Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Reflection - Words

Image by Pippalunacy

I don't need God like air or water or food.  I need God like words.  I need God like language.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Recipe - Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Layer One
My sister came for a visit this summer.  It was a blast.  She hadn't been home in many years and she was excited to experience our childhood food memories along with traditional New England fare like fried clams and lobster.  On the day of our cookout, she wanted to make an old family favorite, strawberry pretzel salad.  I was glad she did.  Though I'm not quite sure why it's called, "salad", it was delicious.  She left before we could finish it all and I probably finished half of it on my own.  It's a great recipe given to my mom by a friend.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Reflection - Good for Goodness Sake

Image by Pippalunacy

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."

-Albert Einstein

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Coffee and Blue Jeans - Thick and Comfy Crochet Blanket

This blanket is one of my favorites.  I finished it and just had to bring it outside to take pictures.  After reading some photo tips on another blog, I realized how to use some features on my camera that helped with better photo quality.  I think these pictures turned out better than some of my others.  I'm still an amateur, but progress is progress!

This is a very quick and easy blanket.  Also, the materials are more budget friendly than other similarly thick blankets made with more expensive thick yarn.  The trick to this is to take two strands of worsted weight yarn and crochet with them as if they are one strand.  I used Red Heart Super Saver coffee, denim, soft white and cafe latte.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Reflection - Knowing

Image by Pippalunacy
"We do know things--
we know them with every fiber in our being--
they're revealed to us,
they seize us and won't let us go.
They haunt us,
they capture us,
they plant themselves deep in our hearts and 
they don't leave

So when we talk about God,
we're talking about our brushes with spirit,
our awareness of the reverence humming within us,
our sense of the nearness
and the farness,
that which we know 
and that which is unknown,
that which we can talk about 
and that which eludes the grasp of our words,
that which is crystal clear
and that which is more mysterious than ever.

And sometimes language helps,
and sometimes language fails."

-quote from Rob Bell in his Book "What We Talk About When We Talk About God

This quote is from Rob Bell in one of his newer books.  In the past year or two I've been exploring books and authors that I might have passed by at other times in my life.  My thoughts on God have been evolving and authors like Bell have helped me to grasp with words the thoughts already in my mind. Agree or don't agree with Bell's seemingly radical ideas, he's thought-provoking nonetheless.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God
youtube video

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Family Recipe - Auntie's Banana Bread

When I was growing up this quick bread was a staple.  If you have a bunch of overripe bananas sitting on your counter or filling your freezer, this is the recipe for you.  Everyone in my family loves Auntie's Banana Bread for breakfast, snack or any time.  Actually, I haven't met anyone who isn't fond of this quick bread.

Auntie's Banana Bread


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas - mashed
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil (canola, vegetable or non-virgin olive oil)
2 eggs

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Reflection - Wisdom

Image by Pippalunacy
Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Proverbs 3:13-18

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Recipe - Just Like Store-Bought Ketchup

I've made my own ketchup in the past.   Honestly, though, it wasn't up to par by my standards.  It tasted more like a sweet chili sauce.  My husband liked it, but it didn't pass the kid test.  For a while after I had made it, my kids would ask, "is this the homemade ketchup?" in a whining tone, indicating that the homemade ketchup was precisely not what they wanted.  My daughter, four at the time, even insisted that I not buy the homemade kind anymore.  Funny.

This recipe is adapted from a copycat recipe I found.  It tastes delicious and store-bought.   The original recipe called for corn syrup which I'm sure caused the consistency to be similar to the popular brands, but I've found that we're quite happy using sugar.  We also use sea salt and add a bit more water than the original recipe

Just Like Store-Bought Ketchup


2 6 oz. cans tomato paste 
1 cup white vinegar

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

And the Greatest of These is Love

Image by Pippalunacy
If I speak in tongues of men but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres.  

Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13

The enormity of the importance of these verses is often lost because of the frequency with which they are quoted.  We read bits of this passage on mugs.  We see it on calendars and hang it on our walls.  It is read at weddings.  As Christians, we hold this scripture dear, but I think we hold it on the surface.

Can you hear what Paul is saying here?  We know in part, we prophesy in part.  Everything we know and understand is one day going to pass away.  That theology we hold dear, the doctrine we just can't let go of.  It's all going to slip away when eternity replaces the temporal.

Don't misread me.  We need our theology and our doctrines because we need explanation and meaning.  These are the things which lead us to God.  These are the things that allow us to have a relationship with the undefinable, indescribable God.  God is reachable because of these frameworks of doctrine.  But let us not confuse the frameworks with God.  God is bigger and better and greater and more love than anything we could ever create.

Love, the greatest of all things, the the thing that supersedes all that we know and are, that is the thing for which we ought to strive.

But truth….

In my few years on this planet I have been preoccupied with discovering truth.  Truth is important.  Yet I know that love is all the more.  In my imperfection, may I choose love that I might please the one for whom I was created to love.  May I choose this thing that will remain even when other things pass away.

Love is elusive, yet love never fails.

God is love.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Reflection - Search Me

Image by Pippalunacy

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

In our church choir we sing a piece of music with these words from scripture.  They are a beautiful reminder to quietly reflect on the state of our hearts, and let God reveal what he will in a state of quiet meditation.