What is that smell?

"Thanks be to God, who...through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him."

I may be off base, but don't you think that the Church's use of the Greek word "Christ", instead of the Hebrew "Messiah", has needlessly put an additional barrier in the way of Jewish acceptance of him? We know there is a veil, but this extra covering might well be taken away, and anything which contributes to sight promoted.

Besides the fragrance, I am a letter from my Messiah and he has made me competent (not in myself, but a competence from God) as a Minister of the new covenant of the Spirit. (from 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 & 6) We are ministers of reconciliation, in
"that God was reconciling the world to himself in the Messiah, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Messiah's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Messiah's behalf: Be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:19-20
I am a bit more conscious of this fragrance and ambassadorship lately. My husband discovered only a few years ago that he had a Jewish cultural and religious heritage through his mother. So, all this exciting new ancestral background, along with getting me three Jewish cookbooks. I'm getting with it. Some.


Steely-eyed Focus

Meet my brother's dog, Eddie. You see that ball? He's very protective of it. Fixated you might say. Puts up a tremendous struggle if you try to take it from him. You throw the ball and he's ON IT.
No distractions. It is priority one.

So, what is my focus? What is priority one in my life? Hopefully, not anything material. I was just talking to my nephew about Emergency Medic as a career option, discussing how you deal with the death of someone you may have grown close to. But, we're all on that train called life, not knowing what stop will next be ours. We're all terminal, in that sense. Only a relationship with God extends the trip into eternity. You can think of it in that way. You may be the one who keeps them on the train for awhile, and or the one who helps them get an eternal ticket.

You get the idea. Number one, top priority, intense focus needs to be that relationship with my Creator. Because I don't know, and none of us do, how much time we have.  Deep Thoughts.


Hilo Farmer's Market and Prayer Post

It's A Farmer's Market Day

In Hilo, that's Wednesdays and Saturdays. So, I went with mangoes on my mind and was not disappointed. Besides that, there were fresh radishes, and etc. etc....

While there, I took a few pictures, and talked to an old acquaintance, Danny, who mans a corner stall, selling plants, especially carnivorous ones. Yes, they do eat bugs. I mentioned putting the photos on my blog and about the parables we encounter in our lives. Danny reminded me that these plants use a sweet attractant and then trap the insects once they're drawn in. Just as we are warned about in various Proverbs, "My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them." We can be seduced by something that seems good.

Do you see the little sacs? Those are the traps, holding rain water to drown the unwary bugs. Poor dears.

Being armed against temptation is only one reason why we need to be in prayer. I was reading some of the responses on a Meme that was recently circulating in the blogosphere - comments were invited about the things we are afraid to mention in church or to other Christians. It seems that many people have trouble with prayer, the need for it, the usefulness of it, and making time for a prayer life.

If I have a question about something that's discussed in the Word of God, that's where I go for an answer. What did Jesus do? If at all possible, we can check that. Jesus, as perfect and sinless as he was, and Creator of the Universe (it boggles the mind), found the time, saw the need to spend time in prayer with his Father. He is our model and best example. Do we need it less than he did? And, sometimes, we are told, it was for the whole night! Luke 6:12

Even with people around him (what I would call a real distraction), he was able to be "praying in private." Luke 9:18 Not being able to get off by ourselves is not necessarily an excuse. He was an example to his disciples and us, and taught about prayer. Luke 11:1-13

In addition, it was a habit with him. Reading in Luke 22:39-42, we see that he went "as usual to the Mount of Olives" to pray. He "knelt down" - now this is God's own Son! And, He asks "If you are willing, take this cup from me; (the request) yet not my will, but yours be done." What about naming and claiming it? Also, "he prayed more earnestly." This brings to mind what James 5:16-17 says about the fervent prayer of the righteous.

Some of the comments mentioned not wanting or feeling like praying at or for meals. Jesus is once again our model for right action. He, Creator of the Universe, gave thanks. Someone else suggested that those people should fast for at least 24 hours and then they might be more thankful for the next meal.

How can you sustain a relationship with someone without talking to them (prayer) or listening to them (reading his Word and listening for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit)? I don't think it's possible.


When You've Got Bananas

Father's Day Breakfast Special

When we have time for a more leisurely breakfast, one of my all time favorites is fruit-filled crepes. I usually dribble a bit of marmalade down, add either fresh sliced mangoes or, as today, bananas sauteed in butter, a little creamy, thick yogurt or sour cream, roll it up and top with syrup or, as I do, with a dusting of powdered sugar. They're unbelievable!

Almost any fresh fruit is good, but bananas are even better when they're lightly sauteed in butter, just til softened. So, you see, I DO use bananas for something besides wine. There's cream pie, banana muffins, banana waffles, banana pancakes and, of course, banana bread too.

The easy crepe recipe is:
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups milk (batter should coat spoon well)
  • 3-4 eggs (depending on the size)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
Beat flour in gradually with whisk, then add the butter. Swirl a small amount in hot crepe or small saute pan. Flip after a minute and voila!

I was thinking about how Jesus told people many times that their faith had healed them - Luke 18:43 for example. Besides actually healing people he used parables, and the healing was also a form of illustration. You come to Jesus Messiah, and ask him to lift you above your circumstances - to save you. That is faith - that he not only can, but will. And, he does, by his mercy and grace. Because he loves us.


Joining the Lotus Eaters

God is so amazing. What a creation! I went to a plant sale today and could not resist this lotus. It's like a foot across. And, it was so beautiful I had to share it with you. Next year at this time, I'm hoping mine will bloom. I got a small rooted starter and it's now in my pond, awaiting SHOWTIME!

Also, I will be a lotus eater since all the parts are edible: flower, young leaves, roots & seeds. And, very healthy too. Just from weeding out my pond.

Another thing I want to share is my Gazpacho experience of last night. I got this terrific recipe from Lobstersquad, a very artistic sort of cooking blog by Ximena in Spain. I have a surfeit of cherry tomatoes right now and wanted to do something other than salsa. Not that I have anything against salsa, but anyway...


With a few variations - mainly that of using cherry tomatoes instead of the plum kind - here it is. And it came out very good, I must say. A refreshing, summertime cold soup, and nice alternative to salad.
  • 1.5 lb. ripe cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 orange or red bell pepper
  • 1/2 a peeled cucumber
  • a wedge of onion
  • 1/4 - 1/2 a garlic clove (more if you want)
  • 1 slice day old bread
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • salt (& grind of pepper- optional)
I let the bread soak in the water while I chopped and sliced the vegetables roughly; then dumped the bread & water, about 3/4 of the vegetables, oil, & vinegar into the blender; whirred to get it semi-smooth & for the level to go down sufficiently to add the remainder of the ingredients; then blended very briefly so it would still be a bit chunky. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Ximena blends it smooth and then strains it, but to me, that is a vegetable smoothie, not what I think of as Gazpacho. But hey, I'm American, what do I know? That sprig of garnish is mint, but basil would work nicely.