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Finishing the Race

I did not watch much of the Olympics and only really watched a little on the last couple of days.  Most of my Olympic “exposure” was through seeing a friends Facebook posts and tags from Rio as she was out there supporting a family member (who incidently came home with a gold medal!!!).

I’m not that interested in sport but I’m still delighted to hear of our country’s athletes success – they worked hard for it and gave up a lot to achieve their goals.

Amongst all the thrill and excitement, one story caught my attention. 

It involved two young ladies: Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand and Abbey D’Agostino from America.

These two ladies fell in their race and after helping each other get back on their feet continued with the race.  It soon became apparent that Abbey was struggling and Nikki went back to help her.  She abandoned any thought she may have had of winning a medal but went to help Abbey so that they could both complete the race.

It struck me that there is a parallel with this story to our call as Christians to run the race of faith.

We are not in a race against each other!  We are in a race together.

Hebrews 12 v 1 exhorts us to run the race with perseverance.

James 1 v 12 promises the crown to those who persevere to the end.

Jude tells us to keep fighting

Both Hebrew and James and in Revelation contain many references to finishing, persevering when things get tough but the reward is promised to those who hold on to the end.

Now I’m not sure from the news reports I read whether these two ladies actually crossed the finish line but they were given a special award because they raced well.  They showed the care and compassion for another competitor which is worth more than winning.

Again we are told to work together, support one another, help those who fall to get back up onto their feet and continue even if some of the time we are carrying them.

I wrote a piece on this previously so won’t write it all again but here is the link;

https://suhancock.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/make-level-paths

Just like my friend who flew out to support her family member, there are people watching us, willing us to win, encouraging us.

So keep running, if you can’t run, walk if you can’t walk, you will find a way…not all our races are the same, we have different races to run.
See you at the finish line!

Normal Service?……..

My Facebook page is telling me that it has been …..oooh a long time, since I last posted. 

Where have I been??

Well I won’t bore you with the details, just that family responsibilities have kept me a bit more occupied and along with a few other things, the “blog” had to go to the bottom of the priority list.

I’m now looking forward over the next couple of weeks to getting into a new routine which hopefully will include getting back to writing here on a more regular basis, so as well as the odd random thing I may want to write about, and sharing a few experiments in the kitchen, I really want to get back to doing some of the more detailed study and thoughts on the Bible.
So this is where you come in – I want your opinions…
I would like to pick up where we “paused” in Genesis.  I’m amazed how much there is to find in even just a few verses and we had just got to chapter 5 and the flood. 

Shall we continue? Do you find this interesting? Helpful? Boring?

Shall we do Psalms or Proverbs?

Shall we go “random”

Or shall we do something completely different? 
What do you think?
I won’t promise a daily blog as I’ve often found when studying the Bible, sometimes you need to go away and think about what you have read, what does it mean? What do I think? How does it impact me?

Talk to me please!!!!

Xxxx

Household tips; Bins

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If like us you have several bins around the house, (bathrooms, office, bedrooms) then here’s a simple little tip to make managing them a little easier.

It’s a pain sometimes when you have a bin which needs to be emptied and you have to go off and find the right size bin liner from under the kitchen sink and go back upstairs to line the bin, so here’s what I did;

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I bought some extra rolls of cheap bin liners and left one in the bottom of each bin so it is always on hand, I can then simply take one and re-line the bin all ready for use.

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Now if you don’t want to have several rolls in the house as some of these have up to 100 liners on them, then simply remove a number (say 10) and leave these in the bottom of the bin, or if you have any supermarket carrier bags, fold a leave some of these there ready (you could even colour coordinate them if you are that way inclined!!

Hope this helps….

Guilty!!!!!!!

Yes, I am guilty, guilty of Tax avoidance, and you probably are too….

My conscience is clear though because it is perfectly legal.

I have a ISA…. Shock horror!!!!

And why did I take out an ISA?

TO AVOID PAYING TOO MUCH TAX!

and as I have had NO income since stopping work 6 years ago, I have also transferred part of my tax allowance to my husband so that we pay a little less tax and get a little more of his not very high wage. 

This is perfectly legal, in fact our government and tax offices encourage it.

