31 October 2013

31 days... of dinner chez les Wrightlings... When Grandpa Gene and Grandma Susan come and kidsit {day 31}

We traveled back to the Grand Rapids to teach missionary lessons to a couple of AWANA groups at one of our supporting churches.

School nights make it hard to cart the kids 2.5 hours away and back... all after school.
So we recruited Grandma and Grandpa to stay with the gang, see that they ate, didn't assassinate each other or destroy the house, made it over to their AWANA/youth group and back and that hopefully the littles would get to bed.

An extra treat?
New cousins Angelina and Peyton came to visit, too!
(And we can't forget one of Rebekah's classmates who needed a place to hang out in between school and church... She was there as well.)

I asked the girls if they were a good help when we got home.
They said they had fun.
And Nadia said she showed Grandma Susan where the food was.

Oh the things kids do... like NOT help when they could.

Oh well... We obviously needed Grandma there or at least the eating would not have happened.

Looked like they ate pretty doggone good stuff, too!
Nadia begged the leftovers so the kids could take it for lunch.

Since rain continues to trickle from the sky...

These kiddos are hoping for a sugar high from the Halloween candy we aren't handing out!
What a way to end 31 days of dinner chez les Wrightlings!

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30 October 2013

31 days... of dinner chez les Wrightlings... ... Repurposed food {day 30}

Wednesdays are typically wordless around here.
And since it has been a long day... 
so even as a female with words as my love language and often my therapy, 
I think I've used up my share of words.

Tim and I just arrived back at the house after teaching AWANA groups on the northwest side of Grand Rapids.

Fun... always lots of fun...
Talking to children about Niger.
The kids at Ravenna Baptist were wonderful...

Apparently our crew, who we left at home, were too.
For tomorrow, I've got pictures from dinner with the Wrightlings 
Grandpa Gene and Grandma Susan and the newer cousins!

But that doesn't help me with today's post because
I still haven't posted anything about last night's dinner.

It was repurposed food.
Sounds a little scary, but it wasn't.
A little of this & a little of that with a few changes here and there
makes something exciting and all brand new!

You see - there was still cabbage in the fridge from the night we had cabbage fritters.
And remember?
That lovely, lightly sweet onion gravy from the night we had toad in the hole?
Some of that was still hanging around in the back corner of the bottom shelf.
I didn't want it to start growing.

So I fried up some new fritters (with a different seasoning), more flour for a much crispier final, heated up the gravy, pulled out catsup (for those who eat it on EVERYTHING), 
some leftover salad...

and voilà!

A thumbs up dinner where even the littles wolfed down their cabbage
asked for more!

There was only one problem

It left a big mess in the kitchen and I didn't get to clean-up until all homework was done at 11:00 pm... 

Thank you math... sigh...

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Mostly Wordless Wednesday ~ Fearless Stream Crossers

My few words... before you get worried... 
We DIDN'T let them cross the above waters!

29 October 2013

31 days... of dinner chez les Wrightlings... Goulash {day 29}

Goulash is another quick and easy meal, especially if you've got already shredded cheese and leftover spaghetti sauce from lasagna (which was even more delicious as leftovers, in case you were wondering)!

I was hoping to get to the Women for Missions meeting at our church on Monday night, so I fixed the food and ran... almost literally... to make it on time. I handed the camera over to Anna, asking her to document the even for me in my absence.

So... no commentary today... just Anna's photos... which always make me smile.

So, I know I said no commentary, but why in the world are there three pictures of empty plates and none of Jonathan? The only thing I can figure is that Anna and Jonathan must have been fussing at each other about something. The other message I'm sensing from all those empty plate photos? I think they want to emphasize the fact that goulash is a favorite meal of EVERYONE.

How would you interpret Jonathan's absence?
Or? The fact that Anna took pictures of several empty plates?

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28 October 2013

Encountering Jesus ~ Instead judge correctly (part 2)

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” 
“You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath?...
Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.

At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” 
Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” 
At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?” 
Jesus exhorts His listeners to stop judging based on visual perception or how things seemed to them, but rather based on conformity to who God is and to what God has declared right, pure and just.

Easy to type - not so easy to swallow or accept - and without abundant measures of His grace and mercy, impossible to do. And it flies totally contrary to lovely sounding words (like the ones below) which represent the thought of this present age... 

...but do not correlate to what the Word of God teaches.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” 
~Henry David Thoreau

While traveling last summer, we stopped at the National Battlefield of Little Bighorn. It was a sobering experience. It is a bit mind-numbing to look at all the tombstones and realize that that spot is where someone's life ended. Someone's son... brother... husband... father... friend... died. It was one of the few places we visited (outside of Notre Dame) where I didn't have to remind our children to be quiet. Not even once. Not even the littlest or most talkative ones.

