Dougie’s Killer Balsamic Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar for a classic vinaigrette)

2 tsps prepared english mustard (or Dijon mustard)

2 cloves of garlic crushed.

heavy pinch of kosher salt

heavy pinch of black pepper

Shake till well mixed.

add 3/4 cup olive oil

Shake again till it forms an emulsion

Let sit for one hour.

Shake then serve.

Doug:I use a martini shaker because it allows you to strain out the garlic.

Nancy’s Note on Balsamic Vinegar and olive oil- we have discovered a place in Santa Fe that sells a variety of vinegars and oils. If you are interested-   http://www.oleaceaeoliveoil.com/#!

The 18 year old and the lavender balsamic vinegar are indescribable. And the Arbequina olive oil tastes wonderful. Not cheap but won’t be wasted either. 

The Written Word

 I’m a couple of days late and more than a dollar short, however, stepped over from Better Writer and had to leave 2 cents worth…

 

I’m a firm believer in leaving a legacy. Some choose to do this by compiling recipes, passing down loved linens, old picture albums, and other memorabilia. Some do this by living what they teach, or teaching how not to live like they once did. For me, it’s words. Don’t get me wrong, I love beautiful mementos, but I love what they represent-the stories attached to them- more. 

 

Those stories give me a sense of place and help me identify where I came from. I lived with my grandmother/mother and my not-biological grandfather from the time I was 6 months old. The grandmother/mother attained legal and physical custody of me when my biological parents split. For years I lived in limbo. Who did I belong to, was I my father’s child, where did my mother come from (she was adopted out, not once but twice and lived in a children’s home between times)? Just where did the blood in my veins come from? Certainly not my grandfather, maybe from my grandmother/mother or my father, her son (although according to her the verdict was out on that and there were two other candidates that could possibly claim that right), definitely from my biological mother, but where did she come from? 

 

You see my conundrum. For years I tried to sift through what I knew and what I didn’t- what a legacy, eh?  As a child I tried to make sense of what I was told and what I overheard. When I matured and put away childish things, this one thing I clung to. Where did I come from and who was I?

 

All along the way God was introducing me to my real heritage. He started with the beginning of creation and brought me all the way through to Jesus through Whom I now stand as an adopted daughter with all the rights and privileges thereof. 

 

This is the legacy I will leave my children, books of journals, blog posts, and a book of letters started for my oldest grandchild when he was born but one that will be for all of those precious grand-babies. They are full of events, feelings, purpose and provision in the midst by the King of Heaven Himself. I want to leave them with the knowledge that they are His grandchildren and their legacy is the story of “our family”. The Story is found in the pages of scripture and connected to them through the experiences I share with them. One day it will all become clear to them and the answer to “Who am I, where did I come from, where do I belong?” will be PERFECTLY CLEAR.

 

In the beginning was The Word….John 1:1

 

Linking over from Leaving a Legacy: 

 

Know Jesus?

Dear Miriam,

I’ve been reading Oswald Chambers. My curiosity got the best of me after his quote nailed me to the wall last spring with the sudden realization that the things I had experienced were not for me but for me to be able to minister to others because my experiences helped me to identify with them. 

Life has been a little frazzled around the edges with so much activity at home and I’ve not been able to think about writing much. Today, after some retirement, reflection and reading I’m beginning to see through the glass a little less darkly. Like my last letter, I have to share this with you because I’m learning to get to the roots of who I am in Him. 

 Back to OC, in reading his writings I find I love that what he has written is meat; that I must chew on it a bit, and swallow it down to “get” the meat in those sentences. So I’m reading along in his “My Utmost for His Highest” and I suddenly realized that I had read the exact same page two days before and had noted down almost exactly the same key points.

 

 Note to self:  When this happens repeatedly you are either having a senior moment or God is specifically teaching you something that He does NOT want you to forget!

 

I’m quoting from his book, the July 11 entry, if you want to read it all for yourself. Emphasis mine, those things jumped off the page at me!

