Authentic Compassion

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wisdom from afar

If you live in our part of the world -afar is pronounced as if it is spelled ah fawr (like burning wood). Your linguistics lesson for today in Texanese.
Chuck Swindoll is doing a series about living in the desert - not just dry lands but dry times for the soul - I particularly liked the quote from Amy Carmichael (missionary to Asia - amazing woman if you'll google for her - you'll be impressed). The picture here came from Donvahur's website-Amy as a young woman.

Amy Carmichael, wrote these words:
Before the winds that blow do cease,
Teach me to dwell within Thy calm:
Before the pain has passed in peace,
Give me, my God, to sing a psalm.
Let me not lose the chance to prove
The fullness of enabling love.
Oh, love of God, do this for me:
Maintain a constant victory.

Amen - when the winds are blowing against us here on Buhlaland - I want to remember that God doesn't always still the storm but He can give us peace in the midst of it.
It is good on Buhlaland - even in gale force winds.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oatmeal,fruit and carrots - it's gotta be healthy!

DH is such a great guy - and I'd be a better wife for him if I didn't cook goodies - that said - here is what I cooked today:

Yep - look innocent enough don't they? My adaptation of an older B. Crocker recipe -

I've cut it down to a half of the original recipe - portion control don't you know? Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Have an 8 inch square pan at the ready. No need to oil it but if you want very neat results - you can line it with aluminum foil so when they cool you can lift 'em right out and cut into squares.

Ingredients in bold letters: 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, one cup quick cooking oats, 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir the butter and brown sugar together in a medium sized bowl - get it well mixed and soft. Then add in oats, flour, baking soda and salt. When the mixture looks very crumbly (I ended up using antique utensils - yes fingers were here before forks!) pat half of the mixture into your pan. Bake about 10 minutes or until it looks as if it is beginning to brown.

The filling - one cup dried cranberries (usually called craisins), 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup sugar ,one tablespoon all purpose flour, finely grated peel of one large lemon, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one egg. Stir together in a bowl. When your crust part is done - pour filling over the crust and crumble the remaining oat mixture over the filling. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool before you try to cut them up - they are very crumbly.

Lest you think I am only a dessert maker - well here is proof we eat veggies in forms other than zucchini bread. Carrot salad - yummy!
Shred 10-12 ounces of carrots - Add one shredded cored apple - don't peel it ( I used a gala apple but almost anything other than a very tart apple would be fine). One cup of raisins (I always rinse off raisins before I use them - I've seen how they are made!) one cup of toasted, chopped pecans (I live in the south y'all).
Dressing: in a separate bowl - whisk together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, one tablespoon cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons applesauce, and 1/4 cup honey - it may sound too sweet but it won't be. Once the dressing is thoroughly mixed - pour over the combined fruits, nuts and carrots and refrigerate until ready to serve.
There you go - Linda Sue's healthy foods for the day. I served this today with spaghetti, steamed broccoli and iced tea. We are all overly full and have plenty for tonight or lunch tomorrow. See I can take healthy ingredients and zap up the calorie levels without any stress at all! It is good in Buhlaland and we are all too full!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New decade - what next?!

I'd been pretty glum for about 48 hours . Anticipation of this day for months - the reality of turning 60 just blew me out of the water. 50 - that was a breeze - I was excited and happy and just had so much fun. But 60 - SIX OH - bleah! I am no longer middle aged - unless I'm planning on 120 -considering my current rate of decline - naw. Turned down offers of b'day party from DH and generally have obsessed over how little good I've actually accomplished and overall I've fallen way short of my goals.
BUT - our dog was barking this morning as soon as it started getting light and out we ventured - look what somebody did for me! That is our front gate - somebody decorated it with balloons and streamers and a sign - how cool is that?
See it isn't the great big gestures in life making a difference(although anyone thinking of giving me a week at a spa shouldn't be discouraged from generosity!)-it is taking your time,resources and spending them on someone else. Making a difference -- I have been caught up with the Compassion Bloggers' stories of Uganda and being convicted I'm not doing enough to help --my 60th birthday makes me focus on the clock -it is ticking. My clock needs rewinding occasionally (I'm definitely not digital) and this gesture of love from someone for my birthday - well I'm ready to go for the next 10 years - Lord willing - and maybe I can make someone else grin as much as I did this morning.
Thank you world - and thank you Lord - Buhlaland is a birthday extravaganza today! It is good.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Elius then and now

Bipul first picture and now - our boys are growing so fast!

