Thursday, April 24, 2008

How To Make Matzah

In their hurry to leave Egypt, the Israelites did not have time to wait for their bread to rise so they made matzah. What better way to teach your children about the Passover story than to make matzah with them like the Jewish slaves made matzah thousands of years ago.

Difficulty Level: average
Time Required: 45 minutes

Here's How:
1.Oven: Put the oven through a full self-cleaning cycle to make it kosher for Passover.
2.Ingredients needed: 1) cold water from the faucet 2) special flour called kemach shel matzah shamura (flour watched from the moment of harvest to the moment of packing to make sure it has not come into contact with any moisture).
3.Utensils needed: 1) measuring cups 2) large bowl for dough 4) roll of paper 4) rolling pin 5) tool for making holes in the dough 6) tiles for lining oven shelf 7) peel - flat metal plate with a handle for taking the matza out of the oven. All utensils should be kosher for Passover.
4.Prepare the oven by lining the oven shelf with floor tiles. Leave some space between the tiles and the sides of the oven.
5.Set oven on highest temperature setting.
6.Place clean paper on work surface and prepare utensils.
7.At this point, the clock starts to tick. There must be no more than 18 minutes from the time the water is mixed with the flour until the time the matzah has been completely baked in the oven.
8.Depending on how many matzot you want, measure 1 part water and 3 parts flour.
9.Quickly mix and knead into a firm ball of 1-2 inches.
10.Roll out dough as thin as possible.
11.Poke holes in the dough.
12.Check to make sure no more than 15 minutes passed since the flour and water were mixed. 13.Put matzah onto the tiles in the hot oven.
14.Bake on tiles for 2-3 minutes until done.
15.Remove using the peel.
16.Put clean paper on the work surface, and repeat steps 7-14.

1.It is best to have a few people working together when making matzah. Have one person do the mixing and the kneading, another person rolling out the dough, and the last person putting the matza into the oven.
2.This can be a fun activity to do the afternoon before the Seder. However, while having fun, make certain the matzah you are making is kosher for Passover. No more than 18 minutes can pass from the time the flour and water are mixed until the time the matzah is completely baked.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Interesting Conversation

An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new students to stand and.......

Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Prof: Is God good?

Student: Sure.
Prof: Is God all-powerful?

Student: Yes sir.
Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him.
Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm?
Student: (Student is silent.)
Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fellow. Is God good?

Student: Yes.
Prof: Is Satan good?

Student: No.
Prof: Where does Satan come from?

Student: From...God...
Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student: Yes.
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?

Student: Yes.
Prof: So who created evil?

Student: (Student does not answer.)
Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?

Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them?

Student: (Student has no answer.)
Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son... Have you ever seen God?

Student: No, sir.
Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?

Student: No, sir.
Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?

Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.
Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student: Yes.
Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

Prof: Yes.
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?

Prof: Yes.
Student: No sir. There isn't.

(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold.
We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that.
There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat.
We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?
Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something.
You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light....But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it?
In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?

Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is that your philosophical premise is flawed.

Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God.
You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can
Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.
To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life; just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor…..
Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

Prof: (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, then are you not just teaching your opinion, sir?
Are you not a scientist but a
Prof: (The class is in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain?

Prof: (The class breaks out into laughter.)
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it?.....No one appears to have done so.
So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable
protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir.
With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
Prof: (The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it, sir.. The link between man & God is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.

Narrator: I believe you must have enjoyed the conversation... and if so... you'll probably want your friends/colleagues to enjoy the same... won't you?... forward them to increase their knowledge...

What does God think of you?

If you're like most people, you're concerned about what other people think of you. You hope that others think of you as successful, thoughtful, attractive, etc. You hope that people like you.

In reality, you should be far more concerned about what God thinks of you...

When God made you, you were an original thought in his mind!

"You alone created my inner being.
You knitted me together inside my mother."

When God made you, he made someone wonderful!

"I will give thanks to you because I have been
so amazingly and miraculously made.
Your works are miraculous,
and my soul is fully aware of this."

When God made you, he didn't make any mistakes!

"My bones were not hidden from you
when I was being made in secret,
when I was being skillfully woven
in an underground workshop.
Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus."

When God made you, he had a specific purpose and plan in mind!

"Every day of my life was recorded in your book
before one of them had taken place."

When God made you, he knew he would never stop loving you!

