“Immortal Horrors and Everlasting Splendours”

How does knowing that all people are immortals shape how we think of and treat others?

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden. – C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (PDF)

Referenced in Dr. Gregg Strawbridge’s  Sermon,  February 11, 2018, The Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9)

 

Secret Ingredient: Chicken Patties (Quick Japanese Katsu, Curry, Parmesan and Cordon Bleu Recipes!)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We cook all the time at our house.  Sometimes, though, we need something fast and filling. Chicken patties are one of my secret weapons in the kitchen. Here are some ways to prepare them beyond the basic chicken sandwich!

Chicken Parmesan 

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Pasta (to serve on the side)

Place frozen chicken patties in a baking dish.  Cover with tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Serve over pasta.

Chicken Piccatta 

  • 6 Frozen chicken patties
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine (such as a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brined capers
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • Pasta (to serve on the side)

Bake the chicken patties to package directions, in a baking dish (you want them to be crispy in the end product).  In the mean time,  in a sauce pan, melt butter. Add stock / wine and lemon juice.  Reduce to half the liquid.  Stir in capers. Take the chicken out of the over just before it’s supposed to be done. Top with sauce and caper mixture.  Place them back in the warmed oven for another 5 minutes while the sauce absorbs slightly into the chicken. Before serving, garnish with parsley.  Serve with pasta.

Japanese Chicken Katsu

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Kikkoman Tonkatsu Sauce
  • Finely shredded green cabbage
  • Sesame vinaigrette dressing
  • Pink pickled Ginger
  • Rice (short-grained is ideal)

Start the rice. Bake the patties (or fry them if you have time) to package directions.  Shred the cabbage and mix with a tough of sesame vinaigrette dressing.

Plate the cooked rice for each serving, and place the shredded cabbage salad on the side.

When the chicken patties are done, cut each patty into strips that are about 1.5 cm wide.  Place the strips of chicken side by side on the rice so that they resemble the original patty, only cut into strips. Drizzle with tonkatsu sauce. Garnish with pickled ginger.

Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • S&B Hot Curry Golden Sauce Mix (comes in cubes)
  • Vegetables for the curry (see curry package directions – usually variations of onions, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes)
  • Curry pickles aka Fukujinzuke (optional – find them at the Asian grocery store)
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • Rice

Start the rice. Bake or fry the patties to package directions.  In a sauce pan, make the curry sauce to package directions.  (This usually involves sauteing vegetables, adding water and the curry roux, and then cooking until the sauce thickens.)  Plate the cooked rice into servings. When the chicken patties are done, cut each patty into strips that are about 1.5 cm wide.  Place the strips of chicken side by side on the rice so that they resemble the original patty, only cut into strips. Top with curry and vegetable sauce.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Garnish with fukujinzuke.

Chicken Cordon Bleu (Sandwiches…if you want!)

  • Frozen chicken patties
  • Thinly sliced cooked ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sandwich Rolls (OR, omit the rolls and serve with buttered noodles and salad)
  • Dill pickle
  • Potato chips

Place the chicken in a baking dish.  Spread Dijon mustard on the patties. Place slices of ham on top of the patties. Top with swiss cheese. Bake according to the chicken patty package directions, so that the patties are cooked through and the cheese is melted and golden brown.  Place the Cordon Patties on rolls and serve sandwiches with a pickle and chips.

 

 

2018 Roles and Goals Worksheet (Free)

Hello everyone!

Here is a worksheet I made to be used by members of my family for this year.  It is loosely based on the Art of Manliness article, “How to Create a Life Plan” .

I tried to make it friendly to my teens, but, as an adult I plan to use it as well. As I said to my family, it isn’t meant to stress people out! In fact, it is fun and personally rewarding to see your circles of influence and the things that matter to you most. This worksheet is simply a tool to help think about who you are, the roles you play, and ways that you can grow and be purposeful in each role.

Please feel free to share this document and to customize it to meet your needs…. and leave a comment to let me know the tweaks you made!

Much love to you and yours! May the Lord bless you in 2018!

2018 Roles and Goals Worksheet (PDF)

 

Parenting: There are Worse Things Than Yelling

This week I read, Huffington Post’s well shared piece, 10 Things I Learned When I Stopped Yelling at My Kids. I wholeheartedly agree that mothers need to keep their temper under control, and have written on this topic before:

“His words had really hurt me, and they were apparently still on his conscience. What if he hadn’t stepped on the thorn? Would he have had a chance to make things right? What if I had yelled at him and refused to help because of his negligence [disobedience] for not wearing shoes outside?” – Excerpt from Crying Over Spilled Oatmeal

However, it is important to remember that while lowering one’s voice may be like refraining from throwing gas on a fire, there is still a fire and it needs to be dealt with.

Face it — those of us who cringe when people yell (and are secretly freaked out at our own hypocrisy when we yell!) often avoid confrontation to begin with.

We’d rather escape.

Some of my personal favorite escapes are to mow the lawn or retreat to my peaceful comfort zone of weeding the garden outside…while all hell breaks loose in the house. I have also been known to spend an extra-long time in the shower, not just to get extra clean, but to drown out the sound of kids fighting over video games downstairs. It’s not as overt, but sometimes I “graciously” let my children play outside with friends while I stay inside (savoring the quiet as if it were a secret cigarette) cleaning up yet another my childrens’ ridiculous experimental cooking messes…when I should be doing the hard job of getting to the heart of why all five children refuse to follow through on their promise to clean up after themselves and are instead blaming their siblings for the mess.

Certainly, there is a time for peace and rest! As a parent, though escaping in the middle of a conflict with a child is like taking a nap on the job.

