Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

18 September 2009

Computer and General Hardware Update

Well, my computer is dead. We won't be getting it repaired. It's just not an option. A new one has been ordered. I was a bit reluctant to do this - not an item we budgeted for this year - but it will be nice to have a new one all the same. It will be here in about three weeks time. Then there is setting up time. Blog life will be a bit random, as it has been this last couple of weeks, until then.

It has been quite a year for hardware...

The washing machine started leaking. I have worked out that it can still be used (without leaking) if I don't use it on FULL LOAD. That's OK.

The fridge started leaking too. That was repaired when a man came to fix the chest freezer which suddenly stopped working one day. (That was a problem given it was full of frozen casseroles, soups, pasta sauce and bargain priced meat and bread.) He tried to repair it by doing the usual sorts of things a repair man would do and when all was unsuccessful he said, "With this particular brand there is one other thing I can try, which has worked in the past. It is a bit unorthodox and it may break the motor but then the motor isn't working now so you probably have nothing to lose." And so he fixed it by kicking the motor. It is still working and the fridge still seems to be going along OK too.

Then today the microwave died. Just last night I was wondering if any households actually have TWO microwaves. I am sure I could use two microwaves simultaneously most evenings! But tonight I won't be using any. It just doesn't pay to think greedy thoughts.

10 September 2009

It is Worse than I Originally Thought!

Not only is the hard drive on my computer failing, the motherboard is also failing. And the cost to replace both is almost as much as the cost to buy a new computer. So while I can keep blogging on my husband's computer when it is not in use (ie. not as frequently) I am otherwise off-air (ie. NO EMAILING!!!) until further notice (ie. until we work out what to do next.)

Computers - great when they are working, paralysing when they are not.

And this just illustrates rather shockingly to me once again the extent to which we live in a throw-away society. The dying laptop is maybe five years old and it is as good as dead. Mmmm...

09 September 2009

Recipe Tag - Toblerone and Berry Cheesecake

Ally started a recipe meme with an amazing recipe for Pumpkin and Apple Risotto. Nicole tagged me with her Chicken Mikaela recipe and I am delighted both to be tagged and also that Nicole's recipe included cream.

The rules of this meme are:-
1. Choose one ingredient from my recipe and post a recipe using this ingredient on their blog, linking back to the previous blogs that have posted a recipe.
2. Then tag four new people, and we will see how it grows.
3. To keep it exciting please post within a week of receiving the tag.

When I first thought about which recipe to share, I was going to go for the obvious and piggyback on the chicken ingredient with the very delicious Pumpkin and Chicken stirfry. But the inclusion of cream in Nicole's recipe means that I cannot go past...

TOBLERONE AND BERRY CHEESECAKE


1 cup of plain biscuit crumbs
1/3 cup of melted butter
2 x 250gm blocks of philadelphia cheese
2 teaspoons of gelatine dissolved in 1/2 cup of boiling water
3/4 cup of caster sugar
200gm (or more) of melted toblerone
1/2 cup of cream
1 cup of frozen or fresh berries

Mix the biscuits and butter together and press into a 20cm spring form pan. Put in the fridge to set.
Beat the cream cheese until soft.
Add the dissolved gelatine, caster sugar, cream and most of the melted chocolate and blend until smooth.
Pour over the base. Squiggle the last bits of melted chocolate over the top for great effect.
Chill.
When serving, pile the berries on top. (I usually use frozen berries and I don't even bother to defrost them. They look nice coming to the table slightly frosted and have thawed by the time you have served up.)
To go right over the top, serve with cream.

This makes a good sized cheesecake. If you want an ABUNDANT cheesecake then use three blocks of philly cheese and increase the other ingredients by about a half. This recipe is not an exact science so a little more or less of any of the ingredients works. Or double the quantities and use a bigger tin. It's fairly flexible.

Enjoy.

I'm going to tag Sharon, Helen, Mrs Edwards and Matt. Go to it!

05 September 2009

Two Families - One Saviour


It was the funeral this morning for a man from our church. He had been ill and disabled for many years following a car accident and he'd been especially unwell this last year. His death was one that brings with it relief (for him and his family) but also great sorrow.

This morning I stood in the kitchen preparing Saturday morning breakfast dressed a little differently from most Saturday mornings. Instead of the usual Saturday morning attire of jeans and a windcheater, I was in a black skirt, black tights, black shoes, a white shirt, cream jumper and pearls. My husband came in wearing his black suit.

And yet I prepared our usual Saturday morning breakfast - toast with chocolate spread, corn flakes with honey drizzled over the top, meusli with lots of fresh fruit - things we don't necessarily eat during the week because it wouldn't constitute a good start to the day or because it is too slow to prepare or consume in the rush to get to school. And the boys came out of their rooms in their play clothes, excited because they were spending the morning with the family of R's best friend while we were at the funeral. They turned on some music and started to dance while they waited for breakfast.

This morning's choice of dance music? Colin Buchanan's CD Real Hope - track one - "Jesus My Lord" - played four times in a row. Here are the lyrics*.

Jesus my Lord, my God, my all,
Hear me my Saviour when I call.
Hear me and from Your dwelling place,
Pour down the riches of Your grace.

Jesus my Lord,
You I adore,
Oh make me love You more and more.

Jesus what did You find in me,
That you would deal so lovingly?
How great is the joy that You have brought,
So far exceeding hope or thought.

Jesus my Lord,
You I adore,
Oh make me love You more and more.

Jesus if You shall be my song,
To You my heart and soul belong.
All that I have, all that is Thine
And You are my Saviour, You are mine.

Jesus my Lord,
You I adore,
Oh make me love You more and more.
It is an amazingly happy and upbeat song. I love it when we start the day with that song. Even more, I love it when my children choose to start the day with that song.

Today one family started the day knowing they would be laying their their beloved husband and father to rest. Another danced. But both families started the day trusting in Jesus - both confident that Jesus is Lord and that today another saint is with Him in Paradise.

* Lyrics by Henry Collins

01 September 2009

Justification

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

And this is what John Stott says about that wonderful verse in his commentary* from the "Bible Speaks Today" series.

We are 'justified in Christ.' That is, our justification takes place when we are united to Christ by faith. And someone who is united to Christ is never the same person again. Instead, he is changed. It is not just his standing before God which has changed; it is he himself – radically, permanently changed. To talk of his going back to the old life, and even sinning as he pleases, is frankly impossible. He has become a new creation and begun a new life...

...Once we have been united to Christ in His death, our old life is finished; it is ridiculous to suggest that we could ever go back to it. Besides, we have risen to a new life. In one sense, we live this new life through faith in Christ. In another sense, it is not we who live it at all, but Christ who lives it in us. And, living in us, He gives us new desires for holiness, for God, for heaven. It is not that we cannot sin again; we can. But we do not want to. The whole tenor of our life has changed. Everything is different now, because we ourselves are different. See how daringly personal Paul makes it; Christ 'gave himself for me.' 'Christ…lives in me.' No Christian who has grasped these truths could ever seriously contemplate reverting to the old life.

* "The Message of Galatians" by John R. W. Stott BST pp.65-66