Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Campaign Day 5

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Campaign Day 4

Continuing on from History of Thanksgiving...(please note I've added the bolding for emphasis):

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.

In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Did you hear that big thud?

That was me falling off my chair.

Did you catch the word "campaign" in that story?

Honestly, I tell you the truth, I had decided to call my blog posts "campaigns"  before I read the whole Thanksgiving story from the web site I'm using.


Oh, our God is so clever!  He SO wants us to get this!

I believe He has stirred up inside of me a need to express to you, Dear Readers, this campaign to bring back the truth about Thanksgiving.

Oh, that He would use little, old me (okay, not so "little"...) to tell His story.

It seems that Sara Josepha Hale had an issue with the fact that Thanksgiving wasn't being given its true worth.

She was passionate about establishing the circumstances that occurred so many years ago, as a national holiday.

Perhaps she understood the passion the Pilgrims felt to worship freely.

In a way, the Pilgrims were on a campaign to find worship-freedom.  They were on a campaign to find God without the Man-Made-Rules in England's church.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm feeling a little of that passion.  That today, America would stop and acknowledge the real reason for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Oh, God!  May we hear You.  It seems You want us to recall Your faithfulness to the first Pilgrims.  They endured great hardships yet they did not give up their pursuit of You.  Despite the circumstances they pushed on through death and famine to establish a land where they could freely worship You.  This land of America.  Thank you, Lord, for Sara Josepha Hale who wouldn't give up.  For 36 years she fought to have the testimony of the Pilgrims honored.  Thank you for the Presidents that have acknowledged the need to have day set aside for this pivotal event.  Thank you for a people that wanted to worship You so they gave up all to sail to a new land.  Thank you for Squanto that remained kind and loving despite difficult circumstances.  I know You bring all of this together.  You are the One to be worshipped and adored.  Stir up a passion in each one of the readers of this blog.  A passion to give You glory and honor in their lives.  A passion to push through circumstances and to allow You to make good out of what may seem bad.  The Pilgrims, Squanto, and Sara Josepha Hale give testimony of Your greatness.  I want to do the same.  Praise You!  With a heart of thankfulness, I say I love You!  In Jesus's name...Amen. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Campaign Day 3

Thanks for coming back!

Maybe you, too, are hungry for more Thanksgiving in your life?  Let's pick up the story from yesterday (from

In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

Did anything jump out in that story for you?  There were a couple of things that amazed me:
  1. "They were greeted in English by an Abenaki Indian." 
  2. "Several days later he returned with Squanto, who had been kidnapped...sold into slavery in London...escaped and returned to his homeland."
  3. "Squanto taught the Pilgrims...He also helped the settlers forge an alliance..."
  4. "Harmony between European colonists and Native Americans."
Right now I am shaking my head in disbelief.

As Americans, we have watered down this Thanksgiving story to be convenient and nice.  When we tell the story it goes more like this:

There were these people that wanted their own church so they got on a ship and sailed to America.  The Indians greeted them and they had a huge party.  They had turkey, stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin or pecan pie.
I've certainly told the story in that way, haven't you?  It seems, however, that we've missed a few crucial, important facts from the first Thanksgiving.
Like Squanto being kidnapped, brought to London so he could learn English, he somehow escaped and he made that trip across the ocean again, and the Pilgrims "just so happened" to land in the same location that Squanto lived so he could speak English to them while he helped them.

Squanto could've been angry about being kidnapped and having been sold as a slave.  In his anger he could've fed each of those Pilgrims poisonous plants instead of teaching them to avoid the plants. 

Today I see such a correlation between this story and Genesis 37.  See, there was this man named Joseph.  His own flesh and blood, his brothers, sold him to be a slave.  But God had mercy and a big plan for Joseph.  It wasn't an easy road for Joseph.  He was accused and put in prison for things he did not do.  He was forgotten.  Yet he didn't get bitter or angry.  After years in prison, favor is shown upon him and he gives God the glory.  He uses the gifts that God has given him to bless someone that had persecuted him.  He is then put in a position of authority and when his brothers come to him needing food that Joseph has power to give or withhold, he gives.  He has no animosity. 

