How to Pray for Victims of Al-Shabaab

The above image shows the danger zones where Al-Shabaab militants are located. Red shows their concentrated control.

Two weeks ago, I created a video promoting IDOP, the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church (November 6th, 2016). I asked for Christians to pray with me. However, there is a possibility some of you want to pray, but have no idea what to pray for. I mean, the thought might cross your mind: I have no knowledge about the people suffering. I don’t know how to emotionally connect enough to pray, and I don’t have time to learn more. That’s a natural thought process. We have lives. We are very busy.

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A Tuna Sandwich Recipe for Picky Eaters

As a kid, I was always a picky eater.  The only things that my mom could get me to eat was homemade soft tacos (just meat and cheese, thank you), spaghetti (plain, only with sprinkle Kraft Parmesan cheese on top) and chicken patties (Tyson brand only, please), plain on a bun.  Sometimes I would relent and have a hot dog (beef, not pork, which was hard to find at the time), but only if it was plain.

I would take turkey sandwiches (just the lunch meat and bread) for lunch, with chips – Doritos, Pringles, or Lays – as a side and gummies for dessert.  Finally, after she was tired of seeing me take the same lunch over and again every day to school, she helped me find another type of meal for my lunchbox: steamy Hot Pockets wrapped in aluminum foil.  (My mother was a genius, yes?)  Of course, since it was barely even a new product, the only flavor Hot Pockets offered at the time was pepperoni, so my friend would watch in amazement as I picked out ALL the pepperoni and left the pocket practically empty.  “Are you really not going to eat that?” He would ask me.  It’s true. I would not.

There was one meal which my mother could make, and I think she took advantage of it some because it was actually a healthy meal that I would happily eat.  I loved my mother’s tuna fish sandwiches.

Now, I’m still picky about my tuna.  I don’t like mustard in the sandwich, and I don’t like pickles.   But I love my mother’s tuna sandwiches. Lucky for me, she passed the recipe along, so that I could continue to fix the tuna sandwiches that I enjoy so much.

When we took in my 2nd cousin as a baby and raised him, he proved to be… quite the picky eater.  For a long time, he would only eat olives, oatmeal, anything jalapeno or cherry (candied, not fresh), and…. tuna sandwiches, made just like my mom would make for me.

I was on Pinterest a while back, finding recipes online of all the meals we enjoyed (because Lacy and I do much of the cooking for our family) and I searched for my mother’s tuna sandwich recipe, or even just a tuna salad recipe that was similar.  I searched site after site after site, but couldn’t find the recipe anywhere. I feel it’s a bit of an injustice, since this tuna was the ONLY kind of tuna I would eat as a kid, and Jake (my picky eater brother mentioned above) acts the same way.

So I’ve decided to share it on the blog.


Ingredients

  • 1 family pack tuna (11 ounces)
  • 3 or 4 boiled eggs
  • 2 or 3 big, red apples of your choice, peeled
  • 3 or 4 or 5 heaping soup spoons of mayonnaise (about 2/3 or 1 cup)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Step 1: Prepare. Get all your ingredients together before you begin.  It’s easier to work if you already have everything ready when you start.

Step 2. Chop the apples into a big serving bowl. You can put either 2 or 3 apples, depending on if you like the apple flavor more.  My family loves the apple addition, so I usually chop 3 apples.

Step 3: Chop the eggs up into the bowl with the apples. Again, you can choose to use 3 or 4, depending on if you like to have an eggy sandwich. I use 4 because that’s how my family prefers it.

At this point, I like to add a dash of salt, to flavor the eggs and apples more.

Step 4: Add the tuna and mix it with the apples and eggs. (Don’t forget to drain the tuna if you’re using a can instead of a package.)

Step 5: Add the mayonnaise.  If you like dry tuna, use less.  If you prefer a more moist tuna then add more.  You can use a measuring cup, but I typically just use a soup spoon to dish it out of the mayo jar.  Usually it takes about 3 or 4 spoonfuls, but sometimes it takes 5 or 6.  Just do a little at a time until you get the right amount of moistness. Be careful!  It is possible to put too much mayonnaise.