We stopped because our family had been learning about the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Lakota Native American tribes... we'd retraced, as our paths would allow, the story of General Custer and Chief Black Kettle after learning a bit from the old TV series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. One of the key points at every place we stopped... people judged other people according to their norms and assumptions leading to misunderstanding and misjudgments...

...and tragedy, death, sorrow and disaster.

Those coming from a European cultural perspective just didn't get those coming from the Native American perspective. Motivations, priorities, communication styles, and so much more were just diametrically different. Misunderstandings of power as well as avarice and stubbornness also exasperated the already enormous problems. Fear and a history of abuse and atrocities on both sides were huge factors as well. Add into that the arrogance that comes along with assuming your way is the best way so just go ahead and totally discount or forget any other way...

...It was almost like there was just too much water under the bridge.

At Washita, the army was the clear military victor. Custer thought he had another opportunity for a similar victory. He judged wrongly. He paid for his arrogance with his life and the lives of so many others.

What else does God's Word say about judging?

My first search has over 1100 Biblical references to the word "judge." And that excludes other forms of the word: judging, judges, judged, judgement... YIKES! This might not be just a quick side trip, eh? Maybe I'll try the topical bible... or the visualized bible my Nana and Pop pop gave me when I first left for college so many years ago...

But even a cursory glance shows that judging occurs in many different circumstances:
  • judging others (Jesus followers or those who aren't)
  • judging self
  • judging organizations/churches
  • judging actions - i.e. sinful or not
  • judging motivations
  • judging God for His actions, His decisions

Matthew 7.1:  “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

That verse gets thrown around a lot - and the obvious implication is that all judging in any circumstance is absolutely wrong. End of discussion. That interpretation is wrong and is an attempt to escape accountability and often, of having to accept hard consequences.

It is easy (Jesus follower or not) to take those words as an absolute and complete rejection of any and all appraisal or assessment of a moral nature. And, in fact, Jesus commands in John that we are to judge... correctly. As Kevin DeYoung says, "Judgmentalism is not the same as making ethical and doctrinal demands or believing others to be wrong...." 

In the above verses, Jesus says to stop judging by appearances... by simply what we see or how things appear in that initial surface look. To judge correctly, we've got to dig deeper.

Thus, that person walking down the street dressed in a way that I'd never dress or even might find offensive - I'm sinning if I judge.

That kid three rows in front of me in church who won't sit still and is distracting everyone in the 5 rows behind - I'm sinning if I judge his parents.

That person who's radio station is tuned to one I'd never listen to - I'm sinning if I judge his/her music standards.

My child who hasn't cleaned his/her room when I check after they've left for school - I'm sinning if I judge.

And I could keep going on... but the point is pretty clear. Snap judgments that evaluate a person's Christianity, morality, obedience, righteousness based on a glance and an appearance? The only judging that needs to be going on is the self examination of my own heart and the confession of that sin for what it is: disobedience to God's Word.

Even if that judgment is never uttered aloud... if it happened in my heart, I need to clear that between the Lord and me. If it has affected how I treated that other person and confession is in his/her best interest, I need to humbly confess and seek forgiveness.

And I think I've stepped on my own toes enough for one Monday afternoon...

Do you have an accountability system set up to keep a check on the sinful judging that so often emanates from these fallen human hearts?

Does it help? How does it work for you, if you do?

this week's gratitude list
(#'s 4287 - 4311)

safety for loved ones in a car accident

great volleyball tournament

fun new recipes using butternut squash

coffee with one of my regular coffee buddies and someone I hope to have coffee 
often in the future

6th grade slumber parties

kissable sour cream monsters

cold fingers and toes as I work on the computer

Niger family

listening to kids skype and laugh and giggle with their redcoat friends... loving hearing those names as the chillin's chat amongst themselves

prank pizza delivery calls to another friend... once again listening to the laughs, giggles and one sided conversation with all 7 of the currently in Michigan Wrightlings

finally, a date-ish on the calendar that my girlies will get to see Mr Stan, Miss Mary and their boys (we hope those boys will be there)!

that a Honey Nut Cheerio incident wasn't much worse

listening to Tori sing as she works beside me on the kid-puter

hair cut for Nadia

hanging out with Gampy

little girls messing up the words to songs and making me smile

seeing the littles make new friends at our partnering churches

big boys and spilt milk... smiling!

the latest episode of The Mentalist... getting intense!

Jonathan has discovered college football so I've got a watching buddy if I just had time to sit and watch a game

birthday parties and hayrides that make big girls laugh and smile

pumpkin walks

stories about charging elephants and charging hippos

my sweet friend finally home from the hospital and healing

Google earth to help show people where we live

Ten most recent posts in this series: 


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