Just like Squanto.

Do you have any Joseph or Sqanto-type situations in your life?  Circumstances that seem not fair and way out of control?

I'll let God reveal it to you for yourself.   

It just might be that there are circumstances that you and I think are horrendous and will bring nothing good of it.  God can take those situations and turn them totally around for His good.  He is great at that.  Look at Joseph and look at Squanto.

May we be like Joseph in Genesis 45:1-8:

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Campaign Day 2

From Merriam-Webster:  Definition of THANKSGIVING DAY

: a day appointed for giving thanks for divine goodness: as a : the fourth Thursday in November observed as a legal holiday in the United States b : the second Monday in October observed as a legal holiday in Canada
It is important that we stop for minute and get on the same page.  Just why was this fourth Thursday in November set up as a legal holiday. 

To the internet I went and from, I found this information:

Thanksgiving at Plymouth

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English....(there is more but you will have to wait)!
  • Ponder this with me:  why were those people on a ship?
they were seeking a new home where they
could freely practice their faith
  • And then ponder this:  what do you suppose was the deciding factor for a husband to tell his wife and children to leave everything they owned, probably leave family and friends, and get on this ship to sail to an unknown land?
they were seeking a new home where they
could freely practice their faith

  • What Carnival cruiseline did they take on this voyage? 
 Small ship, 102 passengers,
after a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing
that lasted 66 days...

  • Upon their arrival, were they greeted by the American concierge to help them get settled?
most of the colonists remained on board the ship,
where they suffered from exposure,
scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease.
  • And then..
Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers
and crew lived to see their first New England spring

Right here I want to you (and I) get this?  Because of a conviction to worship God freely, this group we call Pilgrims gave up everything.  They suffered.  They died.  Because of the need and conviction to worship God in truth.

Thanksgiving Day did not occur when they landed.

Thanksgiving Day did not occur in the first month after landing in America.

Thanksgiving Day happened AFTER the first spring.  After the sickness.  After the death.  We'll read more tomorrow about the hard work and learning they had to experience in this new land.

Thanksgiving Day came with a cost.

they were seeking a new home where they
could freely practice their faith

I find it amazing that they shared this cry, and probably climbed in a boat with these words on their lips:
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm on a campaign.

(Did you just sigh?  This is NOT a political campaign, I promise)!

What a special time of year this is.

A time our nation has chosen to set aside as a holiday.

Work stops.

People gather together.

Hopefully laughter rings out.

A day to celebrate a vision of freedom.

Thanksgiving Day.

Where did it go?

Almost every store has Christmas decorations up.

Store fliers can't seem to get to my house fast enough.

So I am on a campaign to put holidays in their proper order.

Thanksgiving Day first. 

And then Christmas Day (and despite the feeling you might get reading this, I am not a grinch).

Would you like to campaign with me?

For the next five days...five days until Thanksgiving.

Let's focus on that Holiday and what it stands for.

It also means choosing to not get caught up in the Christmas stress/rush.

Five days of relishing in the thoughts of thankfulness.

That sounds more inviting than stress/rush to me.

Check back here daily.

Join my campaign.

Be thankful and lead a life of thankfulness.

You'll be amazed at how good you feel.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Put On New Glasses

This morning I read a blog update about a 6-year-old girl that I've been following.  She was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor over a year ago.  This little one has had multiple surgeries, chemo, ups and downs in this past year. 

Prior to reading this update I'd been muttering to myself about some selfish thing.

Muttering about how rough my life is.


After I finished reading that blog, I sat back in my chair and wept.  This little girl is actually home from the hospital and is in school.  She is doing really well and just had a good report after an MRI to check her brain.  Again.  Scans and tests every three months are needed for this aggressive cancer she was diagnosed with. 