The Bible says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)

True peace is not simply the absence of yelling, or even the absence of conflict, but it comes from a heart that is steadfastly trusting in the Lord and His everlasting promises; a peace that is not dependent on circumstances. Attempting to control circumstances and manufacturing peace through any other means besides trusting in Christ is a sin. It’s called idolatry.

In Paul Tripp’s Book, Age of Opportunity , one of the first few foundational chapters deals with parental idols. Tripp describes how the worship of such idols shapes our responses to our children. About the idol of peace and comfort, he writes,

The Idol of Comfort. Secretly in our hearts, many of us want life to be a resort… We reason that we have a right to quiet, harmony, peace, and respect, and we respond in anger when we do not get it. Scripture warns us that life is far from being a resort. Life is war…the tumult, chaos and unrest of the teen years are not only the result of significant biological changes taking place, but because of the dramatic spiritual war going on as well.

Parents who demand comfort, ease, regularity, peace, space, quiet, and harmony will be ill-equipped for war. They will begin to see their teenager as the enemy. They will begin to fight with him rather than for him, and, even worse, they will tend to forget that the true nature of battle and the identity of the real enemy. They will act out of frustrated desire, doing and saying regrettable things, and they will fail to be effective and productive in those strategic moments of ministry in which God has placed them.”

(How did this description of my unchecked idolatrous heart end up in this parenting book?)

Those times when I choose to walk away and conveniently find something else to do? I’m walking out on “strategic moments of ministry”. Under the guise of being “peaceful”, I’m missing the moments God is placing in my life that He is not only using to help my children to grow and mature, but to help ME grow and mature.

It takes faith in God to stand on the promises of His word. It takes faith to be brave enough to speak truth in love, and when we do, we grow in Christ… and so do our children.

Upon realizing the patterns of my idolatrous heart, I confessed that I lacked faith and that I was more afraid of yelling and conflict with mouthy, lawyer-like children, than I was of obeying God and training my children up in the Lord. I confessed that I was more interested in the appearance of peace than the peace of Christ. I asked the Lord to forgive me and asked Him to work in my life, no matter what it takes, and to let me to be shaped by His leading and not by my personal comfort.

Worse than yelling is the negligence of our children’s spiritual nourishment. As Tripp points out, life is spiritual warfare. Ignoring heart issues and merely telling kids to be quiet, or being silent ourselves, does not equip children for battle.

I confessed to my children that I had not being diligent in teaching them, and asked them to forgive me. I made it clear that I would no longer be “tolerating” or turning a blind eye to sinful behavior, and that, even if it was uncomfortable or inconvenient for me, that I would be doing a better job of helping the children work through conflicts. I also made it a point to read The Young Peacemaker by Corlette Sande again with them, to better equip all of us for the conflicts we have been facing in our home. I reminded them that we were in it together, and that we were on the same team.

After two weeks of reading The Young Peacemaker together, I have to say that there has been an improvement of attitudes in our home… both in me, and in my children.

I leave my readers with the wise words of Elisabeth Elliot, which were shared with me by mother in law back in 2008:

The job has been given to me to do.
Therefore it is a gift.
Therefore it is a privilege.
Therefore it is an offering I may make to God.
Therefore it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.
Therefore it is the route to sanctity.

Sarah’s “Healthy Fats” Salad – Turkey, Avocado, Granny Smith, Raisins…

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For health reasons, I have been trying to eat more protein from poultry (vs. beef), more healthy fats, more B-complex vitamins and more fiber.

This salad has it all, it’s really tasty, AND it’s a great way to use leftover turkey.

Sarah’s Healthy Fats Salad

Makes 2 Servings:

1 cup cubed turkey
1 whole avocado, cubed
1 medium tart, firm apple .. like a Granny Smith, cubed
Sprinkling of raisins
Sprinkling of crushed walnuts
Drizzling of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil (Di Giovanna is my favorite)
Drizzling of rice wine vinegar

Nutritional Info Per Serving (Click for complete)

Calories 440.9
Total Fat 23.3 g
-Saturated Fat 3.3 g
-Polyunsaturated Fat 5.0 g
-Monounsaturated Fat 12.4 g
Total Carbohydrate 41.7 g
-Dietary Fiber 9.6 g
-Sugars 26.4 g
Protein 22.6 g

Simple Lunch: Tomato Soup With Basil, Parmesan and Biscuits

Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.
Proverbs 15:17

The cupboards are getting bare.

September’s grocery money is nearly gone.

We’re breaking into the canned food.

Today’s lunch was a simple canned (store brand even!) Tomato Soup. However, a pinch of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of fresh basil from the garden turned a mundane can of boring into a steamin’ hot feast. The biscuits were from America’s favorite baking mix and took 5 minutes to make. They baked while the soup came to a simmer.

I almost didn’t make the soup today because my children – yes, the same ones who will eat ear-ringing hot sauce and international curries – don’t like tomato soup and the complaints were quite loud.

Still, I insisted that, even though it wasn’t their favorite food, it was sustenance and that perhaps by adding ingredients, it wouldn’t be as bad as they’d imagined.

Empowering them with a plate of biscuits to crumble in, snippets of basil and a container of Parmesan, they each created their own version of the soup.

Every bowl was finished down the last drop.

Don’t merely be content, be creative. It’s easy to look at what is set before us – food-on-a-budget, possessions, parenthood, employment and even relationships – and feel as though we have to suffer through. Yet, there is joy to be found in taking something ordinary and making it better; redeeming it.

Sometimes “making it better” doesn’t involve changing the object or situation itself, but our attitudes. When our mindsets change from drudgery to thanksgiving, we are then free to contribute meaningfully and nurture. Nagging and complaints stem from a root of bitterness. Compliments (finding the good) and nurturing grow from love.

Love is like Parmesan and fresh basil to store brand canned tomato soup.