 

 “Self-realization leads to the enthronement of work; whereas the saint enthrones Jesus Christ in his work… Watever it is, we have to take the initiative of realizing Jesus Christ in it. Every phase of our actual life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus… Do I know Him where I am today? If not, I am failing Him, I am here not to realize myself, but to know Jesus.”

 

So that’s what I got the first day I read through it. I really wasn’t grasping it at all and had to chew on it some more, so the Lord gave me amnesia and I read it again this morning and received a whole other meal!

 

 “The spiritual saint never believes circumstances to be haphazard or thinks of his life as secular and sacred; he sees everything he is dumped down in as the means of securing the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

There is a reckless abandonment about him.

The Holy Spirit is determined that we shall realize Jesus Christ in every domain of life, and He will bring us back to the same point again and again until we do.Every phase of our actual life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus. I am here not to realize myself, but to know Jesus.”

 

And the last phrase of that day: the spiritual saint’s aim is to secure the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances he is in. (semi-quote)

 

I think, because of the times we live in, we are directed and driven toward self-realization externally by all sorts of means. Media, technology, advertisement, theater, and literature all point us to find out “who we are.” In the 70s, we used the excuse of  “I’m going off to find myself” to explain why we weren’t about anybody’s business let alone ours or God’s business.   And, when maturity finally settled in around us, the self-realized thought it was all about work. Work to get ahead, to be successful, to have a better life than our parents, to give a large amount to the building program for church, or to provide for our kids what we missed out on as a child. “You work only 60 hours a week? Hrumph, the minimum I work is 80 hours and then some!” Work, Work, Work, that’s what’s important, it’s who I am.

 Yet, here I am staring at this quote and we’re still missing the point a hundred years out from the writing of it. We have replaced Jesus with work on the throne of our hearts instead of Jesus being in and being the focus of our work. Christians have not been exempt from this concept. Work for the Kingdom. “What are you doing, where’s your ministry?” Even in ministry we can place the emphasis on the ministry not on Jesus. I had to stop here and think about my adult life. Have I taken Jesus with me into every part of my life? I mean, intentionally, actually deliberately held up my circumstances to the filter of Jesus? Always? Really?

 Whatever happened to “being” a Christian? Knowing Jesus? Knowing His purpose must be lived out in my life? Knowing it’s all about Him, not about how He is going to provide me with the life I want? Just knowing Jesus? 

Blissfully unaware that God was going to again approach me on this, I re-read the same day in the book two days later and got an additional dose of understanding:  

·      That, as believers, we know that circumstances in our lives don’t just happen; there’s meaning in everything

·      That we don’t separate our lives into compartments of sacred and secular; we live one life as a Christian, all of it. 

·      That, when we believe, it is with our whole being, all of ourselves being poured into Him just to know Him. 

·      That we do come to Him as a little child, and with reckless abandon we tell everyone we know that we know Him. 

 I love that the Holy Spirit does not leave us alone in this, that He brings us back again and again until we get it- He is in it with us for the long haul. He lives it with us; every joy, every heartache, every triumph and every disaster. And He keeps directing us back to Jesus to get us to realize Jesus in every circumstance. Obviously, I needed more than one prompting in this direction!

This point was aimed straight at me- when I saw the word “domain” my head started spinning with technology again! He did say in every domain. However, this time I am beginning to grasp IT: 

 I am not here to realize myself, but to know Jesus.

 Know Jesus. 

That’s all. 

Know Jesus. 

Love, Nancy

P.S. Do you know Him where you are today? Tell me about it.

 

You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. Deuteronomy 4:35

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I Corinthians 2:2

 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. Philippians 3:7-9

 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. II Timothy 1: 9-12

Five Minute Friday: Story

We all have a story. To tell or not to tell. To me a story is like a road- there are bumpy ones- all the time. There are some that are smooth except for that crater you just crawled out of. Then there are those that climb that steep hill and level off. And then there are those that go straight up the mountainside and then seem to go straight back down into the valley. 

When those seemingly insurmountable things happen in our stories we can get stuck- in fear and dread of the next big thing in our lives.

