Friday, January 31, 2014

7 Sort of Quick Takes

In which there is much discussion of food, the power of prayer thwarts the Polar Bear Plunge, and my love life is subjected to Facebook-style psychoanalysis.

--- 1 ---

Rebekah's birthday was this month so I gave her some Vermonty maple soda from Vermont Sweetwater. I tried to ask ahead of time if she likes maple, but Rebekah is too much of a scientist and thought I was talking about the Maple computational software. Fortunately I remembered to take a picture of the gift packaging I decorated. It will come in handy if I decide to do this professionally and need to build a portfolio.

--- 2 ---

I've been told that the perfect Marylandy gift is Old Bay Seasoning so I tried it out first on Allison. I think this Apple Glazed Vegetable and Edamame Stir Fry seems worth a try. After mom made me some awesome homemade Smartfood popcorn with margarine, parmesan, and romano, we talked about trying Old Bay popcorn. Turns out crab corn is a thing.

--- 3 ---

So the Polar Bear Plunge was canceled due to 20 mile per hour winds and three foot waves. I did not get this news until around 9am, after I had spent about half an hour shaving, so at least I made that nontrivial sacrifice. I did feel a little bit like I had dodged a bullet and casually attributed the fortuitous cancellation to intercessory prayers. THANK YOU EVERYBODY WHO DONATED!! About half an hour later I got an unexpected phone call from my friend Ruby. I haven't seen Ruby for several weeks but had emailed her about the plunge and she agreed to donate. So I answered the phone and heard a rush of words as Ruby, who doesn't use Facebook, explained that she had been so concerned about me getting frost bite or hypothermia or maybe ending up dead that she had even worried to her husband and our friend about it and had been begging God to keep me safe. She was so relieved by the cancellation that she had already called our friend to give her the good news. She said, "Jesus, I know you can do anything and that you grant miracles in response to prayer so please do something and keep Sarah from harm." So who knows? The plunge may have been cancelled in response to Ruby's fervent prayers. Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him? [Mk 4:41]

--- 4 ---

When I turned on the water Saturday morning, I stuck my foot under the cold shower and felt a tiny thrill of panic. The chill felt uncomfortable and yet that water must be much warmer than the ice cold Chesapeake. It reminded me of a story from a little book someone gave me on suffering. The story is about two pastors who were to be burned at the stake for refusing to renounce their faith. (It was a Protestant booklet, so they were probably being killed by Catholics.) They were locked in a prison cell at sunset waiting for their execution the next day. Through a window they could see the preparations taking place. One pastor was much younger and very afraid, while the older pastor was calm and at peace with the situation. As it was getting dark, the younger pastor went to light a candle but accidentally burnt his hand. The pain was terrible and he really started to panic. How could he persevere tomorrow, keep his wits about him, and remain faithful to God? Then the older pastor reminded him, "The Lord did not ask you to burn your finger on that candle. But when He asks you to accept martyrdom tomorrow, he will give you the grace to endure it."

--- 5 ---

We had a potluck dinner at our debrief meeting for the winter relief shelter at my former church. I now have a pretty great collection of potluck favorites:
And soon I would like to try Ojos de Buey.

--- 6 ---

I was instructed via Facebook to, "Pick up the nearest book to you, turn to page 45. The first sentence explains your love life."

Since the closest books were my Bible and breviary, I decided to go with third closest, Fr. Elijah: An Apocalypse. "What he really means is he can't stand the Church looking over his shoulder, making him accountable for his nutty pronouncements and for warping the minds of a generation of kids." Admittedly, this sounds like something I might say.

But I got curious and looked up page 45 in my Bible and found: "When she went away, she took off her shawl and put on her widow's garb again." Well, I'm not a widow but I have certainly taken off the shawl. This seems much more appropriate. And it was the closest book. How did Facebook know???  ;o)

--- 7 ---

When she went away, she took off her shawl and put on her widow's garb again. [Gn 38:19] This is from the story of poor Tamar. She had been widowed twice when she decided to put on her shawl and trick her father-in-law into having relations with her. Thinking she was a temple prostitute, he purchased her services without realizing it was Tamar. She gave birth to twin sons, one of which was the great great great... grandfather of King David. A man treating a woman as a sex object and a woman using sex to control a man--I'm sure glad we don't have to deal with that anymore! Oh my, how things change over the course of several millennia. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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