A Quiet House


I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

Know what movie that quote comes from? Only one of the greatest movies of all time. The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for years and apparently lots and lots of other people think so too. Tons of memes have been created using the phrase and show up all over the internet.

It was the first thing I thought of the other day when Sarah returned home after visiting with my Mother. She handed me this:

It’s label suggest a wholesome tasty and healthy snack right? Only that’s not what was inside.

These were.

Needless to say my kids were ecstatic. And they will  probably have a very skewed reaction to the suggestion of red grapefruit for the rest of their lives too 😉

The Great Autumn Debate

It’s that time of year. Leaves are beginning to change colors and fall from their trees. Sweaters and fuzzy socks are closer to becoming the reality than sunscreen and swimsuits. The cooler weather brings about what I call the great Autumn debate and it isn’t whether you want a tall or venti pumpkin spice latte. In a few weeks there will be laughing and squealing children in all manner of attire running up and down the street knocking on doors and asking for candy.

That means it is also time for finger pointing and lines being drawn in the sand, pronouncements of self-righteousness and mission mindedness or heaps of condemnation thrown in for good measure.

Trick or treating.


Do we or don’t we?

A mockery of a defeated foe or a night belonging to the devil?

We’ve been on every side of the issue. We’ve just done it because that’s what we’ve always done. We’ve turned the lights out and pretended to not be home. We’ve only passed out candy. We’ve let the kids dress up but not as anything scary and headed to the local church “Hallelujah” night. We’ve dressed up and gone around our neighborhood like a Charles Dickens’ beggar.

Have I forgotten any position on the subject? We covered them all I think. And you know what I also think?

Who cares?

Now, I know there are people who say it is a big deal and that it should matter. That this is hill worth taking a stand on; one that possibly alienates people and breaks friendships over at worst or at the very least sets up some serious boundaries and restrictions on those relationships. I know others that say get over it already. It’s no big deal and harmless; let the kids have some fun and eat candy for crying out loud.

Want to know what else I think about all of this? If you’re still reading I am going to assume so and tell ya.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Say what?

If you do indeed feel that it is not right to participate in such festivities then please, by all means abstain. But know that there is a right way and a wrong way to abstain. Imagining that you are somehow more spiritual or holy because you disdain such nonsense certainly gives no glory to God. He is honored by your obedience that is faithful and humble.

If, however, you feel that there is nothing wrong with costumed panhandling for sweet confections then by all means knock on those neighborhood doors. But know that there is a right way and a wrong way to take part. Do not assume that you are somehow living a more enlightened missional calling because you’re dressed up like Glenda the Good Witch passing out Snicker bars. God is honored when you enjoy the simple and good things with thankfulness as coming from His hand.

In the above mentioned passage the Apostle Paul exhorts his readers to not seek their own good but that of their neighbor. I’m convinced that whether you abstain or take part you can be a blessing to those around you if you are choosing to abstain or take part for His glory and not your own.

As for our family?

We’ve chosen to see this time as an opportunity to practice some neighborhood hospitality. We invite any of

our church members to come and eat hots dogs and macaroni  & cheese with our family. Their children are welcome to dress up and meander up and down the street with our own, knocking on doors and getting candy.  While that’s happening I’m standing at a table at the end of my driveway passing out cups of hot cocoa and chocolate dipped jumbo marshmallows and chatting it up with people that normally I just wave to in passing. It’s what we have discovered through the years that works for us and we believe is a small way that we can display God’s great hospitality and generosity to us.

Test Kitchen # 44 ~ The Best Punch Ever ~ For Reals


This punch is so good. Creamy, smooth, and oh, so yummy!

Make this for your next brunch or shower and people will love you forever.

What you’ll need:
2 cups water 
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup decaf instant coffee
8 oz cool whip
1 gallon of milk
1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
What you’ll do:
The night before you will serve the punch cook the first three ingredients over medium heat until sugar and coffee are dissolved.
Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator.
The day you’ll serve the punch put both ice cream flavors in your punch bowl.
Pour coffee mixture over the ice cream.
Wait about 20  minutes or so for the ice cream to soften.
Stir in the gallon of milk.
Add in the cool whip.
Serve with a smile and come back for seconds!

Union With Christ

In the liturgy, our words and actions are not merely those of individuals, but of the body. We speak together, sing together, pray together, listen together, and eat together as a body. At first it seems weird to us to worship like this – and this is, I think, for two reasons. 

First, because of the fall we are inclined to think primarily of ourselves. We are self-interested, self-focused, self-absorbed. 

Secondly, it is because this way of being has been sewn into the fabric of our culture. We are conditioned by our culture to be opposed to anything that causes us to conform to others. 

Liturgy, like union with Christ, forces us to realize that it isn’t about us, 
and that being a part of the body is where we find our true identity.
As we do all of these things together, we are pushed outside of ourselves, 
and we become more truly who our Lord wants us to be. 