Most of us would like to enjoy the scenery of our story instead of clinging on for dear life, holding our breath in expectation of the next mountain, bump, crater or hill around the bend. When we just wait for “it” our story gets stuck in the groove, rut, scratch like a recording- you know, those old black vinyl things music is on, and your parents have tons of them?

God did not intend for us to get stuck on “over and over and over again”; those bumps, craters and mountains in our lives serve a purpose. They are the story of our lives. If we succumb to the fear and dread, our story ceases to be the story of the victory of God’s Glory in us, but the story of one saved-just barely- a little singed around the edges.  Trusting when holding on by bloodied-fingernails is a challenge, but I am proof it can be done. 

My story is unique as is yours, let your voice be heard. Arm yourself with the whole armor of God, step out into the unknown and enjoy the ride- He will make the telling of your story worth every minute.

Ding.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6  

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands,  from east and west, from north and south. 

Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty,  and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way  to a city where they could settle. 

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love  and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty  and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:1-9

Five Minute Friday: Story

We all have a story. To tell or not to tell. To me a story is like a road- there are bumpy ones- all the time. There are some that are smooth except for that crater you just crawled out of. Then there are those that climb that steep hill and level off. And then there are those that go straight up the mountainside and then seem to go straight back down into the valley. 

When those seemingly insurmountable things happen in our stories we can get stuck- in fear and dread of the next big thing in our lives.

Most of us would like to enjoy the scenery of our story instead of clinging on for dear life, holding our breath in expectation of the next mountain, bump, crater or hill around the bend. When we just wait for “it” our story gets stuck in the groove, rut, scratch like a recording- you know, those old black vinyl things music is on, and your parents have tons of them?

God did not intend for us to get stuck on “over and over and over again”; those bumps, craters and mountains in our lives serve a purpose. They are the story of our lives. If we succumb to the fear and dread, our story ceases to be the story of the victory of God’s Glory in us, but the story of one saved-just barely- a little singed around the edges.  Trusting when holding on by bloodied-fingernails is a challenge, but I am proof it can be done. 

My story is unique as is yours, let your voice be heard. Arm yourself with the whole armor of God, step out into the unknown and enjoy the ride- He will make the telling of your story worth every minute.

Ding.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6  

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands,  from east and west, from north and south. 

Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty,  and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way  to a city where they could settle. 

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love  and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty  and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:1-9

To Blog or not to Blog

Having decided that I would become serious about this blogging thing, I have become inundated with reading other blogs (I want to read them all, I really do), advice on blogging (no offense, Jeff), learning that I am a “small” blogger and need to get bigger, I need a twitter account, a FB page for my blog, I need to blog monthly, weekly, daily, twice daily, I should probably monetize, wordpress is better than blogger, but your own site is even better, protect your pictures, they are your intellectual property, do you have an explicit statement about copyright?….

 

I am now overwhelmed with TMI and at a stalemate. Sort of frozen in place. Forgive me in advance if I’ve caused offense, none is intended. I have been trying to weave my way through all the blogspeak/twitspeak and am now attempting to navigate back to where I was before I stumbled into the larger blogosphere. Think about driving down a nice quiet, tree-lined country lane beside a cool brook that empties out onto the busiest interstate intersection you have ever seen!

 

I know that the Lord wanted me to do this, otherwise doors would not have been opened and words would not have been given. But frankly, I find I now am having to pull back a bit and re-orient my focus on my Compass. Just so you know, my Compass is Jesus. I am finding that focus by being still. Listening to what He has to say in His Word. To do that I have to close my ears to everything else; and listen to Him alone. 

 

So, I’ve said all this to find out first if any of the rest of you bloggers out there have experienced this; and to let you know that my blogging will be sketchy for the near future while I regain my bearings and while I attempt to discern whether I’ve the chops to continue to dig for the information I need to do this well and to develop and run my own site (with a little help from my technocrat of a husband).

 

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

 

They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him. ” Psalm 92:14-15

 

If you’ve experienced this, let me know when the head spinning thing stops!!!