Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

you-raise-me-up-westlife1  Please enjoy one of my favorite songs, You Raise Me Up.

It seems sometimes that my mind wraps around something and  until I get into it, the tentacles just won’t let go. This time, it is the “Power of One”.  I mean, think about it, most of the world worships  “One God”–monotheism.  In all of the universe, there is only one planet that we know of which can sustain intricate life forms–that would be Earth. Earth’s solar system has but one sun, and without it we would cease to exist. We have only one moon which lights the night skies.  Then, I know this is a little touchy, but when you think about the human life form, we come from one egg which is attacked by multitudes of spermatozoa, yet only one is able to impregnate the egg!  We are born with one heart and when it quits beating — well, you know what happens!  We are given one brain to navigate this intricate thing called life — and we are given one life to live!  I mean, think of all the stars in the universe, the cells in the body, the ants on a hillside, — and yet, we get only one chance at this thing called life! Geeze, Louise.

Then, if you think about it without “one” you can’t get to the rest of the numbers. “One” begins everything.  Even stories often begin with a version of one–Once.  Once upon a time– One day-

It makes me think of the one time I made it to the county or state spelling bee — I can’t remember which.  I made it to the finals.  There was just me and this other kid (sorry, can’t remember the kid either). I CAN remember the ONE word that I MISSED. I can also remember that I could only miss one word– and that was the end of my spelling bee fame.  I think the word was quite fitting, if I do say so myself. I mean, if you are going to miss a word in a spelling BEE,  what better word to miss than “Pollen”– that would be “pollen, p-o-l-l-e-n, pollen”.  Yes, I do remember the ONE word that I missed.

Then, there was also the day I bought a lottery ticket. I don’t often buy lottery tickets, but N.C. had just gotten the lottery and I gave into temptation.  I picked my five numbers and waited. Life seemed to tick slowly by while I waited for the night when they would call out the numbers.  Yes, yes, those are my numbers—until it came to the ONE wrong number!  My multi-million dollar jackpot became something like a few dollars!  All because I missed ONE number.

That brings me to another ONE that I missed out on– I was on a long flight to Ghana, West Africa. I had already had a long layover in Minnesota.  I was flying into Amsterdam and the pilot came on the speakers to announce that we could not land. It was too foggy!  So, we circled and circled — I began to feel dizzy. Then the pilot’s voice came over the intercom and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to tell you this but we are about out of fuel. We are going to have to divert our flight to…”  I can tell you this, if there is ONE thing you don’t want to hear your pilot say, it might just be “We are out of fuel…” 

We sat for about three hours on a hot tarmac in Belgium (I think it was Belgium–I couldn’t really tell because they wouldn’t let us off the plane!)  We finally reached Amsterdam right before my connecting flight departed. I was about ONE minute too late and it was the ONE flight to Ghana for that day. So, I can say that I spent ONE night in Amsterdam.

I guess I should include something about birth order. And,  Amy, if you read this you know you are my ONE middle child!  But, we all know that there can only be ONE “firstborn” child.  If you are not in the highly honored place of being the “ONE-born..oops, I mean “first-born” then maybe, like me, you are the One-last born (otherwise known as the “baby” of the family!)  If you are not the “ONE-Born” you know you will spend your life trying to keep up with the “ONE-born”.  The only solace there is that the ONE-born will become a senior citizen FIRST!

Christians, such as me, believe that the One God, haShem (the Name) who is the God with many Names — El Shaddi, Y-hweh, and many, many more — had one begotten Son, whose name is Yeshua (Jesus).  He is the One Messiah. He is the one path to eternal life, and the One Savior of all people whom He draws until himself through the power of the One Holy-Spirit and the ministry of the one true Gospel, which is found in the ONE  Holy Bible, and that all believers are part of the ONE body of Christ, the holy catholic (doesn’t mean Catholic–like with the Pope in Rome, but means “united”) church.

In the Jewish tradition, there is only ONE day of atonement, Yom Kippur!  There is only ONE place where the Holy Temple can be rebuilt (and therefore since 70 AD the Jewish people have lived without the presence of the Holy Temple). There is also only ONE land of the Jewish people,  eretz-Yisrael (the land of Israel). Not only this but Jews believe in “arevut”, the idea that all Jews are responsible for one another, because all Jews are like ONE person. If you read the words to the song “Kol Yisrael” you’ll see this example of “ONE”.  Part of it states,

“All Jews are responsible for each ONE.  All Jews are “brothers”.  ONE people with ONE heart.

