Monthly Archives: January 2009

“Ag Ínse Scéil ar an Doigh a Bhí”

This is another poem that I like. “Ag Ínse Scéil ar an Doigh a Bhí” means “tell a story of the old life” in Irish. The end of the poem (“Athás mór í mo chroí. Go deo”) means “Great joy in my heart. Forever.”

 Anyway, if you have time, let me know what you think (if you don’t like it, you don’t have to say that you do ☺). Please excuse the different fonts and everything. For some reason, WordPress seems to have a very hard time publishing poetry.

 

 

 

 

 “Ag Ínse Scéil ar an Doigh a Bhí”

“Tell a Story of the Old Life”

 

Far on Forsaken Shores I tread,

Captive to the Master dread.

I heard a wild Cry and learned

The Tears were mine. Alone. 

 

 I found no Shelter on this land.

No Shelter from Heaven’s gaze.

No Refuge from the Scorching Winds.

No Place to rest my head.

 

 

But as the Dawn breaks through the Night,

And as the Shadows die,

A hopeful Song, and new-found Song

Arose within my heart.

 

The Light climbed slowly o’er the hill

Which e’re had blocked the Sun

And cast away the Shades of Night

Which lingered o’er my heart

 

Far from Forsaken Shores I fled

Now carried by the King of Light, for

In Night of Mine Own Dread,

I could not find The Way

 

But as the Dawn breaks through the Night,

And as the Shadows die,

A hopeful Song, and new-found Song.

Athás mór i mo Chroí. Go Deo.

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And Winter’s Been Here for a While…

Here are some pictures from a winter walk that I took with some of my siblings and some of my cousins a couple of weeks ago. I edited the last two a bit, but I like them all a lot.

Me (second from left), my siblings, and my cousin trying to look serious for a photo.
Me (second from left), my siblings, and my cousin trying to look serious for a photo.
My cousins, some of my siblings and I making a human snowflake

My cousins, some of my siblings and I making a human snowflake

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Godly Christian Love

Thanks to everyone who read Noah’s post ☺. I hold no responsibility for anything he said ☺. He was very excited that he got to write something and put it on a blog.

Anyway, I’ve been reading through the New Testament. Yesterday (I think) I was in 1 John (which I finished this morning, by the by) and I came across this section.

I John 4:7 – 11, 20 – 21
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loves us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another… If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

I find this to be convicting. I think that there are two things that often happen instead of truly loving your brother or sister – both family and church family.

I am afraid that there are more often than not other things that, in our sinful human nature, we do instead of truly loving our family and our church family. We often get angry in stead of loving. This anger may or may not have a valid cause, but that’s not the point here. Or, what I think can also often happen is simply mere toleration or ignoring. I do not believe that toleration true love (you don’t marry someone because you can tolerate them – you marry them because you love them), and neither is ignoring someone. If you sit next to someone in church for fifteen years and never bother to speak to them, you aren’t showing them godly Christian love.

I think that if you truly love your brother or sister in Christ (and I am making allowances for my wrong-ness), then you will be actively be pursuing a godly relationship with that person, always acting in humility and Christ-likeness.

I know that this list that I will put down just below here is often read, but read it again and try to really think about it. I found it to be convicting because I think that we often have such wrong motives with everything we do.

I Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love suffers long and is kind
Love does not envy
Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up
Does not behave rudely,
Does not seek it’s own
Is not provoked
Thinks no evil
Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth
Bears all things
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things
Love never fails.”

Anyway, those were my thoughts today (actually, they were mostly my thoughts yesterday, but I wrote them today…☺). Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think and if I proclaimed any heresy ☺.

– Nathan


By Noah [Nathan’s Cute Little Brother :-)]: The Christian Flame Being Extinguished?

Hi! Some of you may have seen my comments. They were weird. But I am more intelligent than that.

Yes, this is a dramatic name for a page from a writer like me. I’ve never posted, anyway.
Well, the other day (actually, about a month ago) I went to a common Christian bookstore chain. You may also be wondering “What’s wrong with a Christian bookstore?” Actually, I would call it more religious than Christian. Even though you could see “Christian Bookstore” in big red letters over your head, it seems as if it is mostly food for religious, even secular readers, listeners, watchers, etc. In other words, this is just feeding wrongly motivated people who want to feel good about themselves. Would you call that a Christian bookstore?

Yes, these stores do have Christian composers, authors, even pretty good ones, like John Piper or something. I definitely wouldn’t call that secular. Definitely. They’d have to do something Christian to be able to keep their name. But it’s mostly those people who are sitting on the fence, people who are edging towards secularism: people who call themselves Christians but I’m not sure if they really have strong faith.

And, I’m not trying to attack that bookstore in particular. I doubt most people around here are hoping for Christendom anymore. Unless something happens soon, the Christian flame could be extinguished completely. Yes, I’m counting that Providence would sort of make that not happen. Sort of. But it is our duty to protect this. And probably, the founders had very good intentions; and good for them! It still is nice there’s a Christian bookstore. It could be worse. But, either way, however these “Christian” organizations started, they’re really just deteriorating. Who knows what they’ll end up as by the next century?


Cake, Anyone?

Hello. I have been thinking about the direction in which I will take myblog and have decided that it will not only be a theological blog, but also a mix between a lot of things such pictures, recipes, and theological things.

