Archive | December, 2012

Winter Storm of 1978

30 Dec

Winter Storm of 1978

Several pictures out of Michigan (and the Midwest) have surfaced recently to remind those of us who went through the Winter Storm of 1978 of how bad it actually was.

Just throwing one of those pictures out to my friends on Facebook produced many comments from people who were there and have specific memories of that week.

I was at college at Oakland University, half an hour north of Detroit in Rochester, Michigan. I lived in the dorms.

A few of my friends remember leaving to stay with families close by, perhaps their own. I remember staying in the dorms but nearly running out of food when delivery trucks couldn’t make it in that week. We were rationing by week’s end and eating lots of cereal.

My most specific memory is of getting cabin fever as the week drew to a close. I don’t believe we had had classes since Monday or so.

My friend Ron Rheaume and I decided to go for a walk Friday night to see how deep the snow really was.

Back then, the campus of Oakland U. was largely wooded in back. It was perhaps 25% developed. There are many more buildings there now.

Ron and I walked to the back part of the campus and somehow got turned around in the woods. The fact that we left for our walk about 10:00 on a Friday night might have had something to do with that. There was nothing to see out in the woods. Everything was the same.

As we walked, trying to find our way, we got colder and colder. Eventually we exited onto Squirrel Road, across from the pond that used to be there, right off campus (not sure whether it is still there). Since we now knew where we were, we were good to go (although we still had to walk about half an hour to get back to the dorms).

In that era before cellphones, our arrival at `1 AM after leaving for our walk at 10 PM created a bit of a stir. Thankfully no one had yet called the police to report us missing!!!

Several days later, the snow melted and life returned to normal.

Yet few of us who were there will ever forget the snow falling so high and so deep that it covered the entrances to buildings. Some people remember the snow covering the front doors of their homes!

And, yes, the pictures of roads tunneled through banks of snow are accurate, too.

We will never forget!


Thoughts about a Sex Offender . . .

30 Dec

Thoughts about a Sex Offender . . .

Sex offenders are the most hated people on the planet, I believe.

I want to hate them as much as the next person. I mean, anyone who would harm a child . . .

But theologically God teaches that no one is beyond His grace. No one. Let’s wrap our minds around that for a minute.


On the Road Again: Dessert in Vienna, Sacher Torte

29 Dec

On the Road Again: Dessert in Vienna, Sacher Torte

I will begin my own series on desserts around the world with a post on the most famous cake of all, the Hotel Sacher Wien dessert called the Sacher Torte. The Hotel Sacher Wien (Wien is German for “Vienna”) is possibly the most elegant hotel in Vienna, Austria. But it turns out to be named for the cake and the man who came up with it, not the other way around. Very cool, as the man was only 17 when he devised this cake and the way to prepare it.

When Noel and I traveled to Vienna on a tour for Thanksgiving of 1989, we set aside time to go to the cafe in the hotel and have a piece of Sacher Torte each, along with a steaming mug of cafe au lait (coffee with frothy steamed milk).

It was probably one of the most elegant occasions of my life. I love gentle elegance. We can’t always afford the pricetag for such things, but every once in a while we splurge!

The tables were set with those tablecloths that are so whitened that they almost blind you. The china, crystal, and silver were exquisite. I think I recall fresh flowers on the table, even though it was November.

‘Course we didn’t have cell phones with cameras back then and I didn’t think to take a picture with Noel’s Canon Sure Shot. So all we have are our memories (and the official picture I pulled down from the hotel’s website, LOL!).

Good times!


It is Impossible to Kick a Sovereign God out of His Own World!

29 Dec

It is Impossible to Kick a Sovereign God out of His Own World!

It is indeed time to push back against the idea that any small-minded person, or even great-minded person, could ever kick God out of schools, shopping malls, all of America, etc. He is God and He fills the universe. He is everywhere. And He is not leaving!

As a friend used to say, “Every knee shall bow to Him one day. Philippians 2 clearly teaches us that. You can do it mad, you can do it sad, or you can do it glad, but bow to Him you will!”