ONE people , each pair is ONE. ONE people, as if they are ONE person.  Hear O’ Israel, ONE people!

Of course, there is also the “Shema”, a Jewish affirmation of faith in the ONE God, The first line of the Shema, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is ONE”.  The Shema is recited each morning and each evening by Jewish people (observant Jews, I should say.)

There’s just ONE other thing that I was thinking about this number ONE–

One day you and I will meet this One God, and He will look upon us to decide if we responded to His One Son, and if you and I will enter into His One Heavenly Presence- to spend the ONE ETERNITY with Him.  We will be required to give account for the One life He gave to us, and what we did with it.  We will have one opportunity to answer— 

 What will you say?

 If you have been feeling insignificant in this great big place we call life, just remember the power of ONE. It only takes ONE person to change the world, for better or worse.  Join TEAM KENYA 2009 and express your POWER OF ONE to make the world a better place!

Quick reminder:  TEAM KENYA 2009 is still taking applications and registrations for our September work trip to Kenya. Read below about this mission and the work we will do.  Contact us today for an application/registration packet.  Space is limited to just 15-20 individuals with a real desire to reach out and make a real change in our world.  And, while I’m thinking about ONE, there will only be ONE TEAM KENYA 2009!  Don’t miss your chance to be a part of it!  For more information visit www.lydiaministry.com


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Rocky-road fudge—hmmm-   (be sure to go down to the post on the Banana Crunch and listen to my favorite Christmas song)

Well, the christmas tree is up. It’s beautiful and stately, about 8 foot tall!  Last year, we decked the tree with all silver and blue decorations, with a silver star on top.  My husband is Jewish and we have a very blended inter-faith family.  I wanted to honor both of our faiths.  Having the love for Israel that we do, I thought a blue and silver tree would be a constant reminder of Israel, and of my husband’s faith and culture.  It was all very stunning. 

It was pretty wonderful as we lit the candles all through Chanukah, to be surrounded with the colors of such a great country as Israel.  The lights on the tree reminded me of my faith, that Christ came into the world to be the Light of the World, and to reveal God to the world.  The Lighting of the Menorah every night reminded me of  that God has revealed himself more and more through out history, just as we nightly lit more of the candles.  Every  night the light grew, from the first night when only the Shamash candle and the first candle lit our great room, until finally only the last night when the room was filled with the light of  all nine candles.  It also reminded me that our Abba is a great and awesome God who desires to draw all people unto him. 

My husband grew up in an orthodox family, and while we do not share the same faith,we share faith in the same Abba (Father) God.  Both of us, in living out our own faiths together help each other to see and experience God in a more relevant way.  Appreciating each other’s faith, and learning together about own faiths does not require us to compromise our faiths.  On the contrary, it calls us to be more responsible toward how we express this faith, as we share it with each other.

Ok, back to the tree!  We have collected several “novelty” type Christmas ornaments, and I have ornaments from the children and grandkids–among this a “Rock’m sock’m robot” ornament that I bought in memory of my husband’s fav toy when he was a kid.  So, this year we have all the ornaments and it’s pretty much an “old fashioned” Christmas tree with all of our ornaments and many beautiful colored balls.

Our tree, that we trudged to the SugarPlum farms to get (with grandkids in hand and a muddy rain underfoot) is just so lush and full, that I realized today that I needed to selectivly prune some of the small branches out. I was happy to do that because I needed more greenery for the wreath that I wanted to make.  I took most of the ornaments off so that I could rearrange them, but not nearly all of them. Neither did I remove any of the many strands of lights.  I would just gently and carefully clip around everything, opening up some depth for the larger ornaments. 

 When I finished clipping I put all of the ornaments back on the tree, and took the greenery, along with about ten pine cones I picked up in the forest behind our home.  I keep a large basket of pinecones on the hearth at all times to use as fire starters, so I had a nice supply.  When I finished I added a beautiful white bow with red candy canes and peppermints printed on it.  It was a actually a ribbon that I had used to decorate a candy cane cake I had made for earlier in the month. So, I recycled the ribbon to use on my wreath. 