Here’s a recipe that I tried out today. I took a recipe and then altered it a little more than slightly to come out with the result, which was a nice moist and dense vanilla cake with more of a glaze than a real frosting. This is important to note – this is not a fluffy white frosting: it’s much more of a thick glaze. I would suggest buying a cream cheese frosting from the store or something if you aren’t the daring sort ☺.

The Cake

Approx. 2 cups of flour
1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 – 1 ½ sticks of butter, softened
2 ½ – 3 cups of sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 ¾ cup of buttermilk*, although normal milk works, too.
2/3 cup of Cutch-processed cocoa powder (optional – I’m allergic so I left this out)

The Glaze

Approx. 4 ounces of cream cheese (I did strawberry, but I assume that regular would work just fine)
½ cup of sour cream
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of butter or canola oil.
3 cups of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons of milk if using butter instead of canola oil

– Heat the over to 375°.
– Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour. Shake out any extra flour.

– In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder (if desired), baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well-blended.
– In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, on at a time, beating well after each addition.
– Slowly pour the medium sized bowl with the dry ingredients into the large bowl. Stir only until blended – don’t over-beat!
– Divide batter evenly between pans and bake at 375° for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centres comes out clean. Cool for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and onto a wire rack. Cool COMPLETELY.

– While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, butter or oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar slowly, then milk (if using butter instead of oil). Beat for two minutes or until light and fluffy. Note: this is a science. If it seems too dry, add milk in 1 tablespoon at a time and beat for at least 30 sec. before adding more milk. If it seems too wet, add confectioners’ sugar in ¼ cup amounts.

Anyway, I hope you guys like this – give me any suggestions or any links to other recipes if you know of them!

– Nathan

* To make buttermilk, add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar to every cup of milk and let stand for 5 minutes.


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Do Hard Things

Before I begin, I want to say that I have figured out (with Ian’s help) how to automatically subscribe you (as a reader of my blog) to my blog posts or click, this link: http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=2857363&loc=en_US. If you are interested, please click on the link on the sidebar that says “Subscribe to Taste and See by Email”. So, if you want to subscribe to Taste and See by email, click there!

 

At the guy’s discipleship group at my church, we just finished going through Alex and Brett Harris’s book Do Hard Things. I found it to be an excellent reminder in my own life even though I was walking into it not expecting to be changed.

 

I now have several hard things to work on. The book jolted me out of my comfort-zone of mediocrity and gave me a passion to do those hard things and become someone different. But when I started thinking of practical applications, I had second thoughts. I want to be known as a leader in Youth Group – someone that immediately extends himself to the new people; someone that others feel comfortable coming to when they have a problem; someone who is the first to share on Testimony Night and the first to volunteer for anything; the first to open up to others and the first to be willing to lead. But I’m shy. I know that comes as a shock to some of the adults I know (and Grant) because I am not shy with adults. But I’m shy with people my age. I joke that my peer group is almost entirely 40 years old and better, but it’s actually quite true. Don’t get me wrong – my peer group is amazing. But I also want to help those who are my age. 

 

In discipleship group, we talked about the changes we would like to see at Youth Group over the next year. I have noticed that in our Youth Group (and, from reports that I have heard – it’s a more of a nation-wide problem), the kids rarely come back on Wednesdays as soon as the become Seniors in high school. I told the group that I would like to see Seniors come back this year because I know from experience what a powerful effect the older children can have on the younger. Everyone liked this, and so did I, until I asked how we could pull this off. It basically boiled down to going up to them and asking why they aren’t coming. This didn’t appeal to me. And neither did the solution to my desire to become a leader in Youth Group: talking to those that seem to be alone or just people that I haven’t talked to before and actually trying to get into a spiritual conversation.

 

Now that I think about it, two things come to my mind:

1.       Either they will listen to you, ignore you, or laugh at you (I’m hopeful that first two are the only of the three that actually occur at our church). But whatever their response is, they’re only people.

2.       You act according to the level of your desire. If you want strongly enough to become a leader (or whatever you strongly desire to be), then you will actively pursue relationships with those you do not know. If you are not willing to overcome your shyness – even for the sake of the others at Youth Group – then you either do not desire strongly enough to become a leader or (to say it quite bluntly) are selfish.

 

So my hard things for this year –  loosely tied to my New Year’s Resolutions (here’s where Lindsey and Abbie groan ) – are:

To at least begin to be recognized as a leader at Youth Group.

To be as regular with reading my Bible as I am with listening to music (Here’s where Grant groans – yes: I am listening to Enya as I write this), checking my emails (Where Noah groans ) and eating (Here’s where everyone groans ).

To become aware of the needs of others and not so centered on myself so that my prayer life can get taken off “Me! Me! Me!” and be more about others.

To form friendships with at least 2 or 3 people that I know or barely know now. These won’t be superficial – they will be deeper, more personal, and centered on our common foundation of our salvation.

 

Please pray for me regularly (if not daily) about these things (but I don’t want to have to make you remember to do that. If I was you, I’d probably forget, too, even though I would have every good intention to remember ). And PLEASE ask me how I am doing in these areas and tell me what you see in my and how you would like to see change in my own life. I want all the feedback I can get. I always say that if you don’t think that you’re doing anything wrong, but two or three people say that you are, it’s probably not a conspiracy against you – it’s probably the truth. I want to be as humble as possible, but pride always finds it way into our hearts, doesn’t it? So you can even tell me that I’m not being humble .