Created In His Image

Edith Schaeffer is quoted as saying, “A Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively.” 

I’ve joked before how I have the soul of an artist but the skill of a preschooler, the desire to create and make something always felt within but rarely finding a satisfying outcome. Of course then I discovered photography and that gave some expression to the desire to create. But sometimes even that outlet hasn’t been enough and I’ve longed for something more, something intangible in a tangible world. The rest of Mrs. Schaeffer’s quote explains it a little better I think:

We are supposed to be representing the Creator who is there, and whom we acknowledge to be there. It is true that all people are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation.

We have been created in the image of the Creator and because of this we should long to create. I know what some of you are thinking though. But I’m not crafty! I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler! I’m all thumbs when it comes to yarn and needles. The sewing machine tries to commit suicide if I come to close. I can’t even finger paint!

We’ve boxed in our definition of art and creativity. But even when we try to move outside the box we have problems. I don’t know how to decorate. I’m not that good of a cook. We have our reasons for thinking that we just aren’t that crafty or creative.

With simple words stars and planets were flung across the heavens. The very sound of His voice caused mountains to break free and rise out of the ground. Every shade of color, every hue and tone sprang from the imagination of the ultimate Artist. Within the ear of God a song was composed and given voice in the waves of the sea and the birds of the air. With His own hands He sculpted man out of the dirt and breathed life into his nostrils.

We will never be able to achieve the artistry that is God.

Michael Angelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Beethoven,
Mozart, none of them at their greatest creative moment rival all that God has made. Unfortunately the limitations we put on our definition of creativity and art we also try to impose upon God.  But He exist outside of our bounds and so we must look beyond our own understanding of artistry. It’s not just about the “thing” created but so much more. Consider this quote also from Edith Schaeffer:

“There are various art forms we may or may not have talent for, may or may not have time for, and we may or may not be able to express ourselves in, but we ought to consider this fact-that whether we choose to be an environment or not, we are. We produce an environment other people have to live in. We should be conscious of the fact that this environment which we produce by our very ‘being’ can affect the people who live with us or work with us.” 

We create with more than clay and paint, or words or music notes, fabric or photographs. Everyday we create. And everyday we make choices to imitate what has already crafted by the Master.

We create homes that are a refuge the way He created an ark.

We create new culture when we resist the world’s culture, the world’s way of doing or being.

We create a world of reconciliation when we imitate the dark art of death that produces the kaleidoscope of color and light found in the resurrection.

We create peace when we turn the other cheek and offer the glorious poetry of forgiveness.

We create a symphony of mercy when we love and esteem others more than ourselves.

We create places of hospitality as we open our door and beckon in the poor and hungry.

We create a tapestry of grace when we weave longsuffering through our relationships with husband and wife, child and friend.

We all produce something. We all create. The question is whether it is worthy of presenting to our Creator.

Pinterest Test Kitchen #43 ~ Which Is Actually A Revision of Pinterest Kitchen #1 (Blueberry Cream Pie)

It’s been over a year since I did my first test kitchen. The blog was brand new and I didn’t know of all the amazing link parties yet so the first few recipes have very few hits. But some of them were quite good and deserve a repost in my opinion. Only when I went back to my very first test kitchen recipe the link is broken. As in I can no longer get to the original recipe that I originally shared. Back then I just linked the recipe I used I didn’t type it out. Really glad that at some point I started sharing the full recipe on here because now I’m wondering how many links may not actually link to anything anymore.

Anyway, I did a little digging around and found a recipe that looks and sounds pretty much like I remember so I’ve kind of pieced it together and came up with a revised blueberry cream pie. In my original post I
mentioned that I thought there was a tad too much sugar so I have reduced it accordingly.

There were two things about this pie that really make me want to make it again. No, wait there are three things that sold me on this pie.

1.) Super easy
2.) The sour cream mixed with the blueberries. Oh. My. Goodness. It was so good.
3.) The crumb topping is a dessert in and of itself. Seriously, I could make a batch of it and enjoy it with a spoon.

What you’ll need:
one frozen pie crust

For the filling:
3 cups blueberries
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the crumb topping:
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
a pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup + 2 1/12 tablespoons all purpose flour
What you’ll do:
For the filling:
Mix together the sugar and flour.
Add in eggs, sour cream and vanilla.
Mix until well combined.
Place blueberries in the bottom of the pie crust.
Pour sour cream mixture over blueberries.
For the crumb topping:
Mix together all dry ingredients.
Combine with melted butter until you have a nice crumby texture.
Sprinkle over blueberries.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until the top is nice and brown and the pie seems set. Let the pie cool completely before cutting.

I think it’s possible to just do it in a 9×13 pan cobbler style and eat with some vanilla ice cream. And an addition of oats to the crumb mixture could be nice as well. But then again why mess with perfection?