And I was muttering about laundry or the stacks of dirty dishes.  Something non-life threatening.

I wept over the fact that I can become so self-focused on small things and can miss the big issues that face people in this world.  This family has been through some of the scariest and unpredictable things our troubled world can hand us. 

And then the God Nudge came.  I "saw" myself wearing these glasses with pin hole lenses.  I can only see through the pin holes.  There is no way I can see the "whole picture" through pin-hole glasses. 

I need to take those glasses off and put on new glasses.  Get a new perspective.  Get a bigger picture.  And, once I have better vision, quit muttering!

The parents of this little girl I read about know and love Jesus Christ.  God has been their sustenance before the cancer diagnosis and through the ordeal of this past year.  They have never stopped trusting Him, clinging to Him and begging the readers of the blog to pray for their daughter.  They could've put on pin-hole glasses and become self-centered and self-focused.  But they didn't.  They have prayed for other families and even did a Christmas present outreach project while their daughter was in the hospital.  

The temptation will always be in front of us to put on the tiny vision glasses.  Because we do have a tempter in this world that wants to keep us as selfish and self-sufficient thinking as possible.  See if you 'think' your problems are worse than anyone else, that no one else will understand, that you can't trust anyone so you might as well do it yourself, and the "lies" go on.....than you don't need God, do you. 

Those lies come from wearing pin-hole glasses.

Put on new glasses today.  I bet you'll find you have a lot to be thankful for.  And the need to mutter will be diminished.  Because quite honestly, I'm going to enjoy doing my laundry and while I do, I'm going to thank God for His abundance in my life and I'm going to pray for strength, courage and healing for my little blog friend.

The new view is amazing. 

What glasses do you have on today?  Pin-hole vision or a full-lens view? 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baked Pork Chops with Stuffing

4 pork chops or steaks
3 cups soft bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped onion
4 T. butter, melted
1 tsp sage
2 cans cream of condensed soup
2/3 cup water or sherry

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the soup and water or sherry. Mix well and set aside.

Pan-sear (brown) the pork chops.

Place in a greased baking dish.

To the frying pan, add the soup mixture and heat. Stir to get the browned meat bits into the sauce.

To make the stuffing, cut up the bread into bite-sized pieces. I had some dinner rolls that were on their last eatable day that I cut up.

Put the bread in a bowl and add the chopped onion, melted butter, and sage. Toss well.  

On top of each browned chop, heap on stuffing.


Pour the soup mixture over the stuffing and chops.

Bake uncovered until meat is done. My chops were so thin, it was only an hour

Oh, I wish you could smell this right now.  The golden-brown delightful dish is ready to enjoy.
We enjoyed ours with fresh garden green beans, some brown rice and the pork chop with stuffing.

Deliciously Amazing!

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Insulin Program

Kidlet Three has had Type I diabetes for five years. The type of insulin and the schedule in which he gets his shots was set up five years ago, when he was first diagnosed.

There are many types of insulin and different schedules when to get the insulin. There are syringes, pens and pumps to get the insulin into the body. There are insulins that can be mixed together and other insulins that shouldn’t be given at the same time.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to learn what would be the best for our child and keeping up to date with everything!

With all of his sports and the lifestyle we choose to lead, it was getting harder and harder for us to manage Kidlet Three's blood sugar levels. Almost a year ago we asked the doctor to switch to a different insulin-taking program and the answer was yes. Then we asked for a newer type of insulin and the answer was no. We had a major decision to make. The doctor has had a lot of experience with diabetes (it is his specialty) but the new literature and the recommendations on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website didn't match the information he was giving us.

So after praying and studying the literature, we switched doctors. It was the right decision! This doctor’s recommendation for an insulin program matched exactly what I had read on the ADA website!

We had to go back to school to learn the new insulin program. We visited the diabetes education nurse and the dietitian several times over a two-week program to “un-learn” the program we had been using and to “learn” the new program.  

