Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Unsolicited Advice and Criticism

Sometimes, we Christian women can be the meanest creatures.  Notice I said "we."  I'm referring to something that I'm sure I've unknowingly done in the past....perhaps even the very recent past....hey, I'm middle-aged and my memory is fuzzy.

What I'm talking about is sharing unsolicited advice and/or criticism to younger (spiritual or chronological) sisters in Christ.  I'm sure most of us are just trying to be "helpful" but many times we unknowingly devastate our sister's morale over silly things that burn up as wood, hay, and stubble in the grand scheme of things.  Seriously, unless your sister in Christ is living in some sort of sin (and no, being tacky is not a moral sin) or gravely endangering their or their family's health, it may be best to be most cases.  I know that I personally probably need to start keeping a better watch out for this in my own life.

Our daughter (21) will in the next few years be leaving the nest to perhaps start her own family.  My ideas about how things should be done are not necessarily shared by her, just as my own mother and I differ in many ways.  I have even told our daughter that when it comes right down to it, it doesn't matter if I think her kids are dressed tacky (though I will pipe up about modesty issues lol) or if her house is "dirty" by my standards or if she feeds her family processed vs. all organic food.  What I care about is that she raise up her children in the Lord and that she loves and respects her husband.  Yes, breast feeding is better than bottle feeding, but it's not our business to point that out to everyone with whom we come into contact.  Yes, cloth diapers are better for the environment, the economy, etc., but it's not a "moral" issue to use disposable ones.   Yes, it best to vacuum everyday or iron 3/4 of your clothes like my sister does :), but a little bit of dirt or a wrinkle here or there is not the end of the world.

Granted, there are times when it is necessary to speak up, particularly if the younger sister has come to us for guidance, but that instruction should come with a spirit of gentleness, remembering our own inadequacies.  These little things mentioned above are just not as paramount as the deeper issues of Titus 2, such as be reverent, loving our husbands and children, being self-controlled and pure, etc.

If, however, you find yourself on the flip side and are subjected to statements like "You know, you really shouldn't ...." consider what you're being criticized for, ask yourself is it something that really matters to God or is it just a matter of preference?  These are things that have to be weighed very carefully, as it is easy to become overly defensive when criticized.  Whatever the issue is, great or small, take it before the Lord in prayer and search the Scriptures.  Thank the person for their concern and make adjustments when necessary.

Mexican Archbishop Calls for Greater Modesty at Mass

.- The Archbishop of Leon, Mexico is calling on Catholics to dress modestly at Mass.
“If you have any respect for this place (a church), dress appropriately,” Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago told reporters after Mass on July 24.
Criticism of the archbishop’s comments came after local newspapers featured photos of posters at some parishes in Leon that said, “Respect God’s house. Don’t come dressed like this.” The posters said women should not come to church dressed in miniskirts, sleeveless shirts, or low-cut blouses.
According to the newspaper Correo, the archbishop said women ought to know what they should wear and when. 
“They know that for a wedding or a quinceanera they should dress one way, and for a trip to the beach they should dress another.” 
The archbishop also said men need to dress appropriately at Mass as well. “Some men show up at church dressed in way that is undignified, wearing shorts or sandals. The place they are in requires something else,” he said.
Archbishop Martin Rabago said the media should not focus exclusively on what the Catholic Church says about how people should dress, as many evangelical churches require their congregations to come to church in a suit and tie.
He dismissed charges that his comments were misogynistic. 
“This is not a misogynist attitude of any sort. I am simply asking for the dignity and decorum that this place calls for, that is all.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Try it Tuesday - Raspberry Chipotle Chicken

This recipe is from Anna Ginsberg, a stay-at-home mom who won the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 2006.   Our daughter made this recipe for our family, and it was awesome!

1/3  cup pecan pieces
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness ( we skipped the pounding)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2  cup diced onion
2/3 cup roasted raspberry chipotle sauce (found with bbq sauces)
1/3  cup white grape juice
1   Tablespoon lemon juice
2    packages whole-grain brown ready rice, cooked according to package directions
1 1/2  Tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro (we forgot this step)

1.  Place pecans on a paper towel and microwave on High for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking; set aside to cool.
2.  Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper.
3.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion is tender.  Add chicken to skillet and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until browned.  Add mixed raspberry sauce, grape juice, and lemon juice to coat chicken.  Stir and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
4.  Place rice on serving dish and top with prepared pecans.  Top with chicken and sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Monomoy Theatre

One of our favorite things to do while visiting Cape Cod is to attend one of the dozens of live theater venues.  Chatham, Massachusetts has enjoyed the Monomoy Theatre and the Ohio University Players for 54 years.  There is nothing like live theater, especially in an intimate setting.  The Monomoy has 260 seats, and every seat is a great seat!  The performances are generally comprised of talented graduates, undergraduates, and professionals.  The small setting lends a greater connection with the performers and the characters they portray. 

Our choice of play this year was Man of La Mancha.  Steve French was the most amazing Don Quixote that I have seen since Ed Ames.  We witnessed such an amazing metamorphosis of Mr. French from Miguel de Cervantes to Don Quixote that captivated each of us from the start.  Mr. French truly stole the show.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Cape Cod!  I love everything about Cape Cod!  For our entire married life, we have chosen Cape Cod as our vacation destination.....every single time.  That sounds boring and dull to most people, but for us, it's a place to cloister and regroup.  Everyone needs a place and time for just being quiet and still.  That's harder for some people, especially people who are running, whether it be from their own thoughts or from God.  I would encourage everyone to make time and space for quietness in their lives.  It doesn't have to be a vacation spot (although that does help).  I know it takes discipline and patience, but take time to just be.  No music, no tv, no cell phones....just you & God....and just be still....and know that He is God.