Yes I question the morality of some of these super rich schemes, off shore investments etc, but the fact is that they are not breaking the law.

Now Tax EVASION is illegal, that is; not paying tax that you should . (by the way, did you declare the income on that little job you did for cash “on the side”?…Yes? Well done you… You can stay on your moral high horse)

Truth is, many of the people who make these laws are the ones who benefit from them so I suspect that nothing is going to change there,  but I have got a little irritated by those pointing the finger condemning those who are in a position to take advantage of these laws; can any of us honestly say that we would not arrange our finances in the most efficient way to minimise the amount of tax we pay?

I thought not…

Rant over

Rhubarb Loaf Cake

I made this yummy cake last night and following requests for the recipe; here it is….

I have loads of Rhubarb chopped up in bags in my freezer and as we are not “regular” pudding eaters (trying not terribly successfully to control our weight) I thought I had better try and use some before the next crop starts appearing.  We only have one plant but it seems to be extremely happy where it is and grows like a mad thing (great for our Rhubarb Chutney) so when I was sorting the freezer yesterday I took a bag out to use and decided to try and make a cake.

The first thing I did was tip the already chopped and frozen rhubarb into a saucepan and cooked it until all the liquid had boiled off and I had a nice thick puree.

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Yes I know it does not look terribly appetising but this bag of rhubarb was fairly green so not a great colour.  I added a bit of ginger powder and about a teaspoon of the sugar we had saved from some crystallised ginger.

I then set this aside to cool.

When it had cooled I made a basic cake mix – I used a 2 egg mix but I think if I make this again I will use a 3 egg  mix.

For my cake mix method see:

Anyone for cakes????

Oh – you want to know how much rhubarb? truth is I forgot to weigh it before I started but I think it would have been about 2 good size sticks.

Anyway, I added the cake mix to the pureed rhubarb and mixed it all together

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Oh – and for this cake to make it a little “healthier” I used wholemeal self raising flour (because it was next to the caster sugar in the cupboard)

I lined a 2lb loaf tin with paper and popped it in the oven at 160 degrees

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Again this is something I was learning as I went along… After 45 minutes it looked like this..

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but I decided it needed a little longer as when I took it out it was quite floppy so in total it took just over an hour.

I would therefore put it in at slightly higher temperature – but no higher than 180 when making this again, but eventually it looked like this…

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We were a bit impatient to try it with our cup of tea so I cut a couple of slices and we had it warm (would have been very nice with a dollop of ice cream if we had any…)

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Very yummy!   I’m going to have to make this again very soon to try the variations I have thought of – that is, use a 3 egg mix and bake at a slightly higher temperature.  Now I mixed the rhubarb in well but you could always “marble” it or perhaps layer it by putting in half of the cake mix, then the puree and the rest of the cake mix on top,  go on… experiment, its fun!! If you don’t like Rhubarb then try raspberries or whatever fruit you fancy.

 

 

The Box of Burgers: Burger Soup

I’ve posted before about the box of burgers that we acquired which were leftover from the church barb-e-que last summer and all the different thing I have used them for…meatballs, sausage rolls, “Toad” in the hole, as well as roasting them with some gravy, but I still have a lot in the freezer (it was a big box)

The other day I was contemplating what to do with some celery and carrots that were sitting in my fridge needing to be used when I started to develop the idea of making some soup.  What else could I put in it? I still have quite a lot of these burgers in my freezer (the drawer is quite heavy to pull out) so I started thinking along the lines of breaking up a couple of these into the soup along with some leftover passata that I had frozen.

Saturday morning arrived and I had promised myself a lazy slow start to the day following a hectic couple of weeks and fighting off a “sniffle” so I switched on the TV and found that one of my favorite food programs was on – Pioneer Woman.

Imagine my surprise when she proceeded to make Beefburger soup!!! just what I had been thinking of making.  I have not seen this episode before as we are about a year behind in the UK and she was using pretty much the same ingredients that I had (plus she had a few more and she used fresh mince rather than burgers)

So here’s what I did:

I defrosted two burgers (they are quite big – quarter pounders I think) and began to gently fry them and break them up in my casserole pot (no need to add any oil as enough fat would come out of the burgers)

I then chopped up one red onion, two sticks of celery, three small carrots (don’t bother peeling, just scrub them clean) I chopped these quite finely so that they were a similar size to the mince.

