Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's Not Too Early for Christmas Planning and Christmas Cards

It may seem too early to be talking about Christmas, but the older I get the more planning it requires.  Gone are the days when just showing up with a wrapped gift was enough.  Now I am the one hosting the holiday and so I am the one who has to prepare.
We will have a simple meal but I need to be sure the freezer is empty enough to for the spanakopita I hope to make in advance.  I might even make a pot of dolmathes.   
And then there are the Christmas cards.  I like to send them out on Christmas Eve if not the day before.  Our family enjoys the holiday celebrations from Christmas to Theophany so I try to send my cards around that time.  But who has time to address envelopes when company is coming? 
Our newest card is at the printer and we are taking pre-sale orders.  I like that it has the message of the Annunciation more than the birth, because the Annunciation is what started the whole miracle of Christmas.  When we reduce Christmas to snow and mistletoe or even a baby in a manger, we miss the bigger picture.  Christ's birth all began when a young girl said "yes" to God's will, and with her "yes" salvation came into the world. 

to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph… and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  Luke 1:26-28
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23
You can find these cards and more at

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Classic Soup to Warm You Up

Euvarelakia (a meatball egg-lemon soup) is a great soup for the fall and winter months.  Look my recipe on the SOUNDING-


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

You Have to Be Smart Enough, Little Sheep

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.  In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth." 

 Acts 8:32-33 

Have you ever seen a sheep on its way to be slaughtered?  I have.  I was a kid (pardon the pun) the year my dad found out he had "a friend" who could save him some money on his Easter Dinner.  Instead of bringing the butchered lambs home, he brought the cutest live ones we had ever seen.  And as he lead our new found friends into the garage to their doom, my sisters and I cried from inside the house at the injustice!  "That's not fair!"  "You're so mean!"  "Awe!  They're too cute to die!"

Oh, It was all  in vain. 

But my dad, who had the most amazing talent for explaining things, "comforted" us with these words... "Sure they are cute but they are so dumb.  They see us slaughtering their friends and they don't try to run away.  And when it's their turn they come willingly." 

And that's when I learned the lesson that would change my life forever, and probably not the lesson my dad was trying to teach me...  Better get smart or you'll get slaughtered.

I'm not the smartest person of the bunch.  I'm not well read or a master chess player and I know many people who use grammar better than me.   And there are a bunch of people with a load of information up in their heads.  But I am smart enough to know that common sense is my friend and followers can easily find themselves just as lost as the person in front of them, especially if that person is heading for destruction. 

Common sense is also an important part of being a Christian but it carries with it a higher calling.  We understand that it's not about being smart unless you can do it with innocence. 

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Matthew 10:16-20

It's one thing to know about things, and it's another to allow the knowledge to affect your heart.

For example: You might know someone has gossiped or spoke poorly about you.  You might also know that they have turned others against you.  This doesn't give you license to judge them or retaliate.  Our ideal response should be love.  Common sense reveals that their sin of anger and dislike shouldn't become your sin of justice or desire for revenge. 

When someone insults you, common sense steers you to forgiveness over resentment because someone with common sense wouldn't bother to carry someone else's vile burden.  If you resent them you carry their offence and it wears you down.  If you forgive them, you are free of their burdensome behavior. 

And finally, common sense enlightens us that as created beings, we couldn't possibly be smarter than the One who created us.  Any one with common sense would prefer God's will over their own.  God knows how we are made, He loves us more than we love ourselves and He sees the Big Picture of our reality.  A short sighted person would only see or fill themselves with the cares of this life. 

It's time to get smart, People.  But if you do, remember that it takes common sense to be smart and innocent. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Lord's Prayer


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.