country sausage patties with apples

Every meal ought to be a celebration of God, the food He provides and the ones we love seated around our table. Tonight's meal was definitely worth celebrating, thanks to my thoughtful mother-in-law and her delightful Fresh Market gift card for Christmas.

The boys and I enjoyed picking out some special meats and other fresh items on our shopping splurge today: a grand adventure compared to our usual Aldi routine.
Featured Fresh Market Purchase:
1.58 pounds country style sausage

What I did with it:

2 Gala apples, cored, sliced & diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp cilantro
1/8 tsp rubbed sage

1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs

Mix with fingers! (Yes!)
Make into 12-13 "1/4 cup" patties.

Here's what mine looked like:

Bake at 450 degrees, about 12 minutes, flip 5 more minutes:
should be bronzed on the outside, no longer pink on the inside.
Plate it up with eggs & biscuits and fresh fruit.

Our fruit selection: Fresh Market oranges--Today's special: 98c/lb.
Everyone enjoyed! And there's plenty for breakfast tomorrow--what a great way to start the Lord's Day!

a prayer for egypt

We sat in Pizza Hut, awestruck at the violence in Egypt displayed on the overhead television screen, and just as quickly urged our children to shield their eyes as blood ran down dirt-darkened faces, but they'd already seen.

That night, after the questions had been asked and the children tucked safely in their beds, my eyes fell to Psalm 7:9 (NIV):

"Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure—
You, the righteous God
Who probes minds and hearts."

The next day (yesterday) I got news from a pastor-missionary who teaches in Egypt. He shared the disillusionment of a democracy in the current cultural reality, as well as the vulnerability of families lacking the protection of any police intervention, men taking measures to protect their wives and children, families who have barricaded themselves into their apartment buildings but are now running out of basic necessities such as food and water....

My mind goes back to the woman and her two children whose only resource was a jar of oil. Her God is our God. He can still multiple meager resources to meet desperate needs. He can, and I have to believe He will. We have but to ask, to ask in faith, believing....

And today, my heart repeats:

"Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure—you, the righteous God
Who probes minds and hearts."

"O righteous God
Who searches minds and hearts
Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure."


To listen to a beautifully-read audio file of this verse in its context, click here: Psalm 7.
Keep praying.


that the word of God not be blasphemed

We tend to remember best the things we know apply to us.
Recently two friends read the same document regarding health insurance policy changes. One remembered the portions addressing the extended ages of adult dependents as her children are in college; the other, a young mother, had her attention focused on the portion regarding electing PCPs for pediatric care.

Bible passages directly addressing women rightly stand out. Recently while studying the book of Titus along with a group of others at church, a specific phrase in chapter 2, caught my attention. It's highlighted below:

3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2, NKJV)

Blasphemed. Even the word itself leaves a foul flavor on my lips. It's one of those words thick with connotative repulsiveness: I've only ever heard it spat out like mashed up green bean baby food. I wasn't sure how much I was reading in vs. the word's actual denotative meaning.

Merriam-Webster to the rescue. (I love free online dictionaries!) BLASPHEMY:
1 a : the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God
1 b : the act of claiming the attributes of deity
2: irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable

Multiple translations of the Bible assist in giving us a round understanding of words as well, showcasing synonyms as each translator determines to use the word most likely to give the full gamet of meaning from the original language to the modern language.

So here, in this passage specifically addressing women, we are given a charge to live in such a way that God's Word not be maligned, insulted, reviled, dishonored, shamed in any way.

The way I live my life should, instead, magnify the Word of God and the God of the Word. The way I live as a believing woman should exalt, speak highly of, commend and leave others in awe of the Word. It should draw to seek out the meaning of the Word, to desire to know God.
Titus 2 directly affects my day-to-day decision making: what I spend my time doing, how I speak, how I spend time with my own children, how I dress and carry myself, how much I work outside the home, how I keep my home, how I show love to and respond to my husband.

May we each live as women devoted to God's way, that the word of God not be blasphemed.

How has Titus 2:3-5 influenced your life decisions? Post your comments below.
Read here how one expectant mom's life is impacting those observing and treating her in her battle with cancer.