I also had a bunch of VERY sad looking spring onions, so rather that waste these, I took the outer layer off and found that they were still quite fresh and green underneath so I chopped these up and added them in.

I had some passatta which was left over in a carton in the freezer so I added some boiling water to dissolve and poured it into the casserole dish.

I added some salt and pepper and a stock cube (although I would now probably leave the salt out as the stock cube is quite salty,  A teaspoon of mustard and a splash of Worcestershire sauce and let this cook for a while.

Now I did not want this until later, so I transferred it all into a slow cooker and left it to simmer away for a couple of hours.

When it came to time to dish up, I added some gravy thickening granules to thicken it up a little and served with a slice of bread and butter.  YUM!!!

This provided a generous portion for hubby and a nice portion for me, with the leftovers going into a freezer container for another day.

 

I shall definitely be making this again

Genesis 5: And then He died

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This is the list of the descendants of Adam.  (when God created human beings, he made them like himself.  He created them male and female, blessed them, and named them “Humanity” Genesis 5 v 1-2)

Genesis chapter 5 is the first of several geneologies in the Bible and lists the descendants of Adam through to Noah.  As we noted in the last study, there were many many more descendants from Adam’s children and we know from Cain’s actions that many of them would have wandered away from God during this time.  A pattern is followed with each person listed;

After he had lived … years he became the father of …  After he became the father of .. he lived …. years and had other sons and daughters.  Altogether, …. lived … years and then he died.

All of them except Enoch; who we will talk about later.

So we have;

  • Adam lived 930 years
  • Seth lived 912 years
  • Enosh lived 905 years
  • Kenan lived 840 years
  • Mahalalel lived 895 years
  • Jared lived 962 years
  • Enoch lived 365 years and then God took him
  • Methuselah lived 965 years
  • Lamech lived 777 years
  • Noah

Some time ago I did a little exercise tracking the timescales of each person as recorded here in chapter 5.  It’s interesting to note the overlap of the generations recorded here in that it becomes clear that apart from Noah, they would have all known Adam and were alive at the time of Adam’s death.  Lamech, the 9th generation would have been around 50 at the time of Adam’s death  It is very likely then that they would have heard first hand accounts from Adam of what had happened in those early days and of his walk with God in the garden.  There is not opportunity here for the story to be distorted down the generations as Adam was still alive and able to say “I was there – this is how it was!”

Enoch was the first to go after Adam.  The Bible says that “he walked with God”  The Good News Bible translated this as “He spent his life in fellowship with God”.  There is a crucial difference here in that of all the others the Bible says “He lived” but of Enoch it says “He walked with God” – in other words – he REALLY lived.

We are living now, but are we walking with God.  That is the great challenge to us.  Enoch it seems was the only one who was living anywhere near to the life that God intended for his children and walked closely in fellowship with him.  I’m imagining him perhaps sitting on the knees of his Great x4 Grandfather and hearing the stories of how Adam walked with God in the Garden and his young heart yearning to have that closeness with God.  His reward was that he did not have to suffer the penalty of death.

If we look further at the timescales, at the time of Noah’s birth, only Adam and Seth had died and then Enosh died when Noah was around 90 years old.

Some people question the accuracy of the number of years lifespan recorded here, but then we have to remember that Adam was created perfect.  There were no sicknesses and diseases which would have taken them at that time.  It is not until David writes in the Psalm 90 v 10 a reference to our lifespan being 70 years.

There is possibly some significance drawn by the numbers in that Enoch was 365 years old when God took him, the number of days in a year, perhaps indicating a full life.

Lamech’s 777 years could perhaps be compared with the Lamech of Genesis 4, the descendant of Cain.  7 is regarded as the number of completion and 777 is hinted at being the number representing God in Revelations.  This compares with the 70 times 7 which Cain’s Lamech boastfully proclaims in Genesis 4.

We then come to Noah – who we will look at a bit more closely in the next study

 

All quotes from The Good News Bible