos. The question was: Is God a God of wrath or a God of love? The answer, as I have known for years, is yes.


Does God care about the injustice that goes on in the world?


Amos 1: 2: He said: “The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem;”


God tells how he will repay the wrong the nations have done, including Israel. Yet his desire was always that the people would come back to him.


Amos 5:4,14-15, 24: This is what the Lord says to Israel: “Seek me and live; Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph. But let justice roll on like a river,

    righteousness like a never-failing stream!”


When Amos prayed that God would not bring tragedy on Israel, God promised to hold back their punishment.


God has always hated pride. He roars when people are treated with injustice and unfairness. But his great longing is for people to turn back to him for healing and forgiveness.


Amos 9:11-15: “In that day I will restore David’s fallen shelter—I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins—and will rebuild it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the Lord, who will do these things. “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.

“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted

    from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God. 

Friday, July 14, 2023

Kathy's Kitchen, More Summer Goodness

I was looking through my salad recipes, and my mouth just kept watering.


This week, our son Caleb bought a large watermelon, and graciously, he shared half with us. Oh my. So delightful.





2 bunches leaf lettuce or spinach, washed

4 slices cooked bacon, diced

¼ cup vinegar

1/3 cup chopped green onion

Salt and pepper

2 teaspoons sugar



Fry bacon until crisp.  Add vinegar and cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and add shredded lettuce and onion.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sugar.  Toss until lettuce is wilted and serve immediately.


And Another:


Waldorf salad,


2 cups apples

One cup celery

¼ cup chopped nuts

½ cups salad dressing

One cup grapes

2 tsp. Lemon juice

Put chopped apples, celery and grapes in a large mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, salad dressing and nuts. Mix well. 

Friday, July 7, 2023

Psalm 16, David's Joy

A miktam of David.

Keep me safe, my God,

    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;

    apart from you I have no good thing.”

I say of the holy people who are in the land,

    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”

Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.

    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods

    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;

    you make my lot secure.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

    surely I have a delightful inheritance.

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;

    even at night my heart instructs me.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.

    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

    my body also will rest secure,


because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,

    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.


You make known to me the path of life;

    you will fill me with joy in your presence,

    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


David talks of joy and pleasure, and he shows the reasons he has these things.


He asks God to keep him safe. He chooses to put his focus on God and to seek his counsel. He praises God and believes that his Lord walks by his side.


In many other Psalms, David speaks of his sorrows and troubles. Even so, with God directing his path, he expects good.