"What Would Jesus Do" a slogan on bumper stickers, jewelry, shirts, coffee mugs and banners, WWJD in a multitude of places . I know a definite answer to that question - Jesus would be smack dab, totally in the middle of the poorest of the poor children. Compassion International is working as Jesus with skin on in the world. Pictured are our children through Compassion. Elius and Bipul live in Bangladesh. The serious young man in blue long pants has been ours for a year longer than Bipul. Elius has a hardworking mother, his father died over a year ago. Bipul's parents placed him with someone so he could go to the Christian center in their town and they traveled as itinerant workers. For less than the cost of going out for pizza and a movie ($32/month each) God has changed their lives, they are getting an education, medical care and learning about Christ. We get letters regularly - usually with drawings of animals or plants and lots of questions about how we live. They pray for us , you can't imagine the persistence with which we pray for them. The world in which they live is as different from the United States as earth is from Mars. Bangladesh is a primarily Muslim country, one of the poorest countries of the world and afflicted with frequent severe flooding. But they have hope - realistic hope through a simple arrangement done very well.
Compassion International is sponsoring a blogging trip this week to Uganda - I've included links to all the blogs and a link to Compassion so you can sign up RIGHT NOW and change your world. It is absolutely the best thing you can do to make a difference. I'm adding this on Friday the 15th - I forgot to mention when we contacted Compassion to sponsor - we simply asked for the child who had been waiting longest - no stipulation on age, location or anything. God engineered it both times that it would be a young boy in Bangladesh.

Bloggers for Uganda Trip - absolutely worth reading - share these with everyone you know and ask your readers and friends to become Compassion sponsors:
Anne Jackson
Chris Elrod
David Kuo
Doug Van Pelt
Heather Whittaker
Keely Scott
Phil Ware
Ragamuffin Soul
Randy Elrod
Rocks In My Dryer
Shaun Groves
Spence Smith
Tom Emmons

I would like to encourage you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child today! In fact - I strongly recommend it - it'll rock your world. Knowing that on the other side of the world, two boys pray for us makes life even sweeter here on Buhlaland. Thank you Lord.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Looking up

Lord has been providing more beautiful skies recently . I think that is correct but it is possible having a new camera has made me more aware. I enjoy taking twenty or more pictures and picking through them for something appealing. The cloud formation with a rapidly approaching sunset made for dramatic colors and effects. I chose the picture with more color and less of the dark, smoke effect because I get a sense of sadness from the darker ones - as if the darkness is overtaking the light. I know that isn't true - where there is any light at all it dispels darkness.
Without going off the deep end here about darkness, light and all the symbolism inherent - I tend to choose light, colors, breezes, clothes, touches, humor, hair and definitely- Jesus - the Light of the World.
DH asked me how to spell maranatha - while making sure my brain hadn't misplaced that spelling- I found out the Aramaic phrase that results in Maranatha is used in the New Testament one time. We've read and been taught in scripture, repeating an idea gives it greater importance. Obviously once was enough for making an impact with that word - come, Lord. We talked at one time about naming our place Maranatha but I'm glad we didn't - Buhlaland suits us better (and mind you - DH doesn't call it that) and I don't like to trivialize the most important moment in human history (or future story if it doesn't happen before I get this posted).
I promise - I'll do some pictures and stories and recipes about flowers and food and birds and bees or something - I had to get this one out of my system. We're all about keeping systems cleared here on Buhlaland. Come, Lord - today would be good.