Friday, June 21, 2024

A Midweek Walk

            Murray and I have been able to walk four days most weeks at our high school track. But with our schedule this week, and the school being closed for Juneteenth, the only way we could do four this week was to walk outside Wednesday.


We usually walk 50 minutes, but, Murray said, with the sidewalks being rougher, he’d set his timer for 20 minutes, then we could turn around and come back.


I always use my right hand to hang on to Murray. I was walking next to the street, and I told him the man’s supposed to walk on the outside to keep the woman safe. I said that at least on the way home, he’d be on the outside. He said, “No, I’m going to cross to the other side of the street.”


We passed a high school, a car repair place, martial arts, an ice cream shop, dentist offices, family practice, lawyer’s, tattoo parlor. And a spot like those for “help yourself” to a free book, but this one had boxes and cans of food to pick up.


Then we passed a diner. “Want to stop?” Murray asked. I wasn’t sure. We walked a few more minutes, and I said, “Were you serious about going to the diner?” “I’m willing,” Murray said, and I said, “I’m willing,” so we turned around.


Lovely breakfast food. Murray said we better not walk on the street anymore. Too tempting. I said when we’re in our 70s, if it gets to the point where he can’t drive anymore, we could walk a lot and stop at diners. And ice cream shops.


And when we can’t walk so far anymore, we can use Uber Eats.


Just planning for our future.


Psalm 118:24: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

Chihuahua Casserole, From Kathy's Kitchen

I made this again recently after I don’t know how long. Originally, over 30 years ago, we had a church potluck where we had to present a Spanish or Mexican-named dish. We took this simple, yummy taco casserole and gave it an appropriate name.


Brown one to two pounds ground beef with chopped onion.  Drain.  Add taco seasoning and jar of salsa.


Spread into greased baking dish layers of crushed tortilla chips, meat mixture, and shredded cheese. 


Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted.


Our daughter Sarah suggested adding sour cream and salsa on top. I’ll definitely make this again. 

Friday, June 7, 2024

The Jesus We Need to Know

I read about a book recently, about people who were raised in evangelical Christian homes who are leaving the church. It talked about how they disagreed with politics of some Christians and how they were turned away because Christians seemed to be saying those they loved, and they themselves, would go to hell.


As a mom, I longed to teach my kids when they were growing up how much Jesus loved them. But now, I wonder if that was the biggest thing I taught them.


In my own behavior, in what I said about other people, did I overwhelm them with Jesus’ love? Have I focused on teaching them, and anyone else I talk to about my faith, the way God is heartbroken to spend eternity with us? Or did I emphasize wrath and condemnation.


I’ve been studying the book of John about God’s grace and truth.


John 1: 14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


But, which do I focus on most? God’s grace or his truth.


I believe, in God’s love for us, the bible does say clear things about right and wrong. I also believe the bible teaches about a literal heaven and hell.


But what is it that those who know about my faith hear from me most? How do I try to lead them to God? Is it through fear and strict teaching about morals, or is it to rain on them the truth of God’s love?


I know the answer, because I know myself.


I do have a faith in God, but it’s often so weak.


Mark 9: 23-24: “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


I thank God that he included this verse in the Bible, to show it’s okay to beg for help with our weak faith.


I love studying the bible, and often many verses do give me comfort.


But I confess, most often, in my daily life, I cannot claim a real belief that God could love me, that he could forgive me. The Bible passages that sink deepest into my heart are about God’s wrath. If that’s true, how can I share his love with others?


So I want to start a new study. One of my favorite authors, Philip Yancey, has written a book called The Jesus I Never Knew. It’s been a long time since I read this, and I want to read it again, but the title gave me the idea for this new study: The Jesus we need to know. The Jesus I, my family, so many hurting people, need to know. I am excited about this journey. I pray that God will lead me to what I need to know and help me share it. I’ll finish with one passage that gives me great comfort.


Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”