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Catching My Attention

Here are a few posts that have caught my interest this week.

Apparently this picture has gone viral, though today is the first time I've seen it.
 This blog was posted four months ago, but the story behind the picture is worth reading. You can read it here. 

Lisa Jo Baker (of Five Minute Friday fame) guest-blogged at A Holy Experience on the subject of hospitality.  Hospitality is something I do a lot of, but honestly, some days I just don't feel like it.  For me it has more to do with tiredness and energy than with worrying about how my house will look.  But if you struggle with the whole hospitality thing, you'll find this blog encouraging.

Another thing I struggle with, but at which I'm getting better....saying "no".  Even if it makes you unpopular.  Even if people give you the guilt trip treatment.  Remember, saying "no" to one thing is saying "yes" to another thing.
 Not So Random Stuff talks about this on her blog.

We hear a lot about young people leaving the church during and after high school.  Larry Alex Taunton interviewed young atheists and asked them, "What led you to become an atheist?"  Their answers may surprise you.  This article is a great reminder to not water down what we have to offer.

Here's one for the teachers out there. A favorite book of kids has long been Where the Wild Things Are. Apparently there is a movie based on the book (released in 2009?? .... I obviously know little about movies!).  Relevant Magazine has an article on the 
movie (and by default the book) about the deeper meaning of the book.  The author writes, "It’s a good trick, but hard to learn—how to be mad without being bitter and keep your catharsis from being a crutch. ... Go ahead. Be mad. Shout your questions. Punch a wall. Color with red and black. Go to where the wild things are. But dock your boat, mark your trail and remember your own weakness. You could never be half as mad at God as He is in love with you."

I can make some basic spread sheets on Excel, just enough to help keep me organized.  I know very little about formulas, though I'd like to learn more.  But who ever thought you could make art using Excel?! Believe it or not, this picture was created in Excel!  Tatsuo Horiuchi is a 73-year old artist who had never used Excel at work, but saw others using it and thought it would be possible to create pictures in Excel.  For more examples of his art work, go to this web site.

And finally, when you were a kid did you ever spin the globe, put your finger down randomly, and say that was where you would travel?  There is now an on-line game called GeoGuessr that lets you play the game in an up-dated format.  Google Earth gives you five locations and you click on a map to indicate where you think the location is.  You get points depending on how close you are to the real location.  After five locations, you start over.  It's challenging to look for clues such as the flora of the area, the direction cars are going, style of houses, etc.  It's also addicting.


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Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  

February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.

In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…