Here Kidlet is learning to calculate how much insulin he will give himself based on what his blood sugar level is.

 The two insulins are Lantus and Novolog.  Lantus is one shot a day and the Novolog is three shots per day with meals.  Our training included scenarios written on this poster.  This is a replica of a "log book" that we keep with each blood poke and insulin amount recorded.

Can you see the mohawk!  He really caught onto this training more quickly than The Husband and I.  He was asking really good questions here.
The Husband asking his questions

 This is an insulin pen.  It is like a pen with a refillable ink cartridge.  At the end of the pen is a dial to "dial up" how much insulin should be given during a shot.  It is a really neat gadget and Kidlet Three loves this now better than the syringes he has been using.

It is a lot of information here, isn't it!  Sometime I feel like we are computer programmers because IF blood sugar is "xyz", THEN do "this" ELSE do "this". 

Diabetes shows us what amazing bodies God created.  Oh my heart cries out for a cure and I believe there will be one in the near future.  I am praying for the person that God will use to bring forth a cure. 

If you have any questions about diabetes or what you've read here, let me know.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


"The water slid right off, as did a little mud...the Bible dried out completely...I'll give it a big hosanna." National Geographic Adventure
"The Waterproof Bible is an answer to the prayers of people like me, who enjoy early mornings in a canoe, learning about God from His Word and His world." Rusty Pritchard - President and Co-founder, Flourish
Have you heard of a waterproof Bible?  I hadn't. 

Kidlet One and Favorite Son-in-Law gave The Husband and I our own waterproof Bibles for anniversary gifts in August.

My prayer times have changed drastically. No longer do I have to worry about perching my Bible on the bathtub edge. Now, it comes in with me.

God’s Word is alive and well in the Prayer Closet of my home.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chicken and Vegetables in Casserole

Warning...this recipe is really good!  I was paging through one of the cookbooks in my collection and decided to try some new meals for the family.

 Would you believe I used Diet Mountain Dew and tomatoes in a delicious recipe?  Check this out.
 2 to 3 pounds chicken.  I used 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
 A co-worker brought in fresh rosemary to share.  I've been drying some but for this recipe you need 1/2 teaspoon.
 Heat 3 T. butter.  I used olive oil.
 Combine 1/3 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper and the rosemary.  Dredge the chicken in this mixture and place in the heated, heavy skillet.
Brown the chicken on all sides.
Place the chicken in a 2-quart casserole and bake in a 325 degrees preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

 Heat 1 additional tablespoon of butter or olive oil with the remaining oil in the skillet.  Add the onion (and mushrooms but my family won't eat mushrooms so I didn't use them).  Cook until mushrooms are lightly browned.
 Add remaining ingredients (this is the step where the Diet Mountain Dew is added), bring mixture to boiling and simmer about 3 minutes.
 Pour hot sauce over chicken during last 10 minutes of cooking.
 This is a photo of the cooked mixture.  I love the colors!
With brown rice, this was a delicious meal.

Here is the recipe again, if you are interested.

Chicken and Vegetables in Casserole

2 to 3 pounds chicken
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
½ tsp crushed rosemary
3 T. butter or olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T. butter or olive oil
5 large mushrooms sliced
2/3 cup chopped onion
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered
¼ cup minced parsley
½ can (7 oz) 7up (I used Diet Mountain Dew)
½ tsp. salt

Coat pieces of chicken with mixture of flour, salt, pepper and rosemary. Heat 3 T. butter or olive oil in a large, heavy skillet; add garlic. Put in chicken and brown well on all sides. Remove to a shallow 2-quart casserole. Set casserole in 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Meanwhile, heat 1 T. butter with remaining butter in the skillet. Add mushrooms and onion stirring occasionally until mushrooms are lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients, bring mixture to boiling and simmer about 3 minutes. Pour hot sauce over baking chicken and bake 10 minutes longer.

An amazing meal!