Sprinkle a light layer of pepper onto the tuna, and stir it in. Add more salt, too, if you want.

This makes about 8 sandwiches. If you’re like Jake and you don’t prefer bread, then you can eat it as a dip on fritos, corn chips, or potato chips, instead. If you’re like Lacy and you have a yeast allergy, you can also eat it as a wrap, on crackers, or simply on top of lettuce as a salad.

For variety, try chicken instead of tuna: substitute the tuna fish for 4 plain, baked chicken breasts chopped and add a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. If you also add 1/2 cup of purple grape halves, then you’ll get a chicken salad sandwich similar to Arby’s chicken salad sandwich (one of my favorite meals when I eat out). Yum!


trigwaiting4tuna

Our dog Trigger, waiting for his own package of tuna. It happens every time! When I begin to chop the eggs and apples, he comes and sits at my feet, waiting patiently for me to give him his share of the meal. I always have a package ready for him.

 

True Story: I was making the tuna tonight to take a few pictures of it, and got completely mixed up with the steps, putting the mayo before the tuna, because I was so caught up in whether the pictures looked right.  Where’s a photographer when I need one?  (I’m the photographer, but don’t take pictures and cook all at the same time! You’re brain’ll get flustered and it’ll be hard to think. )

I made the tuna as usual, I thought!  But I guess I forgot the extra apple, and I used the wrong mayo spoon so the tuna was too dry, and I paid the price.  The moment Jake got a spoonful on his plate he reacted.  “Ew! Kathryn, what did you do different this time!?  Are you trying to poison me with fish?” It must not have been that different though, because he still ate it without any post-serving complaints.

tunarecipe

 

Offer: Get a Free Copy of “i am n”

Offer expires November 6th, 2016 at 11:59 PM CT

This year, The Voice of the Martyrs released a book titled “i am n”, full of stories about Christians who face bullies and persecutors. Some of these victims live in regions like China and the Philippines. Others live in territories where Islam controls the government, mainly North Africa and the Middle East.  Many of the people featured in the book were once Muslims themselves, but through divine calling, smuggled Bibles (illegal in some places), and the good will of Christians, they learned about Christ and converted.

“I am n” has 6 parts, 297 pages, and nearly 50 personal stories. You can buy the book at their website (currently for $16), and all the net proceeds will go to helping these victims, who, many have lost their homes, their freedom, or their loved ones, but not their hope in Christ.

November 6th, the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church, is approaching and we (Christians) need to come together in union to pray for the suffering in the world. If you genuinely want to pray for the persecuted and don’t know how, but you want to learn how to empathize with their situations, so your prayers can be more effective, we have an offer for you. We will send you a copy of “i am n” free of charge. We will pay for the book and the shipping costs. Contact us with the form below and tell us your name and address. We will send it to you as soon as we can. It is a one-time offer, meaning we will not misuse your address to continue sending you other mail.

“But dear friends, use your most holy faith to build yourselves up strong. Pray with the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love. Wait for the Lord Jesus Christ with his mercy to give you life forever.” Jude 20-21 (ICB)

Reform to Innocence

How do you go back to being innocent again after proven guilty? Once grief sets in, guilt pierces your heart, sin becomes a habit, or self-condemnation appears in your thoughts, how do you refresh yourself in a way that brings back the innocence you once felt, before the problems occurred?

When a baby enters life for the first time, surely he takes his first breath and cries out from the shock of change. His surroundings are new and foreign from the life he had during 9 months of development. As human beings, we crave to feel a sense of innocence that comes from the beginning of all things, but we cannot find it again, because we have seen too much. Felt too much. Loved too hard. Lived too little. Whatever our viewpoints, most of us understand the desire to forget all past shames and grievances. We want to live life unfettered and pure. We want rebirth.

So the question here is not, how does one live in the pretense that his life is pure and guilt free?  No. The question here is, how does one find the resolve he or she needs in order to step through the door tomorrow brings, as a new, fresh, unadulterated version of oneself? One without regret?

