I Lost Myself

I lost myself

Where did I go?

I lost myself.

So busy being strong

I LOST myself.

What did I do wrong?

I see me lurking

Out of the corner of my eyes.

My face so sad

Wanting to be vibrant again.

Wanting to be free to

Enjoy hobbies, ocean waves,

Beach walks, mountain hikes,

Or a day on the sewing machine.

I lost MY SELF.

I see me but

I seem so out of reach.

How do I discover me

Again?

Troll Tales

Unfortunately we have to deal with online bullies at some point. This is a good read.

The Daily Post

About a year ago, I wrote about how to deal with trolls. My chief recommendation echoed the conventional wisdom on this subject: don’t feed the trolls. In other words, ignore them. Don’t engage.

I still think that’s the optimal way to deal with trolls; however, I’ve come across a couple of interesting stories lately from people who did the opposite — they engaged with their nastiest bullies, and they ended up receiving sincere apologies!

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Questionable Fruit Trees

We say what we are feeling. I hear you saying, “No, I don’t say what I am feeling because that would stir up a whole lot of trouble.” I beg to disagree. Your mouth may not say it but your face, your eyes, the twist of your mouth, and even the way you sit or stand says so much more. Have you ever listened to someone say all the right words but you didn’t believe anything they said. Sometimes it is because of your attitude but most times it is because you got the message that their body was sending.

While Yshua (Jesus) was teaching about our words condemning or justifying us, he made this statement.

“Either make the tree good, and the fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; the tree will be know by its fruit”

Usually we focus on the fruit but today the tree sat up and screamed, I am what’s important. If the tree is unhealthy, anything it produces is not profitable to anyone. You and I are the trees. If our insides are sick, filled with mean, unforgiving thoughts; if the growth and depth of our roots have been hindered by grudges and anger then no matter how nice we try to say it, the fruit we produce will be lacking in nourishment for ourselves or anyone around us. The messages we send verbally or bodily are the fruit our trees produce. A bad tree can produce something that looks like good fruit but when you bite into it you realize it is not good. That is much like the right sounding words we say but underneath them or embedded in them is all the rottenness housed inside us.

Let us let go of the anger, grudges, meanness, unforgiving evil thoughts.

Let the plant food of the Spirit and Word of God not be hindered in reaching the roots of our mind.

Let the leaves of your tree be green and full of life.

Let the shade your tree provides signal rest, refreshing, and peace.

Let the fruit from your tree bring nourishment: encouragement, compassion, truth, fairness and real love.

Let it be known that you are a good tree with good fruit.

Just in case you think I am excluding myself from these admonitions, know that they hit me first. I had to face myself in the mirror of these words.

Have I Missed The Mark?

What does the word sinner mean? We in Christiandom use that word so much to refer to those who have not accepted Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed One, our Lord and Savior. But what does it really mean?

My question was prompted by Jesus’ comment to the religious leaders who criticized Him for eating with tax-gathers and other such disreputable people. (FYI the tax-gatherers were not liked because in doing their job they gathered more than what was required and kept the difference. They cheated the people.)

The comment is recorded in Matthew 9:12-13.

  Matthew 9:12-13 (YLT)
12  And Jesus having heard, said to them, `They who are whole have no need of a physician, but they who are ill;
13  but having gone, learn ye what is, Kindness I will, and not sacrifice, for I did not come to call righteous men, but sinners, to reformation.’

Matthew 9:12-13 (NKJV)
12  When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
13  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

So who is a sinner? I looked the word sinner up in the Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. The word simply meant sinner but the word it was derived from means to miss the mark or err.

I went back and looked at Jesus’ statement with this definition in mind. Jesus told the religious leaders that His interest and attention would be given to those who had missed the mark or erred.  Since they thought they were so righteous clearly they did not need His attention.  The irony is they had missed the mark. They had erred.

If they had understood that God required kindness above sacrifice, they never would have asked that question.

If they had understood God wanted those who had missed the mark or erred to have a course correction in their lives, they would have understood what their job really was.

They would also have understood that they fit into the “missed the mark” category.

How many of us who are professed followers of Christ have “missed the mark”? Yes, we are in the family but we still make erroneous decisions. We still mess up sometimes. We still miss the mark.  Have we, like those religious leaders, not realized that in all our religiocity we have not shown mercy and kindness to people?

We disassociate ourselves from those who need His love and mercy calling ourselves righteous when in fact we are called to associate for the purpose of sharing with others that forgiveness and reforming power we say we have experienced.

Have we missed the mark? Have we erred?

Something to think about.  Assess your life.

Gluten-Free Bread Success

I have been trying to bake gluten-free bread that had the texture and height to qualify as a sandwich bread. The first attempted tasted fine but did not rise to the sandwich bread size standard. I made the substitutions for wheat flour as directed in my bread recipe but the outcome was not completely satisfactory. Since that effort I have searched for a recipe that would give me the desired results. I went to Barnes and Noble to get a book I had found online but they did not have it. I found another called The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook from the American Test Kitchen. I decided to give it a try.

They have several bread recipes but I chose the Classic Sandwich Bread. I used Bob’ Red Mill Gluten-Free flour blend, almond milk, homemade dairy-free butter and agave nectar instead of their blend, sugar, butter and dry milk.

 

I had to forget all that I knew about baking bread. There was no kneading to be done. The instructions said the dough consistency would be like sticky cookie dough. It was. They said the dough would rise above the pan and advised that you make this aluminum foil collar. It did. If I had not done that it would have spilled our over the pan. I didn’t make it tight or stiff enough because it spilled over a little bit. That made it hard to get out of the pan when it was done. My husband and I were quite pleased with the results. He was too thrilled about the first attempt.  🙂

I am very please with the bread and the cookbook. It is also a teaching aid for novices to gluten free cooking. The recipes are tested and critiqued by home cooks before publishing. Tomorrow is cook day. I plan to try their flatbread and corn tortilla recipes.

 

You Left Me

You left me

You left a hole in my essence.

Grands tried to take your place.

They loved me.

Taught me.

Comforted me.

Where were you?

You left me.

The influence of your leaving

Powerful!

I didn’t know how much      Until

I madeall those stupid relationship decisions

Looking for you.

You left me.

I loved a man that I thought I would marry.

When he left me

The impact of your leaving grew greater.

That hole you made grew larger and colder.

Your leaving, his leaving had such a hold on me

That my whole being ached.

You left me.

That day I stood over you

And realized I did not know you

Just as you did not know me.

You lay in that casket a stranger.

Father, I realized you finally

LEFT ME,

FINALLY,

I Forgive You.