Now the tree was all decorated, the wreath it was hung– but then and only then when I went to plug the Christmas tree lights in that I learned the error of my ways–I had snipped through one of the many wires. No, I don’t know which one. There are only 200 or more feet of lights on the tree!  So, tomorrow, I get to do it all over again.  I’ll be taking all the decos off and then all the lights…and yep.. that’s it.  I’ll start all over again– maybe I’ll just do the blue and silver– Israel seems so far away this year.

In the midst of all the hoopla with the tree, the delivery people delivered package after package.  Each delivery person left with two small packages of fudge in hand, and a smile on their faces.  Tomorrow, I will be redoing the tree and making more fudge.  I’ve determined that my special “Rocky Road Fudge” is the one that disappears most quickly from the serving tray, so I’ll double on it tomorrow.  Thank goodness it’s so easy to make.  Everyone thinks I slave over the stove with it.  No, not this girl.  It’s so easy that ..well, it’s so easy that I can do it!  Below the recipe for the fudge, I’ve included the three blessings that are said as the Hanukkah candles are lit. They are beautiful. I always say in my heart, as my husband says the blessings, “Thank you, Abba that you sent your Son into the world to reveal your Light unto the world.”

Rocky Road Fudge

1 12 oz bag of chocolate chips (it’s better to use the better brand of chips here)

1 can of Chocolate Fudge Supreme icing–dont’ use the whipped…  Betty Crocker is one of my favs.

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup Marshmallow Cream or 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts

pinch (1/8 tsp) salt.

Line a 10 X 10 glass baking dish or cake pan with aluminum foil.  Spray with cooking spray or if you want a more visceral experience, use your fingers and “smear” with butter.  Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Stir and melt until very smooth and creamy.  Add Chocolate frosting and stir until frosting and chocolate are very smooth. Yes, the frosting melts. Remove from heat and quickly add salt and vanilla. Stir until very smooth. Quickly pour into pan.  Add small “dollops” of marshmallow cream and marble through with knife. Or, if  sprinkle mini mallows  and gently stir through. Shake dish bake and forth to smooth fudge out, or use a spatula. Cool on counter for about 10-20 minutes. Capriciously use fingers to “lick the bowl” clean!  Cover with plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator for an hour or until nice and solid.  Cut into desired sizes of bars and wrap with plastic wrap.  Yummy and delicious–

Hanukkah Blessings (Chanukah begins December 22 in 08)

  • There are three blessings that are recited during the lighting of the menorah. The first blessing is recited only on the first night, the second blessing is recited before the shamash is lit, and the third blessing is recited while the candles are being lit by the shamash.

Shehechiyanu blessing

  • The Shehechiyanu blessing is recited only on the first night of Hanukkah. It signifies that it is the first time you are lighting the Hanukkah lights this year. It reminds us that G-d is King of the Universe (and it reminds me that G-d is King of the Light and of all that is revealed). Also, that it is G-d who keeps us from season until the next, from one Hanukkah until the next.
  • Shehechiyanu blessing in Hebrew:
    • Ba-ruch a-ta A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam, she-he-chi-yanu ve-kiy’manu ve-higi-anu la’zman ha’zeh
  • Translation: Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who gave us life and kept us and delivered us to this time.

First blessing

  • This blessing thanks G-d for the commandment of lighting the Hanukkah lights. It is recited before lighting any of the candles. It also reminds us that it is G-d who sanctifies us.
  • Blessing in Hebrew:
    • Ba-ruch a-ta A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam, a-sher kid-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-tav ve-tzi-va-nu le-had-lik ner shel cha-nu-kah.
  • Translation: Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.

Second Blessing

  • This blessing praises G-d for the miracle of the eight days of light that the cruse of oil provided in ancient times. This blessing is recited as the candles are being lit by the shamash. This blessing serves to remind us that G-d is a G-d of miracles. It reminds me that if G-d would perform miracles then, He will perform them now, for the King of the universe is unchanging.
  • Blessing in Hebrew:
    • Ba-ruch a-ta A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-olam, she-a-sa ni-sim la- avo-tei-nu ba-ya-mim ha-hem ba-zman ha-zeh.
  • Translation: Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors, at this season, in days past.

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