Imagine again how the newborn thinks. In this beautiful ideal, you walk out the door, view the sky as an (incredible!) unseen expanse, see the sky blue for the first time, notice the clouds as white and puffy like you’ve never known. The sun hits your face and you feel the warmth; you wonder where it comes from. When you go to the grocery store to pick up a simple item, the building has in it many great wonders: all your senses are on overdrive to identify and remember every new sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch.

Now imagine that state of thinking being your permanent self. Even a newborn’s way of thought morphs as he matures,  but imagine yourself always free from the past, always free from guilt, always free to wonder. How can we do that? How can we return to that sense of innocence?

Step 1: Acknowledge the extraordinary.

Something happens in your mind when you ponder on the universe. Whether you ponder on the reaches of space, depths of the ocean, intricacies of rock formations, or diminutive yet detailed structures of cells, by acknowledging the power above and around you, your mind is released from restrictive thoughts. Glory fills your heart. God is expansive, spacious, and limitless. His creation is, too.

“This is your wonderful thought for the day: Jehovah is God both in heaven and down here upon the earth; and there is no God other than him!” Deuteronomy 4:39 (TLB)

Step 2: Enjoy your Heavenly Father’s pride.

When God sees you, he sees the person he made. The author of Psalm 139 knew he was a product of God’s handiwork. To God he said,

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.” Psalm 139:13-14 (TLB)

When you see your life through Heaven’s eyes, it becomes clear that your life is worth living. The way a baby is pleased to please his father or mother; so it be this way with you and your Father in Heaven. By allowing yourself to feel God’s pride, like the rays of sunlight breaks through the clouds onto the field below, you will begin to feel an innocence unlike any other.

Step 3: Strip away the “clothes of shame”.

Remove that which weighs you down. If each sin or shame were an article of clothing, begin by stripping away the outer garments, the ones known to others, then strip away the inner garments, the ones private that only you know, until you have no sin left. Newborns begin life with nothing but what is God-made on them. By removing the toxic influences in your life, you will no longer feel weighed down. You will be “bare of shame”. This is not an easy task, in fact, it could seem impossible, or at least it’ll require a lifestyle change, you think. But Hebrews 12 explains it like a race we must run; we must strip ourselves of sin first, then run ahead quickly, not looking back at what we’ve lost.

“…let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (TLB)

Step 4: Delight in your moments of growth.

Once sin is out of your life, usually it finds a way back into your life. But the great part about the step-by-step process with God as your Father is that he is forgiving no matter how many times you fall down; he won’t judge the mess-ups. When you see yourself making improvements, gently delight in those moments of growth. No need to boast, in fact, sin tends to rear its ugly head at any sign of boastfulness. But by finding enjoyment in doing what’s right, you will please God and ultimately yourself, once you learn to recognize the spirit of innocence that’s in your soul.

Innocence will first come like a morning birdsong, a calling from another source, but as time goes by, innocence will be knitted into your soul. Just as God intricately made you in the womb, he can also intricately sew a new spirit into your soul, stitch by stitch.

 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and don’t prevent them. For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (TLB)

 

Captain’s Log: Attention Gamers!

September 25, sometime in the Baroque Era, with a touch of present day.

Ahoy, ’tis Captain Goodrich here.   I’d like a moment of your time, if you have some to spare.

This past week you’ve had the chance to meet some of my crew.  Soon, I’ll be extending an invitation to all gamers like yourself, requesting that you join Baroque, Dissonancy, Passion, Rococo, and the rest of my crew as our shanty-man on the Phantom Acoustique.

Shanty-men are important roles to fill in a ship’s crew, as the shanty-man is a musician who leads the crew’s work with a shanty, an upbeat song.  This keeps our riggers in harmony together and lifts the spirits of the entire crew.  Shanty-men also make jolly the celebrations and entertainment onboard the ship so that the crew won’t lose heart on our voyages.

You’ll be navigating the seas, trading at port, dueling both pyrates and friends to protect the treasure maps you claim, and you may even experience a cannon battle or two.

If you decide to receive the invitation and join my crew of second chances, then I will be honored to give you the name Shanty, and my crew will welcome you eagerly into our ranks.  You’ll work with the boatswain, the carpenter, the gun master, and even an occasional king or religious evangelist who are taking their own voyage with us.