"How precious are your thoughts
concerning me, O God!
How vast in number they are!
If I try to count them,
there would be more of them
than there are grains of sand.
When I wake up, I am still with you."
~Psalm 139: 13-18

Who you are (as a believer in Jesus)

I'm Accepted!

John 1:12 I'm God's child.
John 15:15 I'm Christ's friend.
Romans 5:1 I have God's approval by faith. I have peace with God because of what Jesus has done for me.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I'm united with the Lord and one with him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:20 I've been bought with a price; I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I'm a part of Christ's body.
Ephesians 1:1 I'm one of God's holy and faithful people.
Ephesians 1:5 I'm one of God's adopted children.
Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:14 I've been forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:10 I'm complete in Christ.

I'm Secure!

Romans 8:1,2 I'm free forever from God's condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I'm assured that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:33,34 I'm free from any condemning charges against me.
Romans 8:35 I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I've been established, anointed, and sealed by God.
Philippians 1:6 I'm confident that the good work God has begun in me will be completed.
Philippians 3:20 I'm a citizen of heaven.
Colossians 3:3 I'm hidden with Christ in God.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a cowardly spirit... but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment.
Hebrews 4:16 I can find kindness and mercy at the right time.
1 John 5:18 I'm born of God and the evil one can't harm me.

I'm Significant!

Matthew 5:13,14 I'm the salt and light of the earth.
John 15:1,5 I'm a branch of the true vine.
John 15:16 I've been chosen and appointed to produce fruit that will last.
Acts 1:8 I'm a personal witness of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I'm God's temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 I'm a minister of restored relationships.
2 Corinthians 6:1 I'm God's coworker.
Ephesians 2:6 I've been given a position in heaven with Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10 I'm God's creation.
Ephesians 3:12 I can approach God with confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A letter to God from a child about a father

Dear God,

Thanks for giving me a daddy. You knew just what I’d need! In case you need to make
daddies for other kids, I thought you might like to know what I like best about the one you sent me:
A good dad ...
1. knows everything (like how to tie shoes and drive a car)
2. is really smart (he even knows where the wind goes after it blows through the trees)
3. has a forgiving heart (for when I mess up)
4. is loaded with patience, patience, patience (he probably won’t need it, but just in case...)
5. has a comfy lap and a big laugh (you understand about that, don’t you?)
6. tells me all about you and your son.

Your friend,
A Kid

P.S. I almost left out the best part! A good dad has real strong arms (to catch me when I fall. He says you’re just like that, too.)

(extract is taken from “What makes a good dad?” by Max Lucado

for downloading in full version

Friday, April 11, 2008

He's Been There by Max Lucado

“. . . shall not perish but have eternal life . . .”

On a trip to China, I rode past Tiananmen Square in a bus full of Westerners. We tried to recollect the causes and consequences of the revolt. Our knowledge of history was embarrassing. One gave one date; another gave a different one. One person remembered a certain death toll; someone else disagreed. All this time our translator remained silent.

Finally one of us asked her, “Do you remember anything about the Tiananmen Square revolt?”

Her answer was solemn. “Yes, I was a part of it.”

We quickly grew quiet as she gave firsthand recollections of the bloodshed and oppression. We listened, because she’d been there.

We who follow Christ do so for the same reason. He’s been there . . .

He’s been to Bethlehem, wearing barn rags and hearing sheep crunch. Suckling milk and shivering against the cold. All of divinity content to cocoon itself in an eight-pound body and to sleep on a cow’s supper. Millions who face the chill of empty pockets or the fears of sudden change turn to Christ. Why?

Because he’s been there.

He’s been to Nazareth, where he made deadlines and paid bills; to Galilee, where he recruited direct reports and separated fighters; to Jerusalem, where he stared down critics and stood up against cynics.

We have our Nazareths as well—demands and due dates. Jesus wasn’t the last to build a team; accusers didn’t disappear with Jerusalem’s temple. Why seek Jesus’s help with your challenges? Because he’s been there. To Nazareth, to Galilee, to Jerusalem.

But most of all, he’s been to the grave. Not as a visitor, but as a corpse. Buried amidst the cadavers. Numbered among the dead. Heart silent and lungs vacant. Body wrapped and grave sealed. The cemetery. He’s been buried there.

You haven’t yet. But you will be. And since you will, don’t you need someone who knows the way out?

The Blacksmith's Shop by Max Lucado

In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools. There are tools on the junk pile:
outdated, broken, dull, rusty.

