Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The One Where I Take My Children to ‘School’

Our new neighbors invited us to the school musical last night. Their children are seen in our house almost as often as our own these days. Okay, how bad can it be? A few songs with children ages K-6, maybe some patriotic songs, maybe some cute farm songs.

Can you say M I S C O N C E P T I O N ?

Here are some of the lyrics we heard in the first few minutes: "Baby you belong with me", "Damn this knuckle busted',back breakin', no paying job", "She got me thinkin' that I just might leave here with her tonight", "Hot headed women, cold beer", "Let's just lay here and be lazy, baby drive me crazy", "Come a little closer baby, we can talk without the words, Hang a sign on the door, please do not disturb", "You better take it from me, that boy is like a disease…He's like a curse, he's like a drug, you get addicted to his love, You wanna get out but he's holding you down, 'Cause you can't live without one more touch".

Ok, we are out of there. We walked out after the first few songs. I think we would have left after the first one or two, but quite frankly, we were befuddled, flummoxed, bewildered. What is going on? these parents are applauding their children, er, kids, in singing these songs and some of them girls are dressed like hookers with all the make-up, short skirts, and high heels (the theme was Night at the Grammys). And they wonder why there is a teen pregnancy problem around here. Some of these are professing Christians. CHRISTIANS: STOP TRYING TO BE LIKE THE WORLD! COME OUT AND BE SEPARATE!

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 16-18

Oh, don't think the kids were the only ones singing. The printed program listed a teacher singing the old classic, "Why Have You Left the One You Left Me For." Some of us had tears in our eyes as we walked out, some wanted to vomit, some wanted to admonish and rebuke with Jeremiah 1 and 2. We pray that the Lord will have mercy and grant repentance.

One of our children was the first to get up and leave. What had seemed like an innocent outing had turned into a sad, rude awakening. God grant us the courage and perseverance to declare Your truth to the nations!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Dry, Thirsty Land

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, He taketh my burden away,
He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved, He giveth me strength as my day.

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns, And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God! For such a Redeemer as mine.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love, And covers me there with His hand,

And covers me there with His hand.

I was reminded of this hymn written by William J. Kirkpatrick c. 1890 as I was out watering the garden. The soil here is nothing like the water-holding clay of the Gulf Coast. It is nothing like the rocky ground of the Ozarks. This is dry, dry dust. When you see pictures of the dust bowl, you will understand. The water either runs right off or soaks right through. There are little nutrients in the soil for the garden we are trying to grow. The seeds need that water that doesn't stay and the nutrients that are not there, especially when the hot sun and dry winds kick up every day and it feels like you are living in an oven. It reminds me of the spiritual condition here also. You try to give them the Living Water. As much as you pour into them, it either runs right off or runs right through, with seemingly no effect. Thank God for the nutrients contained in the small, faithful remnant that remain. Some seeds are growing, but the majority are dried up and withered, despite watering every day. Oh, that the seeds would open up and take in that Living Water and die to themselves that they may live as a fruitful vine. Thank you Lord, for shadowing me in this dry, thirty land. Thank you for your Living Water, your protection, your strength, your blessings, your mercy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lemon Monkey Bread

This has a wonderful lemon and cream cheese flavor that is delicious.

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 - 2 1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon instant yeast
grated rind from 1 lemon

3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup soft cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Lemon Topping:
1/3 cup lemon juice
6 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoon butter

To make the dough, add the milk and water to a saucepan and bring to a scald. Pour the scalded liquid into a large bowl. Add in the sugar and butter. Stir till the butter melts and the temperature comes to a lukewarm. Take a lemon and finely grate the rind. Add in the grated lemon rind, salt and beaten egg. Stir with a wire whisk to well blended. Add in half the flour and the instant yeast. Beat with a wooden spoon till smooth. Start to add a little more flour a little at a time. Till the dough becomes to hard to mix in the bowl. Pour out onto a flat surface and begin to knead the dough for 10 minutes. continue to add more flour till the dough in no longer sticking to your hands. After kneading for 10 minutes add a little oil to a bowl ( about a tablespoon ). Place the kneaded dough into the bowl and turn over a few times to lightly coat all sides of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest till double in bulk ( about 1 1/2 hours ). To make the filling combine the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice together. Use a wire whisk and beat till smooth; set aside.

After the dough has risen, pour out onto a flat surface and with your fingers press the dough into a 8 x 11 rectangle. Take a pizza cutter and cut into long slices ( 1/2 inch ); in both directions. To coat the dough. Place the melted butter onto a large plate. Place the pieces of dough a little at a time into the butter and coat. In a separate plate add the sugar and place the butter coated pieces into the sugar and coat. Place those into a bowl. Take some of the coated balls of dough and place into a well greased bundt pan. Add a little of the filling on top. Alternate between the dough and fill till all used up ( ending with the dough ). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for another 1 1/2 hours.

Mean time you can make the lemon topping. In a saucepan combine the lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, wait till the sugar dissolves completely. In a separate bowl whisk an egg till well beaten. Now, slowly add the hot lemon mixture to the egg and beat continuously. So not to cook the egg. Place back into the saucepan and continue to cook, being sure to whisk till the mixture becomes thick. Remove from heat and add the butter. Pour out into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge to cool.

Once the bread has risen bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes. As soon as it comes out of the oven. Allow to rest for 1 minute. Then turn over onto a plate. If you wait to long the dough with stick to the bundt pan; allow to cool. Use a squeeze bottle or a piping bag to spread the lemon coating on top. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and enjoy.