Friend, how much do you appreciate music?  If you love history, art, and music, then get ready to experience the journey of a lifetime in this long awaited, highly-competitive game of the year.  In the midst of stealing maps, arresting pyrates, collecting booty and surviving dread cannon battles, you’ll be composing your very own shanty tune in the key of sea.

Autumn Angel Art has been laboring over this swashbuckling card game for a long time, and are working diligently on getting it finished and in the marketplace by the end of the year or early next year.  Follow Autumn Angel Art on Twitter or their Facebook page to keep up with the important updates and information on this one-of-a-kind pyrate card game.  Or, if it suits your fancy, just follow this blog.  They’ll be sure to write updates as news on the game becomes available.

Captain’s Log: Slave No More

September 25, sometime in the Baroque Era, with a touch of present day.

Written with penmanship of Passion, the gentle cooper of the Phantom Acoustique, who was once a slave.

Hi. I’m Passion. I’m the cooper onboard Captain’s ship. My job is to patch barrels when they get a leak, or make sure they don’t warp or rust or crack. It sounds like a pretty simple job, but it’s tougher than it seems.

I’m honored to work for Captain Goodrich. He’s a gracious captain. He saved me from the wheel, which would have been my fate for running away from my cruel master again, if the captain hadn’t have bought me my freedom. Thank you, Cap’n. I’m grateful.

Life on a ship isn’t so bad, if you can look past the rowdy crew. They can be loud, sometimes. But they’re fun people.

Sometimes, after being at sea for long enough, it starts to get tough, because we start to run low on provisions, and there is no fresh fruit and other things. We can only eat tack biscuits, jerky, and other things. It’s ok though, because Pachelbel can make a good bone soup, and Intermezzo can catch us a fine meal of fish.

Sometimes I miss the land, streets to roam, trees to climb, markets to explore, but then I think of the trouble that land always brings me. I see the mark of my former master, branded into the back of my hand, telling anyone who sees it that I’m a runaway slave… and I know that the sea is my refuge. The crew on this ship – no matter how loud or how boisterous they are – are my only friends, my safety. They know where I came from, they know that I am free, despite the message on my hand that says otherwise. If I run away again, I’m dead, for sure. Punished with the worst form of punishment, fit only for an an unruly slave.

But it’s ok, I don’t mind the ship so much. Sometimes we find a pyrate ship, and then we have to fight the pyrates. It’s intimidating for sure, but Captain is good. We always win. Sometimes Captain gives the pyrate a second chance, but lots of times, he takes them to land and gives them to the king. Then the king decides whether to punish or pardon them.

I don’t know what makes Captain give people another chance at life. Why some people and not others? But I do not complain. If it weren’t for his choice to give second chances, I wouldn’t have been forgiven when I was caught pilfering from Rococo. I was quick, but my mate Rococo was quicker, and he caught me. Then Captain returned me to my master, but then turned right around and bought me with all the money he had. I’m indebted to Captain. Captain’s got an important message to post in just a few hours. Please, watch for it.

Captain’s Log: Scary Seabiscuits!

September 24, sometime in the Baroque Era, with a touch of present day.

Written with penmanship of Pachelbel, the cook of the Phantom Acoustique, who has quite the opinion about what makes good food…

Umm… who would want’a buy yummies with ugly dead bones on them? Scary! I tri’d to tell the designers it was a BAD IDEA! But do they listen to me? No, sir!

I love baking. My dream is to start my very own bakery in the heart of Netherlands, my home. But for some reason, d’spite my expertise, the designers decide to put a SKULL on some seabiscuits and morsels. If it were me doing it, flowers ‘r letters ‘r hearts it would be, but Lacy told me, “No, Pachelbel, we can’t do that for Halloween. People want a scary theme for Halloween.” I don’t agree!

All Hallow’s Eve doesn’t need to be scary! What hapen’d to “Happy Halloween”? Angels should be popular again, why ghouls! Samurais’r better than pyrates cuz they’re heroes, right? I don’t like pyrates. They’re evil. Just cuz I’m the cook on the Phantom Acoustique does not mean I like pyrates, and neither should anyone else. (“Tis rude,” my lady master Baroque repli’d. “Second chances be our motto, remember? Judge not, be not judged.”) But I say we are pyrate hunters! Only pyrate hunters onboard our ship, not pyrates! That’s the point of a second chance – the second chance turns you into a goode hero. Otherwise, no second chance; only first chance continu’d and fail’d!