That idea comforts me, as does the power and love of my God. Powerful enough to destroy sinners like me, but loving enough to forbear, so that many might receive Him as Saviour and Lord!

On the Road Again: Dessert Around the World

28 Dec

I recently read an article in “Martha Stewart Living” (December 2012) that made me think.  She had an article on desserts in Central Europe (Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France).  It included a brief history of the ten desserts featured and luscious pictures of them.

It recalled my five years in Europe, specifically the three in Germany (1988-1991).  We lived over a bakery in Germany so fresh loaves of bread were a regular feature in our apartment when we were newlyweds.  It is amazing that I didn’t weigh 400 pounds by the time we moved to the States. 

I will always be a foodie.  I may have just lost 100 pounds (and I plan to stay on Weight Watchers forever and keep it off!!!), but I will always love hearing about delicious desserts, their recipes, and their history.  I will always enjoy looking at pictures of them.  In many ways, the pictures will replace eating the desserts for me sometimes.  I already get teased at my Weight Watchers group because I often refer to “eating a dessert with my eyes and imagining what it tastes like” (especially if I have had it before and have a memory of it for which I can reach).  

That said, I thought that it would be great to see whether anyone blogs on desserts around the world.  I haven’t found such a blog yet.

Martha Stewart doesn’t solely focus on desserts when she travels.  For example, I have never seen her feature Korean or Japanese desserts, despite her trips to Asia at least once a year.  

So this is my idea.  I don’t travel nearly as much now as I once did on active duty in the Navy.

What if you, my readers, photograph desserts around the world when you see them as you travel?  Send them to me.  Write a guest blog post if you wish, or let me do that for you.  

Photograph desserts around the U.S. and Canada, too.

And I will feature them in “On the Road Again” posts.  

I can’t pay you for this.  I am not paid as a blogger.  

But we could have some fun times together with this, learning about other cultures and what they serve each other for a treat!

Let’s do it!




Just a Thought!

28 Dec

Psalm 138:7, 8:  “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.  The LORD will perfect [that which] concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, [endureth] for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”

How often do I (we) assume that because I have created a bad situation myself, the Lord is not there in it with me?  

As though He will only help us when we are blameless.  As though we ever could be completely blameless in any situation . . .

Look at the lack of qualifiers in those verses.  The Lord says He is with us in our struggles.  Even if we have done something offensive ourselves and made someone into an enemy who didn’t need to be an enemy . . . There are no qualifiers in that sentence.  It says God is with us, full stop.  

I need to stop inserting qualifiers myself.  I tell myself, “I got myself into this–now it is up to me to get myself out.”  That is totally unbiblical thinking.  We think that some things we do are tainted by sin and others are not.  We think that God turns away from the actions that are tainted by sin.

Fact is, and let’s be totally honest here, everything we do and will do until we go to heaven is tainted by sin in some way.  We never have a totally pure motive while we are in the flesh.  If God waited for us to be totally selfless before He would help us, He would be waiting a long, long time.  Till eternity actually. 

A former pastor of mine says “God writes straight with a crooked stick.”  This man’s email account (and every other account he has, including his ministry name) is called “The Crooked Stick.”  I love that.  It reminds us to assume our proper place as forgiven sinners before God.  Forgiven sinners who are loved beyond all comprehension and helped on a daily basis to get out of our messes.  Even the self-inflicted ones!!! 


Reblog Friday: Controversy Sells!

28 Dec

Controversy Sells!

I am, at heart, a lover of theology (theology=the study of God, straight from the Greek). But I must admit that for me, as a blogger, the human interest stories lead (weight loss, cancer survival). Since this is a big part of my personal story, I understand why that is the case. Following right after human interest stories have been my posts on controversial issues of our day.

Theology is just something I will always write about because it fascinates me. I understand there are real theologians out there to read and I can be but a faint glimmer of them. But I will continue to write on theology because . . . I can.

The joke about me is that I am the Baptist Yentl (if you recall the Barbra Streisand film in which she was an Orthodox Jewish girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to study the Torah!). Best everyone, Mary

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