They sit in the cobwebbed corner, useless to their master, oblivious to their calling.

There are tools on the anvil:
melted down, molten hot, moldable, changeable.

They lie on the anvil, being shaped by their master, accepting their calling.

There are tools of usefulness:
sharpened, primed, defined, mobile.

They lie ready in the blacksmith’s tool chest, available to their master, fulfilling their calling.

Some people lie useless:
lives broken, talents wasting, fires quenched, dreams dashed.

They are tossed in with the scrap iron, in desperate need of repair, with no notion of purpose.

Others lie on the anvil:
hearts open, hungry to change, wounds healing, visions clearing.

They welcome the painful pounding of the blacksmith’s hammer, longing to be rebuilt, begging to be called.

Others lie in their Master’s hands:
well tuned, uncompromising, polished, productive.

They respond to their Master’s forearm, demanding nothing, surrendering all.

We are all somewhere in the blacksmith’s shop. We are either on the scrap pile, in the Master’s hands on the anvil, or in the tool chest. (Some of us have been in all three.)

From the shelves to the workbench, from the water to the fire…I’m sure that somewhere you will see yourself.

Paul spoke of becoming “an instrument for noble purposes.” And what a becoming it is! The rubbish pile of broken tools, the anvil of recasting, the hands of the Master- it’s a simultaneously joyful and painful voyage.

And for you who make the journey—who leave the heap and enter the fire, dare to be pounded on God’s anvil, and doggedly seek to discover your own purpose—take courage, for you await the privilege of being called “God’s chosen instruments.”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

Think about your mother

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby... that somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "normal" is history.

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct... that somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

Somebody said being a mother is boring... that somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.

Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will "turn out good"... that somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices... that somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother... that somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.

Somebody said you can't love the fifth child as much as you love the first... that somebody doesn't have five children.

Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books... that somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose or in his ears.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery... that somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten... or on a plane headed for military "boot camp."

Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back... that somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies to sell cookies.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married... that somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home... that somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her... that somebody isn't a mother.

Mighty to Save

Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Think about them one at a time before going on to the next one.
It Does Make You Smile, especially the conclusion at the end of #44.

1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket.
5. A special glance.
6. Getting mail.
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.

11. Chocolate milkshake (vanilla or strawberry).
12. A bubble bath.
13. Giggling.
15. The beach.
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter..
17. Laughing at yourself.
18. Looking into their eyes and knowing they Love you
19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke with FRIENDS
24. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
25. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
26. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
27. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
28. Playing with a new puppy.
29. Having someone play with your hair.
30. Sweet dreams.

31. Hot chocolate.
32. Road trips with friends.
33. Swinging on swings.
34. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
35. Making chocolate chip cookies.
36. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
37. Holding hands with someone you care about.
38. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
39. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.
40. Watching the sunrise.
41. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.
42. Knowing that somebody misses you.
43. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply..
44. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think.

Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth .

Friday, April 4, 2008

A precious gift that was not nicely packed

   A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car.

   Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box.
Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?” - and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

   Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.
When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse,
Matt 7:11, "And if ye, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly father which is in heaven, give to those who ask Him?"
As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words...PAID IN FULL.

   How many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for...

26 Guards. The Power of Prayer

Here's a message that will bring you chills. Have you ever felt the urge to pray for someone and then just put it on a list and said, "I'll pray for them later?" Or has anyone ever called you and said, "I need you to pray for me, I have this need?"

Read the following story that was sent to me and may it change the way that you may think about prayer and also the way you pray. You will be blessed by this.

A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan "While serving at a small field hospital in Africa , every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.

On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine, and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to
him about the Lord.

I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident...

Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money
and medicines. He said, 'Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards. At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite.

The young man pressed the point, however, and said, 'No, sir, I was not the only person to see the guards, my friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.'

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened.
The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:

"On the night of your incident in Africa , it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?" The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn't concerned with who they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw.
There were 26!


I admit that there are times
That I am tempted to despair.
Then God speaks in all His mercy
To let me know He's there.

He took care of yesterday for me.
Tomorrow is in His care.
Today He will walk beside me
In answer to my prayer.

He brings constant joy and comfort
To ease my concerns away.
I could not go on without Him
To be my companion through each day.

I would just like to remind you
To lean hard upon His breast.
Release each trial to Him.
Wait for Him to do the rest.

by Evelyn D. Putnam