I stray’d off subject. I will introduce to you, even though I am not happy to share with you a series of cookies I don’t like, the new seabiscuits available for sale. I do it only cuz the boss told me to write something to present the new products, since I be the food lover ‘round here, and cuz the designers surely do need investors. I’ll do the job…. but I don’t have to be happy ‘bout it!

Cake Pops

12 Skull & Crossbones in a Cannon Barrel Cake Pops

 

 

 

 

 

An ingenious morsel of cake! The stick coming off the top gives you something to hold, when you bite into the drizly, chocolatey bite-sized piece. Don’t misunderstand. The pops look tasty! But I do not know why anyone would want to bite into a smiling skull looking out a barrel of a cannon. Maybe if you had a scary All Hallow’s Eve party?


Dipped Oreos

12 Skull & Bones in a Cannon Barrel Dipped Oreos

 

 

 

 

I get hungry looking at it! Although the biscuit looks a bit like a cannon with that painting on it.  Round, black, chocolate dip’d: they come in a dozen and would be startling for a pirate them’d event, or maybe an especially special game night, one where all y’friends are onboard.

Hardtack Biscuits (actually shortbread cookies)

Pack of 4 Skull & Crossbones Hardtack Biscuits Round Shortbread Cookie

 

 

 

 

Fresh for 2 weeks after baked…. hmm, that’s what the seller says, yes yes, but I don’t think they will last that long on a ship with hungry crew. The hardtacks look similar to the seabiscuits below but they taste different (sweet and buttery!), are smaller, and come in a 4 pack.

Seabiscuits (actually sugar cookies)

12 Skull & Crossbones Hardtack Seabiscuits Sugar Cookie

 

 

 

 

Mm, mm! These seabiscuits’r topp’d with icing! Although they seem sweeter and more flakie than I’m used to… They wouldn’t last long on my sea voyage – a dozen becomes zero ‘fore I know it, they’re all gone!

….

Ohh!! I take that back, they do know how to design! After looking at their store, they offer other All Hallow’s Eve cookies. They offer brownies, too. The jack-o-lantern brownies are charming. I didn’t understand at first, why peculiar faces were on pumpkins. Kat explain’d to me: “It’s an emoji, a modern type of smiley face on a pumpkin.” I repli’d “Oh, so it is a pumpkin! In the 21st century, it’s pumpkins you carve and call jack o’ lanterns, right? Well, in my time period, we didn’t know about pumpkins, but pray tell, we knew of the story ’bout Stingy Jack and how he wander’d the netherworld ‘tween Heaven and Hell cuz he wasn’t welcome either place!” Course, it’s only a story. In Ireland, it’s turnips they carv’d faces into. Yum, yum! Turnip soup. One of my favourites to make onboard, when we got the ingredients! That determines all things. What we got in the stowage.

Awww, why didn’t they tell me to advertise this design instead? I would have been happy to do that! Look at ‘em. For yourself!

Smile-O-Lantern Brownies

This brownie wo12 Smile-O-Lantern Browniesuld make me glad on the holiday. It is also better for kids which is why one celebrates All Hallow’s Eve. Children want to dress up and play and ward off ol’ Stingy Jack. I could see this hapening better with happy pumpkins!

 

 

Cute-O-Lantern Cookies

There are nin12 Cute-O-Lantern Sugar Glazed Cookiese other designs ‘sides the two I am showing, expresing all kinds of, what’r they call’d, emojis? Never heard of it. I wish you could buy a dozen cookies each with a different emoji. But please, don’t let that stop you from treating yourself with these funny yummies I can support!

 

Thank you for reading my post, I am truly apreciative. Perhaps in the future we shall meet sometime. I will be honor’d for you to show an interest in my crew. Come the ‘morrow and Captain Gavotte will announce our plans for traveling the ocean… if you’re a gamer, you can be our shantyman!